Friday, September 02, 2005


Early on we determined that our hotel, the TianLun Dynasty, is situated in the Times Square of Beijing. This was most evident after dark on Friday evening, when all the stores and restaurants were open for business. If this really is a Communist country, nobody has bothered to tell the merchants and consumers who were jamming the streets around the hotel. When we returned from dinner, a group of us made our first visit to the Starbucks in a nearby mall; the Green Tea frappucino tastes just like it was made in America, which is kind of ironic since most things in America are made in China. Then we strolled what can only be described as “Stank on a Stick” Alley. A long row of stalls where anything you can think of is grilled on a skewer for you: snake, scorpion, silkworms, grasshoppers, mystery meat items. It was fascinating and repulsive all at once, but all smelled nasty. What made the evening more fun is that one of the other couples brought Grandpa along on the trip. Roger Chin speaks fluent Chinese and is a retired health inspector from San Francisco. Because they too will be traveling to Changsha to get their daughter Jessica, our motto when it comes to food is, If it’s good enough for Roger Chin, it’s good enough for us!! Luckily Nicki did NOT pass out at the sight of little skinned snakes twisted around wooden skewers because their heads had been removed. Once home however, she did develop a belly ache, mostly because of the grande Green Tea frappucino. Ah, America.

The rest of the evening we packed and prepared for our flight back to Guangzhou, where we will meet up with the rest of the group on Sunday morning. Today more than any other day, we were all keenly aware of what will happen soon. “Monday,” the day we think we will get our babies, has become The Day, and periodically conversations turned to ways in which our lives will all change on that day. We are all beginning to sense that this may really happen. All the planning and all the paperwork and shopping has led these 38 families to one day.

As we prepare for bed we said to ourselves: only three more sleeps till baby.

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