We've been grateful to have Bethany Christian Services as our adoption agency. They know what they're doing, having helped families like ours bring home thousands of orphans from China over the years. A key part of the trip is the first few days. They intentionally have you arrive in the country four to five days before you receive your child. This helps parents gain a good understanding of the child's culture, while also giving a few days to get over the jet lag.
April and I were talking earlier today about how glad we are that we're taking these first few days at the beginning of the trip like Bethany recommended. We tried to imagine receiving our little girl the morning after having been traveling for 27 straight hours. Suffice it to say, it would have been awful. We would have been a mess. She would have been a mess. It would have been a mess all the way around!
Our guide took us to the Great Wall today - a once in a lifetime experience. We climbed SO MANY STAIRS. My phone told me it was equivalent to 74 flights! We climbed... climbed a little more, rested for a minute, climbed more... and well, you get it. The views were breathtaking and it was so significant to stand on such an historic spot. It was a moment none of us would forget. And to cap it off, we were able to FaceTime back to Fresno and talk to Titus, Audrey, Grandma and Grandpa.
All in all, it was the perfect way to spend our first full day in China. Tomorrow will be Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, Hutong Tour and an Acrobatic show. More to come...