Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Saturday Evening Post

Hello family and friends,

I'm sure you read Eric's post from yesterday evening (he offered to try his hand at it, since I couldn't think straight or even keep my eyes open), as he gave a short summary of our first day and a half in China. I'm afraid tonight won't be much better, as we are both just running on steam at this point. Our wonderful guides, Rosa and Maggie (their “chosen” western names), have kept us running nonstop early until late. Beijing is a fascinating city and the sights have been truly enjoyable. We are just facing overload at this point. Aside from being extremely tired, we are feeling very well and are adjusting to the new time zone. We are also thoroughly enjoying the other families and look forward to the friendships being formed for the years to come.

Today was a beautiful, sunny and mild day to be outside. We explored the Summer Palace, which was the vacation home (more like an exquisite lakeside “compound”) for the emperors. Then we visited the Jade Factory and shopped in the lavish showroom. We purchased the traditional jade animal pendant for Noelle (a small dog representing her birth in the year of the dog). After another lunch of Chinese fare, we toured a cloisone (spelling?) workshop, getting to see the crafts people assemble, paint and fire beautiful copper pots. The finished product is amazing! Then lastly, we made it to The Great Wall. Eric was jumping around like a kid at Christmas, he was so excited. He was ready to run up the wall, but slowed down a tad to let me keep up (mostly). He beat me to the top, but I amazed myself and kept going. The view was incredible! (We took pictures and video, but I'm afraid they won't possibly do justice to the real thing.) Going down was much easier, but not for the faint of heart, as looking down the steps was like looking down a sheer brick ladder. Wild!

Now we are back at the hotel eating a late Pizza Hut dinner. Eric certainly did not complain that we were eating his second favorite meal (lasagna is first). You see, Rosa and Maggie were sensing that the group was tiring quickly of Chinese food (they witnessed the large amounts of food left in the serving dishes at our tables after each meal) and wanted to give us a break. Sunday dinner is Peking Duck, so they wanted us to be ready to enjoy that meal.

Tomorrow morning we will attend the foreigners-only (passports must be shown) International Church Palm Sunday service where we will worship in Chinese and English with Christians from around the globe. We are greatly looking forward to this experience. Our risen Lord transcends all languages and all barriers. What a blessing we are anticipating!

After the Peking Duck we will load the bus for one last tour, the Pearl Factory. We hope to purchase a bracelet or pendant for Noelle that we can give her, along with the jade, when she is older and can understand and appreciate the cultural significance. In Guangzhou we hope to purchase other items we can give her every year at Gotcha Day to help connect her with her heritage and the country she has lost.

But out of all these amazing things we have done the past few days, what we are looking forward to most is the flight tomorrow evening (early Sunday morning for you) to Hefei City in the Anhui Province – Noelle’s city! We are told we may have Gotcha at 8:30am Monday morning (our time)!!! When you are getting ready for bed Sunday evening, we will be holding our precious daughter in our arms! Praise Jesus!!!

As we know that you are keeping us in your prayers, we would ask specifically that you pray for 2 things: that the Nannies prepare Noelle for our meeting (showing her our pictures and telling her about us) and that Noelle, in spite of her confusion and grief, feels peace in her spirit that she is safe and is just where she is supposed to be.

Well, it's late and we still have to figure out how to post this to the blog tonight. We are unable to get an internet connection in our room, and using the computers in the hotel business center has been confusing and difficult. I'm not sure when we will be able to post again, as our flight to Hefei arrives late and we have to prepare our hotel room for a toddler (wow!). We will write when we can and try to post pictures (I know that's what you all really want anyway!). Please know that we love and miss you all.

Signing off—

Jennifer

12 comments:

Lin Lin & Ping Sang said...

Thank goodness for Pizza Hut! That was our favorite "chinese food"!! I'll be checking back to see those precious photos of gotcha day. Good luck and enjoy!

Carrie
a Hefei mom too

Ronda B! said...

YEA JENNIFER!

Can't wait to see your Gotcha Day! Will be honoring your prayer requests and our God will make it happen! You GO GIRL!!!!!

Ronda B - mother to Lu Run Hong
Soon to be Mary!!!!

Anonymous said...

It's cold and raining here - again - was spitting a little snow earlier thie a.m. You'll get used to less sleep- after children one just doesn't ever seem to "catch up". Love you blog!! love and prayers to you 3! sharon and lauren

Redmom2005 said...

Hi, Jennifer! It's almost time for Gotcha Day!! I can't wait to see those pictures! I am so interested in hearing about that Palm Sunday service in Beijing! What a once-in-a-lifetime experience that will be!! Have a very blessed day!

Erin DeNicolo

Jim & Tina said...

Yeah!!!!!! These days, my husband knows not to look for me anywhere but my computer...I can't wait to see pictures!!
I am praying that, when placed in your arms, Noelle, will find comfort and peace.
Blessings--
Tina

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen! I finally got a chance to get on your blog! I'm actually working the night shift tonight at work (into Sunday morning). They had someone call in and needed me. How neat... now I can be an intercessor for your meeting in the morning! Please tell me, though, how did the 'Sleep Now' pills work? Did you try them?

Love,
Sonia (soon-to-be aunt!)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen and Eric,
Hey. Things are going fine here. Your kitty babies are doing ok. They are semi glad to see us. Stormie too is the most affectionate. She loves for me to pet and scratch her. She was riding around on my shoulders yesterday. She was so cute. Shadow meows and heads upstairs. Rainie looks at us and then heads for the kitchen to be fed. Then when she is done eating, she will come back for a pat. So they are doing fine. Have a great flight to Hefei. And we are praying for all 3 of you. BTW, what formula of Science Diet do you get for Shadow??? I know kitten for the other two.
Well, we are off to bed. Can't wait for your next post.
Love
Dawn
PS I saw a picture of you two on another familys post. Was good to see you. You looked cold, but happy.

Anonymous said...

Hey.
Kicking myself here.(for not getting to the phone in time). I did listen to your message. It was great to hear your voice. WE will be in family prayer tonight around the time you meet Noelle. I am so excited for you!!!!! Will pass your message onto the folks at church this morning.
Love you guys,
Dawn, Brian and Morgan.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen and Eric.
Happy GOTCHA DAY(your time).Your kitty babies are good. We found the extra cat food when we were cleaning litter boxes.
Can't wait for the posts with the story of your first meeting with Noelle.
Oh, church went fine this morning. I passed on your message. Everyone is excited about what will happen at 8pm (our time) tonight.
Love you.
Dawn, Brian and Morgan

Anonymous said...

Missed you guys this morning but so excited for you! Still wish I was a little mouse in your backpack. Lots of thoughts and prayers going your way. So looking forward hearing about your
first sight of that precious little girl. Go in peace and assurance that God has already gone before you and has every thing worked out to His glory.

Joan

Anonymous said...

Happy Gotch Day Eric, Jennifer and Noelle!!! Checking your blog daily...can't wait for pics. Praying w/o ceasing for all of you. Thinking of you especially now. ;-) ~Damon and Linda

Anonymous said...

How utterly, incredibly exciting! We can't wait to hear how your first in-person meeting with Noelle went - not to mention pictures of said meeting! THere is nothing like holding your child in your arms - sheer bliss. Thank you for posting your prayer requests, we will make sure to bring them before the Lord.

We love you!

Ernie & Nancy