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Day 3: Beijing {This is how you do it}

Oh my glory. It’s 3:30pm and we have ALREADY been to Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City AND Summer Palace. We WERE going to go to the Great Wall today–but I think we’ll save that for tomorrow along with Silk Alley, the Pearl Market and rickshaw rides in the older parts of Beijing. We also have a pizza party to go to tonight to see friends from the States who live here. FUN. Tomorrow we will get to see a friend of mine that lives outside of Beijing as well…so it’s such fun also reconnecting with some of my dear friends from college who still live here! FUN!

Sooooo–today (because of jet lag) we were up and at ’em at 5am! Laney and I went for a morning walk at 5:30 and counted down the minutes until breakfast started at 6:30. All four of us were pressed, dressed and at breakfast at 6:29am:). That’s a FIRST! Haha!! (We all know that’s the real reason I homeschool because we like to sleep in…JUST KIDDING:). Okay–so we had breakfast…which was HILARIOUS watching Parker and Laney go around to fix their plates. There were a few things they recognized, but for the most part I had to tell them what things were and they were sports trying a few things at breakfast time no less. We were out the door by 7:30 and hitting the subway.

You can take a cab for about $5-$20 depending on how far you are going–OR you can take the subway for 25 cents. YOU GUYS WHO KNOW US…know what we did:) We navigated the Beijing crazy subway–and it was honestly FUN!!! Now–we did this all day and never saw another foreigner in the subway station–when in Rome folks! Our first stop was Tiananmen Square. Laney and Parker got broken in to the wonder of being a child with blond hair in China in about 5 minutes. There was a LINE people—A LINE—for pictures with them. We let a few have their pictures and then we had to pull them away. Hilarious.

THEN–we had to wait in line for tickets for the Forbidden City…because–it didn’t open until 8:30am! Can y’all believe we were there that early;)?! My friends and family are laughing at this one I know:). I’m late FOR EVERYTHING and NOT A MORNING PERSON. As soon as I get over jet lag the old me will be back folks;). Don’t you fret!

SO–while I waited for tickets–Richard took P and L to sit in the shade…UNTIL they were once again bombarded for photo ops! He had to run from a crowd and hide them while I got tickets. Rico Suave tried to say it was because he looks like Brad Pitt. HAhahahah. So I got the tickets-and we explored away the Forbidden City…

THEN we decided to travel north of the city to the Summer Palace. OH MY. This is my FAVORITE of all the Beijing sites. Just beautiful to me. I honestly could skip everything in Beijing and just do this…okay–so you have to see the Great Wall when you are here–but I love the Summer Palace so much more than the square or the Forbidden City. We decided to be adventurous and take the 103 bus this time instead of the subway. It was actually so nice to sit down and let the wind blow in our faces–and it’s just as cheap as the subway.

When we got to the Summer Palace, Rico took the children to a secret hiding place this time (hahah) and I made a friend in line named Sure who is a student at the university here. He is trying to graduate to be a guide and he asked if he could get in some volunteer hours with us and be our guide for free–we’d just have to fill out a report for his teacher when he was done. We had a BLAST with him! He was so sweet–shared his father’s faith with us (in Budda) and we shared ours with him. It was a really, really sweet day! Such a blessing!!! He was really confused why we would come here to adopt when we have 4 children–but by the end of the day he got it…and I think we have a new friend. Richard was laughing at me calling me redonkulous sending him off with our email addresses…but you never know. (I met a sweet boy in high school in the airport too–who happens to live in our city in ATLANTA–who stays with his uncle but is only in Beijing visiting his parents. We are going to have him over for dinner when he gets back to Atlanta! So crazy the connections that can be made when you are constantly looking for how can you connect with other people. That’s what we are here for anyway, right?!) Okay–so Sure took us all around on the coolest Summer Palace tour you’ve ever been on. We even rented a boat and went all around the outside of the palace–letting the kids drive too and relax in the wind. IT WAS AMAZING!!! Parker was almost asleep after the hour boat tour!

Okay–you guys who know Rico Suave well–you have to go back and look at him in that pic driving the boat. SUCH. A. DORK. He started driving the boat that way to see if he could get a reaction out of Sure. I was laughing so hard at him being a nerd sitting up straight like that and had to explain to Sure that Rico Suave has problems. So funny!

