We made it to China! After a short trip to Chicago, a looooong lay-over, and a very smooth 13.5 hour flight to Beijing, we got settled in our hotel at about 1:30 am local time. After showering, getting the computer set up, and unpacking a few things, we got to bed around 3:00. We decided that we would skip the tourist stuff today. This decision was based on several reasons: we have done the exact same tour twice, it’s freezing cold outside, we are exhausted, we are enjoying some time just the two of us, and honestly I just don’t feel like being a tourist today. When we were here in August, it was on the bus to the Great Wall that we first heard the news that Ethan was in the hospital. So, there are some bad memories associated with that trip. Our guide is the same person and when we got here last night she acted a little bit surprised that it was us again. That didn’t give us much confidence that she is very prepared to help us with Ethan’s medical issues. We have been told that Half the Sky has worked hard to get all the medicine he needs for the duration of the trip, but they gave it to the orphanage and who knows if they will cooperate and give us everything. This guide will be flying with us to Nanjing, so we will not get to see Jane, who was our guide in August. She was so amazing, so kind, and we really wanted to see her again to thank her for all she did for us. She had the most difficult job of all having to be the one to tell us we weren’t getting Ethan and that he was so sick and we couldn’t see him. I think back to how hard that must have been for her and how sad it was for all of us. She tried so hard to help us and our suspicion is that she told us things and helped us more than she was supposed to and possibly got in trouble. Anyway, don’t want to rehash all of that…
So, we have had the day to ourselves, which has been completely awesome. We ate a great breakfast (China has such good breakfast buffets!) then talked to the girls on Skype for about 45 minutes. Ryleigh is being dramatic and there seemed to be some tension between my parents and her, so I am praying that she will straighten up and make the most of this two weeks. I think it’s so hard to be away under the best circumstances, so when things don’t seem to be going well at home, it makes it even harder. I think everyone will feel better when we have the babies with us and we can all focus on that. It has been such a long journey and to be so close to Gotcha Day, I think the stress and excitement is coming to a head and everybody is about to explode. Anyway, it sounds like we missed an awesome game for Becca. I can’t believe we are going to miss 5 games. There were so many changes in the freshman schedule, she hasn’t had very many games yet this year and now we are missing all these ones that are in the next few weeks. Big bummer. But maybe she will play better when her dad isn’t yelling at the refs (always with good reason, of course)!
We took a walk down the street after we talked to the girls. We found a few familiar places:
We also went to a grocery store and a store that had a bunch of booths selling a wide variety of things: clothes, shoes, jewelry, toys, make-up, etc. It was interesting and I am sure we could have found stuff to buy, but we have to wait until Nanjing and Guangzhou when we will purchase another suitcase. While we were out, I started breaking out in hives, which has been happening the last week or so. It really stinks because I don’t know what is causing it and it has never happened before. I brought some medicine for it, so we came back to the room so I could take it. Then it was naptime, not what you are supposed to do to get over jetlag, but when you are exhausted, it is just too hard. I am enjoying a day with nothing much to do because it has been a long time since I have had that. I think Tim is a little bored and wishes we would have gone on the tour with the group, but I am happy to sit here and piddle the day away. Who knows when we will have a relaxing day again, right?!?!?
Our hotel room is so hot, we have the windows open and it also has a weird smell. Not a gross smell, just strange, kind of like burning motor oil. The beds look so soft and cushy and then you sit down and realize they are typical Chinese beds that are anything but soft and cushy. We piled on the extra blankets in an attempt to make it more comfortable and we certainly didn’t need any covers with the heat so we slept on top of all the layers of blankets. We will leave early in the morning to fly to Nanjing and then Monday at 10:30 we will have our babies in our arms. It will be such an exciting moment to be able to have them and to share with our family and friends those first pictures of us meeting them. I hope Grace, our guide, will be helpful with that since we won’t have Ryleigh with us to take pictures and video, which was the plan in August. And that was with just one Gotcha moment! Now there will be two! I still can’t believe it. I think part of wanting to just lay low today has to do with not wanting to share all of our story with the people in our group. I don’t want them to be nervous or to be the family everyone is whispering about. We are pretty sure that all the GW families were informed of our situation and reassured that everything was fine and that things like what happened to us only happen on extremely rare occasions. I just want to have Ethan and Reese and then I might feel more like connecting with everyone else. God willing that will happen SOON!