We had requested to visit the LHAA offices here in Beijing so after a nice leisurely morning with Mei Mei and lingering over breakfast, we met Dion in the lobby and whisked off to the local Carrefoure, which is the local "carry it all, at decent prices" kind of store. We needed a small suitcase since the in-country flights have a lower weight limit than the international ones and we were looking for a few food items to help our voracious little one make it between meals. Like right now - I'm sitting here trying to type this and Baba is cutting up some fruit for her - no matter that we finished breakfast less than an hour ago. She's had no adverse reactions so far to any of the foods we've offered, we just find that she is always, always, always hungry for something. As tiny as she is, I'm sure that she has some nutritional catching up to do....
Anyway, we whipped through the store fairly quickly and grabbed a taxi to go to the offices. Miss Grace, the newest facilitator who was with us on Gotcha Day and Adoption Day, was working from home. But we got to meet Zhang Mei, who is the in-country gal that has been feeding us our updated pictures of Mei Mei. She runs this office and all of the parts of the processes for the Living Hope families. I joked with them that "this is where the magic all happens!" The Boss got a chance to chat on the phone with Samuel Fang, the director of our agency when we first got there, as he was on a business call with Zhang Mei
It was incredibly gratifying to see the humble little apartment where they work and to meet her and thank her in person for all the help and the pictures and information they were able to get us on Mei Mei. I reminded her of the blankets that should be coming in small bunches for the orphanage that we made and thanked her for taking care of delivering them on our behalf.
I don't have the pictures of our time with her and Dion yet, but while we were there, The Boss snapped this cute one of Mei Mei falling asleep after the excitement of taxi rides, long walks in the sunshine and shopping at Carrefoure.
She had a death grip clutch on that snack cup - those whole wheat puffs we brought are almost gone and the dried yogurt snack chips are completely gone! We tried to find more at Carrefoure but will have to keep looking as they had none.
After shopping and the visit to the offices, we dropped off our load here at the hotel and headed out to find some good old fashioned pizza. The Boss is fully recovered and that is what sounded good to him so that is what we found. The Pizza Hut was crazy - soooo many foods on the menu beyond pizza. We ordered and enjoyed it all immensely!
Unfortunately, we returned to the hotel to find that we had new neighbors. LOUD, CHAIN SMOKING, RAUCOUS neighbors. The noise didn't quit from when we arrived around 4 till literally 4 a.m. And the room still feels dark and foggy with their smoke. We spoke to the manager about it once last evening and they agreed to contact the guests to remind them that this is a non-smoking floor. But we had to go to the manager again this morning to let them know that one of the rooms had to be moved - ours or theirs. With Mei Mei just recovering so recently from pnuemonia, we can't take any risks with her. Just now (11 a.m. on Saturday, our time) the manager asked us to let them clean our room more thoroughly (deodorize, etc) and to check back around 6 to see if a room had opened elsewhere that would be smoke free.
Soon, we are heading off to one of the Living Hope International Training Centers to tour the new orphanage facility and visit with Samuel's wife Lily and their daughter Elizabeth, who are here in China for an extended visit to work. I'm so excited to see someone from home - we just love the Fangs so much and are so grateful to have the relationship with them that we do. It's one of the things we love the most about our small, family-style agency. It's shaping up to be another slow-paced, easy going day and we're very excited to spend it with Lily and the kids.