Ok, so we’re moving through today, thinking things are going pretty well. We left San Francisco on time. With the help of some Ambien, I slept a couple of hours and Christi slept about 4 hours. The girls were terrific. I can’t tell you what a huge blessing that has been. They are little troopers.
We get to Beijing, check at the baggage claim just in case (no luck-and no baggage). Then we go and wait for our flight to Hangzhou. Graci seems to fascinate the local travelers there. She’s obviously with us, and obviously wasn’t born to us. She speaks some Chinese, but doesn’t sound like a native. Who is this little girl? Eventually she was surrounded by about 10 people, all fascinated by the idea that we were her parents and that she was originally from Hangzhou. They also got a kick out of her cute efforts to speak Chinese. (It really is sad how much she’s lost. But it is getting better as she goes along.)
Anyway, we’re sitting there and having some discussions with the couple of people who speak some English. We mention that we’re flying out of Hangzhou on Sunday night to meet up with the little boy we’re adopting, and one of the people there says (rather nonchalantly, I might add): “Oh, they may cancel that flight because of the typhoon.” WHAT?!? Hold on there partner, did you just say typhoon? (In case you’re not aware, a typhoon is what they call a hurricane if it’s in the Pacific ocean. Don’t know why they aren’t all just called hurricanes, or all typhoons for that matter. It seems silly to me, but hey, I’m just a guy who learned to speak Chinese from a CD entitled “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Speaking Mandarin,” which presumably makes me…a complete idiotJ) So there. You really can’t make this stuff up. If I was trying to pull your leg, would I say, “Uh, yeah, like…uh…a hurricane’s gonna stop us from getting to Zhengzhou…yeah, that’s it…”
With that little bit of information, we board the plane for Hangzhou and arrive minutes late. Graci’s sweet foster family is there at the airport to pick us up. It took them about an hour to drive there. Since we don’t have our luggage, I obviously have to talk to someone about getting it back. We have learned that, at least at this point, Graci is useless as an interpreter. So I send Graci, Christi, and Jesi out of the secure area to meet up with Graci’s foster family. (From what I heard, it was a sweet reunion. They are very pleased with the improvements in Graci’s appearance and health.) I, myself, stay in the secure area and initiate a lost baggage claim. Oh, how I wish I had the next two hours on video. I must say I’m rather pleased with myself. My Chinese was better than any of their English. (This is NOT a good thing!) But you know what? It took quite awhile, and several people listening to me with creative ears, but I explained our situation to the point that I’m 90% sure they know what’s going on. If all goes as planned, which it obviously doesn’tJ, then we’ll have our luggage on Sunday just in time to catch our potentially-typhoon-cancelled flight to Zhengzhou.
I think I may have said this before, but we would sure appreciate your prayers :).
Well, everyone has crashed except me. I had to call our travel insurance and our adoption agency (and Parker and Taylor, just cuz I missed them). It’s now 2:36 AM. I’ve had about 10 hours of sleep in the last 78 hours. Good night, and good luck.
PS. Once again, a huge THANK YOU to Boyd and Shelly and the Ausdenmoore's. Aus and the gang showed me how to use Skype, Boyd and Shelly had it on the computer, and now I can call home for 2 cents a minute :) :) :)!