28
Jul

Feels like coming home

We’ve been in Beijing for a couple days and our internet has been sketchy at best.  I’ve been fairly wiped out, as well, and I needed some extra sleep the past couple of days.

Our final day in Hunan was spent sifting and sorting luggage.  We had picked up a fair bit during the past two weeks and needed to get rid of a bit too.  We had lunch in the second floor Cantonese restaurant before getting in the van and heading to the airport.  My Mom teased the driver and told Vicky, our guide, to let him know we were heading to the forest in the Western region – a four hour drive one way.  His face spoke of his shock!  We got him good.  :)

We had a really great group of tour staff for those two weeks in Hunan.  Stacy was helpful and could roll with our questions.  Matthew had such an understanding way about him and really understood our sarcastic Canadian wit from his two years in Canada.  Vicky was wonderful to see again and was helpful with our new baby.  And as illustrated above, even though we couldn’t exchange conversation with our driver, we did a fair bit of bantering and conversing anyway!  He was very kind with Samuel and a big help to each of us over our time there.

During our last trip to Hunan, it was one of many, many stops and it felt like a blur.  Returning there and driving back roads and seeing so much more of the region has given Stephen and I an equal appreciation for Hunan along with Ningxia and Guangdong.  We are so thankful to have had the opportunity and were left with a list of things we’d like to attempt to experience the next time we visit.  Honestly, the very best part of China is the people.  The longer we spend here the more we love the fact that people are people wherever they live. Having the chance to truly appreciate the areas that our kids are from and learn to love them, speaks to them that we love not only where they are from, but who they are.  They will always be Chinese and Canadian.  Being here and then pouring over the pictures and reliving it all at home with them long after the memories have faded into their childhoods, helps them plant roots.  Sounds pretty big for a couple weeks time, but we have seen the benefit to our kids again and again.

We arrived at the airport and began the check in process.  Unfortunately, we were told that although Air Canada had booked us all the appropriate tickets, Air China had booked us into lap tickets?!  Crazy!  A visit to the supervisor cleared that up and our bags were checked in.  However, when it came to the paper voucher for Isaiah’s lap ticket, we were told that it was invalid and so off Stephen went to another desk and then back to the supervisor.  In the end, a new one was issued for a fee and we had about 20 minutes to not only get through security, but get to the other end of the airport for our gate.  And let me tell you, while we have had  nothing but courtesy at each of the airports we’ve travelled in Canada, the USA and China, it takes a bit of extra time for them to scan Samuel’s prosthetics and crutches!  Add in the stroller, baby carrier and infant, and all of our electronics, well, it was a mad rush to the gate!

We galloped up to the gate (the last one – 50 of 50!) and found that the airplane had been fully boarded, save us, but they called the plane and they held it.  Then because of the gate checked stroller, they called for another bus and escorted us with two pilot cars and a handful of staff to the plane.  We made it and got our bags stowed just in time for Isaiah to decide that maybe skipping his nap was a bad idea.  LOL!  Ah well, he settled after awhile and as we were getting ready to de-plane, the people around us were kind.  The whole thing makes for a good story.  :)

And this is where it feels like coming home.  We got our luggage and around the corner we say one of our familiar Beijing guides, Faye (who is married now, for anyone reading this from our other trips) and the familiar “Panada” flag.  She had a van waiting for us and we headed to the hotel.  Yulin (our agency director) was there waiting for us and as usual, she had everything more than sorted out for us.  We headed out for a quick meal and when we returned she had us booked into bigger rooms.  We are totally spoiled here.  No, really.

The next morning we ran into a few families from our group and Yulin and Faye (and Mr. Lee) had Isaiah’s Visa photo taken and his citizenship part 2 paperwork filled out for the Canadian Embassy.  Everything is streamlined here.  We also had our adoption group photo taken on the stairs (fourth time for us, so it’ll be fun to have one for Isaiah too).  The families seem nice.  Everyone seems to have little ones this trip (born 2011 and 2012) so it’s quite a different group.  I guess we do too this time.  :)

We have completed the official process now and we just wait in Beijing for his Chinese passport with the Canadian entrance visa in it to be returned to us this week.  Once home, we send off for his Care card (he’s already got access to BC medical officially now as he is our son), Citizenship card (he’s already a citizen once the part 2 paperwork is finished, but we are trying to expedite the printing of the official card so he’ll be able to leave the country with us for Samuel’s surgery in October), his passport, and his SIN card (so he can get a job, of course).   😉

Later that day we braved the Hong Qiao Pearl Market.  I really “needed” a new purse and have been hanging on until I could get here.  Mom seemed to “need” one too.  The men and boys headed to the Toy Market.  And that’s all I’ll say about that.  Oh, except, as usual, we one of the vendors not only trioed to rip off Mom’s thumb, break my wrist and then proceeded to tell us she hates us.  :)  All in a day’s trip to the pearl market.  LOL

Last night we walked across the street and had supper in the food court and the shopping centre and bought a couple more electric fans.  We left our apple fans in Changsha.  It had rained the night we arrived and the pollution was caught up in all that evaporation.  Blech…cough…cough  Today was gloriously clear and HOT!  But it lacked the humidity, making it a lot more like home.

This morning we went to the Panjianyuan Market aka the Dirt Market.  At its best early Sunday morning, it was busy.  Can’t say a lot about this either (somebody might be reading – haha).  It was a successful hunt though.

And I think that pretty much covers the past couple days!  DSC_8965 DSC_8969 DSC_8970 DSC_8978 DSC_8982 DSC_8984 DSC_8987 DSC_8988 DSC_8990 DSC_8996 DSC_9003 DSC_9007 DSC_9011 DSC_9013 DSC_9014 DSC_9021 DSC_9030 DSC_9033 DSC_9037 DSC_9041 DSC_9043 DSC_9048 DSC_9053 DSC_9056 DSC_9057 IMG_1113 IMG_1115 IMG_1117 IMG_1119 IMG_1123 IMG_1124 IMG_1746 IMG_2742 IMG_2747 IMG_2751 IMG_2753 IMG_2757 IMG_2759 IMG_2760 IMG_2766 IMG_2767

 

 

 

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