Hey everyone. This is just a quick note to let you know that we've arrived safe and sound. Unfortunately, we can't get our computer to connect in the room and have to use the business center. I'll try to get the connection issues sorted out so Jennifer can bring you up to date. Until then, you'll have to deal with my more to the point comments!
The flight to Beijing went well. Jennifer got to sit next to another family that's adopting from Hefei. Jen and Trish really seemed to hit it off -at least it sounded like non-stop talking from where I sat. Trish and her husband (I'm afraid I didn't catch his name) are with another adoption association, so we haven't seen them since the airport. Hopefully we'll run into one another in Hefei. I got to sit next to a mother and 2 year-old named Kevin who were traveling back to China for an extended visit and another young woman who was taking her 2-month-old nephew to meet his grandparents. In short, I got to practice being a dad, playing with the toddler and holding the baby. It was quite fun.
We got to the hotel about 7:00 p.m., ordered Pizza Hut! and crashed. Jennifer woke up around 2:00 A.M. and had me join her around 3:00! That was fine until she fell back to sleep and I was left with a mind that refused to shut off. I don't think sleeping is going to be a problem for either of us tonight.
The tour today was quite amazing. We walked past Tienem Square (forgive me if the spelling's off). It was close to tourism because the Chinese equivalent of congress was meeting this week. We spent about three hours walking through the Forbidden City and have some great video and pictures that we'll share when we can. I'm a little awed at the age of things, realizing that the newest parts of the palace are older than our country. From there we drove to an older district of Beijing. It's an historial protectorate made up of multi-family dwellings set around a central courtyard. We had lunch in one of these homes and learned that the family had owned the "house" for four generations (somewhere around 150 years). We travelled most of the afternoon by bicycle rickshan and went places that a bus could never go. One of those places was a pre-school/kindergarten. Again, we have some neat video and pictures to show of the precious children as well as the older parts of the city. At 5:00 we caught a performance of the Chinese acrobats and were amazed at their flexibility and high-flying stunts. We wrapped things up with dinner at a Chinese restaurant and are turning in as soon as I finish this post.
The last few days have been amazing. Jennifer and I can't wait to get Noelle, but it's also been fun to be with other parents who are going through the same thing and getting to learn more of this wonderful country. I think that's about all I can squeeze out of this tired brain so I'll say goodnight for now.