We now have to reschedule our train tickets and pay for two extra nights in Xian, which was not in the budget. Please pray that we can make these changes and afford to continue our trip as we planned. I want Christian to enjoy the rest of our time here without more stress.
We decided not to go back to the village to say goodbye. Instead we asked the close family members to come to Longde (the closest town and also the town where his birth parents live) to say good bye. We asked for only his closest relatives to come (I was thinking about 4 people) but it turned out about a dozen people came. I also asked if the family could try to keep their emotions in check to make it easier on all of us. It turned out that I think my sister and I were crying hareder than anyone. It was such a difficult moment. I had our guide show me how to say that "I promise to take good care of him and keep in touch" and tried to tell each family member that in Chinese. I was crying too much so I just kept handing that little piece of paper to each family member. After we hugged everyone and said goodbye the four of us piled into the van with our guides and pulled away. The next hour in the van was quiet with nothing but sniffles.
Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief. -Psalm 31:9
The 5 hour drive between Longde and Lanzhou had some beautiful landscape shots. We stopped a few times to take in the beautiful scenery.
It is very dry with a lot of terraced fields, which is part of a reforestation project.
Once we arrived in Lanzhou we still had 6 hours before we could catch our midnight train to Xian. We killed some time by having foot massages at a local hotel, which was a treat (only $5). Did some exploring of Lanzhou on our own and got a lot of stares. I didn't see one foreigner the whole time there.
I hope to update the blog more when we arrive in Xian tomorrow. Thanks again for all your prayers and support!