Saturday, November 5, 2011

Beijing - CHECK!!!!

Well our time in Beijing is done. After today we can officially check Beijing off of the to do list! Today was a big day filled with sightseeing. We started off by going to the Summer Palace. It was one of my favorite places when we were in China in 1999. It was fun to see it again and show the boys this time. After that we went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant. It was so good! Chase ate better there than he has at McDonald's. It really was yummy. Then we drove by the Water Cube, Bird's Nest and other buildings related to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Next we took a Hutong tour in a rickshaw. Some of you are wanting the English translation, right?!?!?!? Well, a rickshaw is a bike with a seating bench attached that can haul 2 people. It serves as a kind of taxi. Hutong is a traditional Chinese neighborhood area. We rode in the rickshaw to visit a local home. It was interesting, and the boys really loved the rickshaw ride. Then we ventured over to the Forbidden City and Tian an men Square. After that we did a little shopping and then we had a Hagen Dazs snack! It was soo yummy!!! We returned to our room for a little while and then Angela took us out for a Korean dinner. When we met Angela, we discovered that although she was born in China, she is of Korean descent. We had bulgogi, which is Korean barbecued beef. It was something Chris and I had enjoyed when we lived in Korea (1998-2000)' but we haven't had it since we left Korea. It was so yummy and it was fun to share the experience with Angela.

The boys did great all day, but fell fast asleep at dinner. we walked so much today, and they were just totally wiped out! Chris is now getting everything packed up for our Beijing to chengdu flight and I'm writing this. Oh, for those interested, the police reviewed the video and determined that the crazy taxi driver was at fault for the accident on Thursday morning. The van is currently being repaired and should be back in action soon.

We have loved our guide Angela. She is full of great information about China and the various tourist spots. She has been wonderfully patient with us and ever so kind to the boys. She has also given us great information about China's orphans and orphanages, Hannah's province and clarification on some of the details in Hannah's file. She is totally fabulous and we are going to miss her as we move onto Chengdu.

What a week we have had. A week ago right now I had just crossed the finish line of the chosen 1/2 marathon and Chris was in the middle of his marathon journey. Now, exactly a week later we have traveled 1/2 way around the world, seen how God is working in places like New Day, toured Beijing, and are in the final stretch of our journey to meet our new daughter. It's all so very exciting, but I must say that it is a little overwhelming to me too. Today as I've thought about the events of the past week and looked forward to what is soon to come, I will admit that my emotions have been all over the place. Although I'm so very excited for us and anxious for us to have Hannah, I'm saddened by the loss that comes from our gain.

Tomorrow is Hannah's last full day in an orphanage, and although I'm so thankful, I'm sad for the nanny that will surely grieve her loss. Her nanny has been with her from two weeks after she came to the orphanage until now. Hannah came to the orphanage so weak and her nanny attentively cared for her and took great effort to restore her life. Surely her nanny knows it is best for Hannah to go to a forever family, but the knowledge of what is best doesn't erase the sadness that comes from saying goodbye. I pray the 2 of them will have a wonderful last day together and that somehow God will miraculously heal their hearts after they part ways.

My thoughts and payers have also been with Hannah's birth mother today. Angela read the items left with Hannah when she was abandoned and said, "Oh, she was very loved!". It's quite likely that Hannah was left by her mom/parents because of her medical condition and their inability to fund the surgery she needed to save her life. Left with very few choices they may have abandoned her so she would be transferred to the orphanage system and hopefully given the care she needed. Some have told me that they would never abandoned their own children even in the face of such an enormous need. They say that no matter what, they would find a way to provide their child with the care they needed. I believe that to be true, because in America there is always another way, a plan B. We always have a government program or charitable organization to turn to when our own resources are exhausted. Simply put, no one in America is abandoning their much loved daughter because it is the only way for them to get the critical medical care they need. Sadly, this is the reality for many women in China. So today I've thought a lot about Hannah's birth mom. Does she even know her tiny, sick daughter is now well and growing nicely? Does she wonder if her baby died? Does she know that another mother's heart also loves her little girl? What would she think about us coming here for Hannah? Would it bring her joy to know that she is going to a home where she is already so loved and cherished? Or would it break her heart to know that she is going to leave china and grow up on the other side of the world? Maybe she would feel both of these things. My heart aches for this mother and I will admit that I struggle with feeling guilty. I feel my great blessing comes at the cost of her great loss. I've reminded myself today that all of this is God's great plan. Guilt in this process is not what God has for me. I know God doesn't bless one at the cost of another. Honestly, I wondered if I should even share all of this with you. But I want so much to be honest in the process and not hide where I struggle. I also so desperately want your prayers for Hannah, her nanny, her birth mom and for us.

Please know we a filled with uncontainable excitement to meet our Hannah. In just 33 hours she will no longer be a picture, but a person. She will no longer be an orphan, but our daughter and God will have succeeded in once again demonstrating his redeeming love in the flesh. The best earthly example of how he welcomes us into his family will be lived out. Oh, I'm so thankful for his glory and grace!!!

We will fly to Chengdu tomorrow and then spend the rest of the day getting settled in. We go to Hannah's orphanage Monday morning to get her. We love the comments on Facebook, the blog and the emails you guys are sending. Please keep them coming. Each one brings a smile to our face.

Blessings to you all!!

Amy, Chris, Travis and Chase


  1. Amy, you made me cry! Sam is adopted and I have thought those things about his birth mother. Does she know that her son turned into an awesome man, and that her sacrificial act in his best interest was the greatest gift she could have given him.

    I have been praying for y'all and will add Hannah's nanny and birth mother to the list.

  2. I love the real and raw! The reality is, adoption is hard. emotional. real. and not for the cowards. HAHA. I have those feelings too, Amy. Out of ashes, the Lord makes beauty. Out of pain and brokenness ... he brings about redemption. Some days, it's not as easy to grasp though. We know brokenness in this world, but when your child is the result of it ... it is heavy and hard to swallow! The reality is that, No, the Lord didn't create our Maliah for us. In fact, he grafted and created her from a beautiful almond eyed woman and man. His perfection would have that she would have remained whole and in the family he had created her for ... but, that darn Eve who ushered in sin, imperfection, loss, toils and labor also ushered in a world that is so broken it would need a savior. He had a rescue plan for us and just as surely and perfectly, he also has one for Hannah (and my two precious ones). A pretty darn great one too - YOU! Adoption in the earthly sense is just like you said; a beautiful picture of our own spiritual adoption. I can't wait until the moment she is handed to you. As I type this, I am guessing you are beginning your journey to her. Praying for your heart and the gazillion emotions you are feeling. THIS IS IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GO GET HER!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I can totally relate to how you're feeling. We are adopting a 5 year old who has been in the same foster family since 7 months old. We have the same thoughts regarding our daughter that you have shared. We will say a prayer for your daughter and her nanny, as well as her birth mom that they will be filled with peace. Thanks for sharing your journey! Reading others blogs keeps us going while we wait to travel!