Thursday, April 15, 2010

Farewell, China!

We spent our last day in mother China taking a taxicab to a local park and hiking up Baiyun Mountain. It was a very humid day. Not very hot, but very very wet. The clouds hung low over the mountain and our view was not as spectacular as it probably could have been. Still it was a great way to spend the day. The hike up the mountain was a lush forest and the path was paved with lovely stone tiles and stair steps. It was not so much hiking as it was stair climbing.

We climbed around a beautiful Buddhist temple and a bird aviary and finally ended the trip with Gray, Tessa and I taking a cable car down the mountain. Tessa clearly has the McKim/Cornell go instinct. She loved every minute of it, even the corny bird show we were asked to watch at the aviary.

The cab ride back got us into town to do some last minute shopping and join our friends for a farewell dinner on the outdoor patio at Lucy's place. Three families had joined us later in the trip with special needs children...all of whom have interesting stories. Those three families take their oath today and leave on Saturday. Geoff, Grayson, Tessa and I leave earlier than the other four families that have been our main companions, so we said our good-byes last night. Our local guide Helen will take us to the airport and then we are on our own.

I told Catherine that I came to China expecting one place and I leave with a totally different picture. It is unfair of anyone to sum up this country with a single brush stroke. It is too old and too complex. In the grand canvas of China...we understand maybe a small fingernail worth. Above all the people have been kind and patient with we westerners. They smile when we try to say the most basic of words and give us lots of advice, even though I did not understand too much of it. (Except cold. I know you all think we dress too cold. Tess was glad to see us because we got her out of all those clothes!) I also felt that people were honest with us. I never felt like people were trying to take our money or merchants and cab drivers were trying to cheat us. Everything felt very honorable. Above all they seem happy for their children who are off to start new lives with new fortunes in America. Many of these children were destined for lives of poverty. Now a new fate awaits them.

On a walk we took in a riverfront park on Tuesday, it began to rain really hard. Geoff and I ducked under some banyan trees in a park and were staying mostly dry and enjoying the rain. Of course we were scolded and ushered into a hotel lobby to stay dry. A Chinese lady made a big production of drying off the baby. But I knew that Mother China was really blessing Yi Xiaojian aka Miss Tessa with the rain. She is losing a really fine daughter. There in the rain under the banyan trees, I told her we would be back.

I'll post again in a few days when we arrive home and get our sea legs. Thanks to you who have read this far. Geoff and I are most excited for everyone to meet Miss Tessa.


  1. Thank you, Amy, for sharing your journey with us. I have read much of your story blinking back tears of joy for you and your family.
    Alice Pearson

  2. Thank you SO much for sharing all of this with us.

    Love, MKP

  3. I also find myself reading this with tears in my eyes. So touching.

    And Grayson looks so happy with Tessa. It is wonderful to see.


  4. What a great experience! Thanks for sharing. Ellie gave me access to the blog. Tessa is a real sweetie! Can't wait to see her in the neighborhood, makin' the rounds with you all.

  5. Beautifully said and so true. Wishing you a safe, happy trip home. Your China families back home are eager to greet Miss Tessa!

  6. I'm so happy for all of you and I can't wait to meet little Miss Tessa.

  7. Amy... what fun to follow this adventure. I loved reading your tribute to Catherine and your thoughts about China. I loved seeing Grayson holding his sister. Can't wait to meet Tess and talk with you again. Safe journey home.


  8. Just read the last two posts. Oh, I loved the story of the woman blessing our Tessa Gin Gin. Amy, I love your writing, I love being part of this, I love hearing more and more about Tessa and Grayson and Geoff and you. xoxoxoxox Andrea and Coco