Thursday, September 30, 2010

The zoo, some stories and observations

So, there are plenty of stories we could regale you with, but, you might be bored to tears, so, we'll just put down a few for us to remember later!

Yesterday, when we were leaving walmart, we were waiting for a taxi.  It was in front of a hotel and a lot of shops, so there was a wide sidewalk and a lot of people milling about.  There happened to be a beggar walking around this area looking for money.  We ignored him and walked on by at the advice of our guide.  As we passed him, Jian noticed a sign around his neck written on a piece of cardboard that stated "deaf."  He also told us to walk on by.  Tanner saw the man and took out the coins that Jon had given him and handed it to the man.  He turned around and told us, "the man is poor!  We need to help him."  Jian said "no, no money" and Tanner emphatically explained again, the man was poor and we need to give him money to help him.  What a tender heart and sweet spirit!  I love seeing things like that.  Also, yesterday afternoon, as we left the restaurant, Jian's friend that is also being adopted was a bit sad.  Tanner went up to him and put his arm around him - he didn't need to say anything, just trying to help him feel better.  What a teacher he is to us, reminding us of how we are to live!

Today, we went to the zoo!  It definitely was not like our zoos back home, but, the boys had a good time.  While enjoying the monkeys, a little boy started talking to our guide.  He was about 3 or 4 years old and liked seeing the foreigners.  He asked if Tanner was my son and I pointed to both of the boys, indicating they were both my sons.  Our guide tried to explain that Jian was adopted, but wasn't sure of the word.  I asked him if he knew how to write adopted and he did, we showed the family of the young boy and they nodded.  Then, the father asked if I wanted their son as well! 

The pictures attached are from the zoo.  I'm not sure if you'll be able to read the signs on the first picture, the green sign states "ferocious animals" underneath that is "lions and tigers."  We never figured out what exactly the ferocious animals were!  The next is of Jian showing Tanner the Chinese sign for tiger.  Then, Tanner is feeding the poor pig that had a broken, right front leg, he said feeding it would help it heal.  And, can you figure out what the animal is that Jian's trying to feed?  A squirrel!!!  

Then, of course, we enjoyed an afternoon at the pool and did a little homework again.  Tanner enjoyed signing sight words and being the teacher.

So, I think we're getting used to things here.  We're getting used to the smells, the sounds, the language (not that we can speak or understand it, but, just used to hearing it all the time).  I'm even getting more used to the traffic.  I'm not completely tense and stopping the blood flow in Jon's hand every time we're in a taxi!  I'm not sure we're still used to having a large picture window between the bathroom and the bedroom in the hotel, (thankfully there are blinds, but still!!!), nor am I used to the non-western style restrooms.

Tonight, as we were walking through the mall after dinner, I realized how many stores have inappropriate clothing on their mannequins and out for display!  Come on!!  I have a teenage son now!  I'm sure I'll probably notice this more back home too, but, it just seems really blatant right now!  Can I buy some blinders? :)

Tanner did better this afternoon - he had a hard time this morning and fell asleep on the way to the zoo, but, still enjoyed it nonetheless.  He went to bed at 7pm, so, hopefully he'll get a good night of sleep and feel better in the morning.  

Well, this feels like a really random post, hopefully it's readable!  I'm tired and heading to bed early tonight - good night from China and good morning in America!

A day around the city

Good morning from sunny Nanjing!  We're so thankful that yesterday and today we've finally seen the sun!!  It feels so refreshing.  

Yesterday, we had fun celebrating Jian's birthday, though I'm not sure he fully understood what we were celebrating.

We met one of Jian's friends from the orphanage who was also being adopted and enjoyed spending the day with them.

We went to visit a museum and place where they make brocade - a sort of tapestry.  It's how they made it hundreds of years ago.  It was fascinating!!  I attached a couple of pictures, there are 2 people working at the same time on each piece, the person on top is in control of the design and the person on bottom is in control of the color.  It takes them 2 days to create 2 inches!!!  I could've stayed there all day long!  This was the place where our gift from the orphanage is from, so it was even more meaningful to visit.  There's also a picture of Jian in front of one of the robes made for an Emperor.  

