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Thursday, April 5, 2012

China: A Retrospective

I had every intention of posting minute-by-minute musings as Mama and I journeyed through China to adopt our boy.  And as soon as I met Levi, those intentions went right out the window.  Because I'm 41 and I realized that these sweet moments of beginnings with babies are fleeting.  And also because getting on the internet in still-communist China is cumbersome.  So instead, here I am, feeling every one of my 41 years, jet lagged beyond words, and reunited with my beloved and Levi's adoring big sisters.  I think it is the best place to reflect on our adoption adventure.

My brain is a bit mushy and the moments of lucidity are short-lived at this point, but I promise to highlight the good, the bad, and the not-so-pretty happenings along our path in China.

Here's a little blurb about Beijing:  Tianamen Square is not written about in Chinese textbooks studied by schoolchildren.  The information that the Chinese people can access is severely limited by the government there.  The Great Wall is truly Great.  Hiking to the top of it, twice in my lifetime, is one of my favorite memories.  Doing it with my mom was thrilling.  I didn't really like the food in Beijing, even though I had a stern pre-trip talk with myself about  relishing the new flavors and cuisine.  I just couldn't stomach the smell of Chinese food for breakfast, but I also couldn't stomach the Western french fries either.  I stuck with croissants, strawberry jam, and the best black tea I've ever tasted.

Our guide, George, has a providential life story (well, we all do really, don't we?), and one of my favorite memories of the two days in China's capital is the time spent learning about him.  More about that later!

The best part of life in a bustling, 14 + million city?  We got an email from our adoption agency that our flight for Zhenzhou (the provincial capital of Henan where Levi lived) had to be moved up from traveling Monday evening to traveling Monday morning.  No explanation was given, but I trusted my instinct that we would be united with our babies on Monday afternoon...

The Beijing blitz portion of our trip was just what it was meant to be:  busy, informative, a settling in to the rhythm of life in China.