Hoping this will work- I am having trouble accessing my blog from China-
Anyway, this is the start of our 4th full day in China- we arrived around 9pm Thursday night in Hong Kong, found a shuttle to our hotel and had no trouble going to sleep after around 30 hours of traveling :)
We awoke to a very windy and rainy Hong Kong morning, but were excited to explore the city nonetheless. After grabbing a quick bite of breakfast at McDonalds, we took a high speed train into the center of the city. Our goal (one of them) was to visit Victoria Peak, a beautiful lookout spot which provides beautiful views of the city.
When we arrived to the central terminal, the directions were fairly clear as to how to get there- we hopped on a double decker bus and that was it!
The bus ride in itself was quite an adventure. We sat on the top in the front row, and had an awesome panoramic view of the city. It was about a 30 minute twist turvy ride up the mountain- one that was exciting and a little scary as there was nothing separating us and our bus falling down the mountain except the skill of the driver- no wall, no fence- nothing! Once at the top we walked around a Shopping mall and went out on the observation deck. The view, though cloudy and foggy, was still amazing! We rode a tram down the mountain which was wasn't nearly as scary....
We "landed" near a beautiful botanical garden and were able to explore it for about 15 minutes before the heavy rains came- we found shelter under a gazebo and waited out the rain, then we went to find a place to eat lunch. It was tough to pick a spot because there were so many choices, but we found a little pub with an interesting menu and it was pretty good (we knew we would have plenty of opportunities for Chinese food the remainder of our trip, so we opted for more Western food this time).
After lunch we explored the waterfront portion of the city, and took a ferry ride to a small island. It was very quaint and had a small beach. From there we took our bus back to our hotel, got cleaned up (we were a mess from all the rain) and had dinner at the mall attached to our hotel.
Hong Kong is a magnificent city, clean, beautiful and very international. There is so much to do there and it is all very accessible- we would love to come back sometime for a visit as one day doesn't begin to give you enough time to explore! We were very impressed with the time we did have, however :)
We flew to Eden's city, Guiyang, Saturday morning. It was a two hour flight from Hong Kong. This was our 4th flight of the trip- so we are halfway through our flights- we have 4 more to go before making it home (but honestly, I am done with flying already) :)
The topography here is very mountainous. The temperature is pleasant, around 70, and so far it has been very cloudy with rain off and on. The city is the Capitol of the Guizhou province, and there are about 5 million people in this city. Despite the large number of people, it is not an extremely international city- before our other travel group members arrived, we were the only Americans/non-Asian people we saw and no one speaks English :) Zack and I explored a little on our own Saturday and it was quite interesting- parts of the city seem very poor, and parts seem thriving. They are in the process of building a subway here, so lots of construction. We are dinner at a beautiful restaurant but no one spoke English so ordering was a challenge :) we pointed at pictures but really didn't know what we were pointing at! We ended up with some very, very spicy food and bony chicken! We made the best of it....but weren't able to clean our plates :)
Yesterday the rest of our group arrived which was wonderful! They are super sweet couples and we are very thankful to be sharing this experience with them.
Yesterday we had lunch and dinner with them (our guide also came to lunch so that helped with ordering) the went to Walmart (will have to post more about that later- what an experience) and had a good time getting to know one another. It instantly made things better having them here.
Today is the big day! This afternoon at around 2:30 (so while everyone in the USA is sleeping) we will meet Eden. I have decided that no matter how many times you do this, the nerves, excitement, fear, and the sheer unknown are still the same. We have no idea what her reaction will be to us, though we feel like we have been prepared for the worst thanks to Emmie's reaction to us three years ago- and I mean that in a good way :) If it goes smoother than that, it will be a pleasant surprise :)
I am so excited just to meet her- to see her sweet face in person, to watch her expressions, to see what makes her smile, laugh, etc, and to probably learn what makes her cry as well :) We have our room all ready with her toys, stuffed animals, and her backpack is packed with goodies that will hopefully assist in making our first meeting as smooth as possible (i.e. candy, treats, toys :) The other children being adopted by the families with us are right around 2, so they are all close in age and I feel this will be a fun and helpful thing for all the girls (yes, they are all girls)!
We know countless people have been praying for us since the moment we left Charleston, and we can't thank you enough for all of those prayers. They bring us great comfort in a foreign land, and especially on such a life changing day as today will be! No matter what happens these next few days we pray God will receive the glory and that our story will point to Him.
I would love to type more but as I am doing this on my IPhone, this is all I can take!
Our specific prayer requests are of course for Eden, and for her little heart to understand that we love her and are here to be her mom and dad forever, that she won't be afraid of us and that she will be able to feel safe with us, rest with us, and enjoy her time with us. Please also pray for the other two precious families and their babies. Please also pray for good health while we are away- we had an early scare with Zack and some respiratory issues on Saturday but thankfully we used the medicine my mother in law sent and God seems to have healed him! I have been fine other than some dizziness that I attribute to being older and not being able to handle all this traveling and time changes and new smells and tastes :)
A huge thanks to my inlaws and parents for taking such wonderful care of our kiddos. Though we miss them terribly we have the assurance of knowing they are in such good hands :)
That's all for now- the next time we update we will have Eden!
Sent from my iPhone