We continued our adoption process which included changing some of our paper work to include older children because our original set had infants to 2yrs. Within the next year my job moved us from Louisville KY to Cedar Rapids Iowa to Charlotte North Carolina. I was working for an insurance company at the time. By the time we finally got our notice that we were to go pick up our new son in China I had lost that job just a few weeks before our flight.
Imagine the stress of that - a baby coming, a major trip half way around the world, and no job! Well, as a silver lining, I did get to spend some extended quality time with Pam and DJwhen we got home. We spent 3 weeks in China. We saw the Great Wall, Tianamen Square, The Summer Palace, a pearl factory, a silk embroidery factory, a couple of museums, and tourist shops galore. Unfortunately we didn't have a digital camera back then so all of our pictures in in books or frames around the house. I would love to share them here.
The Great Wall was more amazing in real life, of course. What's not apparent are the steps you walk up and down along the tops of the wall. There are a gazillion of them and they're not uniform in size so you can't set a rhythm. The rises range from only a few inches to around 2 feet with no rhyme of reason as to what the one step will be after the other. I considered myself rather fit (not an athlete by any stretch mind you), but I was absolutely exhausted by the time we got back to the bus.
Going around doing all the tourist stuff was fun. As you walked around there were plenty of people selling their wares. Mostly tourist trap stuff like cheap toys, tissues, post card and the like, but hey it's an honest living. We learned a lesson in that if you didn't want to be swarmed with vendors, you had to ignore the first person who approached you. You couldn't even acknowledge that he/she was there. If you so much as looked down to see what was in their hands, you were pegged as interested and 20 others would run over and they all pressed in with their stuff in hand. One person in our party thought it would be funny to tell one of the vendors that I had lots of money and wanted to buy something. He pointed at me and I was swarmed like ants on a dead grasshopper. All I could do was scream over their heads and hands, "I'm gonna get you for this!!" It was hilarious.