The guy went back to tending to his own business, while Ryan quickly washed his hands and walked out. SO SO FUNNY!
We sat at our gate for about 10 minutes when Ryan noticed an American couple walking toward us with smiles on their faces. The Parson Family had arrived!! Carroll Lane and I experienced the very, very long wait for LOA together, and our sons are both from this province, though different orphanages. She and her husband, Brad, along with their precious daughters, were flying to Chongqing on the same flight as us. It was fun to chat with them while we waited to board the plane. We used the same travel agent, and he put Ryan and me in the row right behind their family. Ryan and I watched World War Z on the plane and enjoyed the lunch provided - chicken with a yellowish and slightly spicy sauce, apple chips, a roll, and a muffin. It was all very tasty! World War Z was a very interesting choice...talk about your favorite zombie movie times a million. It's a good thing my seat belt was on our else I would have jumped completely out of my seat. It is intense!! We still need to finish it.
We again deboarded the plane outside and made our way to baggage. Although this is the most populated city in all of China (8 million people in the city), the airport was super quiet. We easily retrieved all three bags, and the Parson family got their items. We quickly saw our guide, Michael, holding a "Lifeline Family" sign. So sweet. :) He is SUPER friendly, and we are happy to be under his wing this week. Below is a picture of Ryan in our van as we prepared to drive to our hotel.
Michael shared some things about Chongqing on the way to the hotel in our big van (with air conditioning, the first we've experienced in a car since arriving in China). First of all, there are mountains all around the city of Chongqing. It is beautiful. While there are world travelers all over Beijing, that is not the case here in Chongqing. Seeing Westerners is not nearly as common, so Michael told us to be prepared for the curiousity of those around us. We have definitely found that to be true...much more prolonged watching and whispering. We just smile. :) Michael also explained that the climate is similar to Houston, TX, and it was definitely much warmer here than in Beijing.
Our hotel, Le Meridian is beautiful. It is definitely the most beautiful hotel I've ever stayed at before. The lobby was very grand, and Michael helped us quickly get checked in to our room. The Parson family and our family are staying right next to one another. A third family, who we will meet tomorrow, is also staying right next to us.
There is a screen you can put down between the bathroom and bedroom area. I can't to see Tucker splashing in this tub!!
The shower and water closet are behind those doors.
This is the closet. Love the color!
Did you see that? There is a crib next to our bed!!! EEK! :) We ordered a baby pillow and blanket, which arrived soon after. Honestly, Tuck might just sleep in this big King sized bed. That would be fine by us! All standard rules go out the window with adoption. Attachment and bonding and trust are priority over everything else right now. Plus, this momma has lots of hugs to catch up on.
This is the view outside our room...
Ryan's body has had a little harder time adjusting to this time change, and when his hunger hits, we have to eat like yesterday. We had just checked in a few minutes prior when I heard him say, "We have to eat. I need to go...now." So, we walked down to the grocery store but didn't see the restaurants right away. So, we had to go back to the hotel and find out again. This time, we did discover Papa Johns and enjoyed a medium cheese pizza and COLD Sprites. :) I keep emphasizing COLD because we can't use ice in our drinks here.
After finishing dinner, we walked to the grocery store. You guys, I promise to never say Meijer is crowded again. It was wild!! This place was SUPER SUPER busy...so many younger people, too. Looks like so many buy just what they need for that meal. There is no conveyor belt, but a space about 2 feet long to put your groceries down. There were lots of shopping baskets available but only a few carts. Very different and interesting!
Those are fresh eggs (just pick the ones you like similar to fruit).
We made our way back to the hotel with snacks for Mr. Grumpy (Ryan when he is hungry - I tease of course), bottled water, and a few things for Tuck. I brought lots of snacks for him already along with a bag of dum-dum suckers. Hopefully he will enjoy them! :)
My first order of business was to find a converter for my straightening iron. The first one they brought up would not accept a plug where one side is bigger than the other. So, Ryan went down to the lobby to find a converter that would (totally redeemed himself). :)
Several of my girlfriends (the ones who came and prayed the night before we left) made cards for me to open during certain parts of this journey. I really enjoyed opening this one!! I also hung some of Noah's pictures he drew recently on our bathroom wall.
The sun is down. The city lights are shining. Tuck's pillow, blanket, and stuffed animal are ready to go. All we need is him.
Please join us in praying for our son. This is the last night he will sleep in the crib that is familiar to him. This is the last time his nanny will put him to bed. He had his last dinner with friends. Tomorrow is a new beginning. Although we fell in love with him so many months ago, Tuck doesn't know us. We are truly strangers to him. He has seen our picture, and the nannies have likely attempted to explain to him what will happen tomorrow; however, he is two years old. How does a 2 year old understand the concepts of a mom and dad when he has never experienced that personally?
People call our son lucky...lucky to be adopted, to have Ryan and me as his parents. But I promise you, he isn't lucky. What this little boy has experienced is tragic. He had a birth mother and father who, for reasons we will never know, left him to be found. He has lived in an orphanage with at least 500 other children for the past 2 1/2 years. Now, not only has he experienced the loss of his birth parents, but now he will experience the loss of everything he has ever known - his home, his crib, his friends, his nannies, his food, his language, and his culture. We know in the big picture, this is the best outcome for Tucker, but tomorrow and for many days, weeks, and maybe months that follow, there will be pain, too. He won't immediately forget his life here. When he is 8 years old...yes, his memories, if any, will be very faint. Tomorrow and the days that follow, those memories will be vivid. He will grieve. We will grieve with him. What brings him pain will also hurt us. We are his family, and we will do whatever it takes to show him that he can trust us and that we love him just as God loves us - unconditionally.
This is adoption. This is what God did for us through Jesus. He is our Father, and we are a family. We cannot wait to teach Tuck that there is a God so mighty and a God who loves him so much that he spoke to our hearts and sent us across the world to bring him home. This is redemption. This is love.
...“Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you....Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you. (Isaiah 43:1, 4, 5 ESV)
We leave our hotel tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. our time, and we are guessing that we will meet Tucker around 3:00 p.m. our time. (2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. your time Monday). We hope things go well enough to at least post a picture for when you all wake up Monday morning (Monday night our time).
Thank you for your prayers!!! #onestepcloser