We are met by our new guide, William, at the airport in Nanchang. As we step out of the airport into the outdoors, we are met by a blast of air very similar to the one you receive when you open the oven door on Thanksgiving to see how the turkey is doing! We learned that the province we are in is home to over 2000 rivers, and the largest lake in China…..thus, extreme humidity, to go along with three digit temps.
Nanchang is beautiful, with many trees that we see when in Florida, but with large mountains, and a sort of 'country' feel. That is, until we arrive in the city. Our guide tells us that Nanchang is a 'smaller' city. Upon clarification, there are only about 5 million people here!
Our hotel is very nice, the staff is over accommodating, and although we are a little cramped, the room will do just fine. We get settled, William orders a Papa Johns pizza for us, tells us we have ten minutes to eat, and then walks us to the Bank of China. The large sum of money that I have been carrying around for the past couple of days gets multiplied by 6 as we change it into RMB currency. It was a nervous walk back to the hotel!
We wait. We wait in our room for a phone call to inform us that Zoe is on her way up the elevator to meet us. We wait some more. It was only an hour or so, but you can imagine!
Words can't describe all the emotions that we going on as Zoe entered our room. We were excited, relieved, and anxious to bond with her. She was nervous, confused, and downright afraid when her caregivers left the room. Imagine the feeling of being removed from your life as you know it, from the people that are familiar to you, from the home you live in…..and placed in the hands of strangers, who don't look like you or talk like you. Then imagine this at the age of three. She doesn't yet understand what the word 'future' means, and that her's just took a major turn for the better, as did ours! That's the neat thing about any adoption. If you have done so, then you understand that what you receive as adoptive parents is far greater than what you can give.
Crying quickly turned to laughing as Chrissy took little Zoe for a walk. We walked the lobby, outside the hotel, and into a restaurant. It's hard not to use the imagery or metaphor of Zoe having her own "Great Wall" around her emotionally. She has had a difficult journey to this point….but we started seeing this wall crumble as she laughed with the kids, joked with mom, and sat on dad's lap and ate french fries.