Four years ago on Feb 1, 2006 we boarded the big bird that took us to China. What a time that was. Our flight from Louisville was very early that morning. So we traveled the night before, with my parents, and stayed in a hotel near the airport. We enjoyed a good steak dinner before trying to get a few hours of sleep.
It was easily and hard getting on that first flight. I was sooo ready to go get my little girl, but scared of the unknown we were about to experience and being first time parents. The 2+ hour flight went well. We landed in Newark and found our international gate. We did not have to handle our bags again or go though security because we didn't leave the restricted area of the airport. We had several hours until the fight to Beijing so we went in search of something to eat with another adopting couple in our group. They were on the L-ville fight with us.
As we waited at our gate other adopting families started arriving. There were 17 families total traveling together. It was such a comfort knowing we were all together. We all watched out the window as they readied our plane fro the journey. It was the biggest plane I've ever seen, a 747! Dave & I settled into our seats for the long (15+ hour) flight. We each had a TV to watch. Dave slept quite a bit, but not me. I guess I was too geared up. I couldn't even read, no concentration I guess. Anyway, our trip took us north from Newark over Canada and the north pole, through Siberia and finally to China. We left on Feb 1 around 5:30 am and made it to Beijing at about 2 in the afternoon on the 2nd. Somewhere over the pacific we went through the international timeline. China is 14 hours ahead of us on time.
We were met at the airport by our wonderful guide Shirley. What a Godsend this girl was. She did everything for us, kept us on time and in check. She spoke great English had great knowledge of all that was going on. She got us checked into the hotel, told us when and where to be and bid us goodnight. We ate dinner at the hotel with another couple from the group. Then called it a night. We enjoyed the sights from our hotel widow that night. It was toward the end of Chinese New Year and there were fireworks everywhere.
We enjoyed a great breakfast buffet at the hotel the next morning. The loaded onto a bus to sight see. Our first stop was Tiannamen Square. It was huge. The photo above is of me and a guard. I was not allowed to get any closer to the guy. Chairman Mao's tomb is in the background. It was so very cold that day. We had not taken winter coats. I think the temp was about 17*. I remember wearing everything I could for our day out. We saw a acrobat show that evening which was awesome.
The next day we headed to the Great Wall of China. It was amazing. The weather was a little better. David was looking forward to climbing this massive thing. Me on the other hand decided to NOT risk getting hurt or being so sore that I couldn't take care of my new baby. So, I enjoyed all the sights and shops from below. David and a few others in our group climbed to the top (or as far as the tourist could go), they were so proud of themselves. And believe me, it was no easy task. We also visited a Cloisonne factory and the Summer Palace on this day. We even got to drive by the Bird's Nest stadium, home of the 2008 summer Olympics. It was still under construction at the time and hard to picture the finished building. That evening David got a in room message at the hotel.
We had to exchange our money and make sure our paperwork was in order. We also were told that we would be getting our babies on the 5th instead of the 6th like we had been told earlier. Everyone in our group was buzzing with excitement. Our time in Beijing was drawing to a close.
Seems like only yesterday that we were there. But I look at Molly and see how she has grown in these 4 years. I still feel as if I need pinched. Did I really go to China? Did I really become a mom 4 years ago already? As I sit here today listening to that little girl singing "jimmy Crack Corn" behind me as she rides her scooter through the house I can answer YES I DID!!!!