Well, hello from China!
The Shull four are in route to becoming the Shull five :).
On Monday, we woke up at 2:15 a.m. and headed to the airport to catch a flight to San Francisco and then one to Beijing. We were beyond excited!! We don’t get to meet and get Ashby until this Sunday, January 4, so we decided to leave early and do a little vacationing before getting her. Ashby is not near Beijing, so we decided to leave a week early and spend a few days in Beijing before flying to her province and getting her (after that, we’ll stay another 10 days while her paperwork is being completed and her US Visa is issued). 18 days in China…holy cow!
Here we are about to board our flight to Beijing. I’m so glad Santa brought Kensington a camera because she has been taking pictures non-stop!
FYI: read this on the way here and it’s really good! I highly recommend it :).
We landed in Beijing at 4:30 in the afternoon on Tuesday, December 30. After going through customs, collecting our luggage and driving to the hotel, we didn’t arrive until 7:30 pm. After that, we bathed, ate room service and went to sleep. This is us this morning (Wednesday, December 31) about to head out for the day. It was 20 degrees when we left with the windchill making it feel like 10…pretty cold!
Our first stop was to walk to Tiananmen Square. It was cold, but we were so excited to be there and see!
After our cold walk to the Square, we headed for hot chocolate and cappuccinos to warm us up.
And then we had a very authentic lunch. I have been so proud of my kiddos because so far…they’re embracing the food. My kids like what they like and we were nervous that the food would be an issue. We told them going into this trip that it was 18 days of Chinese food (we didn’t bring any snacks), so they better get their mind right…and so far, they’ve enjoyed our meals.
Kensington liked two things about this meal…the fact that we had to use chopsticks and the fact that we drank soda (we don’t drink sodas at home…but our drink choices were limited here).
After lunch, we headed to the Beijing Zoo. We thought Tiananmen Square and the zoo were good things to do on day one when everyone is still recovering from jet lag.
Even though it is the zoo’s off season, we saw a lot of animals out in the cold and it wasn’t crowded at all. The perfect zoo day!
Me and a panda bear in the background. My first time to see a panda :).
The kiddos loved the zoo and it was the perfect way to ease into our trip.
Ha! Not exactly the best picture but I wanted to document the lovely Christmas tree and Merry Christmas banner in our hotel lobby. They are also playing traditional Christmas music in the lobby. Nothing makes me feel more at home than twinkle lights and Ella Fitzgerald singing :).
Whew! Right now, it’s 3:54 a.m. at home and 5:54 p.m. on New Year’s Eve here in Beijing. My wild New Year’s Eve plans? Take a hot shower and go to sleep :).
We are blessed beyond words by your kindness, sweet thoughts and especially prayers. This has been an 18 month journey that has finally come to an end. The four of us honestly wouldn’t be here right now without the love, support, encouragement and prayers from our family, friends and you. God has truly blessed us and we feel your love.
Our prayer requests right now…that everyone stays healthy, that paperwork is filed efficiently and correctly and that there is a little girl in a nearby province whose heart is getting ready to leave the only place she’s ever known and come with us.
I’m ending 2014 tonight on the best note possible and so, so, so, so thankful to be starting 2015 as a family of five.
Happy New Year’s!
Click here to see Day 4.