Yay! We finally got Blogger to work! ...I think. I guess I'll find out when I hit "publish". Anyway, after posting pics on Facebook, I realized I never blogged about taking Maddie and Kaitlyn with us to China. So here's how it went down... we kept hearing how great it was to take a sibling along on the adoption trip to help with the transition of the newly adopted child. If it could help Jordan feel more comfortable, we knew we wanted to take Maddie and Kaitlyn, but we also to open their eyes to the world and see where Jordan is coming from. We knew it could be a priceless experience for the girls and they would be old enough to remember it. We just couldn't afford to. But our rental home finally sold, (yea, yea yea!!) freeing up enough money to take one of the girls. We figured Maddie was the oldest, so we would take her, but we didn't tell either of the girls, because we didn't know how to. We knew it would break Kaitlyn's heart to be left behind. Maddie and Kaitlyn are two peas in a pod.So, we put off getting passports because we didn't know what we should do. Finally, we decided to get both girls a passport, just in case we could somehow make it work. When my parents heard we were taking Maddie, they decided to help out so Kaitlyn could come too. We're so grateful and happy that both of our girls get to share in this experience!!
One of my favorite moments from yesterday: Ryan has been playing Chinese podcasts a lot in preparation for our trip, so when we got up to board our airplane, and Maddie dropped her neck pillow, a young man (Chinese) picked it up for her, and she told him "xie xie" (thank you in Chinese). He was surprised to hear her respond in Chinese. We ended up talking for a while. When our plane landed in China he found us again and helped us navigate the airport. When I told him he was so kind to take care of us he said he wanted to be nice to us because we must be nice to want to take care of a child who has medical needs. I wish I would have thought to take a picture with "Aaron", our first friend made on the trip.
Here we go!!
Such a looooong flight, but Air China took good care of us. Sometime between 2-3am Utah time, they were passing out meals. Maddie woke up and asked if it was breakfast since we had already had dinner. I looked and saw it was beef and noodles and told her no, it was "second dinner" At this point she was deliriously loopy and couldn't stop giggling.
Did I mention it was a really long flight? The flight to China was 12 hours but the total travel time SLC to Beijing was 16 hours. The girls were troopers. I had a hard time sitting that long!
We made it!! Standing in the "foreigners" line in Beijing.
Another favorite moment: we knew getting from the airport to our hotel would be tricky with all of our luggage... we assumed we'd probably have to split up into two taxis. So when a van driver was in the taxi line and held up four fingers, we though "Yay! We can all ride together!" But when we showed him our hotel name card and he pointed to a price on a chart showing he wanted 580 yuan (about $100) We told him it was too much, we had only exchanged for 200 yuan because we were told that should be enough for two taxis. So, we moved on to see if we could get two taxis to take us, but that van driver followed us around telling the other drivers something in Chinese... we assume something like, "I already give them a price, don't give them a deal" And he kept telling us we had too much stuff for a taxi and that the high cost was because there was so much traffic. We knew we weren't getting anywhere with that van driver following us, so we kept walking until he gave up on us. We finally found a driver that, surprisingly, was willing to take all of us when I said I'd hold one of the large suitcases on my lap. He thought I was crazy, and laughed, but he did it and it only cost us 140 yuan! This picture was taken from behind a 50lb suitcase with a driver laughing and peeping at me in the rearview mirror.
Smashed in a taxi. Definitely worth it! We got to stick together and saved over $75 dollars.
When we got to the hotel, we settled in, tested out Skype with Ryan's parents, then went to bed because we were crazy tired. Unfortunately, our bodies just thought we were taking an afternoon nap and we have all been wide awake since 12:30am. Curse you jet lag!!! So we decided to bite the bullet and get up for the day. I started to work on figuring out our internet issues while Ryan and the girls watched China's Got Talent (in Chinese) and a table tennis tournament. (we've since found a few english channels) We also spent a good 10 minutes laughing because, as hard as they tried, the neither of the girls could not pronounce the word "oxygen"... they usually CAN say it, but their tired brains just weren't working. Maddie is a little bit OCD about how bad the air is and wants an "os-i-jigin" mask and was trying to tell us about it, but we couldn't stop laughing. We are in for a rough day, but hopefully we'll be able to stay awake and get on a China schedule. Thank you for all of the prayers and support!!