We also had fun at a tour of the city wall.  The kids could run around here a little bit and it was a great view of the city from above.  The battery on our camera died here, so, we have a few pictures from my phone!  While entering the restaurant, we ran into one of the ladies that worked at the orphanage (Ayi).  We took some pictures with her and then she cried when we left.  We then enjoyed a nice Chinese lunch before heading off to do a little shopping at.....Walmart!!  Can you believe it?  We bought a new camera :(  Ours is making strange sounds.  It's still working for now, but, we're concerned that it will die  decided it was worth it to buy another one.  Thankfully our guide was with us to help interpret and make sure we bought one that actually had a battery!  

Then, of course, we did some swimming again, did a little homework and some work with Jian (he loves practicing his numbers in ASL), and we gave Jian some birthday gifts before heading out to dinner with some Americans!  We went to a Himalayan restaurant and had some fabulous Indian food! 

Tanner has not been feeling great the last few days and fell asleep before eating dinner last night.  He's been quite pale and a bit off (that's always the best way to describe it).  This sometimes is a precursor to a migraine, so, we're praying that is not the case.  We're thankful we have medication with us if we need it, but, we're hoping it will dissipate on its own without intervention.  Of course, he's not complaining at all, just a little crabby, but, in typical Tanner fashion, he wants to continue doing everything and not miss out on any fun.

Last night, I had to call the airlines to confirm our changed flights - unfortunately, it was not as easy as we expected.  I was on the phone for 1.5 hours trying to rearrange things, pay additional fees, and try to get home on the 15th.  They were saying we couldn't get on the flight that we were scheduled for on the 15th, and would have to wait until the 16th.  You would think I wouldn't care after all this time here, but, I did!  I was so unhappy and tired.  I told the person on the phone "I cannot stay here for one more day!"  She was very kind and was able to find another flight so that we'll still be able to get home on the night of Oct. 15th.  Though, of course, this morning, one more day doesn't seem like such a big deal!    I was a bit crabby, tired and out of sorts yesterday, and not as patient with the boys as I would like to be.  I'm thankful that today is a new day and I can start again!

We're looking forward to a restful day at "home" here and not having a lot planned.  So, I'll try to update later on that, if there's anything much to say! 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Happy Birthday Jian!

Happy 14th Birthday Jian! 
Wow, here we are, in China, celebrating our son's 14th birthday! (15th to him, here you're considered 1 when you're born).
One year ago, even six months ago, we did not even know there was a cheerful boy on the other side of the world, waiting for a home.  We didn't know that if there was no home found for him before his 14th birthday, he would never have the option of being adopted.  He would not have had any further education, and may have been allowed to stay at the orphanage, or, maybe not.  He may have liked to have a job, but, there was not much hope for that either. 
But, before the world began, our same Creator decided we should become a family.  And though we had no idea, it was already planned. 
It was providential that we would have 2 sons who are cheerful and happy and loving despite the circumstances they're in.  It was providential that we would have 2 sons that love to laugh and love to give to others.  It was providential that we would have 2 sons that despite the fact that they cannot hear, maybe hear much more than the rest of us.  It was providential that these 2 boys who love to swim, laugh, jump on the beds, race to the elevator, race to see who can open the door first, and smile all day long, would become brothers even though they're from opposite sides of the world.  How beautiful is God's picture of adoption. 
Happy Birthday Jian!  We love you, as do so many people who have never even met you!

