Sunday, April 21st: Today we left the hotel early so we could get to the Beijing airport for our flight to Urumqi. The Beijing airport is huge and we were very glad to have our guide with us to help get us checked in and to the right place. We said "see ya soon" to the 2 other families and found our flight. Going through security in Beijing was not fun- they were very rude and had no patience for us that spoke only English. We almost missed our flight due to the security staff searching very thoroughly through our bags- they sent my mom's umbrella through the scanner all by itself... goodness! We just made it to the gate where we got on a bus that took us out to our airplane. Apparently, Beijing needs to build some more terminals!
Here's where a cool (GOD) thing happened... We board the plane, me going on first with Steve and then my parents following. As I entered the economy cabin who do I see? DAVID!!! Yes, David was on our flight from Beijing. I thought this could happen knowing that he would most likely leave his foster home on Sunday to travel back to his home province but when I saw him I nearly fell over!!! He was wearing the little jacket that I had sent back in December and was with someone from New Day. He looked right at me and waved!! I turned around to tell the family that he was on the flight... I was holding up the boarding at this point and was told to keep moving. It was the hardest thing not to grab him and hold him tight!!!!
So, we found our seats (not together and all in the middle of the row, yuck!) They were preparing for take off and I was straining my neck, crying, trying to see David. There ended up being a seat open next to me and Steve was able to move. We were so glad to sit next to each other and stare at our son. It was a long and short 4 hour flight. Long because I was anxious to get to Urumqi to get our son and short because I wanted to stare at him longer!! I was taking pictures of him whenever his caretaker would stand him up on his lap. I ended up taking so many that a flight attendant came over and asked me to stop- the nerve!! Asking me to stop taking pictures of my SON!! I figured I better follow the rules though as nothing was "official" at this point!
We made it to Urumqi and were ready to explore and discover the city where David was born. We didn't see David as we left- he was sitting much closer to the exit than we were but we knew tomorrow was THE DAY!!!
We were once again greeted at the airport by a guide and driver. Lily, our GWCA guide, was AWESOME!! She was great at answering questions and preparing us for what the city was like and what the next few days would be like. We traveled about 30 mins. to our hotel. Lily pointed out some important places like the Pizza Hut and KFC :) We made a stop by the bank to get our US currency (crisp $100 bills :) changed to RMB for some different costs. There's a long story about our visit to the bank.... too long to fit into this post!! Lily got us checked in and then asked us to meet her for dinner and a trip to the grocery store to stock up on things for David.
Lily took us to a Muslim restaurant for dinner. We had some local favorites including lamb with rice and a special kind of very long noodle. After our meal we went to the store which was neat to explore a little. Lily helped us decide on some snacks and food items she thought David would enjoy and we bought some bottled water (a necessity while in China- you can't drink or even brush your teeth with the tap water) and some things to eat for meals during our stay (think ramen noodles, the Chinese form).
After our outing we headed back to the hotel for a little rest. Lily came over during the evening for us to sign and look over some paperwork. Lily knew that tomorrow would be hectic and she wanted to get as much paperwork out of the way- I really, really appreciate her doing this!!! We signed a dozen forms and even had to put our thumbprint on some forms. She suggested getting to bed early because tomorrow our entire world was going to change!! I took some sleeping medicine and tried to read some... it was a long night of tossing and turning. My mind was racing with so many different thoughts and prayers. Knowing that for 5 years we had been preparing for the next day, that the next day we would meet our son was just incredible.
Up next: GOTCHA DAY!!
|David looking out and enjoying the view!|
|Seriously, it took a LOT of will power to stay in my seat!!|
|Urumqi is surrounded by beautiful mountains, one is second highest to Mt. Everest.|
|Snacks bought for David!|
|Sure, I'll put my fingerprint on anything you need me to!|
|Lily helping us get our paperwork in order!|