Today I woke up feeling very rested. I think it was good that I was up late my first night in China as it helped me sleep through the night and get used to the time change. I am staying at the Super House International hotel. I enjoyed a Chinese buffet breakfast at the hotel and then headed to New Day Foster Home. It took about an hour to get there from the hotel, I have learned it takes just about an hour to get anywhere I want to go in Beijing:) Traffic is always interesting, I am really surprised there are not more car accidents, I was joking with Rocky, our foreign service provider, about it and he reminded me of the Chinese acrobats show that is famous in Beijing, where many times you feel the actors will fall to their death (I suggest going to a show if you have not already, next time you are in China! ) He said that is what driving is like too, they all just work together and it works fine! 🙂 Today I saw a car just parked sideways abandoned right in the middle of a busy highway 🙂 I pass the drive time by people watching. It is fun to see all the people out riding their bicycles and motor bikes, some times whole families on one motor bike. We pass many, many small shops and people and children on the side of the street running around in their split pants:) The ladies like to walk around with sun umbrellas on hot days and it is fun to watch older people out practicing Tai Chi in the morning. I love the culture of China.
When I made it to New Day I was greeted by Karen, the director, and was given a tour of the grounds. I have not visited New Day since 2010 so it was neat to see some improvements. Our first stop was the pre-school class. I was delighted to see Eliana, who we helped place a few months ago, and Noah, a little boy who I had been praying for a family for since 2010 and I learned he has been matched with a family! I also was able to interact with a little girl who is currently available for adoption whose name is Lucy, she turned five in January and the doctors have diagnosed with her neurological issues. She is precious and I spent a good deal of time with her to hopefully help find her a family. I spent some time in school with her and took her to her physical therapy class. Here is a picture of her and I on the playground. If you or someone you know may be interested in her adoption please let me know! She was very cuddly and I enjoyed playing and singing with her. I was also able to meet the twin boys that were just brought to New Day! I was also hoping to spend some time with Oliver, but he was not in the foster home the time I was there. He is also currently available for adoption at New Day. You can learn more at http://www.newdaycreations.com/foster/. Here also is a picture with Karen, the director of New Day before I left for the day. It was a joy to spend time with all the precious children there! Karen shared with me that there is a great need right now for funds to expand their home, they are working to open two new homes and have a wait list of kids ready to come when they have room from outside orphanages. They also are in need of funds for surgeries for the children in their care, the just funded two kidney transplants which was incredible to see happen in China. I am so thankful for the work that they are doing there and helping join them to better care for orphans.
After returning to the hotel I took a quick break and then exchanged some money at the hotel and went shopping at the Pearl Market. This is my favorite place in Beijing to go shopping, but you for sure have to get ready to barter for the price that you want! So I would not confuse myself with the exchange rate I just thought of what I was willing to pay in US dollars and offered that to them in their currency, and if they did not like it then I just walked away and said no thank you, quite often they would call me back though and they would give me the price I wanted. It is like a game to them 🙂 I enjoyed shopping for friends and family and getting my 4 year old her first Chinese dress 🙂 Then I headed to a local tea house for some tea with Rocky and Pat, a physical therapist that just came over from Shanghai helping with Gladney’s one-to-one orphanage. It was fun to visit with her and hear about the improvements on the orphanage Gladney has partnered with. This was her ninth visit to China for this purpose so I really tried to retain as much information as I could from her about what was working for them. I am so excited to get to Xiamen and help in a similar way. Then we headed over to dinner with Gongzhan, the director of Asia for Gladney, and Rocky’s wife and some of their friends. I was treated to the best Chinese food I have ever had! I then learned from Rocky that today the CCCWA decided to officially allow Families Are Forever to change their name to All God’s Children International! I submitted a request yesterday and they granted it today. We are so excited to finally have this opportunity to be recognized as AGCI in China.
Tomorrow morning will be a full day, I get to wake up early and do my first Tai Chi lesson and then head over to spend the day at Bethel! Thank you for all your support and prayers. I am looking forward to heading to Xiamen soon! –Tiffany