Saturday, October 2, 2010

An amazing trip, Chinese parents, and a taste of home

Good morning!  

It is Sunday morning here.  I'm writing an update, then Jon and I are going to listen to last Sunday's message, hopefully it will feel a little more like Sunday!  We're then planning to go out and find a park and have a restful morning.  Jian already set it up with his friend's family (the other boy who was just adopted), to swim together this afternoon.

A few days ago, Jon was able to take an amazing and memorable day trip.  We would love to tell you more about it when we get home.   He recognized that this place has tremendous needs and was able to spend some time in encouragement.  

So, yesterday was an interesting and memorable day.  The Wang family (we think that's their name), came to pick us up in their car - Mrs. Wang's brother came in his car as well so we could all fit.  We drove to their apartment and hiked up to the 6th floor (only buildings with 7 or more floors have elevators).  They showed us around their home and Jian was excited to show us where he slept.  He took plenty of pictures around the apartment and we're happy to have these for the future.  We enjoyed some tea and fruit.  It's difficult to turn down things that we know we shouldn't eat, but, were able to do so somewhat graciously. We enjoyed seeing a traditional (though probably somewhat wealthy), Chinese home.  The kitchen is very small, the bathroom and kitchen are connected with an incompletely frosted glass door!  Yikes - I didn't realize this until I needed to use the restroom.  The shower has no door, it's right next to the toilet, and the whole restroom is tiled.  Their apartment is bigger than most.  There are 2 bedrooms downstairs and an attic like area with a 3rd playroom/bedroom.  It also has a toilet up there (we're pretty sure there's no plumbing connected to it - it was quite smelly up there).  We were told whenever we come back to Nanjing, we can stay there  Tanner was excited to see all of the toys up there.  Jian showed us his remote control car they gave him.  Mr. Wang explained they'd given it to him, but, he always wanted to keep it at their house.  I'm sure Jian knew it was not safe at the orphanage.

We chatted for a while, thankful for our guide, and were able to hear a bit more about them, and they asked us questions about America.  The three boys (their son and our 2) played the computer and other games together.  They asked if Jon wanted to go fishing,  we had other plans for the afternoon and were unable to take them up on the offer.    We then went to lunch in a small market-like area downstairs.  Mr. Wang told us that these were people who were unemployed and come and set up their own small business.  There were "restaurants," hair salons, snack places, nail places, and other "shops."  So, they brought along crab from a fresh water lake.  We sat down at the "restaurant" (2 tables) and they asked if we liked duck.  Jon said yes, I said I was willing to try it.  We then were pulled out of our seats and taken across the street to 2 different vendors with food to purchase.  We picked our own roasted duck (Jon was concerned this would be a live duck, we were thankful this was not the case), and some sort of beef.  We turned down the pig tongue, whole roasted chicken (including the feet), and other unrecognizable things.  During this time, I was praying for protection for our bodies of the food we were about to eat.

So, we sat down to eat and we think there were about 13-14 different types of food brought out.  Some was delicious - the BBQ'd fish was amazing!  The beef was ok (though cold), and other food was not too bad.  Then another bowl came out, our guide was unsure of the proper interpretation but called it fish intestines.  I tried very hard to keep a neutral face.  When Mr. Wang motioned several times for me to take some, I took some of the juice and put it on my plate but did not use my chopsticks to take any "meat."  Then came the pig kidneys, Jian and their son both ate plenty of these, I again, politely (hopefully) declined. Jon was very brave, and tried some of everything!  More and more food kept being brought out, and fortunately, I was able to say I was full, Jon helped and asked our guide to tell them I had a small stomach.  

While eating, they asked their son if he wanted to come to America with us.  He adamantly declined.  They asked if Tanner wanted to stay with them while we brought the 2 chinese boys back to America.  Tanner said sure!  They asked if he wanted to stay overnight and he begged to stay.  We explained that Tanner has to take medication 3 times a day and he was going to have to come back with us.  She then said that we could leave Tanner for 3 years and come back to pick him up after that.  We think she wanted to work on his oral skills.  

We wished we had a gift for them, to thank them for all their generosity.  We told them we would like to send them something from America - they replied "no, we are all family now, we will not accept your gifts."  I think they would love pictures of Jian in America, so, we will make sure to send some of those upon our return.   They invited us to have dinner with them as well, we had to decline since we already had dinner plans.  We enjoyed our time, but, I was having a bit of difficulty with all of the smoke - there's a lot of smoking that goes on here in China!  Both men there smoked the entire time we were together.

We are so thankful to have had this time in seeing them, spending time with them and seeing their home.  It's great to have some pictures and knowledge of where Jian has spent some of his time and to ask some questions about his last several years.  

We came back and of course did a little swimming.  Then, we went and had a fabulous American dinner of hamburgs with some Americans!  It was so delicious and we really enjoyed the company as well.  Jian was excited to use their ripstick and show off his skateboarding skills.  We all had a fun evening and another great day to store in our memories.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a day of food and fun! Just wait till Jian tastes our wonderful casseroles! He will probably not be too impressed!

Anonymous said...

:) praying for your stomachs! glad everyone had a great time.

keeping up w/you guys!