oh my gosh. i wish that my father were here because he would be so proud of his son-in-law. we walked around this little island place that is full of souvenir shops for 5 HOURS and not once did eric let us buy anything. he bartered and bargained and negotiated until we had to leave (and sj and i had had it). i was so exhausted by the time we got home. the man is relentless. on second thought, i am glad my dad isn't here. or i might have had to go hide in a corner. eric tells me when we go back tomorrow we can actually get a few things. i am holding out hope! i don't think i can handle another 5 hours of endless negotiations. i mean really, at some point a woman has to shop! i mean, actually BUY something!
we hung out with austin and bethany again today. so fun. we are having a great time seeing them and i think they are enjoying being able to speak english and have time with some actual friends! i truly cannot imagine living in a little town in the middle of nowhere china. we told them last night as we were discussing their apprehension of starting a family that if their marriage can survive rural china, it can survive kids! we attempted a movie night in the hotel room tonight with them (complete with oreos and pizza flavored potato sticks for snacks) but the tv/computer hookup wasn't working and then sj wasn't cooperating so we just had a good time visiting instead.
sj was a bit feverish this afternoon. not sure what is going on - the other family we are with seems to have some sort of contagious virus so maybe it is that. i am hopeful it isn't an ear infection as flying with one of those could be disastrous. if she continues to run a fever i might ask our guide if we can see a doctor before we go home. but after hearing that a 4 year undergraduate degree allows you to be a doctor in china...i'm not so sure i want to go that route. she has been super congested since we got her - her sinuses are clearing up but she still has a pretty nasty cough. hopefully she will get a good night's sleep tonight and will perk up tomorrow although i can't say i was sad that all she wanted to do this afternoon was cuddle on my chest...
other than that, things are pretty quiet. enjoying what we believe will be our final days in china. (although i do have to report, under laws of full disclosure, that ERIC said the other day, 'you know, i think we could do this again'...to which i replied 'uh, no.')
can't wait to see everyone. we keep checking the weather in hopes of avoiding a snowy delay in newark. the thought of walking down the corridor at norfolk and having all my babies together makes me GIDDY!!!!!!
dear sweet one, we are coming. God is calling us to you, and we are coming. you will be ours, and we will be yours. you will have a mommy and a daddy, and four crazy brothers and sisters. you will know love. you will know laughter. you will know happiness. and someday, you will know of God's faithfulness. because He will prove Himself faithful when we hold you for that very first time. we will look to the heavens and shout His name. we are coming. until we see you, grow strong.
i love you. already. mommy
to my precious lydia
dearest lydia, this is from my heart to yours. you are out there somewhere and when we find you, i want you to know how much you were loved, how much you were prayed for, and how much we desperately wished to meet you. you will be our daughter, but until then, let me not forget the thoughts and emotions that came with the waiting. and may you always know how we loved you, even before we could see your sweet face.