(the final "ghost post")
The last few days in Guangzhou seemed to drag on while waiting to get through the last official appointments and Elaina was getting impatient. She just wanted to grab Victoria and 'head for the exit'. Victoria continued her slow adaptation to her new family; including this young English-speaking girl name Elaina who was supposed to be her sister but seemed so different. Sunday the 14th was a free day and LaRita decided to strike out on her own, away from the outing that was organized for the rest of the group. She bundled the girls into a taxi and off they went to visit and shop for trinkets on Shamian Island. This island was where LaRita and Eliana stayed in Guangzhou during the first adoption in 2010. (Hubby is very proud of her for being brave enough for this mini-adventure)
On Monday the 15th, they had an early morning appointment to have Victoria's TB test checked. Negative! Another step closer to that US visa. After that, LaRita and the girls headed for Xangjiang Safari Park, the largest animal park in Asia. It was exceptionally done and alongside each animal exhibit was a nursery where you get to see the "babies" being taken care of. Elaina even got to bottle-feed a tiger cub! Victoria wasn't keen on the idea and clung to LaRita just outside the enclosure. As exciting as that was, it wasn't LaRita's favorite part of the day. After they got back to the hotel, Victoria wanted again to see the photo album LaRita had brought. The pictures that the orphanage had sent had previously brought Victoria to tears and had her asking to go back to the Aiees. LaRita steeled herself for another emotional moment. But not this time. This time Victoria turned to only one picture in the book. It was a picture of Victoria and Elaina (Guo Maya and Guo Xin), Elaina leaning on Victoria with arms around her, each with big grins, presumably in their first foster home and taken about one or two years before we went to bring back Elaina. (This is the same picture seen on the right side of this blog page under the title "My Girls!")
Victoria pointed to Elaina in the picture and said "XIn Xin?" (that was Elaina's 'pet name' in the foster home.) LaRita nodded yes. Victoria then pointed to Elaina and asked again, "Xin Xin?" "Yes" LaRita said, "Xin Xin is Elaina; Elaina is Xin Xin". Victoria nodded in understanding. It clicked. She really got it. LaRita's favorite part came a little after that when the two girls were playing together. After seven days together, Victoria for the first time said a word she had never used before. She said "Elaina". Yep, Elaina… …her sister.