Monday, September 15, 2008

If It's Monday - This Must Be Chongqing!

By 5:00 AM this morning (we're exactly 12 hours ahead of the folks back home) 10 families were sitting on the bus motoring our way to the Beijing airport. The streets were mostly deserted as this is the third day of the 3 day Moon Festival Holiday in China. It was kind of neat seeing the city in a more laid back posture but you can be sure that by the time the sun was up - so would be Beijing!

Getting through security at the airport went smooth enough. The biggest thing to remember is that certain parts of the world don't quite queue up the way some of us do. In other words, just because you happen to be first in line doesn't mean someone isn't going to just walk up and stand in front of you. It's different but once you catch on to what's happening it's pretty easy to deal with :)

The 2 hours plus flight to Chongqing (chung - chin) left on time and arrive on time. No hassles, no surprises. Aly and I sat next to "Jerry". I would give his Chinese name but believe me, it's better I give you the English name he goes by. Jerry suggested I call him Jerry after agreeing it was evident I was not going to be able to properly pronounce his Chinese name. Cool guy.

A very surreal moment occurred while sitting on the tarmac. The music to the John Lennon song Imagine began playing over the plane intercom system prior to takeoff. Aly and I each shared a private moment on that one. A flood of emotions hit us. Imagine Alyzabeth An... It's Easy If You Try...

Upon arrival in Chongqing we were met by our CCAI guides, Marie and Anita. You would not believe the packet each family received from Marie. She has already contacted the orphanages where our children are and has asked most of the questions we would have been asking the nannies tomorrow and gave us their responses neatly typed out. She already had our hotel room keys and had us registered. She gave us a typed list of each family (including the name of their child) in our group and what room they would be staying in. We received a handy "translation" list of questions, phrases, etc in Chinese and English so if we want to we can simply point on the paper when out and about. We have name tags explaining where we are staying and why we are here and why we are pushing around and fussing over our Asian babies. We have a checklist for what we need each day to complete the adoption: Money, gifts, documents, etc...
I'm telling you - Marie is way organized and we were all blown away with how helpful and thoughtful all of this is to us. She also gave us a quick walking tour of the area pointing out different shops, grocery stores, restaurants, STARBUCKS! And she arranged to have our dirty laundry picked up today with delivery for tomorrow!! The lady is awesome!!!
Thank You Marie!!!

Our hotel is nice, The Golden Resources. We're on the 28th floor - quite the view :) Beneath the hotel is an underground mall that is open 24 hours a day. It has discos, grocery stores, clothing stores, well you get the idea. We toured through with Marie and Anita and then had dinner there tonight. Love the spicy food here! Check out the dude pouring the tea in the video.
We didn't expect to attract too much attention in coming to Chongqing since it is such a large city (over 33 million people) but we are. Aly is attracting major attention. I think it may have something to do with her curly blond hair :) She stands out like a sore thumb :) Marie tells us that Chongqing and the surrounding rural population is not that familiar with foreigners . The people have been super nice and more than a few have tried out their English on us.

Well, we're going to hit the sack early tonight. Hopefully we'll each get a good nights sleep. We did purchase an inexpensive stroller today for Alyzabeth since we will be here for a full week and because she is a toddler. We can "borrow" free ones in GZ but we're not in GZ. Don't know that this stroller will make it home with us but if not, it will have served its purpose well. We also picked up a couple of toys for her to play with.
We meet our Alyzabeth An tomorrow around 2:00 PM. Her orphanage is one of the closer ones to Chongqing being only 2 hours away. One of the little ones in our group has an 11 hour bus ride to get to the hotel. Bless her heart.

Gotta go... We are super tired. Wonder why? :) Thanks for your prayers and well wishes and COMMENTS! They keep us going!!
Another rough, no frills added video has been included with this post :)
peace
ac & fm

video

28 comments:

Don and Be said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doreen said...

My eyes welled up when I heard the song "imagine". How beautiful.
Can't wait until tomorrow for you guys!!!!!

Doreen in Montreal single Mom to Faith-Jiangxi & Mia-Sichuan

Don and Be said...

Checking in ...... wishing you much joy & peace. Alyzabeth An is soon to be a part of quite a wonderful family! We love y'all - all 3 of you!
D, B & JM

Sorry about deleted comment - I should prof red byfour sending comnets.

Briana's Mom said...

I love all the videos you are sharing! It's like being there!

I remember all the attention we drew in Chongqing. Especially Doug with his strawberry blond hair! I loved Chongqing - it is a really amazing city!

