Saturday, March 17, 2012
The weather is cold, but my heart is warm.
The sky was dreary today with clouds and smog, heavily polluted, but my soul has been singing.
Amidst all of the chaos of Beijing, I have been at peace throughout this day. As we drove in a taxi this morning, walked the streets of Beijing, were being picked up by our driver to go to the foster home, I felt peace like I've not known for weeks, even months.
This morning before we left for the Temple of Heaven, I read again one of my favorite chapters of the Bible, Isaiah 43. Oh, how I love to be reminded of God's promises to be with us, through the water and through the fire, in the desert and in the wilderness.
I'm sure most of you are ready to read about our visit with Drew at Amazing Hands, but I'll make you wait a minute with details of our morning. If you read all of this post you are one of 3 things...
1--an adoptive parent looking forward to your own travel soon.
2--a member of our family.
God really has shown us how small our world is. At this very hotel is a group of teachers from GA! Following breakfast, we spent nearly an hour talking with them---how sweet to hear a southern drawl.
Charlotte met us at 11:00 to begin our tour of the Temple of Heaven. My honey ventured out of his comfort zone, taking a cab with Ellie, leaving Josie-Tatum and me to take the second cab with Charlotte.
We were freezing, but enjoyed our visit.
My decision to at least visit one historic site was affirmed when Josie-Tatum, totally unprompted said, "I love Chinese architecture."
Stan was a brave boy and agreed to let us have some authentic Chinese cuisine for lunch. He was more polite than Ellie, as you can see by her face, but he didn't each much more than she did. Stan and Josie-Tatum ate with spoons. Ellie and I ate with chopsticks, and I must say I impressed myself with my mean stick skills.
Sitting beside us at lunch today were two high school students who are taking art lessons at school. We watched them sketching random people who came in the restaurant, so we asked them so sketch the girls, and they did.
After lunch, we began the drive to Amazing Hands. We experienced a little dejavu--you can look up the spelling for me--as the driver and Charlotte had a difficult time finding it. This part of the city is old, with streets that barely have room for cars, few street signs, and even fewer numbers on building.
After a few u-turns, stopping to ask for directions, following another set of directions, and making a couple of phone calls, we stopped at yet another home. While Charlotte talked to the lady behind the door, a young man walked up to us and said, "Follow me. I will take you there. I am from the church and I'm going there."
In a city of 19 million people, we began to follow a young man just because he told us he knew where we were going. Good thing....he really did.
He found the home for us....and we went through the first door--sort of like a gate.
When we walked through the courtyard, Zhuang Zhuang was standing just behind the door waiting on us!!!!
We were cautious about overwhelming him with affection, but our anxieties were soon gone. When we walked through the door, I extended my hand to him, and he took my hand. He let me give him a kiss,
and then he held out both arms for me to pick him up!
He enjoyed hugs from Mama while she kissed him under his chin, and wrestling with Daddy. He enjoyed hitting daddy on the head with a bowling pin --albeit a plastic one--and driving a car on his bald head. He asked, "Why does Baba have no hair on his head, but he has lots of hair on his arm?"
After he warmed up to all of us well, he began playing with Ellie. He would chase and chase, then get up close and pinch her cheeks, while looking eyeball to eyeball. He really began playing too rough with her.
Tina Ayi talked to him and told him he couldn't play so rough with Ellie. She explained that he was a boy and she was a girl...so
He decided it was time to tackle Ellie.....
So I can kiss her.....
Oh, my how he enjoyed chasing her around and around and around to get kisses, not one or two or three, but many. Then, he gave Baba a kiss and Mama a kiss and Da Jie Jie (Big Older sister) a kiss.
Our baby boy has a bit of a cold. His ayis said he had a fever yesterday. When our visit was getting close to an end, he seemed to be very tired. He just came over and sat in my lap. Heaven.....only I wished he felt better.
When we left, do you want to know who had the hardest time saying "Goodbye?" I'll let you guess.