Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Day 15: Is It Time to Go Home Yet?

Photo Album

We had a great night of sleep last night.  Thanks to lots of prayers, Travis slept soundly all night without even stirring.  (He's throwing a massive fit right now as I type, so I guess he's using all that energy he saved up with sleep.)

We had our usual breakfast buffet, then came back upstairs to pack up and prepare for an outing.  Our guide came around 10am and we drove a short way to a mall.  On our way over, Mackenzie asked me how many more days we had left in China.  I told her we would be home in 9 days, but really, one week from today we'll be packing up to head home via Shanghai.  With that, I started crying.  Sobbing.  The kids asked me what was wrong and I said (much like a small, whining child), "I just want to go home."  I couldn't stop myself from crying.  Just typing that makes me cry again!  We truly enjoy our days for the most part, but are also homesick.

The 6-story mall had lots of neat stores as well as an indoor playground for young children.
The kids burned off some great energy. Tian was quickly ready to play. Travis took a little longer to warm up to the chaos, but he eventually ran all over the place along with the rest of the kids.  His favorite thing was the little plastic car.  He was frustrated that most of them didn't have a wheel, so he would go looking inside each one until he found one with an intact steering wheel.

The Brownies were amazing in their new job as older siblings. They were so sweet with their brothers, helping us keep an eye on them.  Hannah and Ken left for a while to explore the mall while I stayed with our 4 younger ones.  TJ and Kenzie were invaluable helping me keep up with Tian and Travis.

After we had played and played, we headed downstairs to eat.  Our guide suggested we eat at a local favorite "buffet."  When we walked in, a waitress, who was in the middle of waiting on a table, looked up, gasped, put her hand over her mouth, and started announcing our arrival to others.  Oy vay!  The boys were restless as we sat down.  As usual, a huge fuss was made over setting up a table big enough to fit us all.  Sigh.  Then about 4 or 5 waiters and waitresses crowded our table, talking with each other and our guide.  I don't even wanna know what they were saying.  THIS is when we grow weary of the attention.  When we're trying to accomplish a goal, such as feeding our family, and we just get bombarded with stares, giggles, and whispers.  In the play area, we got a lot of attention, but it was a relaxed atmosphere where we could smile and gesture to communicate with them what we knew they were thinking.  In the play area, an older woman examined Tian's ear, then began to look over Travis to try to figure out what was "wrong" with him.  Ken just gestured that he couldn't hear.  The lady was satisfied and gave us a big smile.  The people here are kind.  Their stares are never cruel or mocking, they are just curious and, it seems, happy to see us.  Even so, when we are having a tough time with the boys, we just want to look up and yell, "Stop staring, please!"

We got back to the hotel around 1pm. Tian, after a short fit, went to sleep.  Travis threw a fit or two of his own (while I was typing this) and is now happily playing with bubbles.

Tomorrow is our last full day in Fuzhou.  Friday we will spend the morning packing, then in the afternoon head to the airport for an evening flight to Guangzhou.  We would love prayers for the boys to fly well during that hour and half.   If you're curious where we go next, remember you can click on the China Schedule tab up at the top of the page.

6 comments:

  1. I am typing this through my tears because I, too, want you to come home. I know it has been good for you to all be together without the distractions of the responsibilities you will have here, but it does seem to have been such a long time.
    Prayers continue to be with you unendingly. Will be praying especially for an uneventful trip to Guangzhou.
    I don't need to refer to your schedule online because I printed it. I refer to it often and put a checkmark beside each day as it occurs. The sheet is getting worn. The unchecked days are getting fewer and I will be thankful when the last day is marked. So ready to see you.
    May God grant you rest, peace, joy,
    and stamina. I love you dearly.

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  2. Sarah, I posted the above comment not noticing Dad hadn't signed out from Google.
    Love you, Mom

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  3. I really don't know how you guys are doing all of this! I get exhausted just reading about it. Of course you have my prayers....So happy for you that the 3 older Brownies are adjusting so well and are enjoying the 2 youngest additions. Have you had a spare 5 minutes to sit down and be in the Word? If nothing else, "Be still and know that I am God." That always helps me to feel the enormity of God and how He has it all under control. Maybe you can sneak into the bathroom for a few minutes of time alone with the Lord! I pray for you to feel a calming of your spirit and soul and for the people that you interact with to show the same grace that I know you project. And of course I'm praying for the entire family! Hope you have an awesome day!

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  4. We are enjoying traveling this journey with you via your pictures and posts. Daily, Lily and I read, look, oooohhh and aaahhh, and pray for your family. The other kids look at the pictures when they're around. The play area in this post is very similar to one in Dubai and brought back fun memories for Lily. The little twirly palm tree (for 6 and under) is just like one in a mall in Delhi except everything in that play area is so cramped and packed in that when you twirl you hit other people and things. Oh well....

    Love you all! We understand about being homesick and will pray specifically about this for you.

    Love, Darla & Lily (who's sitting on my lap while I type this)

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  5. I know you must be exhausted by now, and so ready for home. I hope that Guangzhou energizes you a bit. We always find it pretty relaxing, as much as can be. It's a beautiful place. Blessings...
    Donna

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  6. Mom, I didn't think Dad would post that he's crying. :) It's been a great trip, but with emotional moments. Darla, I've thought of you and your kids so often, especially when I just feel like hiding behind a Chinese mask while I go out in public. The play area was a hit!
    Donna, we are loving Guangzhou. Beautiful setting and we are opting out of the majority of tours, so are liking the slow pace. :)

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