Sun Yat-Sen, QingPing Market & Shamian Island

Monday we had another full day of sight seeing.  It was so nice to be out and the weather was perfection.  We first headed to the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall.  I love the story and the history.  If you don’t know about Sun Yat-Sen and want to know, it’s definitely worth the read.  Such a neat man and history surrounding him.  Last year we we’re able to tour the memorial much more extensively, but this time we just walked around outside since we had several more places on the agenda.  Either way, I so enjoyed both visits and it remains at the top of my list of places I’ve enjoyed in China.

The grounds are gorgeous at every turn.  Beautiful flowers and crazy cool trees.  Sweet shaded areas for sitting.  Color everywhere.  Amon and our littlest we’re extremely fond of the sturdy, well manicured and tightly planted shrubbery because it was perfect for karate chopping.  Oy vey.

Leo liked getting out of his stroller some and walking around.  There was a man sweeping in one area and Leo stood and stared and stared and stared.  He was completely enamored by the sweeping.  It was quite hilarious.

I really love all the architecture details and bold colors that are everywhere…both little and big.  Such detail and attention given to pretty much every single area.  Completely stunning.


After the memorial we headed to the QingPing Market.  As we we’re walking over it started to rain so we ducked under a little walk-thru that also had some small shops.  As we waited for the rain to stop we all looked around and I found the sweetest souvenirs.  Traditional these hang from rear view mirrors and are usually red, but I found several rainbow ones.  And bought them immediately.  It was just the little something I was looking for.  Anytime I saw rainbow anything in China of course I thought Everett.  He was on my mind constantly and this only furthered my thoughts of our sweet boy.

The QingPing Market is always so fun and entertaining.  Tons of animals and critters or all shapes and sizes.  Even giant bowls of scorpions.  The turtles, cats and dogs we’re top of the list for the kids.  We overheard Amon meowing to one of the cats…you know, really getting in tune to his inner cat.  You also walk through a big herbal market. The smells are so good and interesting and sometimes quite questionable.

Our last stop of the day was Shamian Island.  Last year this was such a fun place for us.  It’s where we found ice-cream and discovered Everett LOVED bubbles.  We also bought our mahjong game and some other fun souvenirs for people back at home.  This year our spirits we’re a bit low when we finally crossed over to the island.  I can’t even remember all the details, but I know it was not the fun, enjoyable time like before.  I do know we ate some bad ice-cream, Leo puked a ton all over himself and the street and we we’re all pretty tired and hungry at this point.  Definitely contributing factors.

The kids did pick up some gifts for friends and family back home.  I also finished up my souvenir shopping.  In one shop I found two pieces of artwork I knew instantly needed to come home with us.  The colorful Great Wall piece is getting framed asap for our house.  The other was for a sweet friend who recently lost her daughter far too early.  These sweet babes.  So many questions for Jesus.

Once we got back to our hotel we enjoyed some food and a swim.  Kiddos rested.  The next day would be our consulate appointment bright and early in the morning.  The final step in this 6-ish month process.  Only 3 more days and we’d head out on our long journey back to Tennessee.  Everyone was homesick at this point.  Grief has turned us all into homebodies and we we’re all missing home.  This had been no vacation by any means and I thought how just one sleep in our own beds would have lifted our spirits.

Today also marked one week being Leo’s mom…one week being his family…one week him being our son.  He feels so incredibly special and sacred.  I think this had a lot to do with us not sharing with many people about our new little guy and our growing family.  The hope of him felt like it was just for us.  He was keeping us afloat a lot of days.  We had someone and something to move towards, to work towards, to long for that was so much more tangible feeling than the long awaited heaven where Everett is.  Truthfully some days heaven feels fake and I want to say screw it all, I just want our FuShuai back now, but I’m grateful for the promise we will see Shuai again.  So much of the last 9 months has sucked beyond sucked…change and relationships and heartbreak and hurt feelings and the heavy weighted loss and pain and the feelings of loneliness and isolation and the fact that none of us are the same as we we’re and Leo just felt like straight up hope.  When so much of our lives felt hopeless there was this sweet little face and this direct living connection to Everett who kept us having in there.  One week felt really special.  One week under our belts as family of 9 felt like the very best kind of bittersweet gift.