China: Days 1-2

Well, heyyyyyyy, from Hangzhou, China! (What in the actual world, y’all?!!) I cannot believe we are over 7,000 miles away from home right now. This trip has been quite the adventure so far. Here’s what we’ve been up to since Friday…
We left DFW Friday afternoon and flew 14 hours to Beijing. Neither Blake nor I slept more than about 10 minutes of the flight, so it was loooooooooong, but we survived! We each watched several movies, we were fed plenty of food, and we were just too excited to sleep! 
The Beijing airport was…interesting. It was huge, very empty, and, honestly, smelled horrible. Thankfully, we don’t have to travel back through it to return home, and we felt much better about our decision to skip the Beijing tour after seeing it from the air. 
After a 3-hour layover, we boarded our second flight which would take us here to Hangzhou, the capital of Brooks’s province, Zhejiang. At this point, we had both been up nearly 19 hours, so we both dozed most of this flight. We arrived Saturday night at 8:30, grabbed our bags, and were taken by our escort to our hotel. We arrived about 10PM and Blake crashed immediately. I, unfortunately, did not and was up for quite some time. Jet lag is a bear. 
Sunday morning, we woke up in Hangzhou, and I felt HORRIBLE. Nauseous, dizzy, light-headed, a major headache, and just flat out exhausted. We managed to find a coffee shop across the street named Holly’s where I got my beloved vanilla latte, and after that kicked in, I managed to start feeling a LITTLE BIT better. 
After Holly’s, we went for a walk around West Lake which is a major tourist attraction here in Hangzhou. It was PACKED with families and tourist groups, but we enjoyed seeing the lake, the boats, and the garden area. Who knew China was so pretty?!!
After some room service lunch, we crashed out for a couple of hours before meeting our guide. God bless, Echo, you guys…we would be LOST without her! She went over our itinerary for the week, took us to a grocery store, and helped us bring back a Pizza Hut pizza for dinner. We went over the plans for Monday morning (Gotcha Day!), and we said goodnight.
Monday morning was completely and utterly surreal. It was as if two years of prayer, fundraising, and paperwork were all coming together at this exact moment. We were lead into the conference room at the Civil Affairs Office and began filling out paperwork since we had beaten Brooks’s orphanage staff to the office. 
As I was completing a document with Echo, I heard Blake say, “There he is.” I looked up and our little boy, decked out from head to toe in some hilarious and amazing panda bear outfit fit for a Colorado winter, came waltzing into the room. It all happened so fast that I didn’t even have time to cry. They walked him straight over to us as Echo grabbed Blake’s phone to record the hand-off, and then his little arms and wide eyes reached for me. I held him first and then Blake took a turn. We, at first, thought he was bigger than we anticipated, but once we started removing a few outer layers of clothing, we realized it was just extra padding. 😉 We spent the next hour introducing him to puffs, watching him waddle around on the floor, and signing whatever Echo told us to sign. (Thankfully, we trust her completely!) 
After heading back to the hotel with our new lovebug, Blake and Echo went to go find him his favorite food (wonton soup), and I took Brooks up to show him our hotel room. We played and got to know each other before Blake got back with the soup. After lunch and a nap, we played in the hotel room and then headed out with Echo for some “authentic” Chinese food. Y’all, it was a disaster. Complete and utter disaster. I totally forgot what it’s like to go to a restaurant with a toddler. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING, became a weapon, we left no less than 500 pieces of rice on the floor, and all three of us needed new clothes when we got home. We might be seasoned parents, but we are AMATEURS with this age! It’s been SO long! 
After dinner, we gave Brooks his first bath (which he LOVED) and patted him to sleep. It was quite a start to the trip…we are so lucky to be trusted with this boy’s life and thank God for him daily! 

That’s all for today…I’ll be back tomorrow to recap days 3-4! 

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