Technology frustrations abound! An aside from the wonderful day we have had: China has blocked facebook and twitter, and the free WiFi in the lobby is a bit sketchy. If my writing seems choppy and full of typos, grammatical errors, or nonsensical sentences, blame it on the stress of trying to compose before the ten-minute mark is up (it kicks me off or slows waaaay down about every ten minutes). I need to learn more patience, so I’ll consider this another life lesson in…waiting.
I’ve always wanted to spend a wedding anniversary in an exotic location. So here we are, celebrating 22 years tonight in Beijing, China. It was a perfect day to remember our wedding. How could we have imagined when we were standing before family and friends what kinds of interesting roads we would walk down in two decades of marriage? It’s been quite a journey so far, and one of those roads has brought us to China with our three children.
We started our day at the CCCWA (China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption). This is the centralized adoption placing authority for the People’s Republic of China, and more importantly for our purposes, the people who matched Alison with our family. Someone sat in an office and looked at her photo and information, and decided that she would be paired with our dossier. She became our daughter through that mysterious red thread that binds together child and family in one moment, yet exists as a connection that has always been there. Alison was always destined to be our daughter, yet the CCCWA was the instrument that was used to complete this bond. Finally, we were able to see the offices were matches are made, and as the photo above shows, that matching process involves LOTS of paperwork. The files above are dossiers. Dillon files are always blue, so you can see a few Dillon family dossiers in the pile.
Bridges of Love Adoption Service hosts the families that come over to adopt children, and their offices are located in the CCCWA building. They were gracious hosts to us today, and arranged for the girls to do calligraphy lessons while they were visiting CCCWA/Bridges of Love. Parents were invited to participate and I quickly determined that I am pathetically challenged in the brush stroke/Chinese calligraphy department. Alison, as it turns out, is pretty good at it. The girls also received panda bears and t-shirts from Bridges of Love.
We went from there to a tea ceremony, then to paint Opera Masks at the Beijing Art Heritage Museum, then to a hot pot dinner and our anniversary celebration. Kyle surprised me with a cake, and the restaurant gave us a few small gifts and made a party out of it. I’m running out of WiFi minutes so I need to close. I’ve left out a thousand amazing details about this day, but the memories of it will stay with me (I filled up my camera card with photos and videos to make sure of it).
Please pass the word along about the blog. You can subscribe to receive the RSS feed above. I’m locked out of facebook here in China, so I can’t post links to the blog, but assuming that the WiFi holds out, I’ll keep posting on the blog.
Goodnight from Beijing!