We are in Beijing, having successfully crossed the globe. The long tedium of an airplane trip from New Orleans to Newark, NJ, and then directly over the North pole to China would probably test the most seasoned coach travelers. Moreover, for a child of 6 1/2, or let alone 5, a trip like this one would seem to be a theoretical impossibility. But for Dorothy and Clara we've seen that China is like an irresistable force. This is hardly a chore for them. Especially for Dorothy, who has had a little more time to quietly consider things, to touch soil here is a very special event. "Pssst," Dorothy nudged with happy anticipation as we boarded the crowded jet in Newark,"these people are all Chinese."
We arrived in the thick hazy sunshine of a Beijing afternoon and the city is a marvel of heavy construction. The mysterious old hutong narrow alleys with their tile-roofed low buildings are fast dissappearing in rubble, replaced by wide urban thoroughfares flanked by massive skyscrapers. Our hotel is downtown in a newer shopping district. We'll be here for the next four nights before heading on to Gansu. We've lots of sightseeing planned and, if things work out, we may see some Chinese friends from a previous visit here.
But we are all mostly thinking about Henry.
From the very beginning Dorothy and Clara let us know that this waiting child was already their baby brother, not just as an adopted sibling. Neither one ever seemed to guess that all babies in other families come from China or to their families under the same circumstances as they did. For them the idea of a brother needing help under similar circumstances seemed intuitively very important and they've pretty much stuck to this line ever sense. Today both said several times they were worried that Henry would cry on the trip home, now that they know the trip is so long.
Grumpiness finally erupted about halfway through an early dinner at a restaurant near the hotel, but we're all exhausted and basically just watching the clock until it's finally late enough for us to all begin a night's sleep in this time zone.
Lastly, we had read on several internet news groups that Google blogspot/blogger and Typepad blog servers were blocked in a censorship move by the Chinese goverment in advance of the Olympics, so we arrived prepared with alternative means of posting. So far we haven't needed them. The foreign Google blogspot server hosting this blog is still accessible at least from this hotel, tonight, in the heart of Beijing. Hopefully, this luck will hold through the trip.