A visit to the Nanjing Deaf School

After our visit to the orphanage, we were able to visit the deaf school.  I believe that the couple that has taken Jian in, helped us to be able to go in and visit here.  We were told that it was being remodeled and that we would probably not be able to enter.  We were very thankful to be able to go in and ask some questions!
Jian has not been in school for the past year, so, he was very happy to see his friends again.  We were able to see several classes of students and they were all thrilled to see the American people.  They laughed at my pointy nose and wanted their pictures taken and to be on video, Jon was happy to oblige.  The younger children jumped up and down, laughing and clapping when they saw us.  Tanner walked right into all of the classrooms and informed them that he was in the 4th grade at Henderson Elementary School and he is a Henderson Hawk.   He was so excited to see all of the deaf kids and didn't realize or care that they signed a different language :)  We were able to tell the children (in Chinese sign language) that we were Jian's new mom and dad and he was moving to America.  He wanted to see the pictures of these friends over and over again this afternoon.
The pictures here are of Tanner and Jian outside of the deaf school and then several of the Jian and his friends.  We were able to speak to some of the administrators and ask for school records, we're not sure if we will receive them, but, were glad to have the opportunity to ask. 
Afterwards, the couple who took Jian in (his Chinese mom and dad), brought us to a nice restaurant for lunch.  It was not an easy lunch for me, but, I ate enough to show my appreciation :)  There is a picture of one of the meats that Jon ate and I did not try, duck tongue.  Jian enjoys it as well, but, will have to learn to live without it!   The lunch was a sort of fondue-like setting - boiling soup in a pot and you put in all kinds of different foods - lotus flower, tofu, skinny mushrooms, bok choy, and MUCH more.  You boiled those things, then take them out and eat them.  Then, came shrimp, lamb, chicken, more lamb, more shrimp (that is supposed to be eaten with the shell on), duck tongue, (so-called) meatballs, and more.  THEN, after all that, they said the main course was coming!  The noodles.  WE were informed it's a tradition to have noodles at the end of the meal because it's a reminder to keep in touch for a long time (like the long noodles), so, of course, we then had to eat noodles too!! 
Then, of course, the boys begged to swim again.   So, they swam for a while before we went back and rested, went to a grocery store for some food, ate dinner, and are now back and ready for bed!
Tomorrow, we are looking forward to some more sight-seeing!  Good night from China!

Our visit to the orphanage

Today we went to visit the Nanjing SWI (Social Welfare Institute) where Jian grew up.  He was clearly loved there, which was wonderful to see.  We had some of our questions answered, and left with many more.
The first picture is Jian in front of the building he lived signing "orphanage".
A lady and her husband met us there (we have a picture of the 5 of us next).  They would take Jian home with them on the weekends and holidays.  They met him at the deaf school because they have a son who attends there (who was adopted at the age of 3).  They took Jian home on and off for 6 years.  You can tell they really love him and are happy he is going to a home in America.  Jian called them his Chinese mom & dad.  Tonight, he asked if his American mom and dad and his Chinese mom and dad are friends, he was happy when we replied that we were.  We were invited to their home on Saturday, and we are all looking forward to seeing them again.  We were happy to meet them and be able to ask her questions.  She told us she once bought him shoes and they often took him to a nice restaurant once a month.  They brought us to this same restaurant for lunch and were very loving and generous to both Tanner and Jian. 
The next picture is of many of the staff and administration.  They all seemed to really like Jian and he was full of smiles while we were there.  He kept asking to go upstairs and wanted to show us his bed and see his friends.  The 4th picture is one of Jian's friends.  He could sign some and was excited to see Jian.  He is about to be adopted by a family in America next month.  The next picture is Jian showing us his bed.  We were happy he slept on a top bunk because he should be ok with the loft bed we set up for him at home!
The last picture is of me holding a 9 month old boy (yes, he's dressed like a girl, but, he's a boy). Tanner enjoyed playing with him for a few minutes and he was so sweet to hold.  He was going home with a foster mother, we met her outside as we were leaving, and were told at that time that Jian had stayed with her as well.  So, we're not really sure of the whole story because we'd been told different things about where he has lived.  This was one of the things I meant about leaving with more questions. 
While touring upstairs, we met a few other children that were special needs and were not in school.  One was a 20 year old young man who was deaf.  Another was a little 8 year old boy with kidney problems, and just as we were leaving we saw several children come off the elevator with different problems.  This evening, I've been having a hard time with this.  Thankfully, it looks as if they're cared for as best as they can be in the situation they're in, yet, it's so sad to see them there.  While we were looking through the pictures, Jian was explaining how the children come to the orphanage.  He said people toss the children on the road, then the police find them, pick them up and bring them to the orphanage. 
Today, I was once again reminded in a very clear way, how this world is not our home and what a broken one it is.  Yet, amazingly, I was able to have joy while there, because our son, who was chosen for us before the world was even made, was happy to be there and show us his friends, his bed and where he lived.  We were able to take pictures there and will have these memories for him in the future.
I did not think this would be an easy trip, the entire trip to China and the trip today to the orphanage.  But, I'm thankful that both have occurred.  I'm thankful that we're here seeing another part of the world made by our Creator, and seeing the reality of this world and reminded of how much I have and how much I've been given, and reminded of the unfathomable and undeserved blessings I have received. You see, I too, have been adopted and did not deserve or do one bit to earn anything, but, have been given life abundantly. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

