I think all blogs are blocked from this province. I can read your comments as they are coming to my e-mail account, but I don’t think that I am going to be able to blog. My sister, Beth, is going to help me out, but posts may be delayed.
It’s 2:15 a.m., and I can’t sleep. I have not made it past 5 a.m. since we’ve been here, but this is even early for me. I think that part of it is the time change, but I’m sure the bigger part is nerves. We get Kate in just a little over 12 hours.
We said goodbye to the two families from Colorado and to Matthew on Sunday morning. They are headed to another province to adopt. We will meet up with them in Guangzhou on Friday. We had a free day to do as we wanted, but had to be out of the room by noon. Sophia and I took an early morning swim and then packed our bags. After checking out, she and I went to a Chinese restaurant near the hotel for lunch. Tim wasn’t hungry because he had breakfast while we swam. I did pretty well ordering and paying with Hong Kong dollars. I had some fried noodles (so, so), and Sophia had hot and sour soup with chicken. I noticed when they brought it to her that you could literally see red on the surface of the soup. She and I both decided it was Tabasco Sauce as it lit her up. At one point during the meal, she came to me to have me feel her forehead. She was dripping with sweat. She kept it eating though! It’s interesting that when we walk into the Chinese restaurants, I think to myself, “It stinks in here.” Then she says out loud, “Mmm…it smells good in here!” I told her today that I wish I knew if it’s just a matter of she really likes Chinese food or if there’s something in her that reminds her of her first home. It’s so strange.
Around 2:00 Sunday afternoon, Joy from CCAI picked us up for the airport. Matthew was still tied up with the other two families. Joy was very sweet and was helpful guiding us through the airport. Our flight left around 5:00, and we were in the air under 1 ½ hours. As soon as we sat down in our plane seats, Sophia fell asleep. It was an incredible take off in terms of view – probably the best of my life. Hong Kong was beautiful from the sky. It was dark when we landed Friday night, and I had missed it. To see from the air all of the little islands was amazing. And on top of that, we had a great view of Disneyland from the sky. We recognized it because of Space Mountain. Matthew was right. It’s very small compared to our Magic Kingdom! I really wanted Sophia to see it, but she wouldn’t budge. Actually, she was so out of it when we landed that we were the last ones off the plane. She cried when we woke her up. So tired! Jet lag had hit her badly.
We had about an hour drive to the hotel. We are now in Nanning. This is the capital city of Guangxi, Kate’s province. Our new guide, David, told us that we will get Kate at 3 p.m. on Monday (that’s 3 a.m. for all of our friends/family at home). Her foster parents are putting her and Bella June on a train very early this morning with the orphanage staff. I can only imagine how hard that will be for all of them. They have had these girls for over 2 ½ years. David said that he had spoken with the foster mom by phone and explained that the two families are committed to keeping the girls in contact with each other and that that made her feel so much better. He also told us that Kate is called Ning Ning most of the time. I’m sure we will slowly transition from that to Kate. He said that he had the contact information for the foster parents, and that we could call them at any point this week with questions that we had. So kind of them!
While in the car, David talked about the plight of older orphans explaining that it’s so much more difficult to place them in families than it is infants. I asked him why the orphanage waited so long to put Kate and Bella June up for adoption, and he didn’t know. I am still baffled by that. Why couldn’t she have been placed with a family once her clubfoot treatment was over in January 2010? David is currently advocating for two 12 year old girls in Guilin. Their good friend was just adopted a couple of weeks ago to the US (Hi, Vickie!), and he desperately wants to place her friends.
I don’t want you to think that the whole hour with David was serious talk. Actually, we laughed most of the drive. When he found out that JD (Robin and Todd’s son) has been waking at 3 a.m. every day, he suggested that he go karaoke. Apparently that’s very popular here. He cracked us up talking about how some of his friends will spend the entire day listening to karaoke, hanging out, and eating from the buffet (“boo fet” he called it). We were rolling! David is probably in his early to mid-twenties and will be a ton of fun this week!
So, our day looks like this:
Once we’re all up: Figure out Internet so that I can post this and Skype Ella.
10:30 a.m.: Meet David to go to Walmart. It’s about a five minute walk from the hotel. I’ve never been to Walmart in China. So excited! Ha! Ha! He suggested that we buy some typical Chinese snacks so that the girls aren’t overwhelmed by our American snacks.
3:00 p.m.: Kate will be brought to our hotel. This is weird to me as I’m used to going to a government office for this, but I do know this happens sometimes.
7:30 p.m.: It will be 7:30 a.m. in KY. Hoping Ella will be up so that we can Skype her and introduce her to her little sister.