Tim here (but most photos by Liam). It’s been quite a journey thus far, and having arrived in Beijing unscathed, we are now fighting the demons that come from a 13 hour time difference. We’ve been watching the snow storm back home from halfway around the world, grateful that we were able to depart and arrive without any weather impacts. Our time in Beijing has mirrored what Kelly and I did when we came to get Vivi. We checked in to our hotel, got everyone settled and crashed hard about 8:30 pm, having been up (I don’t count the plane “naps” we all took) for about 30 hours or so. What’s worse is that they keep telling us not to sleep here during the day, and that’s all we want to do.
We awoke about 3am and dozed in and out until breakfast opened at 6am. Our three families, totaling 17 people, left for Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City about 8:30 and moved through the massive, historic and picturesque architecture over the next 3 hours. It was cold, but the smog had cleared so much it made for a beautiful, sunny morning. We moved between the awe of seeing some of these sights again, trying to take in some things differently this time, telling our children to stay away from each other, to stop touching parts of these structures that were nearly 600 years old, and getting to know the others in our group. We took pictures, marveled at the history, and found moments of gratitude to be in such a place and to take it all in. Beijing is the pride and joy of the Chinese. Many citizens never get the opportunity to visit the Imperial Palace, and tourists blend together–foreigners and Chinese alike–just to appreciate the site.
We then moved into “old” Beijing (to which I say, ‘Isn’t all of this old?’), but it was more historic and marked by lots of gray colored residences that all blended one into the other. We took a rickshaw ride through some narrow back streets and enjoyed a wonderful home-cooked Chinese meal of rice, green beans, meatballs, chicken, onions, carrots, celery, potatoes, jasmine tea, and Coca-Cola. It was absolutely delicious. Our kids even ate some of it. We were thrilled! A weary bus ride back to the hotel for an afternoon of rest (but not sleep) awaited us.
Our guide, George, has been wonderful and informative. We are well taken care of here. We are so proud to be doing this through CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International) again and they really are top-notch on every aspect of this process. Tonight we will try Peking Duck as a whole group, and we’re very much looking forward to bedtime.
We’re also so very excited to meet and welcome our new son and brother and grandson, Titus. But first, the Great Wall and an acrobat show, and possibly a trip to the night market where they skewer and fry up a wide array of arthropods. It’s quite a scene!
There will be more to follow, hopefully with many pictures to help tell the story. We are so very blessed!