Saturday, July 04, 2009

Beijing Tour Day 3

Oh, what a day. Just like fireworks, our July 4th was full of highs and lows. Fortunately, there were plenty of highs to help us forge through the few low points. We just have two girls learning how to be sisters and one who is learning what that really means. And when it's good, it's very, very good. And when it's bad, it's not nearly as bad as I had mentally prepared myself for, so I still consider this to be a good transition. We are just all learning about each other and that is going to take some time to figure out. And once we're all speaking the same language, that will make things so much easier. For example, Kara and I have had several times where we are off, holding hands, having an intimate mother/daughter moment and she tries to open up and tell me something. Unfortunately, I can't understand a word she is saying. To her, this happens probably a hundred times a day. While she must get very frustrated at the inability to communicate, she has handled it so well.

We started off our morning with a tour of Tian'an men Square and the Forbidden City. When Nolan and I were here last in November '06, there was hardly anybody here and it the weather was cool. That was a huge difference from today, which was extremely hot and super crowded. Nolan and I could have probably ended the tour before it even started, but Kara is a very smart girl and asked the guide tons of questions and loved learning about its history. I think she has really enjoyed her time in Beijing, so doing this has turned out to be a good thing. The picture I took of the girls' feet is inside Tian'an men Square. Every block holds two people, and with 1/2 million blocks, that means that Tian'an men Square can hold one million people. (I think they might have all been there today!)

To me, the highlight of our Beijing tour was the hutong tour this afternoon. (A hutong is a narrow alley, where people live. Many of Beijing's hutongs have been torn down and replaced with larger buildings, so the few that remain allow tourists to take a step back in time and experience a little of Old Beijing. Once you are inside, you forget that there is a large city of 17 million people right outside the walls.) We did not get to do this on our last trip, so it was a nice treat for us this time. First, we rode around the area on rickshaws (Kara talked the ear off of our "driver", asking tons of questions) and then a family who lived in the hutong served us lunch in their home. They just kept bringing out food, food and more food - every bit of it was wonderful. I made an incorrect assumption that the woman serving us the food made the meal, but it was her husband. I'm a little concerned that we have been getting at least eight different dishes served with every meal. I hope Kara doesn't expect me to do that when we get back home, because she's in for a huge disappointment!!

This evening, we went out to dinner for Leila's birthday at a Peking Duck restaurant. We were joined by Susan, the China representative for our adoption agency, and her husband and daughter. Her daughter is 3 1/2, just like Mia, so it was fun to see the three girls playing together. Soon, it will be our three girls playing together. Oh, and it was funny, because the little girl wanted to sit by Nolan the entire evening. Kara couldn't understand why she likes boys so much. :)

We leave tomorrow afternoon for home and arrive Monday evening. We just Skyped Mia and I think she sounds different after just two weeks. Oh, how I can't wait to hold my baby girl!! This mama's arms are aching for a big Mia monkey hug!!

Signing off from China................

18 comments:

Courtney said...

Happy 4th of July. Can't wait to see you guys reunited with Mia and back on US soil. Hope the flight home goes well!

Krista ~ Bits and pieces said...

Happy 4th my sweet friend!!!!

mommy24treasures said...

oh so glad all is well and can't wait to see Miss Mia in your arms:)

Tisha said...

Michelle and family,

Happy 4th of July!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so much for sharing this journey with us. Your honest portrayal will be a blessing to many families considering adoption of an older or "waiting" child. And God will stregnthen you for each challenge you face along this journey to which he has called you! Nothing worthwhile in life is ever easy. But that's what makes the blessing all the sweeter in the end. :)

I can't imagine how much you miss Mia!!! So glad you got to talk to her. It's only a few days now. . . Have a wonderful last weekend in China!

Blessings and MANY prayers,
Tisha

Felicia said...

Happy 4th of July!

Jill said...

Happy 4th of July Michelle and family! Can't wait to see you all reunited!
Hugs, Jill

Ashley said...

Happy 4th of July AND...

Happy Birthday Leila!! What a way to celebrate - in China with your NEW sister! Kara is so lucky to have you as a sister - your family is so special and blessed!!!

Hugs, Ashley

Sherri and Todd said...

Happy 4th!! The dresses the girls are wearing are just too cute. I can't wait to see you back home as a family and the girls being together. Have a safe and wonderful flight home.
Sherri

day by day said...

Hi Michelle!!!

First, a great big Happy Birthday to Leila!!

I have loved "coming along with you" on this journey! You have done a wonderful job at documenting this amazing journey...and I know that is not always easy to do...so thank-you for allowing all of us to follow you!

The sister pictures are really just priceless.....love those matching outfits!

Sending big ((hugs)) your way as you count down the time till you hold your Mia!!!

Happy 4th. to all of you!!!

love and hugs,
~Michelle

Joe and Jane said...

I have so much catching up to do! I love that the girls are dressing alike. It really is a great way to make Kara feel like a part of your family, and it needs no communication!

Glad you're doing so well! Happy 4th of July!

a Tonggu Momma said...

Plan much? LOL - love those Independence Day dresses! And I am glad the girls are learning what it means to be sisters to one another.

Colleen said...

Happy 4th of July!!! I have really enjoyed your journey thank you for sharing it : )
So glad that all is going well.Safe flight my friend...{{{hug}}}

Norah said...

Happy 4th and Happy Birthday Leila! You will all be home soon...and while that may seem bittersweet leaving Kara's birth country behind, there is a whole new life waiting to begin back home in the US.

Rebecca said...

Happy 4th! I know how difficult that communication barrier can be... keep talking about it, you'll find support from so many who can relate!

I know you must miss Mia so much. You'll be home soon and have your three girls with you, won't that be amazing. :)

Kris said...

Oh I have missed SO much in all the craziness of life here trying to get ready for China. Just catching up now. Glad that things are going smoothly in general... wow! Just can't believe the transition in general. What a journey!! Going back to do some reading~!

Roselawn said...

I have been following your adoption journey to add Kara to your family since the beginning. It was very insightful, and I want to thank you for sharing it with us in Blogland! God will walk with you through your transition into becoming a family of five. Enjoy the blessings that will be a result of your willingness follow Him. Safe travels home...

Julia said...

Well, it's Monday evening! I've been following your trip as closely as possible during our own vacation last week, so haven't commented as much as I would have liked, but I absolutely can not wait to see that first photo of all THREE of your beautiful daughters together. Hope the trip home has gone smoothly and your hugging sweet Mia as I type. :-)

Ashley said...

I hope that you arrived home safely and are relishing in your time as a family of five!!!! I bet Mia was so excited to see you, Nolan and Leila and to meet Kara for the first time!!

I can't wait to see pictures and to hear about your family day:)

Hugs, Ashley