Friday, March 20, 2009
Arrived in Shanghai
Today was a fairly uneventful day...especially compared to yesterday. We flew out of Changsha this morning and other than them inspecting our luggage because they didn't like the looks of our thermos and smoke detectors, it went fairly smooth. For some strange reason our luggage is still overweight. I thought that would have changed since we dropped some stuff in Chenzhou. Luckily we haven't had to pay any overweight charges the last couple of flights as our guides have worked wonders with the agents at the counter. It feels like we have left China altogether (although the public squat toilets reminded me that we are still here) as Shanghai is such a mix of people and even cultures. This afternoon we went to the Children's Palace where children (whose parents can afford it) go after school and learn things like drawing, dancing, and music. We found a local laundry place (one that does not involve hanging our clothes out a window) which although is also very expensive...we will once again have some clean clothes. We arrived at our hotel here and there were Chinese hats, drawing boards and a special snack of yogurt, fruit, chocolate dip and chocolate name cards waiting for the kids on a tray in our rooms. We have been treated like royalty. Seems kind of strange checking in here looking like hooligans wearing our same old dirty clothes, carrying our dirty laundry bags around trying to find laundry and them knowing each of our children by name when we arrive. The kids better not get too used to this kind of service. It will be a hard change back to reality once we get home. Tonight we went to an amazing acrobatic show. Kayla watched the first part and then slept through until I tucked her into bed. The other 3 were astounded with the skill and strength of the performers. Tomorrow we have many exciting things planned. Time is just flying as we travel from province to province experiencing a touch of China in many different forms. Bailey announced at lunch that it is really amazing that we are actually here in China (that was after announcing that we should move to China) and we told him to take it all in because we have waited a long time for this amazing trip and soon we will be home and it will be a distant memory (many, many unforgettable and great ones though...the best yet to come). We visit one more city after Shanghai (Xian...to see the warriors) and then take an overnight train to Philip Hayden Foster Home (an hour outside of Beijing) where Anya lived for the first few months of her life. We can't wait to love those babies and children and do whatever needs doing. It will be an amazing experience for all of us and a little change of scenery in anticipation of meeting our little Anya for the first time. My Mom arrives part way through the stay at Philip Hayden which we are so excited about. She will be laden with yet more overweight luggage. Ten more days until we hold our new baby in our arms!!