Well, hello Jet Lag, it’s nice to meet you! It’s 1:30 am in Beijing, and 1:30 pm in the US. I woke up a while ago and refused to look at the clock until around 1:00 am. After 29 unsuccessful minutes lost to trying to fall asleep again, I figured it’s best to go ahead and update my blog for this portion of the trip.
We got up early on March 19 so that we could spend a little time with the kids before heading off to the airport. I gave each of the kids a little goody bag of Chinese cookies and a book for them to read together before we left. Cookies=great mom, right? Everyone was pleased, and I am happy to report that no tears were shed. The big kids got on their respective buses, and Doris, Kevin, and I took Waverly to school. I just have to throw in again that no one cried, not even ME! I know it could only have been God that gave me this huge sense of peace about this trip because normally, I am a complete basket case. I have only left my kids a handful of times overnight, including to go give birth to their siblings. I am so thankful that the transition out of the US was an easy one.
We had a quick flight from Akron/Canton to Chicago. After grabbing food to go, we went to our Chicago-Beijing gate and waited for our flight. Our flight was pretty uneventful. We passed our time by watching movies and eating. At one point at the end, we hit a good bit of turbulence, one little dip being so good that the whole plane did a collective, “Aaaaahhhhhh!” No big deal though. After the big dip, the plane settled down, and we were soon on the ground in Beijing.
Once we deplaned, we met up with our EAC guide Zhou and three of the other families traveling with us. Customs took for. e. ver. as expected, so it gave us plenty of time to chat with another adoptive family, Kelly and Patrick, who lives nearby us back in Ohio. After that, we took a train to baggage claim and then another to the main exit of the airport. Once there, Zhou led his entourage through the airport quickly, trying to get us to the other waiting family and onto our bus. We hit a little roadblock when a young Chinese airport employee wanted us to put ALL our bags through a scanner. You can imagine the amount of luggage there is at this point for 12 passengers, plus the babies they are bringing home. Zhou said, “Keep walking!” So we did and the woman tried to shoo is back into line. Zhou sputtered something in Mandarin, indicated one bag from Toby’s cart full, and ushered us all around the scanner. Thankfully Toby’s bag that was chosen as the representative of the group’s haul was given the all clear, and we kept on trucking. Kevin and I were so amused by this. We found the rest of our travel mates, Danielle and Joshua, and headed to the bus that Zhou had chartered for us.
The ride to the hotel was about an hour. We were all just zombies at that point. I got about three hours of broken sleep on the plane. I don’t think Kevin slept at all. We checked in to our hotel around 7 pm, and the first thing our group did was request the wifi password so that we could all connect with our families back home. We were able to talk with Braden briefly before he got on the bus, and then Kevin and I went for a quick walk.
While I desperately wanted to raid this fresh fruit stand, I heeded the warnings of my adoptive predecessors and did not purchase food from the street. We grabbed McDonald’s from across the street for dinner/breakfast and headed back to our hotel to FaceTime with Doris, Annalise, Waverly, and Mom.
So that’s it so far! I should be sleeping now in preparation for a full day of sightseeing and shopping. Nighty night!