We got up early and started our tour of Hong Kong. We seem to have adjusted to China time already. I think the long flight put us in such a daze that we don't really know what time it is. The tour was great. They have millions of high rise apartments and even more fishing boats. The weather was cool and very cloudy. Hopefully our pictures will turn out. We bought a new camera for the big event. We have not had a nice camera before and we don't know how to use it. We set it on Auto and starting clicking.
We went through the fishing territory on a Sampan. Then we took a tram up a very steep hill that overlooks Hong Kong harbor - what a sight! We went to a jewelry factory and bought pendants for the girls - year of the monkey for Abby and year of the pig for Stephie, and even something special for me!
The harbor is huge. This is the container capital of the world.
Then we took a tram up a very steep hill that overlooks Hong Kong harbor - what a sight!
This is a typical apartment building. Each window represents 1 family's space. A family of 4 has about 400 sq ft. Hanging their laundry out is standard practice.
We saw very few dogs on our trip
Have you ever seen anything like this????
So many cool things to see in Hong Kong - wish we had more time for sightseeing but we're here for 1 purpose and 1 purpose only.
As soon as our tour was over, we packed up and said good-bye to Hong Kong and Ben. We would return to Hong Kong in almost 2 weeks. We flew for 1.5 hours to Nanning, GuangXi. So thankful for a short flight.
Most of the road crews that we saw worked with manual tools rather than the big machinery like we have back home.
Once our plane landed, we planned to check into our hotel, but at the airport we received word that we were going straight to a court building to meet our babies. A day early! Sunday was always a possibility, but they had told us to realisically count on Monday. How exciting!!! It is a 45 minute bus ride through the country and then into the big city. It is so crowded. It's like nothing we've ever seen before. There are so many bikes, motorcycles, and street vendors, we can't believe it.
WOW! Crazy things here.
As we get closer to court, all the families are getting anxious and excited. We soon realized that we did not have any of our adoption paperwork or anything to help identify who we were and who we were here to get. Panic set in. I thought we would be the only family to leave without our child that day. Who would hand over a baby to an American stranger? Who?
Then our new Pittsburgh friends overheard us and admitted that they had the same problem. Others were in the same boat. We had put all of our belongings on a 'luggage bus' headed for the hotel. We thought we were following it but then learned that we were going to the court building.
There are 5 babies from Nanning who were in foster care and 10 babies from the Pingnan Orphanage. The local babies were already at court waiting for us, but the babies from Pingnan are running a little late. Our babies have traveled 5 to 6 hours to meet us - probably their first time in a vehicle. As soon as they arrive, we'll meet them. How scary for them.
They're here!!! We are family number 9 of 15. We each received our family number on our referral packets more than a month ago.
The room where we are all waiting is loud and chaotic. People are talking, laughing, crying..... and then the first few babies are brought in. The process is very quick. Someone starts calling out 'family number 1' and they go up to the front and receive their new baby. The process continues. More babies are coming in. Al thinks he sees Abby!
Could it be? We can barely see her through the crowd. All the babies from the Pingnan Orphanage are dressed alike including their little pink plastic sandals and we've only seen 3 pictures of her and they may have been taken several months ago.
He's right. They call family #9 and a nanny hands her to the orphanage director and she begins to cry. He then hands her to me. She has a sad face at first, but stops crying. She seems to like me right away. It is very crazy - 15 families with new babies all in one room and most are crying - moms, dads, and babies. OH MY!!!
The man in the red shirt is De (pronounced Der) our guide through this whole trip. The lady in the back, desperately trying to see us, is who brought Abby in - we think it's her nanny.
This is the moment we met. Abby had a big frown on her little face.
All the girls have fancy hair do's. How precious. Abby was holding this ring when we received her. It wasn't until 1 day later that I realized that it was part of a set that I sent over with the cameras.
We leave the court building shortly after everyone has received their baby. Abby seems so sad. She holds onto me but is noticeably scared. Poor little thing. My heart breaks for her.
We have a short bus ride to the hotel then more chaos for a couple of hours. We must take a family photo, get fingerprinted, and sign a million adoption forms - then we relax.
Abby is very calm - as long as I'm holding her. She is so tiny. I can't believe she is 16 months old. I think the clothes I brought will be too big - oh darn - more shopping. She is so beautiful, but we haven't seen her smile yet.
Back at the hotel, Abby looks so tired and is really really sad. There is nothing we can do to make her feel better. We all take turns holding her, talking to her, trying to feed her.....
We gave her a bath - she did NOT care for that. We'll keep trying. She finally warmed up to dad just before bed. He rocked her to sleep - how sweet. She is wearing her beautiful purple pj's that Stephie bought for her a long time ago.
Stephie finally ran out of energy about 9pm. I hope she rests well. We have another court date tomorrow and then shopping.
Since both girls are sleeping now and there is no American tv, here I am writing all the details. I hope we get to sleep all night.......
Precious Baby Sleeping
She is a very restless sleeper, waking up and/or crying out about every 20 to 30 minutes. I'm not even sure that she's awake.