squatting, shopping & eating

The boys are mastering the art of randomly squatting when they are bored with waiting on their parents.

We have so many days of nothing planned, which we like. Tomorrow is our Consulate Appointment. That is where things are made official on the US side for the adoption. She won’t actually be a US citizen until our plane lands in the US, but all the interviewing, paperwork, etc. will be done tomorrow. Then we must wait another day for her visa…and then Friday we begin flying home!

The boys have been fairly cooperative with shopping….as long as it means pool time at the hotel afterwards. A thoughtful blog reader sent me a link to a washi tape manufacturer in town. We are going to try to find it tomorrow. The concierge at our hotel was totally confused why we needed directions to a tape manufacturer 😉

We’ve ate at the same restaurant many times now. Last night we got to go with friends who I had met when we were waiting for our agency to match us with a child. It was nice to be in Guangzhou together and get to talk in person instead of via the computer. We went again tonight because we can all eat for about $4.00 total, the food is DELICIOUS and the family that owns the place is very kind to us. We will miss this place!

In case you find yourself in Guangzhou and happen upon this restaurant…that is behind a bunch of buildings in an alley and I have no idea how to tell you to get there….these are our favorite dishes. The boys are begging me to ask the owner to teach me to make the fried rice.

So here is the front of the place, it is the one on the right (green and yellow sign). Can anyone tell me the name?

Right after dinner a downpour came. Thankfully we were in an area that is easy to find umbrellas. Not too long of a walk back to the hotel…

The thunderstorm was a nice change. It kind of felt like an Oklahoma rain, which made us miss home a little more. Well, the rain is still falling and the boys want the computer to watch cartoons on hulu. Maybe I’ll go get a hot decaf coffee….sounds good on a rainy night in China.

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  • BeckyH in MA - Enjoy your last few days. I bet you can’t wait to get back! Firecracker will be over the moon with happiness! 🙂

  • Kathleen - I can’t see the one character behind the tree, but the other ones are Gao — La mian. Its a noodle place (la mian). I only know Mandarin so the pronunciation might be different. I think that is Arabic in the upper left in the yellow circle, so it might be a restaurant specializing in food from the Northwest of China where the Uyghur minority group lives. When I lived in China, my favorite dish was a Xinjiang dish called Da Pan Ji or literally Big Plate of Chicken. Roasted chicken and potatoes with lots of juices served with naan. Glad you found a favorite restaurant with kind owners. Good, reliable food makes all the difference. So happy for you all.

  • Aiza - Have a wonderful last few days in China! The restaurant is “Gao Yuan La Mien” 🙂

  • Louise - I have been following your blog for a while now and have read all your adoption posts (and all the non adoption ones too obviously ) feeling like I was experiencing adoption vicariously through you.

    Thank you for taking the time to document and share this adventure

  • Caroline - Do you have another picture of the signboard?
    The second word of the restaurant is covered by the tree trunk so I can’t read it. but looking at the shape of the characters, it looks like it’s called “Gao Feng La Mian”.
    Anyway, this is a halal restaurant, making it suitable for muslims to dine in as well. 🙂
    Enjoy your last few days in China! 🙂

  • Paige@kidsandthegoodstuff.blogspot.com - Love the squat! I’m amazed at anyone who can squat that deeply and get back up. 🙂 I know you are excited to get your family back together, but at the same time must mourn a little the departure from your little one’s country. Praying for safe travels and a wonderful reunion.

  • emmybrown - love the random squatting! ha!

  • tammy kay - Love this. I have so enjoyed reading about your journey. I’m looking forward to you bringing her back home too. I can’t wait to see Firecrackers face!

  • Natalie, the Chickenblogger - Laughing at myself… I’m so carefully reading the directions and details, as though we’ll be heading that way soon, maybe in time for dinner? I think my stomach is *thinking* for me!
    To be sure, if we ever have the chance to visit China, I will be talking to you first!

  • angie - ashley….so happy to have met you face to face on this journey to our girls! see you in the morning at the consulate!

  • jenny - ok, i have to be honest and say that when i saw the title to your post, i immediately thought of the “squatty potty’s” in China. That is something I never got used to on our trip there several years ago! LOL 😉
    I did however master finding the places that had western toilets! 🙂

  • Celia - Thank you for keeping us all posted. We LOVE reading about the experiences going on right now in your family. Your daughter sounds like such a special gem. You all have been so blessed with her… and she has been greatly blessed that the Lord choose ya’ll to be her family. My hearts swells to see her every time I read your updates!! Continuing to pray for you all!!!!

  • Jessica P - The random squatting cracks me up. I am so thrilled that your trip has been amazing and that little one is adjusting beautifully thus far. Your pictures of her completely melt me. So happy for you guys.

  • amanda - Oh Ashley,
    I am so jealous of your washi tape extravaganza!!! I have been looking all over for one, and not having the best of luck!!! Hope you post some pictures .. can never get enough of washi tape!!

  • fei - i love love following your blog, and in particular your family’s expedition to china! your comments section are just as amazing and encouraging to read. thanks for sharing with us, hope you enjoy your last few days there!

  • Kara M - I love seeing you capture China with your camera! It makes me miss it so much!!

