Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Last time on the Metro for a while.

We spent our last morning here taking the metro the opposite direction from before, toward the “biggest mall in Guangzhou”. It apparently has an ice rink like Lloyd Center in Portland but probably much nicer and definitely 100% free from any threat of running into Tanya Harding.

Despite some hilarious miming we tried with a pair of confused security guards who wanted to give us directions, we did not make it to the rink. Wandering is fun and we found some great shopping anyway, much better than the mall I was gushing about before. This new mall was filled with a thousand adorable kiosks packed with random cute things. The target audience seemed to be mostly young student-types. There was a whole shop full of Totoro goods, and a thousand more with other mixes of cutesy things. I had hoped to find some little trinkets for the boys, but just about struck out there. I did get myself a great bracelet, and we again ate in the food court with upper working class and students.

Primrose sat with daddy, happily eating his ramen and dumplings. I think her favorite parts were little bits of heart or liver or who-knows-what organ. She pointed daintily to each one, then as the soup cooled just reached right in for what she wanted. Someday she will understand how much her daddy loves her when she learns he gave her any bit of the meats she wanted from his plate in their first two weeks together.

She charmed several students including one who had studied English while completing a degree in math, who helped me try to find something without pork in it at the ramen shop. I wish I had snapped a picture of her, she was very kind and I liked her even more as soon as she said, “Yes, I saw your daughter when you were walking. She is so very cute.”

I am pretty tolerant of crowds in foreign countries and big cities, but I am not sorry that we don't have to ride the Chinese metro for a while. our line to the Marriott has been packed at all times of day. I am often not even able to move into the middle of the car where people will immediately offer a seat when they see our girl in my arms. Instead we are packed so close it is hard to find a place to hold the poles and Primrose likes to try touching all the people around us. People almost invariably smile and talk to her, but it can be a bit awkward. Despite them being fairly well air conditioned, I am always hot and sweaty when we finally arrive at our stop in the busier train cars. 

Greeting one of the ladies who clean the tables.
We get to take a big group photo with all the Holt families currently in Guangzhou in a few hours down in the lobby when Fang Fang’s done with her nap. We’ll take our junk down with us and head out from there.

After a nice train ride, we’ll check into the airport hotel in Hong Kong where the internet is finally open and the TV has way more channels. It's probably the first time Primrose has been outside of mainland China. I cried for her a bit when we left Wuhan, and will probably be a bit sad for her to fly away again. Adoption always starts with losses for the child. We are so grateful to be part of the restoration of a family for this exuberant child, but loss is part of her story as well.

We’ll be in Portland on Thursday morning August 28th, and should be done with immigration by about 9:45am. One of the best moments of this journey (besides the moment she walked into the Children’s Welfare Institute and every moment she has given us her trust & affection since then) will be walking out of the security gates and into the arms of our friends and family. I can hardly wait to see my boys, and to watch her meet them. They have been waiting years for a sibling, and we’ve simply been given the perfect one.

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