We enjoyed a few hours of sleep and a hot shower before heading out to get something to eat. Dion, our guide in Beijing, took us to a place called Peter’s Tex Mex Grill. It had everything from waffles, fajitas, burgers, mexican, omelets, etc…. everyone found something to order that they were excited about ( I brought an entire suitcase filled with food because I have some picky eaters) and the food was delicious! I was surprised to see a sign on the bathrooms doors labeled cowboys and cowgirls 🙂 I almost felt like we were back home for a second.
After lunch we started making our way toward the train station. That was an adventure in itself. We had 4 actual lanes of traffic, however the cars, busses, pedestrians, bikes and motorcycles were creating about 6. It is truly an art they way they can squeeze in, around, and through each other without a wreck on every corner. We enjoyed the sights from the windows and the excitement of all our close calls with pedestrians and vehicles. Dion took our passports and got our train tickets for us while we waited at a nearby hotel. When tickets were purchased we were dropped off at the train station and got in line to enter. It was strange getting so many stares and seeing people taking photos of your family from a distance. Once inside it was a crazy crowded mess. We had a few hours so Dion found a restaurant we could sit in as long as we purchased something. We gladly purchased drinks, although Dion ended up having to pay for them because they didn’t take credit cards and we haven’t been anywhere yet (during business hours) to exchange our money. About 45 minuted before we were scheduled to leave we got in line for our train. It was a hot packed mess and no one respects the line. If there is space, you push on up. We had two men in front of us that kept turning around and staring, not even trying to be discrete, just staring. It’s just funny! Zoe had the same thing happen to her in the restaurant. The lady literally stayed turned around in her seat the entire time and did not take her eyes off of her. She was smiling and just mesmerized. In the entire packed train station I only saw two other caucasian’s and no other african americans, so I know we were quite interesting to see. We even caught a few trying to be discrete by taking selfies with us in the background. 🙂
Dion was allowed to go through the gates with us and even onto the train to help us find our car and seats and get settled! Such a blessing! It feels luxurious after being in cramped airplane seats for 2 days and I’m thankful for a break from the turbulence. I enjoyed listening to my music and just watching the scenery change as we left the city, passed beautiful fields and crossed through the countryside.
We had a good laugh listening to the recorded announcements. The man was informing us that there was no smoking on the train, the importance of keeping the air fresh, etc after a pause he said “Please do not poot….your paper towels down the toilet”. We were in tears laughing because there was a pause after “poot” before making it clear he meant “put”. We recorded it the next time and keep watching it over and over laughing….we could just be delirious, but we enjoyed the laugh none the less.
After going to the bathroom and discovering our first squatty potty of the trip ( made extra fun by a fast moving train) I came out to see the woman next door exiting from a restroom with a normal toilet. I passed on the news to the rest of there crew so they could avoid the squat as long as possible. A bit later JC needed to use the restroom. He came back laughing because he could not figure out how to flush the toilet and ended up hitting an SOS button on the wall. Soon after help arrived and now he knows 🙂
They finally announced our stop….Zhengzhou East! When we exited the station our guide, Rosary was waiting for us. We hoped in the van and as we drove she told us Jim was in town at another hotel and that we would meet him at 9:30 in the morning!!!!! He will stay with us 24 hrs in case we want to change our mind ( NOT) and then we will sign paperwork stating our desire to adopt and then we will head do LouYang for a visit! I hope we are able to get some sweet photos with his friends and caregivers. I know he loves us and is excited to come home but I also know he will experience great loss leaving and grieving the only town he has ever known, friends, extended family, caregivers, teachers, etc. Please pray for him during this difficult time! Adoption is a beautiful thing but it is ALWAYS paired with extreme loss. My the Lord give him peace as only He can.
Sleep deprivation Elizabeth style:
Finally I get to hug my sweet son again! I’m exhausted but not sure how much sleep I can get due to my excitement! This town is huge and one of the 3rd fastest growing provinces. The Henan province is made up of 100 Million people and this area, Zhengzhou has a population of 10 million and growing….crazy! There are high-rises all around and they all have bright lights that rotate in patterns and even the exit ramps and loops are all lit up. Our hotel, the JW Marriott, has only been open three weeks. Our guide wasn’t sure where it was until we gave her the address then she knew exactly which one it was but just didn’t know the name. They have been calling it “the corn” because at night the entire thing is lit in yellow lights and it is the shape of a piece of corn.
We are on the 49th floor which is beautiful, but I also keep thinking that’s a lot of stairs to get down in case of emergency. I located the stairwell just in case. I was hoping there would be a slide but no such luck. Going to unpack and try and get some sleep because I GET MY SON IN THE MORNING!!!!!!!
On the other side of the world my sweet Eli started Kindergarten today! I can’t believe I missed it but I know he was loved on well by his grandparents, teachers and new friends! I can’t wait to hear all about it! Thanks mom for the photo!