  • jessica - Thank you for taking the time to post each day! we hope to adopt from china one day so i just cherish your story! praying for you guys and for the days ahead 🙂

  • Lisa M. - Love the squatting pictures! My son does this while playing sometimes and it always amazes me how he can just pop right back up! So looking forward to following your journey as you return back home. I’ll bet Firecraker’s about ready to burst with excitement over your return with her sister! Can’t wait for those pics!!

  • Jess - Lol! My Chinese mother in law swears squatting like your boys are is only something Chinese children do!!! Happy to translate any recipes you want, I have learned how to make eggrolls, fried rice and steamed buns (your breakfast the first day).

  • hannah singer - it’s been so wonderful, following this special adventure with y’all!
    praising jesus for fun family times, and your precious new daughter!
    so blessed by your sharing it here! xoxo

  • Brandi - That was our absolute favorite place to eat too! We went back multiple times. If you go again, there is a dish with potatoes and green beans. We actually tried to replicate it here with no real success. So yummy. I can almost taste it. I think it’s the seasoned woks that gives it such wonderful flavor. Enjoy the rest of your stay!

  • Fliss - I am truly loving all your posts… part of me wishes we had gone more into town… though I loved Shamian, it would have been more interesting in the town… hugs…

  • tracy a - what great posts these have been! i have no idea what that sign says, but am seriously impressed that more than one reader translated it for you. how great to be a part of such a wide “community.” hoping tomorrow goes well for you and the travelling can commence on Friday!!

  • devon - i am so delighted for all of you. she is so beautiful 🙂
    im loving reading your story – as always – and I cant wait to read about how it goes when the whole family is together as one.

    she is a lucky gal. and you are lucky as well.
    i am just thrilled for you! ?

  • Katrina - I am truly grateful to be able to experience a small part of your adoption journey in my lounge room on the other side of the world. I have felt like I am on a holiday in China and I really love your photos. I particularly love the ones of when you are out and about and we can see daily life in China taking place. I am looking forward to your coming posts when you get back home, but a part of me will be sad when my holiday in China ends, lol. I can’t wait to read them each morning (in Australia). It’s like a book I can’t put down. All the best for your journey back home.

  • Lindsey P - My husband was traveling to Australia at the same time you were traveling to China. And he will be returning at the same time you will be coming back. So although he is not much into crafty type family photography blogs, I am. An he is now on the lookout for your wonderful family in the airport. (I have no idea which airports you will be going through) So if a random guy comes up to you all and tells you that his wife cries every time you write an adoption post, or that she constantly is shoving her computer in his face trying to show him something that “ashleyann” made, that’s my hubby. Don’t think he’s crazy.

  • Christy - This is probably a dumb question, but will she have dual citizenship?

  • Arlyna - Hi! Been following your blog and was quite touched because a friend of mine went through the same process as you… And it is also interesting to see your take on China (we’ve been living here for the last 12 years).

    With regards to your question, the second character looks like a ?(yuan) which in full (together with the first character) means originating from the mountains. So the owners may be from the Qinghai province or Lanzhou, near Tibet.

    This restaurant specifically mentions that they serve muslim food – no pork.

  • Nella - The yellow arabic words means ‘Halal’ – which is awesome cause I am a muslim and was psyched seeing that this awesome food place you’ve been peddling is somewhere I could go and eat. On the menu board, it says again “Halal” on the left and some praises to God on the right. Your post always makes me cry. Good luck on your journey home. Good thoughts and wishes from Malaysia.

  • Shannan - I have loved reading about your journey. I, too, have three older boys and our youngest is a girl about Firecracker’s age. Even though we probably won’t be adopting anytime soon – I feel connected and invested in your story. It’s been my favorite book to read these days – reading chapter by chapter (day by day). You are a real blessing to me here in Oregon!

  • Jennifer - This is such a lovely chapter in your life and I’m enjoying reading it all from afar. Fall is such a natural time of new beginnings and I’m thinking of you in the days ahead with lots of little boys off to school and your being home w/your girls! What a delight for all of you. Keep posting – it is a joy to read! Congratulations, best wishes and much love from London

  • Emily - Here’s what my sister (who just arrived in China a month ago) had to say: Well it says gao yuan la mian, according to my roommate. Gao means tall and la mian is the noodles I have all the time. So it probably means (her guess is) “high quality la mian”.

    Love these updates! You can never post too many details!

  • Suzanne - I also thought I was going to learn about the Campbell family adventures with squatty potties ~ haha! The restaurant looks great. We found the best hole-in-the-wall noodle place in xi’an. Those are the best. Praying your official visits go well, and for a peaceful trip home!

  • dee - It looks like the boys will remember this trip forever.The looks on their faces are priceless .How lucky they are to have memories of travelling to China and bringing home their sister,OMG what wonderful words -Bringing home our sister.God bless you all and safe travells.love Deex

  • Shannon Phillips - We are loving these posts and feel a little bit like you are taking us with you to China. We are so thankful to you for that. But….GET HOME ALREADY!!!!! 🙂 We miss you and want to hold that baby girl! Keegs can’t wait to welcome her home at the airport. Penelope can’t wait to meet her new BFF!