Loved the day! Took it easy all morning, swam, watched some TV, ate delicious Chinese food for lunch. In the afternoon, walked about 1.5 miles to meet our group at the acrobat show. Excellent! I should include that we got there just on time and thought we were late. It was quite the experience to try to communicate with the ticket agents at the door that we were with a big American group and I wanted to go in and look for them. I was showing them a photo of our guide, George and trying to explain what I wanted to do. Eventually, they let me in to look while the rest of the family waited at the door. They were very kind and let us stand inside the door. They said, "Too hot! Inside. Come." It turned out that our group was about 5 minutes late. I was so thrilled to see them, because the kids, especially Kenzie, were really looking forward to the show. Our group showed up just as a few tears began to be shed, so it was a relief.
We walked back to the hotel to meet up with Jeff and his friends. (Our group went back on the bus to drive by the Olympic stadium, but we had already seen it.)
Jeff is a Deaf Chinese man who grew up here in Beijing. Our friend Dan connected us and I'm so thankful for that! Jeff brought a few other friends to visit and while chatting with them, we learned that his friends, David and Kelvin, are also headed to Zhengzhou. 150 Deaf Chinese university students will be meeting here in Zhengzhou this week!
Jeff and David filmed and interview with our family and will be showing it to the students. Here in China, Jeff explained, Deaf don't often marry hearing people. If they DO, the hearing person doesn't sign. The guys said that the fact that our kids sign will be a total culture shock to the students. The guys wanted to film us to help open the minds of some of the Deaf students who have lived in a very "closed" country all these years and have been taught to think one certain way about things related to being Deaf.
Depending on how Tian is doing and how far we are from the University, we may go meet the students and visit with them ourselves.
We were able to communicate with our new friends by a mix of ASL, international signs, and gestures. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that we can do this in the Deaf community! It just would never work from spoken language to spoken language.
Side note: When the guys were filming the interview, TJ was asked how he felt about his dad being Deaf. He shrugged and said, "I like it. I wish I was Deaf, too." That comment was a huge hit with the guys. It was so sweet! All three Brownies really enjoyed visiting with our new friends. I should add that they have been AWESOME on this trip. Wow.
One more note: While sharing the story of our boys, specifically Travis, David suggested that Travis might be a minority (because of where he lives in South China). David explained that the majority of Chinese are Han, but 50% make up about 50-something other minority groups. He said, "You can tell by looking." Maybe HE can, but I cant. So we showed him a picture. His eyes lit up and a broad, proud smile crossed his face. He said, "No! He's 100% Chinese. Not a minority. He's Han! I want to adopt him!" It was fun to see David be excited for us and for Travis. Man, these boys have NO idea how many people already care so much for them! I'm happy to have connected with some other Chinese and China-born Deaf guys that can be role models for our boys. Only God could orchestrate such an amazing meeting of friends!
See pictures for more of the story.