We have booked our China shindig! For those interested, here’s how it’ll go (or some close approximation thereof, because when do things ever run smoothly and on time?):
Sun, April 27 leave Boston at 9:00 am/arrive Beijing (eventually) at 9:25 pm on 4/28
Mon, April 28–Thurs, May 1: four days in BEIJING
We’ll see the Great Wall and Ming Tombs, Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Temple of Heaven and Summer Palace. Then on May 1 we leave in the afternoon for Xian:
Thurs, May 1–Sat, May 3: XIAN
We’ll enjoy a full-day tour of terra-cotta warriors at Qin Tomb complex, see Xian’s massive City Wall, the Drum Tower, Bell Tower and Big Goose Pagoda.
Xian is about 6 hours from Zhengzhou (where we will meet Jesse Yong) but there are no flights, so we get to take a train ride for $30. We are VERY excited about this, because that means we get to see the countryside, relax, and just decompress from our adventures before we meet our son.
The train leaves Sat, May 3 at 2:30 in the afternoon and arrives in Zhengzhou at 9:30 p.m. So from there we’ll go directly to our hotel. Supposedly, we are to meet Jesse Yong on Monday, which means we’d have Sunday free. But I know many times people have arrived on what was supposed to be “the day before” they were to meet their child and discovered the child is already there at the hotel, ready and waiting (and in most cases screaming) for them. We’ll hope that’s not the case, at least the screaming and wailing part.
Jesse Yong will either be brought to our hotel or to the Civil Affairs office in that city. I wonder just how scared he will be and I pray that God would put His hand of peace and assurance on his little heart. Such a life change, something most of us have never experienced. What survivors these kids are! Wow. I really am overwhelmed for him. He may never have even been in a car before…
We don’t know how much he will have been told or if he’s been in any way prepared for this huge change. He may literally have been tucked into the car and told about his new parents on the long drive over. And here he will be, hours from the people and place he knows and plunked down in a new city with new strange faces…
We will spend the next few days doing a little sight seeing but also waiting on lots of paperwork for Jesse’s passport, etc. I know we’ve said this before, but SERIOUSLY there’s a lot of paperwork involved in adoption. So if you’re feeling green today, plant a tree on behalf of us.
On Fri, May 9 we head to Guangzhou where we’ll do lots of fun things and shopping and sightseeing. And there are lots of Starbucks to keep us energized. We have our Consulate Appointment Mon, May 12 and our oath swearing Tues, May 13. We head back home Wed, May 14 at 8:20 a.m. to arrive (eventually) in Boston at 6:55 p.m.
It will be a wave of relief and comfort, knowing we are HOME and all is well again. We’ll be safe and secure in our familiar surroundings once again. But Jesse Yong will feel displaced, confused by the language and the culture and the food, away from those he knows and loves, and those who loved him.
He’ll feel like we did in China, except for him it’ll be permanent. There will be no going back; this is his forever family and his new life. Jesse Yong’s Chinese name means “courage,” and I know his caregiver called him that for a reason. We know he’s a survivor. I would go so far as to say I think my little boy is the hero of this China adventure.
Godspeed, my courageous little one, on this journey that lies ahead. We can’t do it for you, but we’ll be there to hold your hand.