Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City and The Silk Factory.

Today was our last day in Beijing. It was so hot with very little moving air. As we set out to the square it was unbelievable to me just how many people there were. It doesn't matter where we go or what time it is, there are always masses of people. Anytime you walk past shops of any kind people are in your space trying to sell you something. They don't care that you don't understand Chinese, they will talk to you anyway. Most of the time it will take at least 4 no's before they will finally walk away. It also doesn't matter that our tour guide is speaking, they will still just start talking to you. 

Our first stop today was the T Square. Below is Lydia (our tour guide) giving us the history. She is such a wonderful guide. I have zero retention so I recorded several of her talks. Her English is excellent. 

China's National Museum. We did not visit here. 

Our second stop was The Forbidden City. The masses were much worse here.  Air quality in general is so poor, add to that the congestion of people and 3/4 of them smoke and you feel like you can't breathe. 

The buildings were really beautiful. 

This is Danielle and John. They are from New Jersey and have 2 bio kids. 2 boys. This is their first adoption. Their little girl, who they are naming Lilly is 7 and they will meet her Monday. John and Brian got along famously. 

This is Jill, her daughter, Kiana and Jill's mom, Sharon. They are from Wisconsin. This is Jill's 3 adoption. She also has 3 bio kids, all boys. Kiana was adopted from China in 2002 and 2 years ago her and her hubby adopted a little 8 year old girl from Ethiopia. 

This is Carl, Beth and Jack. They just joined our group today. They are from Baltimore. This is their second adoption. They adopted Jack 2 years ago when he was 2. 

This is the original bed of the once Emperor of China. 

These next few pics are in the Imperial Gardens in the Forbidden City. 

Brian and me with our tour guide, Lydia. 

I found these placards today and just had to get them. 

I bought JG 2 articles of clothing from the silk factory. Brian has all the pics from there. It was really amazing. They showed us how the silk worms evolve and then create the silk. These 2 pieces of clothing are 100% silk. They are much more beautiful in person. I am hoping the bottom one will fit her for her dedication at church. 

I just think these little cars are so hilarious. You will see them all over the city. 
There was something so sad I just have to mention b/c it really moved me. We were walking back to the bus and this long stretch of sidewalk was peppered with people trying to sell us everything from flags to hats and so on. But then there were all these people about 20 feet apart sitting alone pan handling. But these pan handlers weren't like anything I had ever seen. Several had missing arms, or seriously deformed legs or arms. One man looked like he might have been a dwarf and had such a horrible deformity in his back his shirt couldn't cover the lump. But the one who struck me the most was a man who had been burned all over his face, chest and torso. He was also missing his left arm and he clearly had not been taken care of very well. I found myself weeping, yet he was singing, not just asking for money. He could sing. I thought here is a situation that with my eyes seems so helpless and hopeless but he is still doing what he can. And his can was full of money. Whatever he was doing was working.
After just these few days here and all I have seen, all the poverty, all the hopelessness and all the darkness in people's eyes I am so thankful to know Jesus. It also inspired me to be mindful to keep my hand and heart open to what God has for us after this adoption is final. It can't suddenly be about me b/c we bring JG home. I have to admit, after being here only 2 days I decided I didn't want to do this again. But, its not about me. Its about God. Its about His glory and not my own. So, I will seek Him for the next step and trust Him. Who knows, it may not 

So, its 9:19pm and our flight is at 11:20am tomorrow morning. We fly to Nanchang and at about 4:30pm we will meet our girl. I have butterflies even as I write this. It is so close. Please pray for us. Please pray I have no anxiety b/c I can't take anything for this flight. I don't want to be out of it before meeting her. Most of all, pray for JG. Tomorrow her whole world is going to fall apart and we won't be able to explain anything to her. Pray our emotions remain in tact and that facial expressions and affection will be enough to comfort her as she grieves her loss, which is HUGE! 
Thank you for walking with us. We are beyond thankful for you.