5 more nights until we head home to Georgia.  As much as I am looking forward to being back home, I am not looking forward to the day and a half trip that we will have to make to get there.  Kate doesn’t do well sitting still for long distances (what 2 year old does?), so we will have to figure something out for those long plane rides (suggestions welcome!).

We are doing well despite missing America.  We have come to love China and the Chinese people, although some of them don’t love us very much :).  All in all, we have learned so much.  Kate’s people are proud and disciplined. They love their families just like we do and they want nothing more than to raise and support healthy children.  They work very hard for very little.  Everywhere you go in China the volume of people is amazing.  It makes you feel quite little, actually.  It is easy to think that we, as individuals, or even that America is the center of the universe, but there are millions and millions more people out here, that think the very same thing :).

Yesterday we did some more shopping and got some great deals on DVD’s and more clothes for Kate (I can’t resist).  The shopping area that we went to was a wholesale center so it was a bit run down. Our friends, the Rapers, saw a dead rat laying on the ground, so not quite the most sanitary place.  Kate screamed bloody murder on the bus ride back to the hotel.  We had missed nap time and she had had enough.  These children have a distinct grieving cry that we cannot relieve but usually have to just wait for them to get it out.  It breaks your heart, but there is not much that will soothe it.  We have noticed that when Kate can be “in control” she is happy, but as soon as she cannot, this grieving cry (scream) appears and we are helpless to comfort her.  We have allowed her control to a certain point, but have begun to establish a few boundaries (quite carefully, I might add) and she is having a hard time with that.  Please pray that we will have wisdom in this area, as we want to love her as well as we can.

After she woke up from her nap, she was a little bit happier, so we dressed her in Chinese garb and took her downstairs to have pictures made with our group.  It was quite interesting to get all the babies and children looking at the cameras and not crying.  Kate seemed a bit calmer so we decided to do the Thai dinner with the group.  The restaurant was really nice and the food was great and Kate was happy for most of the visit, so we enjoyed it.  We have met some awesome people.  Our new friends, Demetria and Kevin Raper brought their two boys along on the trip for us to help love on and we have enjoyed every minute with them.  They also adopted a little girl.  She is 15 months old, and Lane is PRECIOUS!  They really have been such a comfort to us and it is amazing how quickly you can attach to people in situations like this.  I feel like we have been friends forever and I will miss them like crazy when they leave on Wednesday!!

Today we went to the zoo.  It was actually quite nice except for the humidity which had me absolutely pouring sweat (and I don’t sweat easily).  It felt like a sauna outside.  We saw lions and tigers and bears…(oh my!).  The animals all seeemed very well groomed and we especially enjoyed the panda who was eating a pile of bamboo.  It was a fun little trip, but the heat made it exhausting so it is nice to be back at the hotel.  David and Kate are napping and then we will hit the pool as long as thunderstorms do not pop up (quite usual here in the afternoon).  Hopefully our friends will be there too and we can have what their boys call “a pool party”!  Love me some Rapers! 🙂

Thank you for continuing to keep us in your prayers.  Our consulate appointment is on Thursday and then Kate will be a US citizen :). After that we travel back to Hong Kong on Friday so that we can fly out on Saturday.  Still seems too far away, but God will sustain us.  I am blown away when I look back and see His Hand in all of this, especially this trip which seemed IMPOSSIBLE for me only months ago.  LOVE ME SOME JESUS!!! 🙂  Love you all!