This and That

Good morning from Nanjing, China!
I wanted to put up a quick post before we left for the day.
People have asked different questions, so, I thought I'd just answer them here (the ones I can remember).
1) Jian's name:
We were going to change it to Jian Lee Bergeron, but, found out that Jian Feng is actually his first name, so, on paper it will be Jian Feng Lee Bergeron.  When we talk about him though, we're just saying Jian.  We will let him decide later what he would like to use for his name - Jian, Jian Feng or Lee.  Lee is my dad's middle name, so that's where that came from :).
You pronounce his name Geeun Fung
2) If the adoption is finished, why are we still here?
The Chinese side of the adoption is complete, but, we must go to Guangzhou and have an appointment with the US Consulate there.  This will allow us to get his Visa to come back into the United States.  Right now, even though we've adopted him, Jian is still considered a Chinese citizen - his passport will reflect as much.  So, we need to get him a visa (after a medical exam, TB test and an interview with the consulate) to return home.  Once he sets foot on US soil (which will be in New Jersey when we switch planes), he will automatically become a US citizen.
3) Why are we here so long?
We were originally hoping to go home on October 9th, but, will be here until October 15th.  The reason is that there's a holiday beginning on October 1st - National Day (like Independence Day), but, they celebrate it for an entire week.  So, everything is closed October 1-7.  We could not get an appointment with the US Consulate (they only accept appointments on certain days and only after a family has their official travel notice to adopt their child) until October 12th.  So, we'll have the appointment on the 12th and will not get his Visa until October 14th.  Then, we'll be allowed to travel back to the United State.
4) What are we doing today?
We are getting ready to go visit the orphanage and the deaf school.  It's possible we will not be allowed in the deaf school due to remodeling, but, we'll at least be able to get some pictures!  So, we'll post more later about the day! 
Good night in America!

