Great Wall? Check! Kylie? Check! (tomorrow anyway)

Well, another day has come and gone. The streets are strangely quiet for being only 10:30 at night. I know that I should be tired ~ after all I hiked a good way up one of my life long goals today (read on to learn about our Great Wall experience) ~ but I have to wonder if sleep will come tonight at all. You see, at 4 pm tomorrow afternoon (3 am Monday morning for you at home) we will meet our baby girl!!! And as exciting as the Great Wall was, it pales in comparison to what comes tomorrow!

Christian churches allowed in China... I think I need more clarification on that. Anyway, it was held in a theatre of sorts in a hotel lobby. There were folks of many nationalities, it reminded me of the church Ian and I attended when we lived in France. CCC folks, you will appreciate that today we wrote a burden on a post-it note and then took them and nailed them to a cross! Interactive worship! The singing was pretty cool, they had the words posted in Chinese symbols, pinyin (the phonetic spellings of Chinese), and English. It was awesome to get to sing along and worship in a language I can't speak!

After church we went to a jade factory. Following a brief lesson on jade and its production, we had the opportunity to hit the sales floor. (Being a science teacher in 6th grade for a few years paid off with my knowledge of gems ~ I knew the answer to the hardness of a diamond). Turns out that jade falls just below diamonds on the scale. That should give a better idea of why this tiger sculpture was way out of our price range. We wanted to buy it for my brother Alexander (who will turn 9 next week) for his birthday because he is a tiger, but it was a BIT out of our price range at about $12,000!

Kylie's grandmas both bought her some jade pieces for later years. Thanks grandmas!

Following lunch, we headed on to the Great Wall. This is an amazing structure! We took about 50 pictures there because we just couldn't help ourselves. Our entire bus began to gasp and point when it first came into view.

We had to wait to get our picture taken as a group of all Guangdong adoptive families, and then we took off. We stopped before too long for a family photo opportunity.

Shortly after passing the first tower, we came across this interesting chain full of locks. Legend has it that lovers come here to attach a lock to the chain on the Great Wall (considered lucky by the Chinese). Once they put the lock on they throw away the keys together so that they are forever "locked" together. Ian and I passed on following the tradition, but it seemed picture-worthy. ~Note from Ian... If we had had a lock with us the hopeless romantic in each of us would probably have taken over ;) Although with as steep as the wall is, the thought of carrying anything else up... ugh! ~Another example of signs that are slightly lost in translation...

Somehow I must have missed the lesson on the Great Wall when I was in school. I somehow thought that it was two walls on the outside with a smooth, road-like path in the middle. Ha! It is a series of crazy steps. The smallest were about 2 inches high,the tallest were at least 16 inches high, and they ranged everywhere in between! What made them even more crazy was that there was no rhyme or reason to the heights. There would be a few 2 inch ones followed by a 16 followed by a 10 followed by a 4 followed by a 12 and so on and so on. Oh, and they were crazy steep, after all, it did cover a mountain range! Here's Ian on a steep section...

We were getting tired, but Traci, Adam, Ian and I pressed on. Here's a fun addition for the "Where in the world is the CCC staff t-shirt" series... (By the way, Traci is wearing one too, she just was hugging her sweetie too much for you to really see the logo)
The next photo shows what would appear to be Ian and I admiring the view of the wall stretching across the mountains. But it is wrong on two accounts! First of all, we were more stopping to catch our breath than look at any view. By this point we were sucking some serious air, if you look close enough you can probably see the rapid heartbeat... Second of all, today was not so much of a viewing day! Beijing is a fun city to visit, but one could say there is a slight air pollution issue here. We couldn't see beyond the next ridge... Yesterday was beautiful, but today a bit smoggy.This parting shot pretty well shows how thick the air was today. But you'll notice one of the towers circled at the top of the photo. That's how far we made it today. Not too bad considering that we only had an hour to get up and then back down...

So tomorrow is the big day! 17 hours until Kylie!!! It still doesn't seem very real! I'm out of my mind excited, and somehow I'm supposed to sleep tonight?

ps ~ Please pray for both of our moms! They got pretty sick today (sorta like food poisioning variety ~ but none of the rest of us have been sick). We're a bit worried about them flying to Guangzhou tomorrow, but we know that God will hear our prayers!


Scott Tucker said...

The 2 of you are well deserving of a child and you both will be the best of parents. We are so glad your close to the arrival. Kristi you don't know how lucky and blessed you are. Most mothers have to go to the hospital and endure alot of pain, you get to go on a vacation and bring home your child. I Think that's pretty awesome. We love you both and hope to see all of you soon.

Love and Prayers,
Scott Tucker

Brent, Monica & Chloe said...

Hi guys,
We can't tell you how totally excited we are for you! As I, Monica, was reading your blog I realized that you have already seen Kylie and are probably sleeping right now - hopefully! Tears just flow as I think about this long awaited moment - when you are finally able to hold, love on, and care for Kylie. We are praying that everything goes smoothly and that she will immediatley bond with you guys.
Can't wait to see her! We love you guys so much!
Mom and Mike also send their love, thoughts and prayers.
Love ya bunches,

cindy said...

we are thinking about you every day and were so glad to see the grandmas and Uncle Adam and Auntie Traci at the Charity Ball with the 111 pictures...... WE are thrilled to share this experience with you and thank you for posting all of this for us to share. We feel like we are there.... lol Cindy and the Russell's Dale and Cyndal and Clayton xxoo

Anonymous said...

Ian and Kristi, Kylie is beautiful.
I can't wait to see her in person.
I know it will be awhile before
you let us spoil her in the nursery.
love and prayers.

marymoon said...

What a beautiful litte girl! How lucky Kylie is to have such wonderful parents. Good luck on the plane ride home. Love ya, Mary, Scott, Tyler, Justin, Katie, & William

Moriah said...

Good words.