Today was a day of transition. We left Beijing and all of its attractions and fun behind and flew to Zhengzhou in the Henan province. Somewhere in this city, about 15 minutes away from where I type this email, my daughter Liliana is sleeping her last night as an orphan in China. I can't believe I am this close to her right now and that tomorrow she and I will finally meet. I'm not sure how it will go and what transitioning will be like, but I know that this difficult road ends in a place of peace and joy.
Zhengzhou ... a dusty, busy city with way too many cars on the road (like other major cities in China). The locals here (and in other major cities) seem to believe that the rules of the road are merely suggestions. Sidewalks here in Zhengzhou are actually the perfect place for motor bikes to ride despite pedestrian traffic, and anyone who owns a car seems to enjoy playing the game "Does my car fit there?" To play, a driver must find a difficult place to merge or change lanes. It is preferable that such a place include parked vehicles, pedestrians, an intersection, and several larger vehicles like buses and trucks. Once a driver has found such a combination, s/he must find a spot where his/her car should not go because to do so would cause an accident and then race for that spot nearly causing that accident to happen. It looks like great fun for the locals :)
We arrived here in Zhengzhou quite late as our plane was delayed by dense fog. We suspect it was more smog than fog. So let's just call it sfog and forget about it. Once we arrived, we received a one page back and front document about our child. I am not sure how accurate the information is because Liliana's orphanage in Louyang had to complete it, but she has not been with them for roughly 10 months now when we had her moved to the Swallow's Nest foster care house. Some of it sounds accurate while some of it sounds like standard issue comments. Only time will tell.
|Does your Walmart have large, open, wooden boxes of rice for scooping?|
No? Well mine does :)
Based on this document, we all went to Walmart (yes, they even have one here) to get some supplies. Walmart turned out to be a three story store with lot of overcrowded aisles all decorated in red and gold decorations from floor to ceiling in preparation for the new year. As if this visual stimulation was not enough, there was loud modern Chinese music being blared out from the PA system. Voices of unfamiliar words filled the air, and an added bonus ... Walmart workers who had microphones to announce products they were offering samples of. At one point I counted five of them standing around me all using their microphones. So slightly overwhelming but we survived. On a side note, I have a new appreciation for the struggles of all of the non-readers I ever taught. I found myself using picture clues and my limited schema to make sense of so many products and found myself falling short many times.
|Not a bad steak for not being able to communicate much with|
We had some time to get things ready for tomorrow and Skype with the family as usual. It helps to have the internet for free in our room in this new hotel (the last one cost money in the room so we just used the free wifi in the lobby). Now it is about time I settle in for the evening.
|Our Zhengzhou home for the next week|
Tomorrow is a big day. There's no real way to explain how I feel right now. If you are wondering about the timeline for tomorrow, at 8:30 pm EST on Sunday night, I need to be downstairs ready to leave (that's 9:30 am Monday here). I do not know exactly the time I will get Liliana, but I imagine that by 11:00 pm EST Sunday night, I should have her. I am no sure exactly what the schedule is like tomorrow, but I know that these next two days are very busy with paperwork. Please pray for Liliana as tomorrow will be a very difficult day for her.