Sight-seeing in Nanjing

I'm trying to stay caught up, so, sorry there are several posts all at once!  Hopefully it's not too boring. 
Today is Monday, September 27th.  I think we're mostly used to the time change here and catching up on sleep.  We went to our buffet breakfast this morning, Jian loves it!  So much to choose from, and lots of food that he enjoys such as noodles with bacon on top.  Fortunately, there's a lot of food Americans can enjoy as well.  He's picking up ASL very quickly, he'll show us something in Chinese sign language, we'll show him in ASL, then he'll use both.  All morning, Tanner would use the Chinese signs for everything and then say what it is in ASL and use the Chinese signs again. 
I finally took a picture of the view from our room, we are on the 11th floor. After breakfast, the boys were waiting for us to finish getting ready and looking outside together - I love this picture!
We then went with our guide to Purple Mountain (I think that's the name!) and to see the mausolem of Dr. Sun Yet Sen.  Jian loved racing our guide, Michael, up the stairs (392).  Once again, we had many stares and pictures taken of us, partly because of the unique backpack Jon was carrying.  We bought a carrier before we left so that Jon could carry Tanner.  We were so thankful for it today, because he never would have made it up the steps!
It was fun to enjoy going to just do something fun and be finished for now, with official things (we have more to do in a couple of weeks). 
I think things are going really well.  We're getting used to the different smells, the different food (there are always bones in the chicken!!!), I'm not sure we'll ever get used to the traffic, but, I'm a little less anxious, and getting used to how to get around.  We're all adjusting to each other, the boys each are enjoying being brothers, and it's becoming comfortable to be a family of 4.  I will admit, this morning I looked at the calendar and responded "we've only been here 5 days????"  It feels like a lot longer!  It's not necessarily in a negative way - though, I'm already tired of eating out all the time, and, the neat freak that I am, I don't love how there's not a place for everything (though I'm trying to find one).  This trip has been a good and stretching one for me in many ways.   
Well, the boys are off swimming again, so, I need to sign off and go spend some time with them.  We're so thankful for this special time together!  Thank you again for your prayers for us, they're so appreciated and they're definitely being answered.  We love receiving the e-mails, comments and calls on Skype!  Jian especially loves seeing new people on Skype - he joins in and signs "I love you, OK, OK, OK" 
More later! 

Adoption Day

Here are some pictures from yesterday.  These are at the same office, the civil affairs office as the day before. 
Hopefully these download in the right order, if so, the first two pictures are of us signing the adoption papers and answering the questions of the notary.  We were asked our age, occupation, annual income, and if we promised to never abuse or abandon him.  Then we had to sign.  After that, Jian needed to answer questions and sign that he agreed he wanted to be adopted by us.  HA, could you imagine what would've happened if he changed his mind right then??  I didn't think of that until now! :)
The next picture is Jian with the orphanage director (in blue) and her boss.  Her boss (the lady in red) came to the adoption (my understanding is that this is not necessary or common) because she had a special friendship with Jian.  They gave us a gift of a small, framed tapestry that's an old type of weaving done here, we were very touched!   She also gave Jian 2 gifts: a necklace with a jade mouse (he was born in the year of the mouse), and a necklace with a stone and his name on it.  He was very excited about these.
Then a picture of the new proud parents! :) When we got into the van from leaving the civil affairs office, Jian clapped and jumped up and down and asked "I'm adopted, I'm adopted, I'm adopted????" It was so precious!
After the adoption, our guide brought us to a flea market to find some activities for the boys to do (Jian prefers the technology things, so, we needed to find some other activities as well).  We enjoyed walking around (where we were followed, stared at and had our pictures taken many times (because we're foreigners)), and finding some fun RC cars for the boys.  We also saw many different types of animals for sale (I think as pets, but, am not 100% sure), many rabbits, turtles, baby pigs, squirrels, chipmunks, puppies and more (all stuffed into very small cages :( ).  It was a very unique place to explore! 
We then went to a nice restaurant for lunch.  Our guide ordered for us and we all enjoyed celebrating the adoption!  We ate close to the tanks of eel, frogs, turtles, and fish, all available for order!
Afterwards, we did what the boys are most excited about....swimming!  I'm so thankful Jian loves swimming as much as Tanner!  It's a great way to get their energy out and something fun for them to do!
So, that was our day!!  As of yesterday morning, it is official, Qin, Jian Feng is now, Jian Feng Lee Bergeron! 

Attempt to add video

I don't know if this will work, but, I'm going to try to add a short video.  This is of yesterday, at the civil affairs office to officially complete the adoption.  (Sorry I didn't post again yesterday!  We had a busy day and I was too tired to post again). 
So, the interpretation of the video (if it shows up) is:
Tanner asking Jian "Do you want to join our family?"  Jian's response (in ASL), "I want, want, want"
Hopefully this works!
OK - it doesn't look like it will let me, the video is too big :( So, here's a picture from when Tanner was asking Jian.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Today is Adoption Day

Good morning from China!
We all slept well last night and feel refreshed this morning.  We've had breakfast together, and are getting ready to go to the civil affairs office to complete the adoption. 
Tanner woke up before Jian and really wanted to wake him up this morning.  Once he woke up, they played together for a long time hiding under the blankets and laughing, a joyous sound!
This morning at breakfast Tanner asked Jian "Do you want to go to my school, Henderson Elementary School?  We can put on our backpacks, walk to the street side by side, get on the bus and go to school together.  Do you want to????" 
We'll try to post more pictures of the day later!
Good night.

