The Day We Waited For
After we spent a couple days dropping off our kids, we travelled through snowy highways to the city where we would catch our flight. We said goodbye to -34 degree Celsius weather early Friday morning and we began our journey to China.
The flight was comfortable and didn't seem as long as I had expected. I think after so many weeks and days of hectic preparations and stress it was nice just to sit and relax. I had no choice but to watch movies and be served meals.
We arrived in Beijng Saturday evening just before dark.
It was light enough to witness the smog. Wow. My lungs ached after only a couple hours.
After a few hours of sleep in a hotel room we headed back to the Beijing airport to catch our domestic flight to Guizhou province.
That flight was only a few hours, we passed the time by watching 'What to expect when you're expecting"...both funny and appropriate for the occasion. The time flew by...thankfully. We realized very quickly how much we stood out in this more remote province that sees few tourists and foreigners. It was also our first cultural experience as we realized that body noises and functions are not as discreet as in Canada but rather celebrated.
Flying over beautiful Guizhou and landing in the capital city of Guiyang (which means precious sun...there are few sunny days here and a lot of rain)
So glad our luggage made the trip with us!
Our new guide met us at the airport and whisked us away to our hotel, where we had 20 minutes just enough time to drop off our suitcases, and brush our teeth before meeting our new son.
On our way from the hotel to the provincial office. Nerves and excitement at dangerous levels.
When we arrived, we walked up a few flights of stairs and walked into a room to find our son already there waiting for us.
Wearing a little tuxedo that his foster parents had provided him with.
My first thought was, he's so small!
He smiled and recognized us right away from the pictures we had sent him. I sat next to him on the couch for a few minutes before I gave him my first hug. Baba got the first hug though. He was a bit reserved at first but soon started showing off his walking skills for us, and telling us all kinds of things I couldn't understand.
I couldn't believe how well it went. I had prepared myself for possible tears, rejection, or indifference...many are very usual reactions...but he smothered us in hugs and kisses. Which is a bit odd, but now that I know him better I know that he is just an extremely affectionate and sweet little boy. He doesn't over complicate things. He was a bit hyper though which is a bit of a nervous reaction for him.
Elijah wanted to help Baba do paperwork.
Making it official
We left without any fuss, and went for our first ride with our driver back to the hotel.
It suddenly felt real...like when you leave the hospital with your first child. He's mine.
What goes up must come down.
After we got back to our hotel we settled in a bit and then met up with our guide. We went for a walk so she could show us where the grocery store and restaurants were. He quietly freaked out. He went from hyper and giddy to pretty much catatonic...dissociated..."turtled".
We decided to have supper back at the hotel buffet just so we were closer to "home" if things went bad. He looked like he was either going to fall asleep in his food, barf, or cry the whole time, quite possibly he felt like doing a combination of all three, but we made it through a quick supper.
We got him back to the room, let him play with some toys in the bathtub for a bit, and snuggled him in his pajamas. That's when the tears came. It was kind of a good sign at that point...as heart breaking as it was to witness. He cries so quietly as the tears fall. We did what we could to comfort him but ultimately it was only something a good sleep and time would fix.
He went to sleep instantly, as soon as his head hit the pillow (probably exhaustion combined with a coping mechanism) but since we were really exhausted too we were happy to crash for the night early...thanking God for the precious gift curled up on a cot next to us.