Before I get to the rest of Nanjing, here is one of the most important pictures from our whole trip. Ironically, we forgot to take it when we actually went to the civil affairs office to sign the papers so we improvised and had Liam take one later. This is Titus with his adoption certificate. He is officially a Black forever and ever.
And here’s more of the beautiful city of Nanjing and our children getting to know one another.
On Thursday, we toured the ancient portion of the city known as Mendong. It’s a really stunning part of Nanjing, and the highlight is the City Wall. This picture is not the City Wall, but a gate that you walk through to start down the path to it.
I thought this picture was a great blending of the traditional and the modern that sort of makes China the fascinating place that it is. Here you have this old building with intricate detail in the woodwork, and parked on the front porch is a new red scooter.
Everywhere you look, there are apartment buildings.
Beautiful plants growing by the gate.
This is at the door of a house that used to be owned by very rich people. Now it belongs to the city. This actually turned out to be a decent photo, but you’d never know it from the crazy amounts of disorder and frustration before it was taken. There was lots of, “Just sit for the picture” and “Don’t touch your brother!” and “Seriously, DON’T TOUCH YOUR BROTHER!!” Oh, and “Smile for two seconds!” Life with four kids, right? We are happily being indoctrinated.
There were really incredible statues in Mendong, including one of a girl and her teacher,
and people playing hacksack.
An old garden, an interesting side path off the main pathway, and a view through the City Wall.
And then there were the interactive statues. Vivi found a panda to sit next to,
Micah found a robot to look through,
and Titus found a boat to sit in.
Another example of old meeting new – this Starbucks with its old architecture and familiar green umbrellas.
I love this shot that Tim took of Liam standing in front of the wall. Gives you a little sense of the scale of the wall, right?
The Chinese people meet in front of the wall to practice the art of ribbon twirling. Our boys practiced the art of the spiral.
The newest Black, taking a moment to snuggle with his mama. I’m certain of my bias, but I think he might just be the most precious three-year-old we could have ever asked for. He is bonding really well so far. He talks about his foster family and we encourage that and ask him questions about them. They were his life for two years.
So you don’t see a ton of dogs in China, but we saw a few notable ones in Mendong, and nearly all of them were clothed. Take these two little guys. The shirt on the first one actually buttoned up just like traditional Chinese dress.
This one checked us out while his master did Tai Chi.
So Titus loves trains, which means he fits right in with our other train-loving boys. We found a train ride at one of the malls across the street from our hotel and let the boys ride. Vivi had no interest, but they had a blast. Oh, and if your new son says to you that he wants to wear a dog costume that you’re fairly certain was a Halloween costume, you say yes. Our time in China is all about saying yes.
Micah chose the caboose.
Finally, we headed to the airport on Friday. Titus had been asking about going on an airplane all week and the time finally came – until it didn’t and our flight was delayed for three hours. It was certainly a low point in the trip for all of us, I think, in terms of having patience waiting for your plane when they keep announcing that it’s delayed and they have no information as to when it’s going to get in. We had no idea how long we would be waiting or if the plane would show up at all, and we were definitely the only Americans in our area of the airport.
When the plane finally did arrive, there was no announcement and no time ever posted on the board at the gate. It just showed up and people started to get in line so we did too, really just hoping that it would be going to Guangzhou. Miraculously, it did.
But here he is enjoying the wait before it became interminable.
And the sunset from the airport. See you later, Nanjing!