More pictures


More about today

Here are some more pictures of today, I will have to send them in 2 separate posts.
Jian is a very active boy - he loves technology (and checking out all technology we have in the room again and again).  He really loves the Walsh's iPad (thanks for letting us borrow it!!)  He's extremely curious and very smart.  He's good at communicating with writing (mostly this is how he communicated in the orphanage).  He's been writing with our guide for words we don't know, but, since they've been gone, we've been doing well figuring out with gesturing and looking things up in our Chinese sign language book.  We'd forgotten how slow that was!!  He has a fabulous laugh and had some questions about America (do we have a pool? do we have a car?) and understands that we're going there.  We've shown him a calendar about how long we'll be in China, when we go to another city and when we'll be flying to America.  He seems to understand that as well.  He's been having fun with Tanner, playing around and acting like a brother, and of course, Tanner is loving it as well.  Currently, Tanner is not feeling so well (hopefully all the excitement and lack of sleep is all), and so is sleeping (he didn't want to go eat) while I'm updating this.  Jon and Jian went to go walk around and find some dinner. 
Jian had a small bag with him with one shirt, a book of basketball players (he loves basketball and soccer, and doesn't like baseball :)), He also has 2 small books of pictures of himself at the orphanage and with some deaf friends over the years, we're so happy he has these.  He also had a file folder of the pictures and letter we sent to him a few weeks ago.  When we gave him the clothes we brought for him, he was excited about the shorts because he can use them to play basketball. 
With his paperwork today, we were given a newspaper ad with his picture and description to see if anyone would claim him from 2006.  There's also a copy of the original note that was left with him (apparently this is very unusual to have and to have his exact birthdate as well). Our guide explained it looked as if he was probably brought into Nanjing from a smaller, more rural town and was left at the train station, this was the type of characters used in the note.  We were sad when thinking of the emotions and how hard that must have been for his parents to have to leave such a precious boy because he was deaf. 
Jian loved looking at pictures on the computer.  He looked at pictures from today over and over and liked to zoom in to see things closely.  He likes the pictures of his bedroom in America, and looking at Hattie and Tanner's hamster. 
I'm not sure he believed or fully understood that Tanner was deaf.  He told me to be quiet when Tanner was sleeping, we explained he was deaf and Jon clapped loudly.  Then, Jian went over and clapped several times and laughed and laughed. 
Thank you for keeping up with us.  Tomorrow we will be going back to the civil affairs office in the morning to sign the actual adoption papers, he will then officially be our son.
What a full day we've had!  I hope this post wasn't too hard to follow!  Thank you so very much for your prayers, they were clearly answered and we had a great day.  When they left to go walk around, I was quite weepy, from all the emotion, the future, not enough sleep, etc.  I pray that we can daily honor God through these 2 special boys that he has entrusted to our care. 

And a family of three.....

becomes a family of four!!
So, we currently have guardianship of Jian.  Tomorrow we will sign all the official papers for the adoption.
He was very excited to see us and we've done pretty well at communicating!  In fact, it's been better than we had expected - praise th Lord for answered prayers!  Jian loved swimming in the pool and eats like a teenager!!
Tanner is absolutely loving having a big brother.  They're enjoying each other and so far sharing nicely.  The 3 boys just went out to try to buy superglue to fix Tanner's broken glasses :(  Hopefully it will be a successful endeavor!
While they're out, I'm going to try to take a little nap.  We will update more later, hopefully with more pictures and details for you!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Today is THE day!

