January 17, 2013
This was the first time we rode the high speed train in China, which reached a high speed of 167 miles per hour. What would be a 4 hour train ride on the regular train from Changsha to Chenzhou, became a 70 minute train ride. China has a great train system, but getting on and off the train is quite challenging for our family. After getting the twins, our train travels have become much more difficult, but at least we have been able to provide entertainment for many people in China! There are constant stares and smiles everywhere! Chinese people cannot seem to figure out what we are doing with 3 little Chinese girls. Marshall continues to get stopped for photos. Several more people thought he was Nicolas Cage again at the train station and he had to pose with them. We have determined that the best method of loading our family and luggage onto the train is for me to wear Annie in a baby carrier and to hold Aliza’s hand and hold Victoria’s hand with my other hand. When Aliza decides she is not walking anymore and tries to throw herself on the ground, then I carry both twins and hold Victoria’s hand. Marshall pulls a large suitcase behind him in each hand and one also has another suitcase strapped to it, as well as a computer bag. Daniel and Trevor each pull a large suitcase as well. Then we walk as fast as possible to be at the front of the line so that people don’t shove us.
Annaliese and Aliza are from Chenzhou, so it was important that we make this trip to see where their lives began. After arriving in Chenzhou and repeating the craziness at the train station again, we were picked up by a driver and went with the driver and translator to the location where Aliza and Annaliese were abandoned. They were left in a box by a gate outside a Children’s Hospital when they were 2 ½ months old. This is a picture at the finding spot. I cannot imagine what that must have been like for their mother to have loved these two little girls all of that time and then had to leave them.
Marshall toured the orphanage and we decided I would wait to see it until the next day because we needed to stay in Chenzhou an extra day so that I could meet other orphans that need a family. Then we went to dinner with the orphanage director and three nannies. The orphanage workers all confirmed what we had guessed about Aliza. She was indeed the queen of Chenzhou Orphanage. Aliza did whatever she pleased and everyone let her have what she wanted. She was never told the word no.
It really is amazing how quickly both Aliza and Annie have adapted to our family. The only time Aliza has been upset with us was when we first met her. Since then, she has been happy with us except for when she does not get what she wants. She is sweet with Annie and wants to help her. Annie is so happy to have attention and loves to be held. They are a blessing and we are thankful things are going so well.