Monday, December 1, 2008

Heading Home & A Few Thoughts

Livie and I will be leaving Shanghai at 4:45 pm today (3:45 am in Ft. Lauderdale). We will arrive home on Dec. 2nd @ 10:11 pm. Although we have had what has been, for the lack of a better word, an AMAZING trip, we are so ready to come home to Neil, Lindsay, Chris and Sophie! Richard, Kim, Aimee, Hansen & Cady have been the best hosts one would ever home to have the privileged to stay with, and Kim and Aimee have had to put up with Livie and I 24/7 for the past 10 days! They deserve a giant medal for sure! I think if I were to call Kim and ask her if she wanted to go on a Heritage Trip to see Sophie's Province and SWI she would probably hang up on me! Seriously, though, I am forever indebted to Kim for helping me to find Hong, as I know that I would not have been able to have done so without Kim. Thank you Kim for helping what I know nothing short of a miracle to occur! We love you so very much!

Kim has loaded the many photos and video of our trip and Hong onto a USB, and I will be posting these to my blog later this week, but in the meantime I wanted to finish telling about the events which occurred on Saturday (the day of our departure from Fuling and Chongqing).



Following breakfast we were waiting in the lobby to begin to board the buses bound for the drive from Fuling to the Chongqing Airport. Director Yang was in the lobby and walked over to me. I must admit I was a bit nervous, unsure of what the exchange would be. Once I looked into her eyes I saw that they were watery and she immediately hugged me. I think so much of my anger and resentment was washed away in that very moment. Through our guide, Nancy, Director Yang told me that she hopes I come back to visit. I told her that I hoped we were welcome to return. She said yes, of course. I told Director Yang that I hoped that all was well between us, and she said yes, that it was. This was a very good moment for Director Yang, myself and more importantly, Livie.

When we had all boarded the buses we saw Hong, her mother, her sister and three other family member (not sure who they were) standing across the street. Hong was standing back away from the curb while her family was at the edge. Hong's mother had brought Livie a small gift in a blue plastic shopping bag. I asked if I could get this gift from Hong and the Director of BLAS told the guide, "We need to leave now," which translates to, "No." When Hong's mother realized that I was not being permitted to get the gift for Livie, she began to cry. I felt just awful. While I could have ignored 'the powers that be' and gotten off of the bus and taken the gift from Hong's mother, I decided that what we had gained through meeting with Hong and her family was far more important than the gift, and the possible repercussions which could have come to Hong and her family after we had left.

Without going into too much detail, I will say that we feel blessed to have established what I hope is a firm connection with Hong, and we will not let this connection slip away again.



Life with JJ, Starr and Spice said...

Mary: I am crying and just about speechless. I have caught up with your trip now and I cannot even verbalize all of the feelings that I have from your description of the events that transpired over these days.

As we have discussed in the past, both of our first adoptions were very similar in that we had extraordinarily grief stricken children that were taken abruptly from foster families with us there. I felt so much emotion for you, Livie and Hong. I will have to digest what you have written and talk to you more about it when you come home and decompress.

Kim is an amazing friend. We are all so lucky to have each other!


JShannon said...

What an awesome trip and story. I think you may have just been on the trip of a lifetime.


Vivian M said...

How unfair that you were not allowed one last contact with Hong. I hope you were able to "communicate" through the bus window. It makes me very sad for Hong and for Livie and you. I hope you find a way to communicate directly with her in the future.
And yes, Kim is an amazing person.
Have a safe trip home!