Our day started at around 5am when Azlan woke. Izrael stayed sleeping til after 6am (local time). Pretty awesome. I'm pretty hardcore about time changes and think the only way to deal with them is to put yourself on the new time...immediately. Yes it's a little tough on the body but easier than dragging it out. We were so extremely sleep deprived when we arrived but the good news is we arrived at 6am our time but it was 9pm local time so we just all went to bed and here we go! Have to say we have great black out curtains in our hotel room as well which help for nap time.
We headed out at about 7 or so and just started walking.
We hit a little breakfast spot we had NO idea what we were about to eat but they were making it right in front of us. Azlan was not excited about trying a new food but did it. He didn't like it but I told him he needed to eat it anyway;) He ate half. It was a pastry made with green onion and chicken and mustard then deep fried. A little weird but it was ok :)
Here we are eating our 'breakfast pastry' :)
You should try ordering from this menu! haha! We paid a total of 80 cents for 3 of these pastries :)
The lady making the food right beside us
Her husband was out front frying them.
An interesting part of our morning was seeing this: morning excercises all over the park. EVERYWHERE. There was loud music playing and everyone seemed to know what they were doing.
Love how green everything is!
Azlan walked into a little path in the park and was excited to see a cat ;)
We bought bananas and he was overjoyed that he could count on bananas to taste the same in China!
Trying to get a picture of the crowds. People are very used to rubbing shoulders and no one seemed to ever budge a bit to let you through with a stroller ;)
There was a man raking leaves in the park and a older Chinese lady and a little boy age 3 or so was watching. When she saw us she came right up to us and tried to get him to say "Ni hao". He was adorable and I have to say I immediately thought of Zihao! He had the same spunk as Zihao and I got a lump in my throat. Just 11 more days little Zihao!!
Why yes...Walker shop! It wasn't opened yet and was rather...empty so people were giving us funny looks that we wanted a picture here;) later in the morning it was filled with shoes. Also rather fitting ;)
Our second food purchase (that people were lining up for) was not a good choice. This man enjoyed them though :)
The noise of the city is awesome. I love it. Horns non stop. Traffic that is crazy and seeming out of control driving.
Little Izrael...who had cute little sneakers all packed...and left on our kitchen table (it was early!!) so she has been shoe-less ever since. So far it seems it's the only thing we missed..! :)
This was neat seeing an older man teaching his student.
Oh...one of the many reasons we realize we made the right choice buying 2 cheap umbrella strollers for the trip versus our (fabulous) double stroller...that weighs a million pounds! We have been doing flights of stairs all morning!!
The exercising in the park... so funny. We certainly didn't see any playground but instead, colorful fitness equipment!
Azlan going at it!
Two ladies just got off this thing so we gave it a try ;)
This man was very intent on his routine.
One of our many views this morning
We were walking down a beautiful upper class shopping street...and this was the alley
Azlan giving thumbs up that Daddy stopped at McDonald's for him. He has determined that "Chinese food is NOT his style" ;)
We finally found a local vender selling very cheap looking children's shoes. Perfect. Except she was going to soak us for money. In fact her price was about $22. I offered her $8 (which was grossly overpriced in my opinion) she seemed offended by my offer. The next block we walk into H&M and buy shoes full price off the rack for $9! Yah. (Izrael LOVES shoes! :)
This was on a busy intersection...way up the lady just finished hanging her laundry...undies and all!!
Mixed up photos...us eating in McDonalds.
Half way through her french fries, Izrael says "mama...pray?" so we prayed again :)
He thought his bag with Chinese letters was pretty cool!
Walking back to the hotel...Chinese flags EVERYWHERE.
Highlight of the morning...? We got to face time all of our kids~! I couldn't tell you the burden that lifted seeing and talking to them all. Seeing no one was traumatized...all were happy, silly and fun. And my little Azahria Peace was her bouncy little self. Cannot possibly say how much it means to us that the Hill's offered to take our kids and are loving them so much.
You know...yesterday on the plane in my melt down moment (melt down: sobbing) I had the very clear thought of "what am I doing? What is God doing? I want to go home." and all my excitement about Taizi and Zihao for the very first time turned to apprehension. In a climaxed combination of extreme exhaustion from a full night of no sleep...my heart tearing out to leave our children on the other side of the planet...and panic from being in a metal tube 30,000 feet in the air with a few hundred random strangers for 8 hours at that point.....delirium.
Today however. I cannot possibly put into words what I feel. 3 days. It's a reality. This little boy that God broke our hearts for. It wasn't us. We saw his file and said "oh...so sad. We'll pray for him". It was God's work. In us and through us. And now...to be so close to seeing and holding him for the first time...there is no apprehension. There are no questions. There is no second thought. There is only..."wow God". Being today is day one of November...the 22nd day being a day of Thanksgiving. I hope throughout this journey you see just how much we are thankful for. Today...for health. For sleep. For safety. For family. For this day in this country with these people God has given me. To be so very close to our precious little Prince.