Well. I probably should have said "Sie Jen" Hohhot. I believe that's how the Chinese version of "goodbye" sounds. Sorta. Kinda. Then again, maybe not.
Go Forrest. Tell them what it REALLY sounds like.
My expertise with the Chinese language ventures from hello, goodbye, thank you, and happy birthday.
Forrest and his darling wife, Robin, are soon headed to China themselves to adopt precious little Shaun. This will be their 4th adoption trip. ( In essence, they are in the 4th grade. I'm still primary-ish. Never mind that our IQ's vary by many, many miles. F and R - PLEEZ post a pic of Shaun and then one of you and your family so folks can see The Blog Master and Mistress....and little chillin's!)
Yesterday we toured a famous museum that tells all about this region - Inner Mongolia. Interesting.
Today we are to visit a temple. I'll try to keep my voice down like a good little Southern US Tourist.
Needless to say, these 2 weeks in China are not going to be representative of life as we will all know it. We have doors opened for us at every turn, meals served on the spot with no cleaning up afterwards, the girls are not in school, I am not at work, and we do the best our best to make hours and hours in a hotel room as interesting as we can....BUT....it's a "biding of time" part of this journey. It's soooooo much easier for me this time mainly because I'm not a newbie. I've got a little China-adoption-visitation experience under my belt.
One of the soon-to-be adoptive moms (with 4 kids at home) was with us in Beijing. When I met her, I asked very perplexingly, "Are you here alone?" She said, "Yes. I just could not take my older kids out of high school to miss all that work, and my husband stayed home to care for all 4." I paused and sympathetically said, "Well...just know this...we're here for you to help you in any way possible because you'll find this is the trip of a lifetime, but it's not always an easy trip."
At that moment she broke down into a hot mess of bawling tears and whimpered, "I will get out of this country. Won't I? Will I make it back home to my family?" AND SHE'S BEEN WAITING SEVEN YEARS FOR THIS ADOPTION!!
To outsiders, that comment might seem extreme. I can understand. To me - it was NOT at all unusual to hear...especially since the darling mom was all.alone.on.the.other.side.of.the.world.with.no.one.to.support.her.emotionally.
That is WHY I reached out to her. That is why I told her to +/- side of how an adoption trip to China can be.
I remember feeling like was alone at times during my 2008 trip to meet Sweet Emily - but I wasn't. It can just feel like it sometimes. I let her talk, cry, vent, sniff....and then we did ALL we could to include her and watch out for her. I told her to order bottled water at lunch. I ordered it for her, actually. I came. The lid was off. I politely sent it back and told them the bottle needed to have the lid on and be unopened. When I was here in 2008, a dear family I met had a son with them who became violently ill because he drank water from a bottle that had been opened and re-filled with local water. My new friend thanked me repeatedly. She's alone. She canNOT afford to get sick.
The folks who were all together in Beijing....preadoption...will meet up for approx. 1 week in Guangzhou. That'll be fun to reunite and meet the new little darlings who have been added to our families.
We'll all be changed from the last time we were together. Our lessons about these precious children, our own calling in parenthood, and the commonality of being together on this journey will begin to etch new stories on our lives.
To those who've adopted from China - Sherrie H., Colleen B., Rebecca L., Christie H., Rina S. - people who live no where near my home state but I've met them abroad nationally or internationally...are people who are precious and so very sensitive to how moms (like the one mentioned above) can feel. To my peeps back home in our Cultural School Group - folks I love more dearly than they'll ever know - we all have had different experiences, but we are bound together by this bond of international adoption. To those people back home - friends and family - people I value and cherish....you've all been incredibly supportive at each juncture of this winding road of life.
My theme song for this past year, one that helped me stay focused spiritually on the task ahead - for me, my family...my precious mom, everything - has been a song entitled Grace Flows Down by Christy Nockels. It's compelling, and watching the YouTube version with scenes from Passion of the Christ....frankly...it's difficult and almost too much to take. Then again, the sacrifice Jesus made for us, for me...WAS soooo much.
It required ALL. I've watched it on YouTube numerous times and wept - bitterly. When I saw the movie...it's not a movie one can enjoy - it can only be experienced... but every single time I the whip snapped across the back of My Saviour, all I could do was whisper a name. I whispered the name of someone that I knew and loved.
I whispered the name of someone for whom I knew He'd done this.
I whispered the name of someone who needed Him still.
And I wept more and more...saying, "Thank you. Thank you."
Grace Flows Down
by Christy Nockels
How sweet the sound
Now flowing down
From hands and feet
That were nailed to the tree
As Grace flows down and covers me
I'll sign off from Hohhot, Inner Mongolia - the beautiful and majestic land that has graciously given me my new daughter and a new life for us all.
His grace still amazes me.