Bump in the Road

The next morning we got up and went down to breakfast before we started the next part of the journey. In December, China changed the rules for new parents and now require that you do passport paperwork in your child’s orphanage province. Which meant that we needed to travel to Wenzhou. Which is a pretty well-to-do part of China. It also meant a five hour van ride there, with Ellery.

Off we went.

The five hour drive was not so tough, we stopped a few times and were instantly the sensation of where we were. The locals in these areas didn’t see many Americans, so, we drew crowds and lots of interested stares. We got to see a great many different cities and we went through twenty tunnels! Yes, we counted. Some of them were MILES long. Impressive engineering to say the least.

When we got to Wenzhou we were met by the ladies from Ellery’s orphanage who immediately ran from their car and came over to goo-goo and coo at Ellery. And Ellery was having none of it. She became very upset and cried. Which had been the first time she had done that. So, the ladies got back in their car and we followed them through the insane traffic to get to the passport office. Here is where it gets annoying…

Once in the passport office one of the caregivers, apparently a caregiver who spent a lot of time with Ellery and even took her home occasionally, was in her face talking to her and then grabbed her out of Robyn’s arms. Well, this made Robyn mad, made Ellery mad and made me mad. Ellery was screaming her head off at being with this lady and the situation really started to get tense at this point. In our mind Ellery was confused and not happy about being back in her old “life”, but to this lady Ellery was a constant little companion, so somewhat after the fact, we understood a little better, but we were pretty mad right then and there.

We could hear Ellery crying and howling as she was sitting for her picture, which we will have to remember that moment forever.

Finally that was over with and Robyn explained to Mr. Wu and Professor Liu (our local guide who also taught at the University) that this was just unacceptable and wrong to do to Ellery. Talk about confusing! She is in her Orphanage, then with us, then back with her caregiver? Could you blame her for being upset and confused?

Mr. Wu completely understood and explained the situation to the local orphanage Director. Once Robyn got Ellery back in her arms I would have bit someone in the face if they tried to grab her again. Thankfully, that didn’t happen as I stood between Ellery and the lady whenever she was around. And I realize, now as I type this, that this sounds harsh – but you have to understand, we’re trying to introduce Ellery into our family and giving her glimpses of old life and new life all at once is just too much for a small toddler to have to cope with. I hope you guys understand how we were feeling at this point – VERY protective of our girl.

We ended up having to leave the passport office and then go to a local police office (this was the first time this orphanage and Mr. Wu had done this new procedure). The local police office had to approve some things, then the passport office would be free to complete the paperwork. Thankfully the local police office was EXTREMELY helpful and nice. Everyone there oooooh’d and aaah’d over Ellery.

Once all the paper work was done we retired to our hotel room. We had ditched the idea of two rooms and asked for a suite instead. We all like the idea of being together, it just works out better.

We played and ordered room service for the rest of the night.

And I should mention that this hotel was only a three star hotel (I say that like it’s a bad thing, it isn’t), but that when we called to ask the front desk for a room service menu in English, the manager offered to come up to our room and read the menu to us while we ordered! Amazing service. Just amazing, and just like all the other hotels – they fully understand the concept of service here. I should note that the manager didn’t have to do that, she found us a menu and then sent a very willing and nice bellman to take our order. We got steak over noodles that was to DIE FOR! It was some of the best food I’ve had here in China.

The next day was a trip to the passport office to finalize everything and then we were back in the van for Hangzhou. Unfortunately this time there was traffic… a LOT of it. So, the five hour trip, became a seven and a half hour trip. Ellery? Not so much as a peep in the van. She ate, played, slept, etc etc the whole time. Talk about a trooper!

Also, before we left Wenzhou we asked if the driver could take us to the place where Ellery was left. She was found abandoned at the entrance to a fairly nice subdivision. Seems her Mother had hoped that some wealthy family would find her and adopt her as their own. I don’t know about the wealthy part, but I hope we would fit the bill. I would very much like for her Mom to know that Robyn and I will see to it that Ellery gets every chance that life has to offer.

At long last, we finally got back to Hangzhou, and checked back into our hotel (and requesting a suite) and all was right with the world once again. I’m almost caught up now as well. This occurred a few days ago, so not many more stories to go!

Also, I’m adding captions to the pictures in Picassa. And the pictures (unlike the blog at this point) are current. The West Lake area is stunning in its beauty, just stunning. But, I’ll tell you all about that soon.

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