Well China just keeps getting better and better each day. Just when I think I’ve seen and learned about my most favorite thing a new day arrives and I sit amazed yet again. Today might have been my favorite site seeing thus far. Of course The Great Wall was thrilling, but so far at the top of my list had been the Hutong Courtyards & The Sun Yat-Sen Memorial, but today took the cake for many reasons.
Everett was more quickly comfortable this morning than he’s been so far. I told Josh Kelley the other day I feel like Shuai feels like he’s in Groundhog’s Day where he wakes up thinking it’s a new day…back to his regular life he’s been use to… and to his shock he is with us…again. Each morning he has been so somber and it usually takes him a while to warm up and show some of his funny little personality. This morning Josh had him giggling at breakfast which was just the sweetest thing in all the lands. A) Josh was touching him and he was not ticked about it. B) He was laughing and being silly back. And C) He was okay with all of it. Every day we are seeing these small steps as he moves in the direction of trusting us. It is such an honor to try and prove ourselves to him. And Hudson’s face as he watched on…oh my goodness do I love that kid.
For the afternoon we headed out first to the Chen Family Temple which is basically a giant folk art museum. This was my favorite thing!!!!!!!! There were all kinds of art pieces…woodcarvings, stone carvings, vases, lacquered hanging art, ivory carvings, scrolls, furniture, ornate carved houses for gods and on and on and on. So so gorgeous and interesting. It was also all outside with little rooms off beautiful courtyards with blossoming trees and flowers. Absolutely my favorite.
Each room of art was usually done by one artist, but the insane carvings done all through out the temple and on the roof were done by lots of different artists.
There was also a scroll shop with tons of painted scrolls and a calligraphist in the shop who would write on the scroll you purchased. We picked out an incredible scroll and figured the artist would just right Kelley on it, but then they brought out a Chinese/English Bible and asked if we wanted a scripture. I looked over at Josh and he looked down at his panda shirt.
We watched as she wrote in Chinese calligraphy Romans 12:12:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
I cried watching her work. Those words. That promise. From our God who knows, loves and sees us so deeply and truly. One of the things I have told myself over and over and over again during this fast and furious journey to Shuai is that God knows and loves him more than I ever could and that His plans for him are perfect. Trust that immeasurable love Laura. Tomorrow we have our visa appointment and head over to the local Delta office so reading over those words and watching them written out in the most special way in this special place just floored my heart. Isn’t God too good?!?!?
After The Chen Family Temple we headed over to see the Five Goats Statue. Earlier in the day Hudson told me, “Mom when I heard we were seeing the Five Goats Statue all I could think was that it would be like 5 goats stacked on top of one another.” Nailed it. That’s exactly what it was and it was so interesting and quirky and fun. This went to the top of my sight seeing list too.
We walked through a lush shaded park with red lanterns and flowers everywhere. Then we walked to the top of a long staircase and there was the giant 5 goats statue. There’s a really neat legend behind it about a famine and how 5 celestial beings riding 5 goats came down to the city of Guangzhou and gave the people grains of rice. Since then Guangzhou has never experienced another famine. We have really enjoyed all the stories and tales about Chinese history.
Laura Kelley China Fun Fact: I have received zero of the funny attention that everyone else in our family has the entire trip and I am fully okay with that. The kids are basically famous people here, Josh Kelley has signed autographs…totally a true story…and Shaui is even quite popular because of his signature sit while out and about with his legs crossed and hands behind his head…the Chinese people think he’s a trip too, but me, nada. Nothing. Zero. Zilch. On the interesting meter I am a -3. 🙂 Until today.
A young man walked over and said, “Can I take your picture?” I was totally taken back by this, but agreed and then stood there all alone in front of the giant goat statue and smiled like a giant dork for this random guys pic. Just call me famous you guys. Now, we all know what will happen with that picture right? It is inevitable I will now be the face for some Chinese Refresh Beauty aging cream that claims I’m really 53, but now only look 43 and later will claim I’m really only 47, but now look 37. Ahhh, fond memories. That was seriously I could think as I stood there grinning ear-to-ear for this random dude.
We’re winding down now for the night. We ate McDonalds of all things for dinner. And you know what, it was delicious. My BIL Andy said it was better here and he was correct. We all thought so. Josh took the kids to the pool and Shuai is sleeping. Last night I had the sweetest 2 minutes with him where he fell asleep in my arms. He didn’t fight me or hit me or cry. He felt comfortable enough to let his little guard down and fall asleep snuggled in my arms. It was brief before he woke back up, but I counted it a major victory. And tonight he did the same thing, but this time a little longer. I could have sobbed a river on his little body. It was the sweetest thing snuggling our new guy.
So tomorrow we’re up bright and early…7:40am to be exact…for our visa appointment and then on to the Delta office. Thank you for praying with us and over us and for us about this flight fiasco. We are just trusting our God…the Creator of the world…to open these doors and make a way.