First day in Nanchang (Sunday – before Gotcha)

So, we arrived last night in Nanchang (pronounced – Nanchung), Jiangxi at about 5:30. Our guide, Lisa, met us at the airport and a driver took us on about a 50 minute drive to our hotel. We are staying at the Galactic Peace International Hotel. The lobby was so pretty. Lisa helped us get checked in and then we were off to our room.

We tried to find McDonalds last night, but we had a terrible time finding it and never did (turns out we went down a wrong street). The traffic here is scary. When I say scary, I’m not really sure that you understand how SCARY it truly is. They tell us to get behind locals and just do what they do. Well, that’s scary because they walk right out in front of cars who have no intention of stopping. The traffic lines here are merely “suggestions” and nothing anyone seems to care about and definitely do not abide by. The horns blare constantly outside our hotel window. The horns are loud but are merely peoples way of saying “I’m beside you” it isn’t an angry honk, but more of a here-I-am honk.

We saw our life flash before our eyes at least two times on our search for McDonalds yesterday. After that disastrous search, we decided to just eat at the hotel restaurant. It was good. They had pizza, which was a nice change and Daniel got a burger.

Before I got here, I kept telling Daniel how I was not planning to just stay in my hotel all day. Now, I’m so content here in the room. Ha! A little perspective and I’m as happy as a clam in here. The hotel is beautiful. Our room is comfy. The staff is all very sweet and they seem to all know we are here to adopt. We are the only white people here other than the one other couple who is also here to adopt their daughter.

As I write this, we are 3 and 1/2 hours away from meeting Eliza. I just asked Daniel if he was nervous. He said yes he was and then I started crying and had to admit that I was very nervous too. We have been told that they will bring her and the other little girl (Eva) in the same car and that they should arrive around 3 p.m. China time. The orphanage director will bring her. I am assuming he will come with other members of his staff, but I will have to tell you later for sure who actually came.

I just prepared our gifts. It is customary to provide gifts for the officials and others that we meet with. So, we have a beautiful red bracelet for Eliza’s foster mom, an Alabama baseball cap for the foster dad, and another ball cap for the orphanage director. I have them all packed in red gift bags and ready to go. For the other appointment gifts, we brought Werther’s hard candies and Jelly Bellies.

Our guide told us to dress Eliza very warm while we are here. She said that the local people will not be happy if they see her without at least two layers of pants on. So, today we went to the RT Mart, which is about a 10-12 minute walk from the hotel (and you only have to cross the street once), to get her some extra diapers, bottles of water and we picked up one of the really warm Chinese style outfits so that she will be dressed appropriately.

This morning we ate at the breakfast buffet at the hotel. It was very similar to the buffet that we enjoyed in Beijing. Today, I had dumplings, fried rice and noodles with my coffee. Once you eat a big breakfast, there really isn’t a need to have lunch so I doubt we will go out again before they bring us Eliza.

Right now, I’m just praying that Eliza will be ok on the drive here. They told us that many children get very car sick on the ride because they have never been in the car and aren’t used to it. She will have about a 3 hour drive to get here. The driving here is so dangerous and they don’t use car seats. We have seen many children and babies on scooters and motorcycles and they just hold them and drive within an inch of another car. It is just very scary. It’s funny how worried they are about us having the child bundled up warm and yet they don’t use any kind of car seats or helmets or anything. Interesting how different the cultures are about things.

When we arrived in the hotel room last night, they had a crib already in here for Eliza. It is cute. White with a little Winnie the Pooh picture on it. It has pink Hello Kitty sheets and was already to go.

Today, we get to ask questions to the orphanage director. I have been having such a hard time knowing what to ask or what Eliza will wish we had asked one day. It just feels like such a huge responsibility, but I also know that what he will know will be very limited as he is not the one who has been taking care of her on a daily basis.

When we ventured out today, it was so interesting to see how they live here. There were many people cooking outdoors, cutting up meat beside the street. People were eating all out on the sidewalks. Everyone here does a lot of smoking and a lot of spitting. ha! We had a guy smoking with us inside the elevator – just not something you would see in the U.S.

Both of our guides have only one child. They both have boys. I asked them about the change in the one-child policy. One of our guides told me that even though the policy was loosened some last year that she does NOT want another child. She said she could never afford another child and besides they like to focus all of their attention and finances on the one child so that the child can take all types of lessons. Here the people refer to the children as a little “emperor” because they are spoiled – especially by their grandparents. They like for their children to take dance classes, foreign language (english), and music lessons. She said that the children go to school from 8-5 everyday – I believe she was saying they even go on the weekends – if the parents want them to they can. The children eat 3 meals a day at school – so every meal is eaten at school – none at home with family. Then once they get home from school, they still have to do the private lessons, which are very expensive.

Anyways, I just wanted to post a little about what we have learned over last night and this morning. We are so excited to meet Eliza, but this anticipation is definitely a killer. Only a few hours until we meet the daughter we have prayed for over the last two years. It is such a blessing to be here. We are thrilled to be her parents. Next post will be pics of our sweet girl!

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