Speaking of encouragement, yesterday was full of it. After having two super crazy days of information overload, we needed a day to breathe and process. The only thing we had scheduled was lunch with Cary, our friend who lives in Chengdu and has helped and encouraged us from the very beginning of HS. Spending time with her was exactly what the doctor ordered. She is one of those wonderful people who can sympathize with your every emotion, and come alongside you with spirit driven words for every circumstance. We talked and laughed and then ventured out to walk the streets a bit.
The area where Cary lives is such a beautiful area, full of trees and shade and bright store fronts. As we walked, we told her our ideas about getting a house IN the city close to the hospitals (which is usually difficult since most houses are outside of the city). She was actually able to show us a few properties with beautiful tall houses, fenced in, little yards and balconies where the children could be outside, all right within her neighborhood. China is progressing in many ways, and real estate is apparently one of them! Sara and I got so excited, knowing that our dream isn't so beyond our reach. It was such a big deal to see the properties even just from the outside, so that we could have something in our heads to picture as we move forward.
Eventually we parted ways with Cary. We ended up at Starbucks, for coffee and air-conditioning. We took some time to relax and chat and process a few things, make some phone calls, send some emails, and then decided to venture out to IKEA... yes, IKEA! There is an IKEA in Chengdu, right next to a new mall with H&M, Subway, Zara, Sephora, and several other western/international stores. We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping and dreaming about HS's first home. It was a fantastic day, and helped us to get back on our feet and keep going with the rest of the trip.
Today we are going to meet some people who have been doing work with the orphanage, it sounds like it will be a really great connection for us. After that, we are going to the Regal Hotel to meet Peter, CEO of Maxxelli Real Estate, a Rotary Club member we met the other night. He has some ideas for us, and we are excited to hear from him. Back to work!