Sunday, March 20, 2011

Day 11 - Sightseeing in Guangzhou

Today was a free day (no appointments) so we got to see a few sights around Guangzhou. Guangzhou is a massive city of 13 million people and because of its proximity to the coast has played host to a great many peoples and cultures. The British and French rented Shenzen Island for several decades, and right outside of our hotel there's a Portuguese restaurant that hints at the strong Portuguese influence in the city. In fact, the name, "Canton" (as in the Cantonese language and cuisine) came from the Portuguese traders' pronunciation of "Guandong," the province's name.

We're partnered up with another family here in Guangzhou - Diana, her son Matt, and her new daughter Jenna. Jenna is 18 months old and a total cutie, and Matt has been doing a great job helping his mom out (Dad is home with the other 3 siblings). It's been fun traveling with another family and I think that Diana and Matt enjoy having somebody new to talk to because they've already been in Guangzhou for a week since Jenna is originally from the Guandong province.

Our first stop today was Sun Yat Sen Memorial Hall. Sun Yat Sen is considered the Father of modern China and in the early 1900's helped to overthrow the Qing Dynasty, the last imperial dynasty of China (and "Qing," pronounced kinda like "Chin," is where the English name, "China" came from). Sun Yat Sen's offices were in Guangzhou and a lovely concert hall was erected in his honor shortly after his death in the late 1920's.

Next we visited the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, a really lovely Buddhist temple. The pagoda is over a thousand years old. Amazing. I loved introducing the kids to one of the important world religions and they left with the definite understanding that Buddhist worship involves a lot of incense, so at least the visit had a little educational value. Steve practiced the absence of desire as WanYing screamed at him (apparently she isn't a Buddhist) and he believes that he as achieved enlightenment, so a good time was had by all.

We ended the day at a local park, which I'm learning means, "mini-amusement park" in these big cities. While I walked around with a fussy WanYing, Steve and the bigger kids hit the rides, including the terrifying motorized giant stuffed animals. Sasha *loved* "riding the puppy" and I'm just glad that I missed it because I shudder to think of what is lurking in that fur in a warm, wet climate like this.

In the afternoon we napped, arranged paperwork, and the headed out on a dinner expedition. We traveled several blocks from the hotel (a family record) and found a McDonald's for dinner, which seemed only right since we really *should* try out a Chinese McD before leaving. Rest easy, the McNuggets were met with universal approval by all Morningstar children.

Today's prayer request:
As WanYing gets more familiar with us, she'd also getting more comfortable with expressing her needs, wants, and objections. Today, that came out in a whole lot of crying and fussing and rubber legs and flailing as we tried to discern her needs.

We are grateful for our ever-deepening relationship with our daughter and we know that this is just part of the hard work of parenting. We are very excited that WanYing knows that we're interested in meeting her needs, that's a great step in our journey of attachment... but boy is it stressful.

Please join us in prayer that we will quickly come to understand WanYing's signals and patterns, that she will find ways of communicating her needs to us, and that she will continue to learn to trust us. Pray that Steve and I don't take out the anger and frustration and helplessness that we feel on each other, or on anyone at all, but instead surrender it to God and that he will replace all of that negative emotion with his perfect peace that transcends all understanding and even a screaming child. And pray that soon all of that screaming and all of those tears will be replaced with the quiet assurance that she has parents who love her and a Savior who will meet every need.


China Dreams said...

I've offered up my prayers for all of your concerns.


Beth said...

I'm reading about your journey after the fact, as we prepare to meet our daughter within the next few months (come on, I800A approval!). Just wanted to say that your prayer request for this particular day brought tears to me eyes, and I think your family is wonderful. God bless...


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