Good morning!  It's 4:30am here. Jon and I have both been up for awhile.  Nervous, excited, curious, etc.  We're going to spend some time together in prayer and would love for you to join us.  For us to have peace and to be able to communicate clearly to Jian!  We've been practicing what we'll sign to him, and pray he'll understand!  We also loved how God provided us the opportunity to see and speak to several of our family members and friends on skype today!  We were moved to tears this morning as we were encouraged and reminded again of God's design in all of this as we read our friend Charity's blog.  What a perfect way to start our morning. 

Our day in Shanghai

I think that there are pictures below this in a separate post - I don't think I can post pictures and write a post at the same time, and since I'm unable to actually see the website, I'm assuming that's the case and am posting an update separate from the pictures.  The pictures are:  Tanner in front of the Maglev train (the fastest train in the world, it goes 270 mph), Jon and Tanner in front of the Oriental Pearl tower, Tanner and I in front of the old Shanghai American School (where my Grandfather attended) and Tanner and I waiting to take the train to Nanjing (I look happier than I felt at that point)

Sooooo, we all got some sleep and woke up early and ready to go!  We decided to brave the traffic and take another taxi to try to find the school my Grandpa DeKorne attended when he lived in Shanghai in the 1930's (I think it was during that time).  It was exciting to find it - the school still exists, but, no longer in the same building.  We went to the building that Grandpa attended and wondered if he rode his bike on the same streets we were on!  We also surmised that he would be astonished at the differences now (including the Papa Johns pizza next door.)  I was really excited to see this as it was the thing I most wanted to do in China.  While I'm so happy for him that he's in heaven, I was sad that I will not be able to share this experience with him, as China held a very special place in his heart.

We then went back to our hotel to pick up our train tickets and have a cup of coffee.  Tanner would have been content to sit in the lobby and watch the glass elevators go up and down all day long.  He pointed them out about every 30 seconds :).  Then, we walked around our hotel area and enjoyed walking by the river.  We took a boat tour and had fun seeing all the buildings and a different view of Shanghai.  There were some things that we saw here that were very different from what I expected.  Some great things, and some that made us long for something different.

We then took a taxi to the train station.  Today is the 3rd day of a 3 day holiday in China, there apparently are normally a lot of people (@23 million in Shanghai), but, there were many more because of the holiday.  It made me extremely nervous and concerned with Tanner and our luggage - Jon did a great job of putting up with me and we were happy to pay some workers to help us get our luggage up several escalators, through all the people and to the right place at the train station.  One very kind gentleman who spoke English helped us figure out where to find our seat numbers on the tickets.  I was thrilled to finally just be ON the train and headed to Nanjing. This train only got up to 205mph along some stretches of track.

We arrived in Nanjing and our guide met us at the train station.  They finally had a vehicle big enough for us and all our luggage (we've been in small taxis where our luggage needed a trunk and a seat of its own), and we didn't have to worry about where we were going for once.  We are now checked into the Holiday Inn in Nanjing.  It's a nice, new hotel with a big pool (Tanner's favorite).  We walked around the mall, ate McDonalds (Tanner's request) after ordering from a picture menu, came back to the hotel and unpacked (since we'll be living here for 2 weeks) and are settling in.  

Tomorrow morning we will meet our guide at 9:00am and then off to go meet our new son!  We are excited, and nervous.  Wondering what is going through his mind (if he knows we're coming, how much does he comprehend?), wondering how it will be for all of us adjusting to a new family member (and becoming a part of a family), wondering how nervous he will be, how nervous I will be?!  I'm glad to be experiencing this culture and country, even if for a short while, to help me see how difficult it can be coming to another country, not knowing the language, different smells, different landscapes, different everything!  During the many hours of traveling and not sleeping, I've been thinking back on some verses in Phillipians 3:20-21 "but our citizenship is in heaven.  And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body"

So, friends, tomorrow is the big day!  I hope I'll be able to upload some video, but, we may have to wait until we arrive home.  If I can't, we'll definitely download pictures as soon as we're able!  Thank you for following along with us, and for your love and prayers on this journey!

Shanghai Pictures