After making it through line after line, we were met by our guide, Glenn. Our driver is actually the same driver we had for Emmie's adoption trip. We headed off to the Nanning Marriott. Glenn informed us that this is actually an extremely busy adoption week and time in general because of all of the closures for different holidays, and because CCCWA is closing to upgrade their computer systems. As a result, lots of families are trying to get their adoptions done now to avoid the risk of being pushed off for a long time. He told us that we will be meeting Francesca at the Civil Affairs office with probably 12 other families. We were honestly a little sad that we wouldn't be meeting her in our hotel room as we did with Emmie. Glenn gave us a report from the foster family about Francesca. It reiterates over and over how much she dislikes strangers. Honestly, this makes me nervous. Glenn helped us check in to our hotel, went over our itinerary with us, and we called it a night.
This morning we headed down to the breakfast buffet at the hotel. I wasn't ready at all for the flood of emotions that hit me when we walked right to one of the tables that we tried to eat breakfast at with Emmie. I say "tried" because for most of our adoption trip with Emmie, she was so unbelievably sad that she wouldn't let us sit anywhere to eat. P said he remembered sitting there alone while I took Emmie for a walk so she could look out every window for her foster mother. Emmie said that she doesn't remember anything from being here before. P noted that he has a lot of sad memories at this hotel, and I do, too. It's cathartic for us, though, to watch Emmie sit here happily eating bacon and telling her little sister, "You know, Rosie, they met me in Nanning, too!"
This afternoon we headed out to a new mall about 10 minutes away from the hotel. For those of you who have stayed here before, things have changed a lot. The Walmart next to the hotel is gone. The mall that was attached to the hotel is gone, too. The entire area is under massive construction. The little strip of restaurants behind the hotel is gone, too. We miss the old stuff and especially that crazy Walmart, but the new mall has plenty. The first floor has a lot of neat food shops and a Whole Foods-type supermarket. The mall was really decked out for Christmas, but mostly with a Garfield theme. We were laughing because Garfield seems so 80's to us, but here you couldn't turn your head without seeing a Garfield Santa or a Garfield next to a Christmas tree. Outside the mall there is a huge Christmas tree, and even the tree topper is Garfield. Rosie just said, "Who IS this tiger everywhere?"
|Garfield celebrating the season with a huge sub by the|
|Rosie: "I love this tiger."|
|On Santa's lap in Garfield's house. So weird.|
|In Garfield's house.|
"Mama, quick! Take the picture! He's getting heavy!"
|The girls climbing the walls waiting to meet their little sister.|
|This is how much wine I'd have to drink to feel calm on the|
Eve of meeting our third daughter.
Tonight we packed Francesca's little backpack full of things we hope will bribe her to like us. Or, at least come with us without kicking and screaming. Or, maybe come with us WITH kicking and screaming. Either way, tomorrow is the day. Sad, happy, or otherwise, we become a family of five. I pray that she's not too afraid, and that her little heart heals quickly. She doesn't know it yet, but she's got a forever family who loves her to the moon and back already.