Jason and I prayed we would fall in love with our daughter's birth country and that we did. China is beautiful. There were moments where we forgot we were in a foreign country and it just seemed normal. Then we would remember where we were and think "Holy Crap, we are in China!!" God is just so good! The landscape in Beijing is a lot like Pittsburgh, the weather and landscape are similar, well minus the smog, that I could do without. We spent 3 days in Beijing touring the nations capital. We loved learning about the culture and ancient history of the Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. Ivy is from southern China so we took a flight early Monday morning for Guangzhou. Guangzhou is humid and hot and very tropical and may be the most beautiful city I have been in. The landscape is lush, full of ferns, palm trees, trees full of beautiful pink flowers everywhere and just so green even in the middle of sky scrapers. Across the street from our hotel there were 2 of the most beautiful parks we have ever seen. If it wasn't so dang humid we would have spent more time there. Mental note, next time in China, go to Guangzhou during winter :)
We were in some ways surprised at how similar China is to America. I think there is this stereotype that it is a third-world country. Don't get me wrong, I know there are villages that are full of poverty, but the cities are a lot like ours. Aside from cultural changes and differences in the way the country is governed, a lot of things were similar. Carrefour is the French department store, very similar to our Target. We bought, Lays potato chips, pampers, Heinz baby cereal, Chips Ahoy cookies, had Heinz ketchup at the hotel, and a host of other name brands that are normal in America. While it is expensive in China to own a car, there is every make and model you see here. Chevy, Ford, Toyota, Honda, BMW, Volvo...difference being, we obey traffic laws while driving and they don't. I have never prayed so much for protection in a short time frame as I did in the few taxi rides we took. It brought my car sickness to a whole new level!
Our adoption agency sends us with a travel group. Normally there is a group of 7-10 families but since we went kinda short notice we only had one other couple with us. What a blessing this was! Not only did God totally blow us away with the timing but he blessed our time there with new lifelong friends. There sweet daughter Merynn is such a joyful child and is completely hilarious. You just can't help but fall head over heals in love with her! We can't wait to celebrate our Gotcha days for years to come!
Bryce, Bethany and their new daughter Merynn.
The architecture is gorgeous and so detailed!
The guys with our tour guide Tom! He was amazing and made Beijing wonderful!
Rickshaw through Hutong Village. One of the original villages left in Beijing.
This saying is so true,
“I am not the same having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.”