Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day 6: A "Memory-Making" Day!

Today was one of those days that was a "Memory Maker." Now that it is over, I'm glad it happened because it's a great story to remember.

We didn't have to meet Alice until 2:00pm, (to go over pages and pages of paperwork, verify information on Mia's passport, etc.), so we thought we'd go to a new place for an early lunch. It had been cloudy most of the week, but at the last minute I put our umbrellas into my purse. A few blocks away, about 3/4 mile, we found a strip of restaurants and stores. Krispy creme, yet another McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway, Starbucks, and Chinese (surprise surprise). I wasn't fond of the pizza at Pizza Hut and the thought of eating at McDonalds again made me want to just go ahead and try sushi!! So, like always, we ate at a Chinese joint that has pictures of the three staple Chinese items that I like. Rice, noodles, and egg rolls. Picture menus are very important because even if a menu includes English, you still don't necessarily know what you're getting. Gary is a little more risky. He'll try new things. Just nothing raw, per suggestion
of our adoption agency. :) Then, to McDonalds for Mia's favorite cream.

Then, the storm. It poured rain. Thunder sounds very, very scary and extremely loud with hundreds of sky rise buildings around. We waited about 15 minutes, hoping it would let up. But it was 1:00 and we had to meet Alice at 2:00 and then plane flight at 5:00. So here we go...through the rain. And Gary thought he knew a short cut. Oh brother....Short cut through a construction zone where walls were built up so high I felt like a mouse in a maze! He was carrying Mia. She had one umbrella and I ran behind with the other umbrella. We were the only two people in Shanghai bothered by this storm...lightening, thunder, pouring rain, and people are walking around with umbrellas (carrying on conversations with one no hurry) or riding scooters with ponchos like it's a beautiful sunny day. I hate being wet.

When we came out of the maze, our hotel was directly across the street, diagonal from us! Thank the Lord for Gary's military training. He can sense direction like a dog! And Mia is such a good sport. Go with the flow. We got to the hotel, where our luggage was already packed and ready to go, but we got it all out again to change clothes and put the wet clothes in our suitcase! Yuck.

After reviewing ALL the documents with Alice (30 minutes!) we took off for the airport. Mia had told Alice that her only fear was that she would throw up on the airplane. We knew this to be true from the prior van ride where Mia held the plastic bag in her lap the entire time! :( We told Mia we could take care of that fear...DRAMAMINE!!

Flight delayed almost two hours. Oh, well. Mia had a great time. Only belts are optional in China, so she didn't understand why she HAD to wear it on the plane. She kept taking it off. I was reminded of ALL the changes she is having to experience! So many little things that are new to her. It must be exhausting. Gary and I were exhaused from all of the acting we've had to do for days. That's the ony way to commuicate...unless you have google images. We determined that our translator app doesn't have the right dialect to work right. She was speak into it and it would tranlate something like "My Australian mom force political view in green valley." It did provide us with great entertainment, however.

When we were packing suitcases, Mia put EVERYTHING in her suitcase (which we bought in China to get everything home without being over the weight limit!!) We tried to explain (through acting and body language) that she could carry the backpack with her on the plane. But she thought, since we were taking it out of the suitcase, that we were asking her to leave it at the hotel. So I got on google images and googled "Children on an airplane" and showed her children coloring on the plane. She finally understood and quickly started stuffing things in her much that she couldn't carry it. It was cute.

So...on the plane...we received dinner. WOW, was this a nice surprise for Mia. And so nice that the stewartess could speak Chinese to her!! She ate and napped for about 15 minutes. It was a 2-hour flight. We met Jack at the hotel and he and the driver brought us to The Garden Hotel. 5 star hotel. Extremely nice. Shopping, spas, pool, health club, several restaurants. Nicest hotel I've ever stayed at. And I am a very well-rounded, experienced traveler. (hehe). In our room, Jack went over the items and money we would need for the next day's medical exams and TB test for Mia. Then, straight to bed. Can't Skype at night, kids are getting ready for school or have already left the house. We Skype every morning, though. Without Skype I'd be a basketcase. I love seeing the kids. It puts a little bit of normalcy into this experience. We miss them a lot. I hope we are never gone for two weeks again. I can barely stand it. But what a blessing
Vanessa, Kelley, Eric and Leah and Justin and Andee have been. Taking care of our kids and all the details. We couldn't do this without them. We thank them for being a part of "Team Mia."

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