It’s in the 3am time in Beijing and I can’t sleep. I keep waking thinking about our boy and my nerves grow more and more. We meet him tomorrow and that’s it…he’ll be ours forever…his Gotcha Day. We’ve been sight seeing like it’s our job, but all the while it’s just a cover…just a try-and-keep-our-minds-off-the-ginormosuness-of-whats-really-about-to-happen facade. We have loved our time seeing and learning about China’s rich deep culture, but our hearts and heads are with a little guy in Zhengzhou and the thought of him is ruling those spaces.
I was too tired last night to try and document the day, so here I am because my nerves make me want to vomit so I’m typing away instead of puking 🙂 Yesterday was yet another awesome day. We’ve been enjoying breakfast every morning in our hotel. They have a huge spread…something for everyone. Our kids are rocking the chopsticks. Hudson and Harper use them all the time…Solomon is still working on mastering them. Harper gives all the credit to her Uncle Andy and Aunt Becky because she uses chopsticks at their house all the time. Made me smile when she shared that with us.
After breakfast we headed to The Great Wall. On our way we stopped at a huge jade factory. I found this incredibly interesting. We got to watch men working on happy family balls and saw the step-by-step process. The intricateness of each piece created is crazy and the skill is only passed down from generation to generation through family. There are no schools that teach jade carvings and so one day the skill could disappear if other generations choose not to learn. I could have bought 1,001 bracelets…I was really loving the yellow jade…so so pretty. We ended up finding the perfect little jade snake for our house…our little guy was born in the year of the snake.
After the jade factory we loaded back up and started for The Great Wall. On the bus my mind was on our son. I wondered what he was doing today while we were out learning about his culture and history and buying a jade snake in honor of him. Is today a day full of his regular ins and outs or are they preparing him for us? Has he seen our faces like we’ve seen his? Will he recognize us at all when we meet? I just keep begging God to be everything He needs. To comfort his little heart. To give him peace that’s unexplainable and irreplaceable. To allow him to some how, some way know he is safe and loved with us. I keep asking God to tie up all the fear and be his comfort. I keep asking God to heal his heart and body. We meet him in one day…one day stands between us and our new son…my heart might explode.
Josh Kelley got my attention and pointed out The Great Wall in the distance. Excitement started bubbling from everyone in the bus. One of the other little girls we’re with yelled out, “This is the best vacation ever.” Everyone laughed. Oh the thrill and excitement…it was so sweet. Currently my calves hurt and I thank The Great Wall for this. We hiked pretty far and the kids did amazing. Solomon led the way for us and I was right on his heels because at one point I looked back and got nauseous so I just tucked my head, never looked back again…until I had to come down…and pressed on. Coming back down was a different story. Harper held my hand. Hahahahaha. It wasn’t dramatic, but truth be told my stomach turned a bit and I got shaky legs. We were really high on some crazy steps so yeah, I was a bit nervous, but it was breathtakingly beautiful.
Great Wall Fun Fact: Did you know the wall actually started out as 7 different square walls ruled by 7 different rulers? Then one very ambitious ruler ended up killing the other 6 and took the whole wall for himself and made it one long wall. Totally did not know this!!!! And it’s like the world’s largest graveyard as well. A little morbid, but so many people died while making the wall and they couldn’t take bodies down so they just buried them in the wall or in the mountains around the wall. Crazy town!
On our way up the wall we passed through a group of vibrant, fun Tibetan ladies. We couldn’t communicate except through smiles and at one point Hudson was yelling back for Harper calling her name and all the Tibetan ladies started yelling, “Harper. Harper. Harper.” It was really sweet and funny.
Solomon and Hudson have been a huge hit. Everyone wants to take pictures with them. They’re both a little over it at this point…makes them feels funny they said…especially Solomon. During one picture with a big group of ladies Sol snuck out the back and before we knew it a lady physically picked him up and put him back in the picture…hahahahahaha. It was hilarious and he was a good sport about it, but we finally nixed some pictures last night at dinner because we could tell it was really starting to bother him. At the great wall though they both bought wooden katanas (swords) and put on a show using them to do their karate katas in unison. Oh the pictures.
(This picture makes me laugh because of Harper over to the side like “Wah. Wah. Whoa is me.” She was not like that at all…she was glad she wasn’t center of attention, but this picture makes it look different and makes me laugh every time I see it.)
Josh and I tried getting a couple of pictures together. We tried jumping together to no avail. Harper took these and we all love the lady with us. I mean, Josh and I clearly nailed the jumping and the lady is really loving being in our photo. PS: I have a huge mouth.
After The Great Wall we headed to lunch at another little local place that made gorgeous vases too. We were so hungry and food was already on the table when we arrived we all just dove in and I snapped zero pictures. We ate and ate and ate. Real Chinese food is out of this world…so so delicious. I ate my favorite dish so far which was a spicy tomato soup with white rice. Like soooooo good.
After lunch we went to the Summer Palace. The Summer Palace was massive massive massive. Like HUGE!!!! It was definitely the busiest place we’ve been so far. Our guide Cindy told us it’s still a very popular place to go for locals and not just tourists so it’s always very busy. We definitely would like to come back in spring to see everything in bloom. Cindy said there are cherry blossoms, peonies and water lilies everywhere.
One thing I loved was all the art. Summer Palace has the longest art gallery in the world…it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records. I was so curious how many artists contributed to it and Cindy said over a million. Can you even imagine that? It was out of this world.
After the Summer Palace we headed back to our hotel. We had met that morning at 8:30am and arrived back at our hotel after 5pm. Definitely a long full day. We snagged dinner at another little local place…Fried rice, noodle soup and sweet and sour pork…dropped by a grocery shop for waters, Oreos and Mentos, and then back to our hotel to crash.
This trip has been unreal so far. We feel insanely blessed to be able to experience our little guy’s culture like this and the Chinese history is so deep and thoughtful and quickly changing. Definitely an experience of a lifetime. Today we get to see The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square and then onto Zhengzhou by train this afternoon. Another great day in China ahead and tomorrow we meet our son.