I intended to post a blog every day. Fail.
This one is not going to have pictures. It will just be a summary of events so far. I'm trying not to forget. Jet lag gets worse the older I get. Hopefully I'll find a moment to catch up and add some pictures soon.
Day One. Packing Day. Totally reworked because Lifeline forgot to send our paperwork. The essential Provincial and Consulate documents required to complete the adoption weren't with us, and nobody seemed to know where they were. This wasn't for lack of asking. I kept checking and getting told not to worry.
Hm-m-m. This is one time I should have worried more and bugged them to death. After several stress filled hours, we learned that they forgot to mail the documents. Since we were flying early the next morning it was too late. As an alternative path, we got the paper we had to fill out and have notarized via email. The rest of the documents were to be sent directly to Ch*na. As of this morning none of our Lifeline contacts here seemed to know anything. The Ch*na coordinator back home assures me that all is well and everything will be here by Monday.
I wonder if I should be worried. Karen says, "Why worry when you can pray?" Guess I'll follow her advice.
Day Two or three or something. I'm not sure how to count days when some last more than the usual number of hours. Left on Tuesday, arrived on Thursday morning. Flying. 28 hours of sitting in airports or on airplanes. Pretty uneventful. We weren't able to get much more than a couple of short naps, so it was also very exhausting. Arrived in Be*jing around 11:30. By the time we got through customs and drove to our destination, it was after 1 am. We slept til around 5.
Day Three. Eat breakfast. Go to the preschool and meet children. Discovered that our special girl is slow to warm up to strangers. We spent the day observing various classes and lessons. Met with teachers, and doctors to ask questions and collect as much information as possible to help us know how to take care of our girl. Went to a great noodle place for supper.
Day Four. Spent a few hours in the van with the Directors and a great photographer. We drove to the hospitals where our girl spent so much of her life. We met the doctors who fought for her. Got to get pictures with them. Also got to hear the stories of the times when our girl died and take pictures of the places where all this happened. Had lunch at another noodle place. Yummy. We got to watch them make the noodles. Pulled noodles are fun to see.
Had some glimpses of how how strong willed our girl is. When she doesn't want something she isn't about to cooperate. That strong will is what helped her keep on fighting to live. We managed to get in a few good giggles before the day ended though. Chocolate ice cream, peach juice, and chicken instead of noodles for supper helped.
Day Five. Let our girl have some processing time with her nannies. She didn't like finding her clothes ready to go, or her name plate and chart gone from her door. The loss part of this adoption thing is starting to be too real. While she was working through thinking about leaving, Pete took us to the Great Wall. Fortunately for my tired old body, we got to ride the chair lift up the mountain. The steps were uneven and steep. Some parts had me going up using hands and feet. It was foggy and mysterious looking. Kelly and Pete went up through 4 guard stations. I gave up after two. I really need to work on getting in better shape.
Going down off the wall was hard on the knees, but going down the mountain was fun. You got to ride a sled down the pipe. It was the longest sled ride I have ever been on--and the curviest. The guy operating the sleds told me I have a Chinese face and called me his sister. Not sure what that was about I think it was supposed to be a compliment.
Got back fairly late. Went to pick our girl up for supper but couldn't communicate that to the nannies, so she ate at home. We stayed and played with kiddos. Oh my. What a night. Perhaps I'll write about it one of these days. The best thing is that all my guilt about adopting our girl away from a place where she is so happy is gone. This may be the best home for orphans anywhere in Ch*na, but it is still an orphanage. It was painful to be there and see how desperately these little people just need to be held or rocked or even seen.
Came back to our room to pack up so we can fly to Taiyuan tomorrow. Hope we are ready for stage two of this journey.
(Posting without proofreading---very tired. Please forgive any errors.)