So we're here! We made it safely & the flights were pretty uneventful over all!
Our hotel is super-swanky & there are 7 other families here with our agency for adoption purposes. We are touring Beijing together today & will leave to head to Zhengzhou early morning.
Our CCAI rep, Laura, met us at the airport. Likewise, a
representative from New Hope (where Ray Ray lived for several years)
met us to pick up the supply suitcases that we brought with us for
them. New Hope is a medical foster home much like the Howell Center
where Jayson grew up & they need supplies to care for the children
that they cannot get in China. So, families & travelers headed to
China have the option of checking extra luggage & bringing the
supplies to them--this is cheaper & much more secure than attempting
to FedEx them here. It was such a blessing to our hearts to be able
to help in some capacity! Last Sunday, when JP & I opened the
suitcases for the first time, we noticed that every item in the bags
were things that we had used with Jayson when he came home--trach care
kits, g tube kits, etc. Gets me all teary-eyed again just thinking
about it! We were able to donate several leftover items of similar
materials that we hadn't been able to get rid of in the States. I
couldn't bring myself to throw them away, & now we get to see why.
What a great little God-nod in the midst of the preparation chaos.
We arrived at our hotel last night & got settled in before
heading out for dinner. We ate beef & fungus, dumplings, & lo mein
noodles for dinner at an authentic noodle shop right by our
hotel...super-yummy! Last night's sleep was ok, although we were all
pretty much awake & ready to go quite early :/ We managed to off/on
sleep until 6ish :) We got up & ate breakfast at the hotel restaurant--it was awesome! We ate Dragon Fruit & cognee & several amazing other treats like rice cakes & steamed buns. So good.
Today we toured urban Beijing: we saw Tian'anmen Square & the
Forbidden City, then we rode Rakestraws through a traditional urban
Beijing neighborhood to a local family's house. They fed us the most
amazing, authentic spread of Chinese food & it was SO YUMMY!! Good
stuff. The dichotomy of Chinese culture is quite evident: areas of
town like the Forbidden City are created with such opulence, while the
neighborhoods just blocks away are most definitely what we would
consider 'poverty-stricken' in America. The family's house we at lunch
at had a Christian calendar hanging on the wall; the scriptures were
written in Chinese & English & that warmed my heart immensely! I
asked where we could buy one & the response is that 'you can't.' The
government doesn't allow Christian goods to be sold, so someone must
have given it to them. It is not illegal for people to possess
Christian items (Bibles, paintings, etc), but it is illegal to
buy/sell them. JP & I have been praying that we can find a Chinese
Bible somewhere for each of our boys, so we shall see...
The weather has been beautiful & the pollution is not too bad!
Everyone here smokes--which is a drawback, so my nose has been pretty
irritated. Other than that, we're doing great & hoping to be on a
better sleep/day schedule. We are on a 12 hour difference, so
when you wake up, we're going to bed & vice versa.
Jayson is doing absolutely amazing! Jet lag is a booger, so he has
had a few cranky moments today, but overall, he's really doing well.
There's a sweet family from Pinehurst here to adopt a 3yo boy, & they
brought their (almost) 4yo bio son with them. He & Jayson toured the
town from the comfort of the double stroller & have become fast
friends! Jayson is practicing his big brother skills on Rand & keeps
saying "when I'm a big brother on Monday..." which is very sweet to
this mama's heart :)
I'm a little speechless to describe how it feels to be so close to our
boys, learning about their heritage, & yet not have them in our arms.
It was difficult to see the precious children toddling around all
bundled up (it's in the 50s) & know that we are so close to our boys.
At the same time, it's such a cool thing for the 3 of us to get to do
together! It has been so special to my heart already to watch Jayson
develop first-hand experience of exploring another culture.
We are incredibly grateful for each of you & how you are covering our
family in prayer, keep 'em coming!
We're off to dinner & will update again
Wo ai ni (I love you)~
Jonathan, DeAnna, & our boys!
PS~ for those of you that know I'm notorious for forgetting my bra on
trips, you'll be glad to know I remembered it this time! Mama's got