An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break. -Chinese Proverb

Down Time

9:09 AM February 23, 2005 (Cheraw)
10:09 PM February 23, 2005 (Beijing)

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Well today we had some down time. We met mid morning for some breakfast and then off for a little site seeing. I know those of you reading this are really only concerned with how Kirby is adjusting, but since she is adjusting so well (definitely an answer to prayer!) there really isn't much to report on that. So I thought I would give you a little information on where we are. We are in Nanchang, the largest city and provincial capitol of the Jiangxi Province. It sits on the banks of the Ganjiang River and is very old; it is a very moderate (or even small) city by Chinese standards and the Jiangxi Province is a very rural and agrarian area. This province is dominated by farms and heavy industry. It is very wet and very poor; in fact, it is one of the poorest provinces in China and is the poorest developed (non-remote) province. As you can guess it is quite a culture shock to see the poverty; I don't want to focus on that tonight, pray for the people here in this city and the surrounding province instead and we will move on to better things to discuss.

Nanchang is famous here in China for a couple of things; first, around 654 AD there was built here a beautiful building called the Tengwang Pavilion, we visited it today. Of course this was not the original structure but it did house quite a fascinating collection of artifacts, etc. inside. We spent most of the morning exploring this very traditional and important place of Chinese culture and enjoyed it very much. The second thing Nanchang is famous for is that it is where the Chinese communist party was founded. The original uprising began here and the largest park and monument outside of Beijing is here, we are going there tomorrow. The interesting thing is that overlooking this communist memorial park is the Wal-Mart we went to yesterday, that is a bit ironic to me. After we left the pavilion we went to lunch, McDonalds. Now I don't know how most of you feel about McDonalds, but I am not a fan of fast food in the US, let alone in China. And I will be the first to tell you that the absolute worst food we have had in China has been the "American Food" (KFC & McD's) that we have eaten. The "Chinese" food we have had has been wonderful and we look forward to each authentic meal.

After lunch we were off for a little shopping. We made a stop at a small porcelain shop because the Jiangxi Province also known for its porcelain and it was very nice, and extraordinarily inexpensive. After our brief stay we were back to the hotel for the afternoon to rest and let the babies nap. Kirby is such a joy; she naps wonderfully and sleeps almost all night. She has accepted the bath and plays very well both in the room and with the other babies. And she eats like her daddy. It is amazing to see such a tini-tiny mouth take in so much, how fun. She is doing very well and has definitely taken to mommy and with slight caution had accepted daddy for the most part. We are having a wonderful time bonding and know that each day will bring a new smile, different laugh, softer cry, and bigger touch, or hug, or kiss. This is really a special time for us and is quite possible the only thing that could keep our minds off of the heart break we are dealing with from being away from our sweet boys; we know of course they are in good hands, but we miss them all the same.

You are probably wondering why we are not getting on with getting home. Let me give you a brief synopsis of the remainder of our time here in Nanchang. Tomorrow late afternoon I will go to back to the Provincial offices and meet again with the Notary (which is like a judge here) and receive our finished documents. Our adoption is recognized by the Chinese government but we won't actually get the remainder of the paperwork until tomorrow. Then on Friday morning Kirby's Chinese passport will be ready and after picking it up we are then off to Guangzhou; this is where the U.S. Consulate office is and where we will go through the U.S. adoption process (more about that later). So that is why we are stuck here for a couple of days and, as you would, we are trying to take in just a little of such a different world.

Once again, thank you all for your prayers and emails. We know how much support we have at home and it is indeed comforting; moreover, we truly enjoy reading your emails, it is a fresh breath of home that encourages and affirms more than you will ever know. Once again, goodnight from China.

Temple, Joel, and Kirby

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For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, "Abba, Father." - Romans 8:15 NIV