We flew out of Beijing on Sunday around lunch, and before we even could fly out, we were both stressed. We didn't get to the counter to check in for our flight until about 40 minutes before the flight left, so that of course started everything off a little crazy! We went right from the check-in through security, and then through the gate and onto a bus to the plane. Nice to not have to wait, but a little nerve wracking being there "right on time". So, we made the flight, had the pleasure of sitting in the middle seat in two different rows, and I got to sit next to the loudest snorer I've ever heard! If I spoke Chinese, I considered telling him he might want to see his doctor about some sleep apnea...but, I wasn't sure how to translate all that!
We made it to the airport in Lanzhou, and met with our guide, Melody. She was very nice, very fast, and very excited! We had to try to keep up with her to make it to the car. When we got in the car, she told us that they were on the way with our baby to the hotel, and she had about a 3-4 hour drive to get there. She said we would change money with a "guy" in our hotel room before they got there. Then, about halfway through the hour long trip to the hotel, she tells us that they actually are already there with her, and that they are taking her to get something to eat and then will meet us. So, she says we will either change money or get our baby first....whoever is there first. Uh, okay.....I can't even put into words what I was thinking/feeling. She's giving us the run down of what we need to do when we get to the hotel. Change money, find our gifts for everyone, find toys for the baby. Okay, sounds easy enough. Hahahahaha! Like it happened just like that.....
We are driving past a cross street and I see 4 people walking together carrying a baby in a pink coat, and I say to Jeremy, "that's her." I've been looking at those pictures for months, I could spot her anywhere. She was less than a block from the hotel. I didn't say anything to the guide, I figured she would think I was crazy! We go into the hotel and the "guy" to change money is waiting in the lobby. Jeremy is getting passports to check in and in walks these people carrying the little girl in the pink jacket. I couldn't say anything, I couldn't believe it, she was there....in person....not a picture, but really our baby, in the same room. She had no idea what was going on, of course. Our guide had a stroller for her and they put her in, and I assume we got checked into the hotel, but to tell you the truth I have no idea what was going on.
Here comes the comical part. It wasn't funny at the time, but looking back I wish I could have seen it from the outside. From the beginning I've been terrified that we would offend someone, or do something that would make them take her away from us. I'm probably paranoid, but the culture here is just so different. That being said, picture this. There is the "money guy", the orphanage director, a doctor (we later found out), the driver, a woman I assume was a nanny, and our guide and us all in the elevator going to our room. We get to the room, and our guide tells us to find the gifts...what??? You want me to go through the luggage and find this stuff with everyone here and my baby here, and what???? So, of course my brain is gone and I couldn't for the life of me remember where those stupid gifts were. After what seemed like an eternity, we managed to find some of them and threw things in a bag and handed them over, I asked my questions (though I'm pretty sure the answers weren't the most accurate), and all but the "money guy" left. All I have to say is, thank God for Jeremy who had the sense to find the camera in there somewhere and snap some pictures!
|The arms in this picture are of the "driver", but he was also there the next day at civil affairs and she obviously knew him pretty well, so not really sure who he was|
|No idea what to say to my daughter....|
|Candy is the universal language!!|
Officially the craziest, most wonderfully wild day of my life. I will never forget the sweating trying to find everything in our bags with all of these eyes on me. Trying to not pull a bra or something out of the bags while digging....funny now....wanted to crawl under a rock then.....but would do it all again if it meant having this face smiling at me!!!
|Yep, I could eat her!!|