The day we packed up our hotel room in Guiyang was a hard one for our little guy. The sight of suitcases being packed sent him into fits of giddy laughter followed by inconsolable tears. It broke my heart. I suspect any other time he's been packed up he has lost not only his things, but his caregiver.
Getting through the airport, Chinese airport security, and the flight were scary for Elijah. We survived though, and arrived in Beijing late at night. We tucked our over tired teary eyed boy into bed and hoped that we'd see his smile again the next day.
The next morning he woke up happy and absolutely thrilled that his little backpack filled with his trinkets and toys had made the trip...and that we were all still together.
Then began the second leg of our journey in China. This last week of our trip was spent in Beijing, along with about 14 other Canadian families from our agency. We stayed in a very nice hotel, enjoyed the vast variety of food each morning at the breakfast buffet and spent our days riding on our tour bus and seeing the sights....while our agency folks worked with the Canadian Consulate getting Elijah his citizenship and travel visa home.
The first week of our trip was pretty slow pace, and we spent it virtually alone...just the three of us. This part of the trip was fast paced, busy, and filled with other families and children. We actually enjoyed both and were thankful for the quiet week to form a bit of a foundation with our son...and then we enjoyed meeting new people and doing some tourist stuff.
We were also thrilled that the notorious smog that had been choking Beijing, and causing cancelled flights had disappeared with a wind/ snow storm the night before we arrived. We actually had blue skies the whole time we were there...other than a snowy day. Our guide said she hadn't seen blue sky in so long. I just smiled and told her we had asked our kids, and our friends back home to pray that it would go away (we were concerned about our flight being cancelled and all the unpleasant health effects)....what's a little bit of smog to the One who controls the wind.
First on the to-see list was the Beijing Zoo.
My arms were SO tired by the end of this day. Hanging out at the hotel room in Guiyang wasn't nearly as exhausting as lifting him up and down, and in and out, and up and down some more. So much carrying him on and off the bus, using public squatty potties, and carrying him or the stroller up and down stairs. I'm so glad that we had the two of us...and no other kids with us. It's really hard travelling and doing stuff with a child with a disability when nothing is accessible or adapted... and we didn't have proper equipment even if it were. By the end of quite a few days I could barely lift my arms. Not only did I get a new son...but apparently I'm also going to get some new ripped arms! I didn't notice the guy behind me until I was loading the pictures. It's exactly what we got every where we went...every. where. Beijing wasn't nearly as in-your-face bad as Guiyang but we still got it. Going out with other adoptive families helped to take the focus off us though...or just provided some comfort in numbers.
Just in time to watch them feed the lions and tigers.
Next was the jade factory.
Pretty cool stuff.
And the day we had waited for....The Great Wall
Don't judge until you've tried to climb this wall with a 37lb child!
and going back down the slippery, uneven steps.
My brave little boy.