Friday, October 31, 2014

Going to get Brooks (part 3.1)


San Antonio 10/10 @ 7:40AM Beijing 10/10 at 8:40PM We started our day today with the breakfast buffet, courtesy of the Holiday Inn here in Beijing. They had everything you could possibly want to eat for breakfast, including omelet, bacon, muffins, donuts, cereal and rice. It was easy for all of us to find something we liked. We met up with all the other EAC families at breakfast. I’m still getting to know each of them, but we have lots of states represented here: Rhode Island, Alaska, Pennsylvania, Mississippi, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas. I think that’s all of them.

We are an interesting bunch. There are two families here who will be parents for the first time, another family is picking up their eight child. The kids we are adopting range in age from 11 months to 5 years, and there are 6 boys and 1 girl. I can’t wait to meet all the kids and to watch how perfectly they fit into each of these amazing families.

After breakfast, we loaded up on the bus and headed drove for about an hour and a half to a jade market. For those wondering, jade is not cheap. And by not cheap, I mean absolutely, incredibly expensive. We got to see a couple of people carving the jade and that was neat, but we chose to save our money for other things.  

Here we are in front of the jade market (photo credit…Cohen).   IMG_0006_thumb[1]
Cohen and Brayden are watching him make these beautiful balls that represent a family. There is a smaller ball carved into the larger one…all from one large piece of jade. Absolutely beautiful. IMG_7406   IMG_7408

When we left the jade market we traveled for another half hour to the Great Wall of China. Wow. This was by far one of the most impressive things I have ever seen. Beijing is so smoggy, that you can really only see about 100 yards in front of you, so we couldn’t really see the great wall from far away. We climbed up very steep stairs to get to the top of one of the towers and look out over the valley. We could faintly see other wall structures in the distance, but because of the smog, the pictures really don’t do it any justice.

We climbed up and down for about an hour and a half. Cohen and his new friend Brayden, were by far the fastest (which is surprising to me because Cohen is afraid of heights, and some of these stairs were sloped so steep that I thought for sure he’d chicken out…but he was very brave). By the end of our journey we were all huffing and puffing and drenched in sweat, but it was totally worth it. What an amazing structure!   Cohen and Brayden goofing off at the base of the wall.

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This is us with our EAC China coordinator, Zhou (pronounced like Joe)
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If you look far off in the distance in the picture below, you can see the different towers of the Great Wall.
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See what I’m talking about with the smog. In real life, this was an amazing view of the wall.
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Can you imagine a day where you got to run and play on The Great Wall of China!!??
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There is just no way to get a good perspective of just how steep some of these steps really are unless you are there in person. I tried real hard to get it with the camera, but you just can’t really see it.
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See what I mean about dripping wet with sweat? This was such a great workout.
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Cohen sent several videos to his class back home so they could enjoy the experience with him. Here’s his video from the Great Wall.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Going to get Brooks (part 2)

 

San Antonio 10/8 @ 5:07 pm

Beijing 10/9 @ 6:07 am

 

Only 8 hours left on this flight. Wow.

I can’t believe we are going to CHINA!

I've already watched Moms Night Out, Friends, Big Bang Theory and Blended.

Cohen has seen The Ninja Turtles, Rio 2 and has seen parts of The Little Mermaid, Frozen and Up.

Somehow we managed to get upgraded to economy plus so we have loads of room (ok not loads, but more than we would have in coach). If only we could get this deal on the way home...you know, when there will be 4 of us on this row.

I did manage to meet another EAC (our adoption agency) family while waiting for the bathroom. Yep. I can talk to anyone. They seem really nice and they had these lovely printed out pictures of their son. They are adopting a little boy who is almost 2. He’s absolutely adorable!

 

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San Antonio 10/9 @ 5:50am

Beijing 10/9 @ 6:50pm

Cohen finally fell asleep 12 hours into our 14 hour flight over the ocean. He slept on top of me for about 1.5 hrs and spent the last 30 min sleeping upside down or hanging off his chair.

 

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When we got off the plane we met up with the other EAC families and headed toward the hotel. The smog in Beijing is no joke. We kept watching out of the window of the airplane to see when we were close to the ground. We never actually saw the ground until the wheels of the plane touched down. So...that means you have a few hundred feet visibility. Crazy!

 

Driving to Beijing was nice. There are 7 EAC families here getting our babies, so Zhou (our EAC coordinator) rented a giant bus. One of the other families here bought their 8 year old son, who happens to love minecraft, so Cohen made an instant friend. They sat in the back of the bus and discussed minecraft for the entire drive to the hotel.

 

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We are staying at a Holiday Inn here in Beijing. It's a lot like the hotels in America, just a bit smaller. Oh and there are windows (meaning more than one) from the bathroom to the bedroom. They have blinds on them if you want some extra privacy. Weird.

 

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Going to get Brooks (part 1)

Well, I wrote out this lovely journal entry on piece of paper on our first day of our trip to China. And then I lost the paper. Boo!

 

Instead of posting a story, I’ll post a picture. This is us in the San Antonio airport getting ready to board our flight to DC.

We flew to Washington DC, then from DC, we flew to Beijing, China (that flight was 14.5 hours!). I’ll post tomorrow about this flight.

 

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