Sunday—After another breakfast of noodles, eggs, etc. we went to church. While our guide tells that it is legal to be a Christian in China and attend church we find that hard to believe when they asked us to show our foreign passports upon entry to the church and Rosa told us she was not allowed in. Rosa (our guide) doesn’t think much about Christianity. She said she has Taoist beliefs but is not that dedicated to the religion. There are millions of people here who don’t give Jesus a second thought. It’s odd because I think they are so innocent in their beliefs. If you tell them we believe that if you don’t believe in Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you will not inherit eternal life they don’t care. Most don’t believe in eternal life so why do they care about what we say. It is heart breaking. China is a huge mission field needing many missionaries!
After lunch we went to Dr. Tea! Our guide had to get creative because it was snowing and no one wanted to spend two hours outside touring the Summer Palace in the dead of winter! Dr. Tea is a tea house/tourist trap/Chinese “starbucks” since they don’t drink coffee here. We went into a private room where two adorable petite Chinese girls gave us an educational tea tasting talk. It was fun. Just to hear them talk in their pretty dresses. I told Adri I would buy anything from them cause they were so cute and talked so proper. She agreed! We tasted jasmine tea, oolong tea, some other tea I forgot and then puer tea. Puer tea comes from tall trees and the tea ages like fine wine. It is super healthy for you and helps burn fat (like the Chinese need it!). After the talk we felt a bit compelled to not look like cheap Americans, and we also felt a bit compelled to buy the tea a watch it “change ours lives” as Adri says! So we all bought tea! So maybe I’ll invite you all over for a tea party in my spare time!
Then we went to the Beijing Museum. Something most adoptive families don’t see because they are at more fun places in better weather. The kids were pretty bored. We made the most of it. There was one little exhibit where they had dressed up locust shells like little people that interested the kids. Kinda neat, kinda gross. But interesting.
Then off to the airport! We are now just HOURS away from getting our kids!!! We meet up with another couple from another ameriican adoption agency in the airport. They are adopting a boy from the same orphange as well! They are thankful to see us. We flly about 2 hours and land in Lanzhou at night time. We are picked up from the airport by Ray, a nice Chinese guy. He startes talking about “getting your babies” and such. He says it so normal! Like we do this every day. All I can think is IM GETTING MY BABIES!!!!!!!!!!!! I am not really nervous, but I’m getting emotional at this point. The other couple has butterflys too.
Ray explains to us that usually parents get their babies early in the day and have 24 hours to decide by the next day if they want the baby. He tells us that since it is late, we will only have 10 hours to decide! He says please take care of baby and no accidents! LOL! I cannot believe all the things I’m hearing. THIS IS REAL. Daniel looks at me and says no turning back now! We laugh. We wouldn’t ever.
We arrive at the hotel. I am trying to wake up Johnny who seems to have settled into a long winter’s nap and is UNWAKEABLE! My moment of the whole family walking in holding hands in slow motion with sparkles around us as we greet our babies is smashed to smithereens when Phoebe yells, “I SEE LILY!!!!!!” My emotions unleash when I see Daniel has lost it and begins to cry. I start bawling and run off the bus, hoping Adri or the nice Chinese man I met an hour before will help get my sleeping child off the bus! I head straight through the doors and fall to my knees to embrace little Lily who is remarkably smaller than I remember and had planned on! She is tiny. About the size of Madison Prewitt I think. She looks confused and emotionless and probably confused why I am crying. I try to hug the director and assistant director of the orphanage and quickly before I turn to my little fat hawk Hope and scoop her out of their arms! She too is smaller than I thought. She looks so foreign yet so familiar. She looks emotionless at all of us. After a few minutes I wonder if Johnny made it off the bus and then I see himcurled up next to our unaccompanied backpack full of all our important documents while a crowd of Chinese men as gathered around him smiling and pointing.
They are finally in our arms. And while I cannot gather all my thoughts, I know it is right. The journey has begun! We spend about 30 minutes there and then go up to our hotel rooms where Daniel has massive amounts of money spread out all over the bed while I am cuddling our kids! We had to bring $15,000.00 cash for the girls combined. The night is unforgettable yet completely unable to recall because of the surrealness of it all! It was February 13, 2001!
The girls easily go to bed in their new cute pajamas, and the day ends. 10 hours to decide…..WE”LL TAKE EM NOW!