By arriving in Changsha yesterday afternoon, we allowed ourselves a day to get the lay of the land. Most of us actually slept through the night last night...which is a step in the right direction in defeating jet lag. We were up somewhat early for us, especially for a Sunday morning, and headed down to check out the hotel's breakfast buffet. It didn't disappoint!
After spending much of our day yesterday sitting, we decided to get out and stretch our legs today and take a walk to Martyrs' Park. It was perhaps a tiny bit farther from the hotel than it looked on the map and the kids were a bit tired when we finally arrived.
Thankfully a little play time followed by some cold water and a snack of dried peas helped them all rebound for us to explore the park a little.
|starting tomorrow our family photo will grow by ONE!|
The walk back to the hotel was getting ready to be a disaster when Hannah spotted a place selling ice cream bars and wisely pointed it out to Ian and I. It is amazing what goodwill a 35 cent bit of sweetness can bring! Also on the back Hannah haggled with several fruit vendors until she got one to lower his price on apples, bananas and a case of Ramen noodles. At one point she said, "You can do better than that, they have come her to adopt another child," and he threw in six peaches for free.
We had a low key fruit and noodle lunch in the room and then Ian and his mom took the kids to the pool for a swim (because the four mile walk didn't burn off quite enough of the boys' energy). Mom's knee was really bothering her (another prayer request) and she opted to stay back at the room while Hannah and I went shopping to buy some clothing to give to the orphanage and some snacks that may be familiar to Natalie.
After a very successful shopping trip, it was time to head for dinner. A four mile walk, an hour of wandering the park, and nearly two hours of swimming left most of the crowd pretty tired...
|no, it's not just that her eyes closed as the picture was being taken...she was practically "sleep eating"|
|pretty sure he was riding the struggle bus|
|she gave the evening all she had|
And now all is quiet in the room. Everyone else has managed to defeat the excited energy in the air and go to sleep. We are to meet Natalie at 9am local time (which is 9pm Sunday night on the East coast of the states). Our guide told us yesterday that she was coming in on the night train and by searching we've found out that it leaves her city just after 10pm and arrives here just before 6am with 9 stops along the way. So our sweet girl is going to be trying to sleep while riding a train, probably for the first time in her life, and then will be getting here crazy early before meeting her new family. It sounds like a recipe for a tough day for her, so all prayers for her are appreciated.
I can hardly believe that in less than 12 hours she will go from a photograph to a real little girl that I can hold in my arms. We know this may be a difficult journey. And yet we can't help but be excited.
Natalie, we love you baby girl!