Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Beijing - Day 4 Forbidden City

Today was full, exhausting and fun!

We started the day at the Forbidden City.  The girls have been hitting it off with so many of the girls on the tour.  I have a friend who I 'met' on the Internet when we were both adopting our first daughters.  We have kept in touch through the years and her three daughters are similar ages to our three oldest.  We didn't realize we were both on this tour until a few months ago.  So fun!  Definitely a sweet bonus from God.
Panda rode around the Forbidden City in my camera bag.  He was too tired to walk.
My girls and Linda's girls

After Tiananmen Square and Forbidden City, we were treated to the Hutong section of Beijing where 300 year old homes have been preserved and are still lived in.  We were taken there by rickshaw - one of my favorite modes of transportation.  It was a huge hit with the girls.  We then ate lunch in a traditional Chinese home.  It was delicious!
Lunch in a Hutong family home
Pathway along the lake in the Hutong area
After that it was off to the CCCWA-- the Chinese Center for Adoption.  During our adoptions, it was the place of great mystery and the focus of our thoughts and prayers.  They handled the paperwork for all of the babies and adoptive parents.  There is a department called the "Matching Room" where the babies and parents are matched.  Only Jillian and Molly were chosen for us this way.  After that we chose our children from waiting child lists -- but the matches were still confirmed and processed in the matching room.  I think most of the parents got a bit emotional today as we entered the building.  Their current site is not where they were located when we adopted most of our kids.  They moved there in 2007, so only Jordan, Zoey and Kate would have been matched there.  We were allowed to see the room and also the thick files holding all the information of current children waiting to be matched in the room next door.  It was pretty moving.

The girls then went upstairs and had a lesson in Chinese calligraphy.  So fun for them!  They did a great job.  The hardest characters for them were their names.
Chloe's calligraphy

Afterwards we went to a local restaurant for the infamous Peking Duck.  They served the meal in the usual way - with about 10 different dishes first and then the Peking Duck at the end.  It was another delicious meal.  It's a good thing we have been doing a great deal of walking or we would be gaining weight despite eating with chopsticks at every meal.
Peking Duck

Mom has been a magnet for the relentless vendors at every stop.  This has earned her a great amount of teasing from Linda's son-in-law, Kevin.  He is here without his wife and since mom is solo as well, he has taken to calling her Grandma and pairing up with her.  He keeps telling her he is going to have to hold her wallet until she can be responsible with it since she doesn't wait for 'best price' and just gives the vendors what they ask for without bargaining.  hahahaha  It's been quite entertaining.  He has killed several sales for them because he talks her out of purchasing things.  My dad would be getting a huge kick out of it.
'Rolex' watches....very cheaper for you.  
Mom's new grandson, Kevin.

Tomorrow we fly to Chengdu!

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