We received our TA (Travel Approval) via e-mail on Friday, January 16, 2015. We left for China exactly one week after that, on January 23, 2015. The time from TA to departure was a total blur of activity. We had to shop, pack, make numerous trips to the bank, finalize legal documents, prepare our kids to spend one week away from our home and then another week back in our home, gather school materials, etc. It was crazy and hectic and I wish there had been more time to just soak our kids in. We departed from Lexington (a 4:30AM drop off at the airport...thanks to my wonderful sister!) on Friday and began an almost 30 hour trek to China. We connected in Detroit and got on the BIG plane to go to Shanghai. In Shanghai we collected all our luggage, went through customs and then had to figure out how to connect to our domestic flight in China that would take us to Nanning. It was an adventure and I will tell you Chris was an amazing rock through all of it. I would still be hiding in a corner in Shanghai crying if he hadn't been there to navigate all of it with me! So thankful for him! In Shanghai we connected to Nanning and finally landed in Nanning sometime after midnight on Sunday morning. We met our guide and she took us to our hotel.
Excited and getting ready to leave Lexington!
What you will discover as I recount our experience of two weeks in China is that much of it was HARD. Our agency did an amazing job preparing us for Hannah and all that we might experience with her, but nothing (and I mean nothing) prepared us for the experience of being in country. China was hard and challenging and draining. All you families that are preparing to go, prepare yourself for the difficulty of hotel dwelling, having to seek out food in a very foreign place where it may not be easily accessible, and just feeling totally overwhelmed all the time. I cried in China. A lot. Some of it was jet lag, some of it was the emotional rollercoaster that goes with adoption and all the build up to it, and some of it was just....China....being hard....and missing my other children.
We spent our first week in China in Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi province, where Hannah is from. Our second week was a million times more comfortable and doable and was spent in Guangzhou in the Guangdong province. Guangzhou I could do again. Nanning....it was just hard. I will do my best to recount what we experienced in the next several posts.
Seriously the BIGGEST plane I have ever been on....
Welcome to Nanning! Scooter traffic was out of this world here!
The view out of our hotel window. There was a park that went along this "lake." It was easily accessible from the hotel and it was a place we frequented often.
Views of Nanning.
We had Sunday to rest and acclimate before the whirlwind of adoption began. We tried to get out in the sunlight to fight jet lag and spent a good bit of time walking in the park on Sunday with another adoptive mama who was on her journey alone.
So, here we are, not in Kansas (err Kentucky) anymore....in CHINA! And thus our two weeks in China began......