Friday, November 15, 2013

Ni Hao Y'all!

Well, we made it in one piece to Beijing last night, and got checked in to our hotel room around 9:45 p.m. local time. That would have been 7:45 a.m. At home. Considering we left our home at 12:30 a.m. , that was around 31 hours travel time. Nathan and I got sick on the airplane, but we are both much better now! We had some turbulence with all of our flights, but take off and landing couldn't have been smoother on all of the legs of our journey. The boys thought that the planes were the coolest planes that they had ever seen, because they each had their own game system, and movie screen...but by the end of the 14 hour flight from Dallas to Seoul, they were more than ready to leave the flying part behind! Cool plane or not.

This morning we got up and enjoyed a breakfast buffet, and I have to say each of the boys at least tried one something they had never seen before. None of us were quite sure of this...nor we're e brave enough to try it...there's just something about "dried meat floss bag" that doesn't quite sound appealing! (Just click the picture to get a close up of the sign!) the donut looking things to the right of the picture, were called fried bagels, and the boys LOVED those!

After breakfast we met all the rest of the CCAI families, and off we went to visit Tianamen Square, the Forbidden City, and then we visited a family in the Hutong area where we had a home cooked meal. We had some type of meat ball, sticky rice, BBQ chicken wing, a shredded garlic dish, some sort of sliced potato, spicy friend peanuts, dumplings, Kung Pao chicken, and sliced sautéed onions with pork. It was all really fantastic, and even Andy ate the meatballs.

There are five families in our group so far, though we will be met by more in Zheng Zhou. All of the families we've met, are super nice, and all but one has their children with them. Three of us are returning adoptive families, so it's a really great mix. I think several of us are planning to meet for dinner tonight, at the same restaurant we ate in last summer in Beijing.

Being back here is so strange. It's familiar, yet new. The stinky tofu smell is not at all prominent this time of year, and overall, it's way less crowded. The pace of the touring was much more relaxed this time, and we are really enjoying the weather, pace, and and scenery more this time. The weather was beautiful today. Cooler this morning, but nice enough to wear a lightweight longsleeve shirt this afternoon.

The boys were really amazed at the Forbidden city, and it was really neat to be able to watch them experience it. But I think riding the rickshaws was the highlight for them! After dinner tonight we plan to walk down to the night market, and Greg and I are both super anxious to see what they think about it!

It's hard to believe that somewhere between 48-72 hours from now we will have Matt. I just have to let that sink in a minute....seriously. My Bennett bunch of 6, is getting ready to become a clan of 7!

Tomorrow we will break away from the CCAI group, and head the the Muitainyu section of the Great Wall with our guide from last summer, George. Greg and I are so excited to have the opportunity to see him again this year, and are looking forward to spending the day just kind of doing whatever else we choose to do with him. We may take the kids to the Olympic stadium, or we may go to the cloisonné factory. I think we will just enjoy playing it all by ear.

Well, I'm going to take a bit of a nap before we head out tonight, so here are a few pictures from our fun today!
I believe this was facing the Natural history museum
Behind us is chairman Mao's tomb. This is on one side of Tianamen square.
This was inside the forbidden city
Forbidden city
The above picture is the main gathering area inside the forbidden city. This is where all of the government people would gather for speeches from the emperor.
Greg in front of one of the copper statues.
Chilling on a wall inside the forbidden city
This was between a set of steps inside the forbidden city
Andy standing in front of the female lion in front of the wedding chamber of the forbidden city
More from the forbidden city
The couples tree inside the forbidden city
Rock formation in the garden at the forbidden city
This rock tower from inside the forbidden city gardens was actually taken from the bottom of a lake near Shanghi.
Riding the rickshaw in the Hutong area
The bird that sang as we ate lunch cooked by a local family in the Hutong area

"All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!" Psalm 145:10


  1. Congratulations! Can't wait to see your little one in your arms on Monday! Until then Enjoy your visit!

  2. I can't wait to go myself and follow the rest of your story too !

  3. So glad to see everything is going great! Can't wait to see Matt with you :)

  4. Annabella is so happy to see all of you in the pictures you post. She misses you but she has been very happy here. Her favorite time of the day is her evening bubble bath. She also loves helping me clean. We can't wait to see little Matt. Be safe and know that you are loved and missed at home. <3

  5. So happy to see these first pics. So glad you all made it safely. I shared your adoption story at the Pilot meeting last night and the ladies LOVED it. They are all praying for you, and for your family. They all loved the pics of AnnaBella's transformation and they hope Matt bonds with you all and that he learns to love being loved by his new family.
    Many of the ladies hope you can come sometime next year and tell us in person the story of Matt's adoption. They would love to see you.
    Love to you all from me.

  6. Thank you all so much! It is so good to know that you guys are enjoying following along,a nod that we have so many prayers for our family. Tomorrow is the day!!!