Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Noni's China Journals: Beijing

There is no way I can share the plethora of emotions and thoughts I had upon arriving in Beijing. I will just highlight a few:
  • Somewhere in this vast country Mia is waiting for us. She doesn't know she is waiting but she is.
  • For the first few days, every woman I saw, I wondered if she was Mia's mother and if she would somehow return for her baby before Brad and Glenda could hold Mia in their arms.
  • Is this just a bad "air" day or can they ever see the blue sky and sunshine?
  • People, by the thousands, hundreds of thousands, everywhere.
  • Riding in a bus, looking out the window and staring at workers through windows on the top floor of sky scrapers because the interstate was three layers high.
  • Looking out the hotel window at the masses of people below contemplating the lostness of their souls without my Jesus.
  • Thinking about the beauty of missions and praying for our missionaries.
  • 16 million people in this city alone where an organized church gathering is illegal.
  • A city of 16 million people that 99.9% live in high rise apartments. (Comprehend that!)

Our hotel was very upscale. I had a room to myself. Brad, Glenda and Macy were not too far down the hall. Again, my web cam and skype account were awesome! I was able to see and talk to my family for FREE!

Glenda and I ventured to the neighborhood market across the street. It is amazing that there are so many American brands available overseas. Oreos. m&ms. Soaps. V-8. Cookies. All but diet coke- only coca-cola light. UUUUGGGGGH!!!! My replacement? Strawberry and tomato V-8. Mmmmm mmmmm good. (I can't find that in the States but have learned how to make my own strawberry/tomato V-8!)

We met the rest of our travel group. Each family had their own beautiful story of wanting to adopt. I remember everyone being quite confused that I was Glenda's mom. Glenda was having way too much fun with that.

Friday we walked to the nearest McDonalds. Fun stuff! Glenda and I went to the ladies room to check out the "squatty potties". Do I dare tell you my story? Let me post my picture first.

If you look carefully behind my cheezin grin and underneath my legs, there is a "toilet" that is flush with the floor. The women in China simply "squat" to use the rest room. Good Lord have mercy on my soul! I couldn't even pose for the picture. As soon as Glenda snapped this picture, my purse fell open and its entire contents rolled across the floor. Bear in mind, Glenda and I are in ONE stall - with the door closed. We start laughing so hard and giggling that the other dear Chinese customers using the facilities thought something was very wrong with these crazy Americans! We were laughing at the thought of "if I couldn't even 'squat' to pose for a picture, what on earth would happen if I had to reeeeeally use the squatty potty should nature call without a western toilet around?!"

That evening we met up with a family that was adopting for the second time. They were very comfortable with their surroundings, so we all ventured out on a taxi excursion to eat authentic Chinese food. Do you know how helpless it feels to trust a total stranger to drive you around in a foreign city to places you have no idea how to get to? (Does that make me a control freak?)

Next big revelation: The Chinese food I love so much, is not Chinese food. It is very, very westernized oriental food. Big Big revelation!

The only thing I recognized that night was rice.
And we made it back to the hotel safe and sound!

After chatting again on the web cam, we went to bed in order to be rested for our big day of sight seeing the next day~ Tiennanmen Square and other sights of Beijing.

I wanted to know my history of the 1989 massacre, so before I went to bed, I googled Tinanmen Square. Nothing. I tried again using a different search engine. Nothing. My computer immediately shut down. **Poof**!!!!

Dorinda Blann, welcome to a world where freedom of speech does NOT exist.

Wow! My brain could not comprehend such things! An adrenaline rush pulsed through my being. Raw Fear.

Then the calming peace of realizing I am an American citizen ~ backed and protected by the greatest military army in the world.

The song by Lee Greenwood plays in my mind: "I'm proud to be an American where at least I know I'm free."

I made a mental note to self: do not google search politically "incorrect" stuff again while in China! I would do my history lesson when on free soil, where the ugly truth and the pretty truth is still freely discussed.

The next day I would walk through Tiananmen Square. I would see the ghosts of 1989 in my mind. I would hear their protest for democracy~ Cries for freedom that were shot down and run over with army tanks.

I turned my computer back on, thankful that is still worked throughout my trip, but painfully aware that it was much slower than before. Can anyone say "spyware"? (yes, I have an overactive imagination, but you will not convince me otherwise.)

Okay - I am slow going- TOMORROW - More on Tiananmen Square, The Forbidden City, Summer Palace, The Great Wall, but mostly pictures.

I cannot even begin to tell you the depth of happiness that "Gotcha Days" mean to our family. September 15th and May 9th are just as important as birthdays in our book. They are two days that God ordained for our family to be brought to wholeness of soul and to completion. I hope by the time my China Journal series is completed, you will have been able to glimpse into the windows of our souls and feel the joy of Gotcha Days with us! (By the way, my daughter is remembering back on our time in China also on her blog. Click here to read.)

3 more days until "Gotcha Day!"


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