On the other side of the world, God smiles. People are beautiful. The sun shines--albeit a little less brightly through the smug. It beams in my heart.
Our day has been blessed. Well, you could say our days have been blessed. By the time my head hits the pillow, it will have been nearly 36 hours since I woke up at home in Georgia.
Our flights were basically uneventful, if you don't consider the minor little detail that I forgot to put pull ups for Ellie in our carry on. Only finding small diapers in the Chicago airport, I became the master...or apprentice...of ingenuity. I bought maxi pads to place on the top front and back of the diaper, extending the far enough they would wrap around Ellie. If that is the most inconvenient thing that happens on this trip, we will be blessed!!!
We had about 5 hours from the arrival of our flight in Chicago before we left for Beijing. Following breakfast, we found the Children's Museum. If you're ever in the Chicago airport with children, this is the place to be. Our girls had a great time and were able to expend some energy before the long flight.
The flight was long, but ambien is wonderful. After our meal, I remember very little. ;)
I will admit being slightly apprehensive about our arrival. With each of our first two adoptions, our agency scheduled all travel. For this trip, we were responsible for travel until our arrival in province, and our travel after our consulate appointment before our flight home.
Not only did I book the hotel, I also "found" our guide to help us in Beijing. Thank you for Rumor Queen and the discussion forums where I found Charlotte's name. I cannot say enough about how wonderful she has been. If anyone you know needs a guide in Beijing, tell them to email me. I asked Charlotte to meet us at the airport and arrange a driver to our hotel. She did that, AND she took us to the grocery store before she left so we would have some snacks.
All of this for about $5----
We are staying at the Comfort Suites, and I was more than pleased when we checked it. I was looking for a hotel that was less expensive than those normally booked for adoption travel. I chose this one for 2 reasons:
1---It was one of the few hotels in China that would allow the four of us to stay in one room, so I saved by not booking two rooms. The price was much less than a suite in other hotels.
2--There is a McDonald's in the same building. Stan, the ever non-adventurous eater had peace of mind knowing he could McD's anytime.
Unless there is a drastic change before we leave, I would highly recommend this hotel to American families. We arrived and found the hotel to be more than we expected. The lobby is beautiful. We've had to open our own doors and press our own elevator buttons, but, um....we're sort of accustomed to doing those things ourselves.
Most of the staff speaks very little English, but they work hard to accomodate, and with enough sign language, you can tell them you need extra towels or sheets.
The grocery store, Papa John's, and McDonald's are all part of the huge building complex. We have stepped onto the sidewalk and walked less than 20 yards for everything we need. And, my favorite Chinese past time--people watching---is easily done from our 6th floor window.
Views from the windows.
Bobbie, I have the window cracked, so I can be lulled to sleep by the beeping of car horns, but I think we are on the outer edges of the city. The street noises are not NEARLY as busy as our hotel in Taiyuan.
This room is huge, much unlike any other hotel I've found in China. I expect there are many Chinese citizens whose apartments are much smaller.
So, we will spread out for the next 36 hours, stretch our legs, and enjoy the room.
Tomorrow, we will do our only sightseeing. We will visit the Temple of Heaven. But, then we will begin the most amazing part of our journey. We will meet Drew! We will visit Amazing Hands foster home tomorrow afternoon. Drew is there, and Ellie lived there before she joined our family. So, it will be a reunion for her with her nannies.
Thank you for all the prayers and support. We would NOT be here, if not for countless numbers of you who have prayed, and done more for us than I ever could have imagined.
I leave you know with this. Stan said he had hoped to get a massage by a cute young Chinese girl. Hmm, I don't think this is what he had in mind, but Ellie wanted to fulfill his dream.