"Be that as it may, my Father knows best, and I'm confident that He has placed me here; my task is to labor quietly until the pillar cloud removes and leads farther, working out God's purposes in God's time." -Jim Elliot


Ni Hao from Beijing!

Our first full day in Beijing has been incredible! The sights, sounds, smells, and hustle of the Chinese culture is so unique and different! Our agency set up an eclectic guided tour offering us many experiences to truly be immersed into our daughter's birth culture. 
Today we visited Tian' an Men Square and the Forbidden City. It was so rich in Chinese history! Beautiful architecture with so much story behind it.


It was also here that I had my first encounter with the squatty potty. In the words of a friend and fellow adoptive mama who came here about a month ago to get her daughter, "I nailed it." ;)
We also took a Rickshaw Tour of Hutong, which is a tour in Old Beijing on little two-person carts pulled by bike. It was quite the adventure!!!

In Hutong, we had a homemade lunch made in a local family's home that was absolutely out of this world. Ben and I walked away saying, "So that's how Chinese food is supposed to taste!" It was so different than American Chinese food. It had so much fresh flavor!

On our way back to the hotel, we went to a Tea Ceremony where we were able to taste many teas as well as learn about their health benefits. I am officially in love with Gingseng tea, and we just had to get some. I can't wait to have my quad ladies over for some Chinese tea upon our return.

We grabbed showers once we were back to the hotel, and then our guide took us to a Chinese acrobatic show. To be honest, I think it took a couple of years off my life! So much risk-taking  including eight motorcycles in a small ball cage zooming around at crazy speeds, 10 + girls on one bike riding around in a circle doing stunts, and men balancing by one hand upside down on a small square stand raised 20 feet in the air while also balancing the weight of another person. It was definitely impressive!!!
We ended up heading to McDonald's for a quick dinner with one of the families we are traveling with, and fries and a coke with no ice never tasted so good!
What we learned today is that China is very different than what we are accustomed to, and in a way, God is giving us an experience of being immersed in such a different culture so that we can begin to empathize and understand how much is about to change for Selah. The sights, sounds, smells, relationships, and everything else in her world will be entirely different. She will be gaining a family but also losing everything she has ever known simultaneously. This reality will hit not only on Gotcha Day and the next two weeks, but especially as we bring her to the United States. Can you join us in prayer for her heart to grieve well and to heal? We will have her in our arms at 2:30 pm this Sunday (which is 2:30 am Sunday morning in the United States).  The magnitude of what is about to happen is really hitting us here. The trajectory of all of our lives will be changed in one moment forever. This truth is not lost on us, and yet we are processing and realizing more and more our need for grace to walk with her through all of these changes.

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