|"Who's that cute little girl under my hat?"|
And then, we got a phone call at about 10:15 am from our travel agency that told us that our flight to Hong Kong had been cancelled due to weather (thank you, Typhoon Vicente.) So, that put us into a mad rush to figure out what to do next –train ride and then 1 ½ hour taxi ride to the hotel or van ride straight to the hotel? At 10:29 am K-Man was still dashing about the hotel trying to find someone who could speak English well enough to help us. Meanwhile, the agency needed us to call back by 10:30 am to tell them “yes” to the train, which was scheduled to leave at 6:15 pm that night…our flight back to the states was at 10:30 am the next morning. I refused to let myself consider the fact that Typhoon Vicente could cancel that one. “Stuck in China” had become our theme, right next to "Exhausted."
While K-Man dashed about, I took the time to make sure that I had photos of everything, since Lyric had entered the picture we'd gotten kinda lax about making sure everything was documented. I finished packing us up and then I photographed the hotel room. Our hotel was …wow. When we'd walked in K-Man had kept saying, “Wow, can you believe this place?” It was EASILY the nicest hotel we’ve ever stayed in…everyone we talked to said the same thing. In the shower, you stood on a marble pedestal right in the middle and the "run-off" water never touched your feet. Every time I got in, I'd watch the water run down the drain and think, I am SUCH a redneck that I find this so impressive. Then, I'd giggle at myself.
This was our second bathroom. As beautiful as it was, I'd begun to feel like the bathroom, with its clear boxes, was an art installation. I started to feel sorta vulnerable, like people would walk by to see, “Man On Toilet,” & “Woman In Shower.”
|I love this "little feet in big shoes" picture.|
K-Man finally came back or I called the agency or something, anyway, train it was.
So, we took a deep breath and waited on it to become time to go downstairs to meet our guide.
Downstairs, we received Lyric's passport with her American Visa inside. Success! Days and days of waiting, over.
|There she is, my screaming little girl. :) |
Later, after we'd been admitted into the US, we'd be told that the
above blue stamp would suffice for her green card until
we received her naturalization papers in the mail.
We met many other adoptive parents downstairs,in the lobby of the hotel, they were also receiving Visas and preparing to leave the country. I remember having the feeling, again, of They're really gonna let me leave China with her? I remember feeling the same with the boys - They're just gonna let me leave the hospital with him? Kinda a How'd I get so lucky? feeling.
|"Bye-bye, California Girl. Come see me in Alabama!"|
|It does not escape me what a journey this has been for everyone involved. |
These kids have started out all over China and will end up all over the US.
|And, look who's letting her daddy hold her!|
|She finally figured out that he is the ticket to fun stuff. :)|
And, then it was time to leave.
So far,in China, we'd traveled by:
Oh what the hell, why not a train, too?
Going to Hong Kong on a train.
In the rain.
(Dr. Seuss book?)
|That look is my, "I'm tired, leave me alone," look. hahahahahaha|
"Hello, Hong Kong!"
Dear People in China Who Like to Claim Hong Kong for Their Own:
If you have to go through immigration to enter a country it is, IN FACT, another country.
Yes, we had to go through immigration to enter Hong Kong from China. (They also have their own money.) I was seriously tired and it didn't help matters much when I realized that there was a lady with a mask on and a digital thermometer waiting to take suspicious-looking people's temperature when we arrived. She literally just grabbed people out of the oncoming crowed. I guess, child = suspicious because she stuck the digital thermometer in Lyric's ear and all I could think was, besides, please be normal! was THIS is what they think of all people entering from China - disease? What if Q-Boo had had a surprise mystery fever? We'd be trapped forever between Hong Kong and China? I can just see it in my mind. It ain't pretty.
We were the last train in and, by the time we'd filled out our immigration papers and gone to the bathroom, there were literal lines of employees leaving, everything was closing down, including the money exchange places. We were approached by a taxi driver before we could exchange our Chinese money for Hong Kong money (and the exchange places were closed, anyway) he basically said, "I've got tons of room" and so we said, "load us up!" We did have tons of luggage and I was just relieved to have found a taxi driver at all, much less one who had room to take it all.
(This is representative of all that we saw of Hong Kong and
even it was enough for us to see that, just like everybody told us, it IS cool!)
We were well on our way to the hotel before we realized that we didn't have enough American dollars to pay for the whole taxi trip. <sigh> We managed to painfully explain it to the cab driver (he sat on the "wrong" side of the car, Hong Kong was a British territory for years) and promise that we'd get the rest from the front desk. <sigh> I felt like a thief, especially when he parked his taxi, refused to move it and followed us inside. <sigh> Seriously, Dude. We'll bring you the money. Where are we gonna go? K-Man had to go across the hotel, dragging our luggage, him in tow, to find an ATM to withdraw $20 American dollars.
I'd never been so excited to use Lyric as an excuse to escape upstairs to our room. Good Little Wife? Maybe, not. :) But definitely, Good Little Husband for sending me upstairs. :)
Tomorrow, we'd leave for THE STATES!