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To China...and Beyond!

My Friend Debbie

     Dec. 17, 2008, marks the second anniversary of our "Gotcha Day" for Zoey! We traveled halfway around the world to see, hear, and hold our baby girl for the very first time. We were invited by the CCAA (China Center of Adoption Affairs) to come to China to adopt Ji Lu Mei whom we have renamed Zoey LuMei Newton.

     We made plans to visit Beijing the first three days in China. We needed to explore our daughter's world and know where she was coming from. What an amazing culture China is! When we first arrived, we met with our group of 13 other families who were adopting from the same agency and had come from all different cities in America. We all went to see the Chinese Acrobats the first day. (I remember thinking that maybe Zoey would be an acrobat as well.)

     The next day we took a bus trip to the Great Wall at a section called Badaling. It was a freezing cold day in December! Brrr!!! We took a sky ride up to the top of the mountain so we could walk down part of the Wall. Believe me, we didn't go very far. The wind was extremely cold and biting through our layers of clothing. It was an amazing sight I will never forget.

My Friend Debbie_Great Wall of China     Afterwards,we rode the bus to the Cloisonne Factory and saw how they skillfully make by hand beautiful artwork of jewelry, vases, and other unique items using copper and enamel paint. We bought a few things, but most of it was very expensive, even in American money! On our way back to the hotel, we passed Chinese soldiers marching in army green coats trimmed in red and the nearly completed famous Olympic "Bird's Nest." I can't believe that time has already come and gone. Beijing is a whole new city because of that one event.

     The third day, we toured The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, and a Hutong This was a crash course on Chinese history. The Forbidden City was the emperor's home where his dynasty lived along with many servants. Only the emperor and his family could wear or even possess the color RED. It was not allowed for common people. The people of China still love that color and value it as a lucky color today.

My Friend Debbie_China     We took a Hutong tour on rickshaws. We rode two people to a seat while the Chinese men pedaled us to our destination. We went down narrow paths through the only door in or out of the Hutong (a 100-year-old neighborhood). We passed dark, damp cement block homes with centrally located bathrooms and courtyards. We visited a man's home who was happy to show us how he lived. He had a small home with a family room and a bedroom. The kitchen was in a shack in the back of the house. He had some exotic birds in cages among the hanging plants and Chinese artwork. His pride and joy was his crickets. In China, crickets are highly valued and are used for entertainment. They actually have them fight each other!

     The following day we traveled to Nanchang, Jiangxi Province, where our daughter lived. The babies all had ridden in vans with their nannies from their orphanage which was four hours south. They were brought to our hotel the day we arrived in Nanchang. The hotel was decorated with a huge Christmas tree in the foyer and familiar holiday music playing in the background. It was almost like being home. We were so excited; we couldn't wait to finally see our babies!My Friend Debbie_Family

     The girls were brought into the conference room where all the parents lined up to await their daughters. One by one the nannies gently placed them before us on the conference table. I couldn't believe it when I saw Zoey; she was wearing the little pink suede boots I had sent to her in her care package! My mind was spinning and I'm glad I was able to remain standing. I wouldn't have wanted to miss this moment for anything. Our daughter, of course, was the one crying very loudly until her nanny came over to hold her. We were still watching our babies from across the table and waiting to hear our names called. Finally we were called.and Zoey came right to me and laid her sweet little head on my shoulder! I didn't EVER want to let her go. We took her in our arms and went upstairs to our hotel room where we gave her a warm bottle and a cozy bath for our first time! Life is SWEET!!

     Our LOVE for HER reaches to CHINA and BEYOND to our HEAVENLY FATHER!

My Friend Debbie_Zoey

Copyright © 2008-2015 Suzanne Newton

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