Welcome to all of the No Hands But Ours readers who are stopping by to read along on our adoption journey. It’s less than a week until we leave for China! I will try to blog every day that we are in China. I usually only put 3-5 photos in a blog post for ease of reading. However, if you click through the Flickr thingy on the right then you can see additional photos. Yes, I know everyone else switched to Instagram 5 years ago. I had a Flickr account um, 10 years ago, so I find it easier to post pictures there.
There will be a few differences between our first adoption trip to China in 2013 and this one. The biggest is that we will not be taking our whole big family to China with us. Our older children have school commitments that they cannot easily miss, and mostly we can’t afford to take everyone again. It was the trip of a lifetime, no regrets there, but this time it will be ourselves and one child. Our son Vincent (the youngest in the picture above) will be coming along with us while the other children stay at home with their grandmother. He is wonderful with small children, he doesn’t remember our first trip to China, and he even speaks a little Chinese. A few of you might remember that Vincent used to think that he was also adopted from China. He asked us to sign him up at the local Chinese school while he was still a little confused about that, so we will see how helpful that will be for us.
We leave on January 8th for China and will arrive in Beijing on the 9th in the late afternoon. Our son August is from the Beijing CWI so we will spend a full week in Beijing this time. Beijing is in the northern part of China, about the same latitude as Philadelphia, PA. Which means it will be cold! Beijing has a population similar to Chicago. We will be touring the Summer Palace and Temple of Heaven on Sunday, hopefully with Nancy who was our guide previously.
Leo’s orphanage was located about 4 hours away from the provincial capital so we did not meet him until late Monday afternoon. For this adoption we will be meeting August early Monday morning in a reception room at his orphanage. Although we will be at his orphanage we will not be allowed to tour it the way we did Leo’s orphanage. We have various adoption related appointments throughout the week. Vincent expressed a desire to see the Great Wall (again) so as long as August is doing well we will probably fit that in.
On Friday the 15th we will fly to Guangzhou in southern China. All adoption trips end in Guangzhou because that is where the American consulate is located. It’s hard to find an East Coast city on the same latitude, but Key West, FL is closest. Packing for 2 seasons means we will be taking almost the same amount of luggage as we did on our first trip with twice the amount of travelers! Guangzhou is the 3rd largest city in China. Our consulate appointment will be on Wednesday the 20th because the Beijing municipality doesn’t prepare the child’s passport in advance, so we will wait to receive that by mail. As long as all goes well, we should receive our visa on Thursday. While we are in Guangzhou Vincent will turn 7 and August will turn 3 just two days later.
This time we will be flying out of Hong Kong instead of Guangzhou. We plan to check out of our hotel early Friday morning and take a train to Hong Kong. For those of you reading along because you will be traveling in the upcoming months, we are using the Planet R-H plan rather than staying at one of the hotels attached to the airport. Stay tuned to see how it turns out. Hopefully we will have time to see a little of Hong Kong in the afternoon. On Saturday morning we begin our journey home. We land in our home city around 8 pm on the 23rd. I can’t think of a better way to spend most of January!