Wow. Just wow.
When we arrived in Shanghai, we were met by a lovely woman who had been instrumental in us being able to adopt. R. She was the one who nearly single-handedly raised the money for the grant... and she was hosting us to boot. I'm afraid we were not terribly interesting company that first evening, as the jet lag was pretty bad.
The next morning, she took us on a walk around the neighborhood where she lives. (If you've seen the photo of R. in front of some red doors, you'll recognize the first photo. Our hostess, who is also an artist, was the photographer of those wonderful pictures of R.)
This is the scene looking the other direction.
We wandered around a bit and eventually ended up in the wet market. I love Asian markets; I could probably happily wander around one for quite some time.
More scenes from the area.
Then at lunch time we got to meet one of the people who are in charge of the Baobei Foundation. She took us out to lunch and then we did a little sight-seeing. We first stopped at the Yu Garden.
P. had her picture taken a lot.
We had lunch at a restaurant which specialized in xiaolongbao, which are soup dumplings.
The dumpling is filled with hot soup, which you drink with a straw. It was pretty yummy.
We also had other dumplings.
After lunch we went and walked a bit along The Bund which is the famous waterfront along the Huangpu River. P. and I had an exciting moment, when we realized that we were where a leg of The Amazing Race had taken place. (It is a show we enjoy watching together.) The day was a little rainy and very overcast, so we didn't get the best views, but it was so fun to be there.
You can see the Pearl Tower across the river, behind us.
Now while all of this touring was fun, it was not even close to the best part of the day. Our new friends at Baobei had organized a party so that all the people who had made it possible for us to bring R. home could meet us and we could meet them. It was pretty overwhelming... in a wonderful way. There have been so many people who have loved and cared for R. and have prayed for her and helped her in very tangible ways. Literally hundreds of people have been praying for her to have a permanent family for at least two years. This is a much loved child and we feel as though we have greatly expanded our family.
It is a wee bit overwhelming to be the culmination of so many peoples' prayers. I tend to suffer from "the impostor syndrome". That would be where you feel as though you are not really qualified to do whatever you are doing and that at some point everyone else it going to figure it out. Well, it was kicking in just a little bit, that feeling that at some point everyone will figure out that I am just an average person. Regardless, we will do our best to be good parents to R.
So to all of our new friends in Shanghai. Thank you. We are overwhelmed by your friendship and love and support and prayers.