All the pictures for today are on the post below.
Orientation was great this morning. It was so nice to get to know all the other families adopting this week from our agency, and to hear a little bit of their stories. I was almost in tears hearing about all these kids that are being adopted - most of them are older children, meaning 5 years old or older. Our guide, Shiyan, said this is the largets group our agency has had here at one time in about 5 years. We got all the details of what will happen next week, when we will be meeting our children, etc.... I am very glad to have one family going to the same province we're going to.... it's good to be doing each step with someone else.
After orientation we took a break, and I was able to catch a short nap. Meanwhile, James was very excited to figure out that every episode of Pokemon ever made is available to view online. So guess what he did while I napped???
We met back up with our group at 2 o'clock to walk down to a local supermarket. That was an adventure in itself. Crossing a street in Beijing is not for the faint of heart. Shiyan had warned us that we needed to assume people would NOT stop for us, because, well, they won't. Luckily, with a group this big, we just swarmed the road at the same time and they had no choice but to stop. But I can't imagine doing it alone.......
We had fun selecting interesting looking snacks to keep in the room and to tote around for the next couple of days. Stocked up on Diet Coke and Sprite. We also bought some snacks to bring for Abby that Shiyan suggested - she said all children in China loved this particular things. She also said it's a great idea to bring snacks to gotcha day, because it helps keep the kids distracted and frankly just makes them happy!! We didn't want to buy too much, though, because we do have to catch another flight to get to her.
Then it was back to the rooms, and we used this break to go down to the business center and make some copies that we will need on Monday.
At 4:30, we all met back up and went to the acrobatic show. The show was fantastic - everyone was SO talented. The guide said that most of them got started training at around age 2 or 3. Amazing!!! Unfortunately, they did not allow pictures or video during the show.
We had planned on walking down to a local restaurant that Shiyan had recommended, but it was so cold by the time we got back we didn't feel like walking anywhere. Instead, we ate the "special menu" at the hotel restaurant. For about $8 (total, no tax or tip or anything else on top of it), you get to select a 4 course meal from 3 different choices. I, of course, chose the very safe chicken breast plate. James, on the other hand, decided to keep true to his promise to his dad and be adventurous. He went for the roasted Peking duck, with an appetizer of SNAILS. He ate every bite, too. I was proud of him!!
Now we're pretty tired and wanting to rest up for tomorrow. We have to meet our group at 8am to head off to the Cloissone Factory and the Great Wall. This tour includes a stop for lunch, which will actually be pretty late in the day. I'm excited because we won't have to buy any meals tomorrow, between the included breakfast buffett and that lunch. So excited to see the Great Wall!!!!!
Oh - and someone told us how to get on blogger, so I can see my page now - and my comments, too!!