It's been a few days since we posted. Sorry for the delay. On Sunday afternoon we headed off from PHF to the Beijing airport. Christina did not look back. We had thought there might be some tears shed but she handled the transition well. Our guide Angela met up with us at the airport and we headed to the gateway. Christina was excited to go up in the plane, but because it was dark out by the time we took off, she couldn't see as much from the air. Air China must be obsessive about "on-time" departures! People were still finding their seats when the door was closed and the plane was pushed away from the gate. In the US, that plane wouldn't move until everyone was seated. Then, we were blasting down the runway and lifting off while the safety video was still playing! Very different from at home.
On arrival in Nanchang, we headed off to the Gloria Plaza Hotel and finally hit the sheets at about 11:30pm. We had an early wake-up tho, as we needed to be at the Civil Affairs Office by 8:30am. At Civil Affairs, there were MANY adoptive families milling around the waiting room. We talked to several families who had been waiting for their new healthy children for up to 44 months! That seems so foreign to those of us who adopt from the "waiting children" lists. The longest we've ever waited from login to travel is 9 months, and that was excruciating enough.
After signing all the paperwork and paying all the bills, we went to the Nanchang Wal-Mart, which is ALWAYS mind-boggling! You'll never see a Walmart like this in this states! Everything from live squid to turtle, fried everything on a stick, LOUD salespeople on megaphones shouting their pitches and the same annoying version of "Jingle Bells" repeated over and over again on the store's loudspeakers. Arghhhhhhhhh! After quickly gathering up some water, Pepsi and a few snack items, we headed back to the hotel. After lunch and a short nap, we took a trip several blocks from the hotel to the pedestrian mall area. We walked the length of the "walking street" and the girls enjoyed some glazed strawberries on a stick. We love the atmosphere on the walking street-- so many people gathered, walking arm in arm, talking etc. After supper at a local restaurant, it was time for a much needed sleep.
Today, we were able to sleep a bit longer as we have no appointments. We are in the worst part of the adoption travel time-line.....waiting, waiting, waiting. It is cold and rainy (with a few snowflakes mixed in) outside. Our only thing scheduled today is to meet up with Sarabeth's foster parents. It has been 3 yrs since we left Nanchang with our lovely Sarabeth, and the fosters still miss her greatly. We will be meeting them at 5:30 for dinner and I've put together a photo album on a flash drive that we will give them, which chronicles Sarabeth since her adoption. Tomorrow....another day of waiting. Thursday though is the day we've been waiting for- Lord willing, we'll have all of Christina's paperwork returned and be off to warm Guangzhou.
We'll send some pictures off to Caitlin and hopefully she will get them uploaded to the blog soon. Thanks for the many comments, notes and prayers. We appreciate all of you.
John and Mary.