It is Sunday morning, 4:42 a.m. here in Beijing. We had a packed day yesterday. We went to the Great Wall and spent 90 minutes there or so. It was cold once again so we hiked a bit up and down and then went to the coffee shop located at the base of the Wall. The steps were quite steep and snow covered, so as much as I wanted to climb to the top of the first tower where we were located, I want to pick up my daughters without any broken bones more. We spent 45 minutes or so taking pictures and considering the scenery. It goes without saying that is it quite a marvel.

We toured a cloisonné factory and had lunch in the restaurant above. Once again, the food was quite delicious! My wife who has had an aversion to Asian food has thoroughly enjoyed all the foods that we’ve been served. I was able to purchase a shirt for April, “I climbed the great wall!” at the shop in the restaurant. The same shirt at the Wall was $10 but I was told that we would be able to bargain with the restaurant shop and get a better price. With my excellent bargaining skills, I was able to get the shirt for $13! (I thought the point of bargaining was to get a cheaper price?) Where’s Alfredo Manon when you need him? Our tour guide just laughed when I told her what I paid.

In the evening, we went to an acrobatic show (‘the best in Beijing’). It was entertaining to watch although I have been struggling a lot with my sleep schedule so I slept during a portion of it. We were back at the hotel by 7:30. We were all beat, but me especially. I had only nine hours of sleep total in the previous two nights so I broke down and took one of the Ambien that our doctor prescribed. It worked wonders, I was able to get a full eight and feel rested and ready for a busy day ahead.

Today we fly from Beijing to Zhengzhou. The flight is approximately 90 minutes. Not sure what our itinerary is when we get there. We will be unable to worship corporately today so I’m looking forward to listening in to my church’s Sunday school.

Tomorrow is Gotcha Day! April wrote a Facebook update yesterday with some disheartening news we received regarding Hope:

We just found out that our daughter Hope, who’s been in foster care with the same family since she was seven months old, has already been or will be moved back to the orphanage prior to Gotcha Day. Our hearts are heavy for her, as that will mean TWO traumatic transitions/moves before she is finally placed in a permanent family. Please pray for her and for much grace for us as we prepare to welcome a very hurt, traumatized little girl into our arms. Because we know that “God sets the lonely in families…”, we are trusting in Him to carry us through.”

This is why we’ve come. I’ve enjoyed the sight seeing. The Great Wall is, well great. Tiananmen Square is fascinating. The food, delicious. The people, sweet. But to see my girls’ faces, to dry their tears, to hold them and hug them, to nurse them both back to health, to tell them they are orphans no more, to raise them in the fear and instruction of the Lord, to point them to Christ who will meet their biggest need – this is why we’ve come.

Please pray that God would give much help tomorrow. Their world is going to be shaken but our prayer is that He, even tomorrow, will begin to help their minds comprehend that after all the losses, all the heart break, all the changing of homes and orphanages, all the neglect – this time, by the grace of God, it will be different.

Much love to you all. Those that are keeping our children back home, please kiss them and hug them for us.


We can’t believe we’re standing on the Great Wall of China!



There are locks all along the Wall. It is a custom for couples so show that they are ‘locking their love’ toward one another.


Cloisonné factory.



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