Julie said...

Oh my, you are SO Close! So happy for you.

Truly Blessed said...

Again, a fun video.

Ford, you crack me up -- taking the elevator up and down -- just like one of my boys! I'll bet you'll be glad for the video, even though I just made that remark, though.

Not long now...congratulations!

Johnny said...

I _think_ your hotel is a hop & skip away from the Civil Affairs Office - lucky you!

Best wishes for tomorrow!

PIPO said...

I got a chill reading about 'Imagine'. Not so much longer now and the imagining will be no longer.

Nina said...

Ooooh, I also got a chill reading about "Imagine"....

We can't wait to see the first photos of you and your beautiful Alyzabeth An!!

We love the videos, too. Thanks for sharing your journey with all of us.

operationtigerlily said...

I'm loving your video. Congratulations on your 'together forever' today (I think by now you have met your sweet girl). Looking forward to seeing Alyzabeth in your arms!

Christine said...

OH I can't wait to see Alyzabeth in your arms! Oh boy I am excited! :) Wow that Marie sounds organized. That is wonderful less for you to think about. Have fun!

Ava's family said...

I'm also loving the video....Makes me feel like I'm right there with you guys! Not much longer now....=)

Kelly (Mike and Zane) said...

Looking forward to seeing your Gotcha Day! So glad your trip is going well.

Perrin said...

Oh have a wonderful peaceful and loving day tomorrow. Gosh, those meet your little ones days are so filled with emotions all across the board. Try to rest and sleep and enjoy every minute of what is to come!

Many wishes of good luck!
P.S. I'm laughing about the stroller, good call. It is great to have your own, completely worth it! We just donated ours from 2 years ago to Goodwill this week!

Elisa. said...

How incredible for that song to be playing just before you took off, wow!
Your hotel and guides sound great and it's great that you have a 24hr mall below, it will be really useful!
I am loving sharing this journey with you guy's!

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Looking forward to seeing your cherub... not long to go now...

rubyiscoming said...

Imagine.....
You meet your daughter tomorrow.
Imagine.....

Thinking of you!
Sleep tight!
xo

Mom of 5 said...

Oh goodness I can't wait anymore !
Savor every second. Nothing is better than becoming a family.

m said...

So excited to think about your journey. I cried too. Are you taking all these videos with your Flip camera? They are perfect. Makes me feel like I am part of this!

Donna said...

So, so excited for you two! You're SO close!! I've loved all your "no frills" videos :)
Donna

Daniella said...

Okay the imagine song got me - so very cool and that you got to video the moment - even better. It's 8:00 a.m. your time as I post this - your sooo close.

Nan and Dan said...

So excited that the big day is finally here!!!!
you should be waking up right about now, if you slept at all last night :)
I hope today flies by and you hold your little one very soon!!
Can not wait to see the first family pics :)

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

I am looking at the clock right now...it must be 8:30am in China....it is Alyzabeth An Day!!! I cannot believe it is here....I think we will all be stalking your blog for the first pictures!!

Cherish every minute of this day....you have waited so long....I couldn't be happier for the two of you!

She is blessed to have such wonderful and loving parents.

Hugs,

Lisa

Kayce said...

Enjoy every moment of your day today!!! We can't wait to wake up tomorrow and see the three of you together! Both my husband and I are throughly enjoying your videos...God Bless!!!

kris said...

Wow, I am really impressed by the CCAI guides and am so thrilled to know how well I'll be taken care of in China! I am so excited that Alyzabeth Day is HERE (at least China time it is now)!!! Love the video, that tea pouring was amazing!!

prechrswife said...

You must be in the same travel group as Melinda and Brian. :-) We are hosting their website for them. Can't wait to read that all of you have your little ones in your arms soon!

OziMum said...

The beauty of it is... you won't need to imagine for very much longer, at all! Only a matter of hours! I'll be checking back later this afternoon, after I've picked the kids up from school (we're 2 hours ahead of China).

Love you videos! Your Chongqing hotel looks very similar to the one we stayed in Shenzhen! I couldn't look out of the glass lift - I always looked at the door (we were on the 23rd floor!!!) The kids loved it though!

Billy and Maggie said...

Your videos really stir emotions in us. This is about as birds eye as we can possibly get. Thank you again.

Ford hearing you commentating as Imagine played made these eyes fill to the brim. The hotel looks really nice And..I will remember that tea serving techinique..how cool is that!!