SOoooo…THEN we took the Subway BACK. We made some friends on the Subway…I was totally pumped that I knew which lines to get off on and change on the other subway line to get to our hotel. We grabbed lunch at McDonalds of all things–and then we went to the underground WU MART (the Chinese version of Walmart with eel and such).

We are now back at the hotel. Rico and Loo bear have CRASHED. P is playing a game on the Kindle. And I’m updating YOU because my best friend Kelly insisted I update. SO…THERE YA GO KEEEEEEELLY. This one’s for you:)

Love you all to the moon and back! Mom and dad—PLEASE keep tagging me in those Facebook pictures and videos of Isaac and Frank. I miss them so much and every time we see little people I miss them more! BUT it’s all for another little person–and it’s going to be SO WORTH IT! I’m not sure if we will meet Zeke on SUNDAY OR MONDAY. I think it may actually be MONDAY…but I’ll definitely be posting pictures the moment he is in our arms. It is SO SURREAL and I can’t believe that we are actually about to meet him…AND that he’s coming home with us forever. It’s just hard to believe. You protect your heart for SO LONG in the journey to your child–and then…you are days away and you keep telling your heart that even now–you can go there. It doesn’t feel “safe” yet to let my heart go there–but we all know that it already has. God’s plans for your hearts–well, they are never safe. Nope. Just as the beaver in the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe says himself–Aslan–he isn’t safe…BUT HE IS GOOD. Each step on this journey is a step of faith–toward your little love…taking risks–because they are worth it. It’s so unreal to me that THIS WEEKEND we will be in his city and we are just days away from meeting him now. It won’t be really real until Zeke is in our arms!

Alright. Hope y’all have a great night!

I have so much more to say…but I have to just add that I LOVE THIS COUNTRY. We have been shown such kindness as we have lived among the people today in the subway, buses and walking the streets. Such sweet moments with strangers and new friends–reminding me of my love for this place. I think it’s amazing how He writes our stories…and how this country has had a sweet place in my heart for so long. Little did I know the story He was writing…TRUST HIM FOR YOUR STORY!! He writes the best ones!

Love you all!!!



KT Pierce - May 31, 2013 - 5:02 am

This makes me so unbelievably happy!

Allison H. - May 31, 2013 - 9:02 am

how cool that your oldest kids are there with you, what an experience for them to have at such a young age! Can’t wait to see you with your little guy in your arms!!

Joy Portis - May 31, 2013 - 9:20 am

So beautiful! Perfect way to start my day! Praying for you and soooo excited! Keep the updates coming 🙂

Alison - May 31, 2013 - 9:55 am

“Trust Him for your story!”…..ahhhh, I just love that! We have seen God write His PERFECT story for our family in the past week, and truly my heart is overwhelmed by His goodness and sovereignty! Can’t even talk about it without crying! So excited that ya’ll are THERE about to meet your sweet boy! Praise God! I love all these cute pics!!!!

Candy - May 31, 2013 - 12:04 pm

I am so much enjoying all that you are sharing, Andrea. Thank you.

Billie - May 31, 2013 - 4:03 pm

Oh, Andrea, Chase and I are loving your pics. What an awesome adventure for Laney and Parker!!!! Right decision to bring them!! Take care, be safe, and keep the blogs and pics comming.

Love you.

Courtney - May 31, 2013 - 11:53 pm

LOVE seeing these pictures. And love China so very much. It’s making me want to go back! Praise the Lord for His good plans!

Leese - June 2, 2013 - 10:03 pm

Loving getting to read about your experiences and adventures! And I love that you’re experiencing China as the locals do! (That’s totally my style, too!

Admittedly I laughed about your breakfast adventure and being up for things too early (and the homeschooling comment, too!) Hope your bodies get on your current time zone quickly 🙂

Sounds like the kids are being great sports with the photos/hair bit. That happens a lot when I’ve been in the Arabian Gulf with friends – only it’s not just photos and touching hair, but it’s often offering food/sweets/random things (even to young babies). Talk about having to really keep your eyes on things!

Then again, traveling with my best friend back almost 15 years ago, when her hair was much more red then, we discovered red hair also prompts great fascinating in many places – and they’ll do the same thing to adults as typically only happens with kids! Poor girl had never been overseas before that. I thought she’d never go again. Then she met her husband overseas on that trip – oh God and His crazy sense of humor! 🙂