hello, from beijing!

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March 25th – Mama & Baba are coming!

 

Written: March 27th 2015

 

We flew in yesterday at around 7:30 pm. The plane ride was exceptionally long {14 hour flight to be exact!} We flew over Canada and the Arctic Ocean, and on down through Siberia – and we couldn’t see a thing, as were in the middle section of our plane {9 seats wide} of a Boeing 777. The last several hours of our flight were just plain rough. Lots of turbulence, and our plane was full of Asians who couldn’t speak much English, if any at all. Just a taste of what we are now experiencing here in China. Thankfully the flight crew could understand us, and we could understand them. 😉

 

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On our long flight I sat next to a sweet Asian woman. She smiled at me as she took her seat next to me while doing her best to say “hello” to me in English. I replied “Ní hào!” She beamed with delight and chuckled. That was the beginning of our 4 hour straight, language lesson. She wanted me to teach her English. I tried to get her to teach me more Mandarin phrases but, it wasn’t as mutual as I had hoped it would have been.

With 3 hours of flying left – I unfortunately became familiar twice with those adorable paper white bags. The rough turbulence over those Siberian mountains were making me sick. Not being able to get out to use the bathroom without a struggle, or upsetting people while you had to climb over them, if they wouldn’t budge, mixed with the drastic time change, exhaustion, nervousness and the mixed smells of Asian plane food, along with rougher landing, didn’t do much for my stomach. at. all. {Note to selves – see if we can upgrade our seats to a window side, for flight home!}

 

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Once we got off the plane, we realized we were at the point of complete exhaustion. We found our way through the ginormous Beijing airport, and boarded a train to go get our luggage! If you ever been to the Dallas, Texas airport it’s like 3 times bigger! It’s crazy! After we picked up our luggage we were greeted by our Adoption Agencies tour guide George. He helped us connect up with some young ladies from New Hope & Show Hope to deliver our extra bag we brought with us, filled with medical supplies for Orphans. Afterwards, our guide took us to our hotel for some much needed rest.

TODAY – we had the opportunity of visiting Tienanmen Square:

 

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and we were also able to visit the Forbidden City:

 

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Our guide explained to us that he couldn’t wait for us to experience the free massage they offer here in Beijing. And by that he meant – the rubbing of shoulders and your personal space being invaded! 😉 He nailed it well. And we experienced it all day. 🙂

 

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We were hooked up with a lifetime experience – riding a “Semi-Automatic BMW” or at least’s that’s what our guide calls a Rickshaw! 😉 Experience some of the ride, in our video here.

 

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We rode all the way to the home of a local Beijing family, who served us authentic Chinese food. It was delicious! The benefit of this opportunity for the local family was to receive a good tip as extra income for their family, while we were able to enjoy local home cooked food. It was absolutely delicious! {Picture of just the first course pictured below.}

 

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The families front door.

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We are here with another family also adopting from our adoption agency. It’s been a joy to meet up with them. The wife and I had hooked up on Facebook months ago, and finally met each other on the other side of the world! 🙂 This family is adopting a little boy who is also in the same orphanage as our little girl – and who also shares the same birthday as our daughter as well! They have brought 3 of their children with them. Their children have literally been pulled away from pictures all day today. Us adults  too…but the children more so! We’ll be connected with another family sometime today, along with another family later on our trip.

At several points today, we were bombarded with huge crowds standing around us having friends take their pictures with us as if we were movie stars or something. Hard to get through the large crowds, so you stand there and smile, and at some point continue on your way, even if it means pushing your way through the crowd! It is also not uncommon to have people pointing, staring and getting in your personal space. At one point I saw an older gentleman taking our picture from a distance – I turned around pointing our camera in his direction and snapped. He laughed as he realized what I was doing, we both waived and we all walked on our way. Haha.

 

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As we walked through different sections of the city today, we had to walked through many check points. These check points where either a scanner to walk through, or a scanner for your belongings to go through or both. It is also very common to see many men and woman in police and or military uniforms everywhere!

 

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People have tried to sell us something around what seems every street corner – you literally have to ignore them or they will continue to follow you if you make even the slightest eye contact with them. We were warned about this – and thankful for this tip of not looking, as it’s not only been for safety purposes, but the only way we can continue to keep up with our guide without being snatched away – from our group to purchase something. This was hard for me, as I naturally try to acknowledge faces in my presence. And I really wanted to support them all – but knew we couldn’t.

 

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The smog here is heavy, and it seems to be getting to our lungs. The air is dry, dirty and smells of gasoline fumes and cigarette smoke. All vehicles and moving things, including peoples shoes are covered in this light dust that is caused by the polluted air. The streets are filled with “organized chaos” and there seems to be what I would call a “happy horn” problem. Trust me, our heads are spinning at the end of today, because of all the noise. The streets are packed with vehicles, scooters and bikes. The sidewalks are filled with millions of people – and very few children, more scooters and bikes.

The street outside our hotel window is rustling and bustling late on into the early morning hours. We’ve not spotted any grass here yet. However we’ve spotted a few trees now and then, surrounded by cement. Most of the trees that are here are beautifully in bloom, many are just beginning to bud. We’ve spotted many old cedar trees and lots, and lots of magnolia, cherry and weeping willows.

 

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Here in Beijing we were told that there is no middle class. Only the wealthy or the poor. You’ll see rundown highrise apartment buildings mixed in with luxurious modern marvels.

 

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Most of the people here seem unhappy. It’s gloomy, even though the sun is shining. The sun’s beauty is veiled by the dirty air filled smog. We Americans, have so, so, so much to be truly thankful for!

We are still trying to get use to the time difference here. We cannot wait to have our little girl in our arms! Sightseeing has helped fill up our time while we wait to be with our daughter. We are thankful for the opportunity to capture some of our daughters culture while we are here. But we are also saddened and our eyes and our hearts have been opened to much hurt here. Much loss, and just like the the sun being hidden from all the smog – so are their hearts being hidden from truth and much freedom. Jesus. Our hearts have been affected and burdened more than we thought they would be.

Please continue to pray for us as we are on the opposite side of the world. Pray for safety, sanity, and eyes opened to the lost and hurting. Pray for our 5 other children as we are away from them. It’s tough for them, and for us.

Only 2 more days, and we’ll have our baby girl in our arms!!!

 

 

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Read more about our adoption journey here.

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