I've had two weeks on the ground now to think of how grateful we are to be home and to muse over words to communicate all our crazy glad-gratefulness and all the still-feeling-foreign emotions. Here's a little list to try to give you a picture....
You know you're home when:
*Two friends bring you a bouquet of flowers to say welcome home.... and several more friends left a fantastic sign and a PILE of fruit on our table for us.
* Your kids fight over getting to use chopsticks again.
*People. Stare. At. You. (Culturally, staring is a fine thing to do!) And touch your kids' face and hair and clothes. And talk about you like you don't understand a word they're saying.... and almost every one of their comments has the word "FOUR!!!" (Four kids in a one-child nation. We are a circus of
*There are Lots.of.Fireworks... we made it back in time for the Lantern Festival, 15th day of the new (Chinese) year when the fireworks rival new years eve at midnight. ahh... the sounds of living in a war zone! Fireworks everywhere!!!
* Your kids bite their pillows and shrill with delight to Simply Be Home.... to be on their own beds again! (most especially Isaiah)
* Your family dines in a restaurant with a structure like a tent but with vinyl instead of fabric walls.... the commercial-sized wok of rice and carrots and lamb steaming just out front. One of very favorite meals!
*You can't get online like you used to.... We need a VPN (internet tunnel for secure connection) to access lots of non-Chinese sites (blogger, facebook, CNN, etc) and things aren't working so smooth on that front lately.
*You cry with thankfulness to see your fruit vendor friend again.... and hear about her young daughter that her in-laws are raising out of the city.
* Dozens of neighbors ask how your visit with family went and most importantly, how was your Chinese New Year?
* Your kitchen sink (& countertops) rise to just above mid-thigh (thus making dishes an exercise in posture/squatting-balance/humility).
* Toilet paper goes in the trash can and you don't drink the faucet water anymore.
* You find yourself brain-twisted from texting in three languages.
* Everyday is weighted with the purpose of God.... our entire existence here is for naught without his grace. We are compelled to pray much for His favor and help and guidance.
In other big news... we've got one little bike-riding, studly, 3.5 year old. The first day we went downstairs to play, Matt just thought it was time to give John a chance to ride with no training wheels. We took off and I ran behind him, holding on to his seat, for about ten steps before he launched completely on his own. He needed help the first two days to start peddling, but since the third day, he won't let me touch him on his bike. He's solid and madly in love with riding.
|ahhh... we missed the helmet this time. Honest, he does wear his helmet most the time! (yikes!)|
and one more pic just for fun!
|Isn't she cute? ... little fashion model! Sisi is one of Marian's closest friends here.|