We're here in Beijing! Local time is 8:05 pm Thursday evening, which is roughly 7:05 am EST Thursday morning. Our plane ride was smooth, and 13 hours on the plane was actually not too bad at all. I thoroughly enjoyed peaking out the window often and just looking at the different landscapes. I was surprised to see so many isolated villages living in snow-filled mountains and plains. The snow-filled sights were beautiful, and I wish my pictures could have captured the views better. The color changed from white to brown when we were landing in Beijing as the snow was mostly melted here.
The Beijing airport was spacious, clean, and well organized. One funny part for me: upon entering you need to get your passport checked, scanned, stamped, etc. So I stood there as the security officer compared me to my passport photo. He entered my information, stamped everything, and sent me through. Before I went though four little buttons lit up with different smiley faces on them. As an option, you can rate your service, and it is tied directly to this specific officer. I couldn't help but giggle as I thought about some recent professional learning on evaluation systems. For those who speak Danielson Framework lingo, he was a clear 3.
Once we arrived, we met up with George, our CCAI representative in Beijing, as well as with several other families who are adopting with CCAI. We all rode to our hotel together (very nice place). George spent some time telling us where all of the American fast food places were for dinner. Mom and I did not want to settle for that and decided to go more authentic. However, we were so tired that "authentic" became several dishes at the 7-11 ... so authentic Chinese food but purchased at a 7-11 ... seemed like a decent compromise given our energy levels.
As I was praying for Liliana this evening, I could not help but be struck by the fact that I am in the same time zone as her. Up until now, she has always been doing the opposite of us. So when we pray for her at night, we pray for her to have a good day. When we pray for her in the morning, we pray for her to have a good night. But tonight, for the first time ever, I was able to pray for Liliana and have that prayer match what I was doing. Such a little thing but oh so amazing. Good night, my sweet Liliana. May God's spirit be close to you this evening as you sleep, and may you feel His presence as you wake.
Tomorrow we head out for some cultural tours with George here in Beijing. Sounds like day for pictures.