The bags are packed and we are ready to go! This will be my last post from China. I won't miss trying to download pictures everynight to the Blogger.
At 2:45 tomorrow we catch our bus to the American Consulate for the swearing in ceremony and to pick up Bliss' exit visa and passport. From there they will take us to the airport and our flight leaves at 9pm. Hopefully the kids will sleep for 12 of the 15 hours.
Today it rained almost all day. We took turns going to the foot massage and workouts. Otherwise, we were stuck in the hotel room for most of it.
Leaving is bittersweet. I am beginning to feel regretful that I have rushed this trip away. We are now down to our final hours here and I want to get out there and see everything I can. I feel sadness for Bliss as she leaves her homeland and all that she has known. I feel sad she will have very few links to her past. Even with all that I have learned on this trip about her culture and her time at the orphanage, I know that I will never be able to give her sufficient answers to the questions that mean the most.
It has been hard to be in the moment and really enjoy my time here. This has been such a long process. Bliss being my mission. Once I had her in my arms, I just wanted to get her home and begin life as normal. I was telling Barb today that I still don't really feel like she is mine. It won't feel real until I am in Publix and all 3 kids are screaming. That will probably be sometime Saturday.
As I look back on the past 3 weeks, it really has gone by fast. Just when we started to get in a routine, it's time to go. The breakfast ladies stopped asking for our ticket and actually moved all the breakable dishes and knives before we sat down. The woman at the grocery store in the hotel knows I want Coke "Light" and how many. The shop owners outside greet us by name as we pass. We know all the good places to eat. I finally figured out how to convert Yuan to US dollars and Chinese is starting to sound familiar. We have not quite mastered the hole in the ground they call a toilet or the BYOTP thing. The kids have eaten French Toast and Grilled Cheese everyday for 18 days. I never want to see another Buffet. We have strated to accept walking backwards and clapping your hands as a form of exercise. The hotel room seems to grow smaller each day, especially for me. To top that off, the Chinese stand too close and invade my personal space too often.
Most importantly, we have what we came for and she is wonderful! It was worth every bit of having to be here for 3 weeks. Just like Pete said, her name says it all. We look forward to stepping of the plane in Fort Lauderdale and handing her off to her Grammy and Grampy.
Mom and Dad, we forgot to tell you that all 3 kids are yours for a week while we recover. OK?