Day 10, Thursday (12/10) – The Day I Went to Wuzhou

Today, Kristen and I jumped on the bullet train and went to Wuzhou. The train station we departed from was like 50 Tulsa International Airports – very, very modern and clean. It was a beautiful and easy train ride through some of the most incredible terrain I have seen. Guangxi province is just stunning, and My God is an incredible Creator. I absolutely cannot wait to go back to this province with my children when they are a tad bit older.

And why don’t we have bullet trains in the USA? They are amazing.

The bullet trains in China are so much smoother and more comfortable than the high speed trains I have traveled through Europe. Kristen and I were both worried about nausea, but neither of us experienced any.

I told my agency that even if I could not tour the orphanage or visit Barrett FanFan’s foster family, I HAD to go to Wuzhou. With Lydia’s adoption, I regretted so much that I was not allowed to at least visit her town in Jinagxi province.

Bryson stayed back at the hotel with Barrett FanFan and Lydia. Lord bless that man. Barrett FanFan has been forming his trauma bond with mama up until this point, and was hysterical when I left the hotel. It was hard for me to leave, but I knew for the long run, I needed to go to Wuzhou and see the city where Barrett FanFan spent his first two years of life and was found.

Though there are many things I share about our family, there are things that I will never blog about or share publicly or even with friends…like where and how my children were found.

But today, I was able to go to the spot Barrett FanFan was found. Kristen had to remind me to take photos and videos of the spot so that I could show Barrett FanFan someday, because I was altogether too overwhelmed by the ordinariness of the location and yet the significance of it for our child. I tried to imagine why, I tried to imagine who, I tried to imagine all of those moments leading up to that decision. I tried to think through how I am going to explain this to each of my children. “Mandy, take more pictures,” Kristen said. Yes, today, I will focus on taking more pictures. Today, I can do that.

This is the restaurant Kristen and I ate at in Wuzhou

This is the restaurant Kristen and I ate at in Wuzhou

Kristen and I ate an authentic meal in Wuzhou. Though I love spicy food, I ate some of the spiciest dishes I have had outside of Thailand. We dined on hotpot and lots of local dishes. Our favorite dish was a pork tenderloin dish that tasted like it was encrusted in peanut brittle. Sounds odd but it was delicious. I would love to find a recipe for it.

After eating and going to the finding spot, a bunch of local school girls could not stop giggling at Kristen and me. We could tell that in Wuzhou, we stuck out a little.

A tree lined street in Wuzhou.

A tree lined street in Wuzhou.

I asked if I could be taken to key parts of Wuzhou.

A market area in Wuzhou.

A market area in Wuzhou.

We went to see The Dragon Mother Temple. I could see The Dragon Mother shrine at the top of a large hill as we were driving through Wuzhou and told our guide I’d like to see it up close.

Dragon Mother from the city

Dragon Mother from the city

Our guide told me it was some important holiday for the Dragon Mother and that we were lucky we were visiting on this day. It was very crowded and people were setting off hoards of fireworks in honor of this holiday. There were many tourist buses from Guangzhou there for the occasion.

These are the casings for fireworks that have been set off. Thousands and thousands of fireworks.

These are the casings for fireworks that have been set off. Thousands and thousands of fireworks.

I took this photo as someone set off hundreds of fireworks immediately behind me and jumped for my life.

I took this photo as someone set off hundreds of fireworks immediately behind me and jumped for my life, hence the blurriness.

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Dragon Mother sits atop of a large hill and overlooks the river and port

Dragon Mother sits atop of a large hill and overlooks the river and port

From the temple, overlooking Wuzhou

From the temple, overlooking Wuzhou

The tree was covered in prayers or wishes

The tree was covered in prayers or wishes

The river from the temple

The river from the temple

Much of what I experienced on this day won’t be blogged about, but it was truly one of the most special and important days of my life. I loved having the opportunity to see the city where Barrett FanFan lived. Such a beautiful place.

It was close to 8:00 PM by the time I got back to the hotel room. When I opened the door, Bryson declared it was the hardest dad moment his life and that precious Barrett FanFan had cried for me nearly all day… I hurt for Bryson and Barrett FanFan, but knew going to Wuzhou was the best decision for the longterm.

We all went to sleep knowing that tomorrow would be our last day in Nanning before heading to Guangzhou.

 

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