I thought I would put days 3 and 4 together, because Sunday was basically spent traveling and not much else.
So, Sunday morning, all five of us families piled back onto the bus with all our luggage, and we headed off to the airport. There we parted ways until Friday. Two families were going to our agency's one-to-one orphanage, and the other three of us were going to various cities throughout China.
We were headed to Kunming, which is in the south of China. We were told it was a high tropical area, and we were looking forward to warmer weather after the damp cold of Beijing. Our flight left 30 minutes late, and, if you ask Brian, the flight was fine. If you ask me, however, you will hear that it was absolutely horrible! Any amount of turbulence is too much, in my book, and this flight was turbulent from beginning to end! I thought I was going to have an all-out panic attack at one point. No one else on the plane seemed to think much of it - apparently, this is normal for many of these flights. I was EXTREMELY happy when we landed safe and sound in Kunming!!! The sun was shining, and the weather was much warmer than that in Beijing.
Our guide met us outside the baggage claim area. Susan was a cheerful, helpful lady who made sure we had what we needed at all times. And she had only one speed - really, really FAST! We laughed, because she was always telling us to relax, but she was super fast at everything she did! She was very nice and very fun, and we were so thankful to have her with us for those five days in Kunming.
Kunming is indeed a higher elevation and a warmer climate. It is the area where puehr tea is grown. The soil in the area is red - we could see that when we flew in. But the most important thing about the city is that this is where our son is from. This is where he was found in a small grassy area in a parking lot at a busy intersection. This is where we would become parents for the first time.
Susan got us all checked into our hotel, the Grand Park Hotel - a very nice hotel, by the way. She recommended the small restaurant across the street, The Bluebird. So, once we got settle into our room, we headed down the street to see what we could find.
This kept my mind off how nervous I was about the following day. I just couldn't believe it - we had waited 2 1/2 years for this day, and I was so nervous that I was now asking myself "what have I done?"! I flew halfway around the world to bring home a stranger - a child who doesn't know me, probably won't even like me for a while - in hopes of giving him a better life than he could have in his native country. But was I ready to be a parent? No way! It's true what they say - that only those who don't have kids have all the answers to childrearing. Now that the moment was almost here, I had a million questions and no answers!
Anyway, we ended up at The Bluebird for dinner, and it was delicious! AND very reasonably priced. We went back to our room and unpacked, something we hadn't done in Beijing, because we were only there three nights. It felt good to feel settled. However, shortly after dark, a street performer somewhere across the way began singing some kind of Chinese folk music. Thankfully, they were finished by about 10 or so, and we could get to sleep. (if I could even think about sleeping)
Monday morning we got to sleep in! It felt so good! We spent the morning walking around Kunming some more. It was our last time out as just a couple. We saw two parks. Green Lake Park is literally swarming with seagulls. We found out later that they migrate there all the way from Russia every winter! People feed them and get their photos taken while doing so. We also found a more urban park where groups of people were exercising or dancing. Children were playing - we have a hilarious video of two kids racing in little pedal cars! This must be where everyone learns their driving skills - they were dodging people walking, maneuvering around other kids, and running into curbs! Looked just like the traffic on the street! :-)
We were to meet Susan in the lobby at about 3:30 to go to the adoption center to pick up Ethan. About 3:10, she called to say that the orphanage folks would be bringing him to the hotel at around 4! But we still needed to meet her, as there was some money that needed to be exchanged into Chinese currency. So, she and Brian went off to the bank to exchange some money, leaving me pacing nervously in the hotel room. I couldn't concentrate on anything, and I kept waiting to hear them come back. It took a very long time.
And when Brian finally arrived back at the room, he said "Guess who I found in the lobby?" And he had Ethan in his arms! What?! That wasn't how it was supposed to happen! We were supposed to be together when we met him the first time... As we were to find out, not much happened as planned! I was so taken aback and busy trying to make friends with Ethan that I completely forgot to take a photo of them when they came into the room.
When I tried to hold Ethan, he cried. He wanted Brian - and ONLY Brian. Oh, boy - a daddy's boy right off the bat. He cried when Brian left the room or anytime I tried to take him from Brian. I was beginning to have a complex.
Susan showed up about a half hour later with the lady from the orphanage. And with stacks of papers to be signed. So, while Brian was playing with Ethan, there I was doing more paperwork... It somehow just didn't seem fair, you know? And the paperwork was done at Susan's usual speed! And she kept telling us to relax! We were able to ask the lady from the orphanage some questions about Ethan's habits and such. After she left, Susan took us to Wal Mart for some diapers and other supplies. That was an experience! It was not like any Wal Mart I had been in before! But Susan navigated us through it, and we came back with what we needed.
When we got back, we decided to order room service, since we didn't want to try to find a restaurant at this point. I was able to feed Ethan, but Brian had to hold him. Well, one step at a time, I guess. We found out that that little guy could really pack away the food! And we also found out that he LOVES bath time! He cried when we took him out of the tub, and he tried to climb back in! After bath time, I was able to hold him and give him a bottle, but he kept an eye on Brian the whole time. I could tell he was tired, but he wouldn't go to sleep no matter what I did. I walked, I rocked, I swayed - nothing, nada, zip. So, I gave him to Brian, who was laying on the bed. That little booger laid right down on Brian's chest, stuck his little thumb in his mouth and was asleep in five minutes!
After that, Brian went downstairs to use the hotel computer to send an email to his parents. I sat beside the crib, watching Ethan sleep. I just couldn't believe that this was our little boy... ours. We were parents.
To be continued...