We are a Christian family on this wonderful journey called life. Here we will take you through our experiences with adoption, homeschooling, parenting and more. We are constantly growing, changing and learning as a family. Every day is a gift. Thank you for joining us for a glimpse into our adventures as we strive to follow God's path for us by taking baby steps.
"Life is half spent before we know what it is." George Herbert
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
More from Beijing
Yes our sightseeing yesterday was wonderful and the visit to the Great Wall was spectacular, but perhaps the greatest thing about the whole day was that we FINALLY got our luggage!! Just kidding of course, the other things were much more wonderful, but I don't think I know a person who has ever been so happy to see two bags as I was last night at midnight when they were brought to our room! I simply could have kissed the bell boy-- had I not been in my pajamas, hair piled on top of my head and sleep still in my eyes because I had been asleep since 7pm. (that hike up the Great Wall will WEAR YOU OUT! Especially if you are trying to do it in Ugg-like boots because you still don't have your sneakers!)
Truly though I am greatful to have my stuff back. I am sure the poor people at the desk downstairs and at the restaurant have gotten just as tired of seeing me in the same sweater and jeans as I have gotten of wearing them. And as a side-note-- if you ever find yourself having to buy underwear in China..... make sure you size up! Quite a bit!! When I opened my package of sz L undies from the WalMart here (yes, I said WalMart believe it or not) I was shocked to find that they looked like they would fit my 12 year old Schuyler quite nicely. Nevertheless, I squeezed myself into them because they were fresh and clean and I made them work! ;)
So our sightseeing trip yesterday truly was a blast. A once in a lifetime adventure that I know I will always remember, and it was fun to see it through the eyes of my two boys too. Gideon had never been there before either, as I had imagined he hadn't, and the awe and wonder on his face was awesome! Evan and I took lots of pictures, but they truly don't do the Great Wall justice. The steepness of the stairs just cannot be adequately explained, and knowing that you are walking on centuries of history and visiting one of the great wonders of the world is extraordinary. Our legs were burning as we climbed it huffing and puffing in the 20-something weather, but at least it was not windy and it was very sunny out. We panted and wheezed with the rest of the visitors around us as we ventured up to the third tower, which was where I said I had had enough. The boys and our guide continued upward to the fifth and final tower that you are allowed to go to at that section and even Evan was complaining that his legs were like Jello as we later made our way down. My legs were shaking so badly, and so were Gideon's! He laughingly had to stop and sit after we got down he was so wobbly! Truly an awesome experience, and I wish the rest of our family could have been there too. I know my Grayson would have been racing to the top with his brothers!
Before the Great Wall we actually stopped at the Jade Factory. Can't wait to post pics of that too. Amazing craftsmanship was all around us. Such beautiful pieces and the place was huge!
After the Great Wall we visited the Cloissene factory. Again, truly amazing! They start by heating up and molding copper into whatever shape they will be making-- beads for jewelry, vases, figurines, little boxes, you name it. Then they painstakingly apply jade powder in different colors to make the intricate designs on the copper. Really beautiful work and again the place was huge! We ate lunch at their restaurant and it was marvelous! We had dumplings which are like our potstickers, fried rice with shrimp, spring rolls and sweet and sour chicken with green tea to drink. Yummy and amazing lunch! And very inexpensive considering the amount of food we got- only about $23 for the three of us and we were very full!
So today we are off to the notary to get his visa, then tomorrow to pick up his passport. Friday we fly out to Guangzhou where I am told the weather is much more balmy-- 50 degrees, flowers and palm trees! Cannot wait! My parka has been great, so glad I brought it, but I am ready to give it a break for awhile.
We received our letter from the NVC today (National Visa Center) which told us that our I800 has been officially approved which means we can now claim Gideon as a member of our family. Yeah, another step down! But we still have no word on our consulate appt. that will be our last hurdle, hopefully getting one before the Chinese New Year. That would be a TRUE miracle at this point in time, but I am still hopeful. We will wait and see. If we don't get one before the new year, we won't be home till mid February. Oy vey!
Anyway, we are just having a marvelous time visiting this truly amazing city. Good food, such nice and helpful people, and amazing sights. Most of all of course, we are doing it in the company of my newest son and Evan's new brother. He is a very sweet child, so happy all the time despite us dragging him around everywhere for paperwork or sightseeing. He is quick to smile and seems to be having fun too. I am so glad he and Evan have hit it off so well despite still not being able to talk much. But hopefully the communication will come in time and they can grow even closer.
Can't wait to get back and introduce him to the rest of the family! He is definitely not shy which is great, very outgoing and polite! But he doesn't say much, he is pretty quiet, so I hope the other kids don't overwhelm him. My kids like to talk!! (like their mother, yes I know those of you who know me were thinking that already!! :) )
That is about all for now. Can't wait for breakfast. It is about 6:30 our time and I have been up since 3. We have adjusted really well to the time difference, but I was so tired yesterday I conked out at 7 and then of course woke up way before I should have.
I will try to write more before we leave Beijing-- keep us in your prayers!