Thursday, December 26, 2013

It's all about the money. Oh, and the baby.

So, one guide picked us up from the airport in Guangzhou.  She was very nice, but she explained that our guide would be Becky, a.k.a. CAB.  She said CAB couldn't pick us up from the airport but that she would be calling that evening with details about meeting to pick Sammy up in the morning.  JR and I stayed up as late as we could and right as we were falling asleep CAB called.  I could barely understand what she was saying and she was talking so fast that I could not keep up.  Well, apparently when I wrote down the amount of Yuan we would need the next day, I was off.  Like I really needed to bring 36,000 Yuan and I wrote down 3,600 Yuan.  I mean I was exhausted and nervous and English was her second language. OK?  You would think someone could have put it in writing for me.

The next morning JR and I bebop down to some sort money changer and get our 4,000 Yuan so we have a little extra. 

CAB and a driver pick us up and we all to go pick up Sam from a government office.  At some point during the drive, I realize that I am way off on the money.  I go ahead and confess that we don't have the money and that it is back in the hotel. CAB goes seven shades of crazy.  I start to apologize profusely and tear up, cause you know, I am fixing to meet my baby that have I waited three years for. CAB and JR eventually work out some sort of deal where we will wire the money the next day. 

We arrive at the government office.  We are there with dozens of other families that are waiting to meet their children.  You meet your child in a big open room with all the other families watching.  It is really awkward.  Poor Sam took a five hour bus ride to get to us, he was not accustomed to riding and threw up multiple times from motion sickness on the trip and had not had lunch or a nap.  Then they just handed him off to me.  Here is a picture of us.  I have a very emotional video but it seems a little too personal to share here. 

One thing that I will say about Sammy is that he may not have known that he needed a family but he knew from the moment that we saw each other that he wanted a mama.

You can't tell from this picture but was wearing a ridiculous amount of clothes. There were five layers of fleeces and sweaters and then this coat.  We headed over to the Chinese version of a Wal-Mart to buy him formula and a stroller.  Then we went back to the hotel so CAB could help us sort out our money situation.

When we got our money out, we had a little over $9,000 in case in crisp $100 bills because that is what we were told to bring.  The Chinese were very clear that old money would not do.  Money with creases would not do.  Only crisp new money.  Whatever.  Well, once you took our
"donation" away, we would have had about $3,000 left.  CAB goes bat crap crazy about how this will never be enough money for the rest of our stay that we must call home and have family western union us more money immediately.  She kept talking about souvenirs.  Damn, CAB. We don't need souvenirs, we have a baby!!!   I finally I had to tell her that the only person we could call would be my mother or father.  Neither of which had ever been to a western union to my knowledge and I had no intention of making them go now.  And besides, we were all out of money.  That was the sum of our liquidated assets laying on that Marriott bed. That was it.  Short of a loan, there was no more money to send. We would just have to eat a lot at the free breakfast and no one would get souvenirs. They would get over it.

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