This morning we got up and filled up with a good breakfast. Time to finish packing and head out of ZZ! Lots of good things happened here, but for many in our group, we are already homesick and ready to just finish up the adoption process. We know that Guangzhou gets us closer to going HOME, so we were all very happy to be heading that way.
Mia slept in today…about 11 hours total! We were very happy to let her get some much-needed rest, but what we found was that she slept SO hard that she had an accident in her bed. She has done so so well, and is definitely completely potty-trained. I just think she slept very hard and didn’t realize she had to go. So, after washing out some clothes and an extra bath, we were ready to finish packing and head out!
The ride to the airport was uneventful. Mia fell asleep for a little short nap. In the airport, our guides went as far as they could go with us and hugged us all and said that we were a memorable group! I told Vivian that we could have never made it without her, and that is true. She was so very good to us and I will be forever grateful.
Again, I cannot tell you how wonderful it is to be a part of this travel group. Every family is so unique, but we just click. There is not one person or one family that is left out. No clicks or smaller groups. We are 100% in this together. That is a God-thing, if you ask me! We work together to help each others, we watch out for each other, and that was demonstrated perfectly through all our travel today.
The plane ride was about 2 hours long, but they made us board about an hour prior to take-off. It is hard to entertain a toddler that long, though snacks go a long way. I was hoping Mia would eventually nap, but that did not happen, even though she was tired. She stayed pretty well in her seat, and we tried very hard to make it “cool” to wear a seatbelt like Mama and Baba. Well, she didn’t like it. Let’s just say that. I think she was a little apprehensive about takeoff and landing, but it was more the seatbelt that bothered her. Hard to restrict a lady on the go! Some of the kiddos did better than others, but most of them were very unhappy during descent and landing. I think everyone was ready to be done traveling by then!
After landing, we worked together as a big group to make sure everyone had everything and we went to the baggage claim together and grabbed all the luggage. We met Kathy and Paul, our CCAI guides, and Kathy made sure to call each of us by name and give us a hug to welcome us. It was so nice to be greeted with such happiness and love when we were all exhausted and not feeling super loveable ourselves! We were led to a bus where we would travel another 45 minutes or so to the hotel in Guangzhou. Kathy talked to us about our schedule and some excursion options for the week in an echoing loud microphone. As we drove, we noticed this city is very different from Beijing and Zhengzhou. First of all, it is extremely humid and hot here. It feels tropical compared to those more northern cities. Secondly, the buildings and city streets were more “working man” look to them versus big city, high living. It’s hard to explain really. No scooters here, but still tons of cars.
When we arrived to the hotel, we all checked in and several decided to order pizza from Papa John’s. It felt like a treat to get something familiar, and honestly, Papa John’s is my favorite! We ordered a pizza for our little family and headed to our room. It was nice to get off the bus and settled in, but we had to wait a while for our luggage to come up, and wait about 45 minutes for food.
I was able to video chat with Patty and the boys, and I was so glad! We completely missed talking to them yesterday, and I am missing them like crazy. I think we are just ready to come home. It’s hard to think that we still have a whole week to go. Mia was going crazy with energy while I was trying to talk to them, and that was hard. By the time we got off the call, she had been getting into things and just laughing about it when we said no, so I ended up putting her in her first little time out on the couch. I said “no” in both Chinese and English and she sat there. She started calling out but I put my finger to my mouth to say “Shhhh.” She calmed down a bit and then I talked to her calmly.
I know she doesn’t understand English very well, but I also know that she is soaking everything in, and likely understands more than we think. I got her to repeat “sorry” in English after my little talk. It is baby steps, for sure. This stuff is not going to happen overnight. She has been taken completely out of her, likely very solid, routine for the first time that she can remember. Once we get home and actually HAVE an actual routine, I am certain she will be able to understand more and things will gradually get smoother over time.
Tonight, we are just tired. Another long day of travel. Another new place. Another week to go. Please pray that we enjoy this week and that it goes by quickly. We are ready to be done and go home to our boys. Thank you all for your support through all of this. It is so amazing to know we have such a huge group of friends and family praying for our family. God is GOOD!