Although today was Sara Jane Day, the big event did not take place until late in the afternoon. That left us with most of the day to fill. We started out the morning with the usual festival-of-food buffet. Oh my, I discovered a new dim sum: custard buns. They begin with the typical steamed bun, but inside is most delectable eggy custard filling. Just a little bit sweet and very creamy. I think I could live on those alone for the rest of the time in China.
Later in the morning, we walked to a nearby park that was recommended to us. I was picturing a playground, some pretty flowers, maybe a little pond or something. The park we encountered was so much more. It was local, not touristy, so didn’t have the immaculate, well tended gardens or the brightly painted pagodas. It did have amusement rides (no OSHA here…they looked a little scary), walking trails, a lake with boats to rent, and a lot of very interesting people who were very curious about us. The place was huge and seemed to go on forever, with a new surprise around each corner.
The walk to and from the park was equally as interesting. Cities in China are so diverse. You have stark government housing, next to beautiful posh offices, next to neon covered buildings advertising who knows what. There is so much to see that your eyes are constantly ping ponging from one thing to the next. And I haven’t even started to tell you about the sounds and smells that make this place like no where else in the world.
The afternoon finally arrived and it was time to get Sara Jane. I can only imagine what was going through John and Jan’s heads. Probably the same things Tony and I were feeling right before we got Molly. Although they said they were nervous, they appeared very calm, which is just what a new baby needs.
We took a short drive to the Hunan Adoption and Administration Service Center and rode the elevator to the third floor. Within minutes Sara Jane was there and placed in Jan’s arms. A few seconds later, the screaming began. It was heartbreaking. I know the feeling well. Sara Jane screamed and cried much like Molly did on her Gotcha Day. It was interesting to explain things to Molly. She got to see what she was like when she went through the same experience. She asked a lot of questions, but didn’t seem frightened at all. Wish I could say the same for poor Sara Jane.
Just as with Molly, Sara finally calmed down after a few hours. Hen we could see glimpses of her adorable personality. She walked and smiled and spoke in Chinese. What a doll! She is still going through some serious grieving, but is well on her way to become a full-fledged Ahern.
After all of the commotion died down, we evening ended with our usual quest for food. It is so amusing trying to order food when no one speaks English. We end up laughing so hard and rarely get what we ask for. But that’s part of the fun. We also stopped by the local Carre Four, a store similar to Wal-Mart except that the routinely pull live fish out of tanks, chop the heads off and gut them for you while you wait. Talk about a store that carries fresh seafood. Gotta love China!
Interesting billboard. Pictured is a dirty squat potty with spikey things where your feet are place. I am not sure what the heck Mr. Muscle does, but I sure hope he can fix whatever ails this porcelain.