We were up bright and early to grab a quick breakfast and to take our taxi over to catch the bullet train. The train was actually spacious with a decent amount of leg room. I was able to squeeze my large suitcase in front of Jacob. I thought he would travel fine since he has enjoyed the taxi rides. I was wrong. He just wanted to get out of that seat and crawl around I guess. He would fuss whenever I pulled him back. Food and cars would only distract him for a minute or so. A wonderful mom a few seats ahead encouraged her daughter to come and bring him additional treats. She was really cute and the treats kept coming. I was so thankful! After that he played peekaboo with the child in front of us. I noticed everybody standing but we still had 4 hours of oue trip to go. A man who spoke English explained that we were stopping and it was time to turn our seats around. He assured me that we were still heading to Nanchang. After that Jacob fell asleep until we arrived. One of our stops was Wuhan, where Christian lived. Looking at a map of China all 3 children are all a train ride away. Interesting.
The man that spoke English helped me with my bags and to find my guide Elsie. What a relief to find a familiar face, even if she does not remember me. She was one of my guides in 2010 when I was in Guanzhou.
We took a crazy taxi ride to the Galactic International Hotel, an absolutely stunning place. To be honest, every taxi ride so far has been somewhat dangerous. Jacob and I would have wandered outside but it was already getting dark so we had dinner and relaxed.
Today we ate at another breakfast buffet. The hotels in China really go all out and the buffets are amazing. As I was walking around one worker would take my plates back to the table for me since I was also pushing Jacob in the stroller. I was planning on trekking out to Walmart to grab some food, formula and extra diapers. On a map it is only 2 roads away and I figured I could handle that. I ran into Elsie and told her my plan and she said she would go with me. Well, it's a good thing she did because I never would have made it there otherwise. We had to go under, above and across different roads just to get there. We smooshed ourselves into the elevator to get to the correct floor. I grabbed a few toys and the other things on my list, but this Walmart was busier than the ones back home if that's even possible.
The director was running late and Jacob and I walked over to look at the huge Christmas tree. A man and a woman approached me and said they were from Gao'an. They said they were worried that they wouldn't know who to look for in the lobby but I was easy to spot. Soon after, the director, Julia Mei and her foster mama walked in! I was so excited and thankful to meet the woman who has cared for my baby since infancy, and I recognized her from the pictures online right away.
Julia Mei is tall! She is bigger than I expected and has stunning features. She has a deep cough, an eye infection of some sort, and scratches on her nose. She is dressed up very nicely. She is the first child to be adopted from Gao'an since 2011!
We went up to my room to sign paperwork. Jacob was interested in Julia Mei but once he realized that she was going to play with toys he was not having it. He hit her a few times with toys and a sippy cup. He started crying and wanted to be held while Julia Mei was very content with the toys.
My guide and a translator from Gao'an who translated to their local dialect helped me to communicate with Julia Mei's foster mama. She likes to stay up late, sleeps in bed with her foster mama, is very active and quite smart. I gave her a Christmas card and thanked her for all she has done. The director said I can visit the orphanage and Julia Mei's foster home this week.
Once they left and Julia Mei realized it she cried and called out repeatedly. She cried even more when I went into the bathroom to start a bath. She was so unhappy, poor little girl. I gave both children a bath and some splashing and giggling was happening. The kids fought over the washcloth. The logistics of 2 kids vs. 1 mom started: how do I get them out of the tub? If I leave one in after I drain the water there is still the potential to slip and either one will cry if I leave the room. I wrapped up Jacob on my left and Julia Mei on my right and we rushed to the bed to dry off.
She does walk by holding on to things, but it looks very painful. She does not appear to be in pain but she is walking on the top part of her foot, the part that typically faces up. She is unsteady and it's amazing that she's walking at all. She has shared her food and drinks with me and helped to clean up tonight. What a sweet, sweet little girl.
The children are so different: Jacob is full of energy and belly laughs and Julia Mei so far is very sweet and not fully comfortable to show me who she really is.
Feeling completely blessed tonight and I can't wait to go home.