Hey, y'all! Sigh. It's been a long day. But before I dive into that, let me recap our last few days...
We spent Sunday at the Pearl and Jade Market…this was incredible.
And, as if The Engineer ever doubted, it's now absolutely confirmed that I do have THE MOST expensive taste. Period.
We visited two stores and in both, I was drawn to the most expensive piece in the place…I just have that gift. (hahaha)
While those pieces stayed in the case, we did get to purchase pearls to put away for each of our children and that was a special treat. I snapped this pic with the idea that when Little Man gets married gives his bride the pearls we purchased (much like The Engineer did for me), I can bring out this sweet pic of him at the young age of seven, holding that little pouch of pearls.
Sister was touched! Love that girl!
While we shopped, despite the language barrier, Little Man made friends…and picked up a new skill - Bey Blades on steroids…"Top Plate" is all the rage in China and these kids were incredible!
After the Pearl and Jade Market, we spent time at the Chen Family Temple. The level of design and attention to detail…the carvings, etc. were AMAZING. This temple was built without any nails.
Our guide told us the temple was built in 1880…which was super interesting because a lot of the homes near ours (in the States) were being built at that same time. Crazy to think about!
The temple was for all of the Chen family…evidently the Chens are like the Smiths are in the States. There are a LOT of them!
I can totally see these on the wall in the boys' room...
This guy was painting with his hand…and it was AMAZING!!! (I tried it back at the hotel - my skills are, um, NOT so amazing.)
Every day, but one, has been rainy, HUMID, and HOT. Sunday was no exception…you just sweat. A lot.
There were SO MANY bonsai trees…and several yews cut and shaped as bonsais. (Seeing those kind of made me rethink what we did with the yews we had at our old house.)
The Engineer was so kind and gave up touring the temple to hold and feed this sweet baby boy.
Love this boy. Love this man.
A sitting room…(I'm LOVING the architecture in this room! That window!)
This is the backside of an apartment building that backs up to the gorgeous gardens at the Chen Family Temple. Lucky tenants! What a way to make life beautiful!
A small shot of the gardens - this doesn't do it justice!
The beautiful ceiling in one of the many rooms...
This shot is for you, Amy M! The original garden stool. (smile)
Ornate carvings on a door...
Love this wood carving...
And the dragon!
We spent Sunday afternoon back at the hotel…and by Sunday night, the tension of the last week had caught up with us. Not to air dirty laundry, let's just say The Engineer and I did some, ahem, "talking"…and I shed a few tears…and we are much better for it. Five sinners in close quarters in a foreign land - it's bound to happen eventually.
We spent Monday at the zoo…this is familiar scene…mama monkey is eating lunch while nursing baby monkey. (hahaha)
The kids made lots of noise and finally got this tiger to lift his head. (Such kind, thoughtful children. Hahaha.)
Heng didn't really care about being at the zoo. And he's not an ergo fan. (Which I suppose is great since his baby sister LOVES the ergo!) His lack of ergo riding means my arms should be lookin' pretty ripped! (wink, wink)
While we finish the zoo pics, let me fill you in on the excitement of the last few days.
Long story short, we thought Heng had a few bug bites…until they turned into a full on rash...
We've gone through numerous attempts at a diagnosis, including lots of texting and FaceTime with our pediatrician (who has been WONDERFUL!).
The rash looks like and is acting like chicken pox, only Heng has NO other symptoms congruent with chicken pox.
No fever, no loss of appetite, and no itching. The rash doesn't seem to bother him at all.
Today we made a return trip to the International Medical Clinic and saw four physicians - this was quite an experience.
Our guide had called ahead and they ushered us right in. She told me to strip Heng down…and the doctors poured into the room - all speaking rapidly in Chinese. Our guide and another guide from our agency were there, talking, too. The doctors were rubbing their fingers over the rash, pointing, talking more, pushing, scraping, taking his temperature…our guide and another from our agency were talking - finally all but one doctor left and our guide broke the news. Y'all - that could've been the MOST NERVE wracking experience.
An unidentified rash. A foreign land. Doctors who don't speak English. And my baby girls are half the world away. And God kept my heart at peace. He kept reminding me, "I will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on me." And He did.
The doctors at the clinic were split 50/50. Half think it's chicken pox. The other half think it's just a rash. But, if it's chicken pox, we can't travel until Heng's no longer contagious.
So they sent us to Children's Hospital. I fought tears and struggled to remember this was no surprise to the Lord. And that despite being in a foreign land, we were not alone.
Let me tell you, Children's Hospital in China is VERY different than any Children's Hospital in America. The building exterior was beautiful and very well designed. But the inside - it made me sad. Only a few overhead lights were turned on, it was pretty dark.
There were so many sick children. The crowd was overwhelming.
Our guide had us stay in one area while she registered Heng…and then she ushered us into another section of the hospital. There were SO MANY MORE sick babies…vomit pans…children with "cooling patches" fixed to their foreheads. The needs were so great. And the lines so, so long.
And it was hot. Oh, it was so hot. It only took a few minutes before our clothes were saturated with perspiration.
We wove through rooms and finally got in our designated line and began what would've been a VERY LONG wait, but our guide made a bold move. When the exam room door opened for the next family, she ran in WITH them and told the physician what was going on - and that all we needed was a diagnosis - chicken pox or not…and the doctor agreed to look at him right then.
And the 50/50 split continued…she was 60/40 it's chicken pox. And so…we wait.
Our agency has called the consulate and alerted them to our case. Our appointment has been cancelled…which means, unless the rash is totally gone tomorrow, Heng won't get his visa until next Monday or Tuesday.
We'll be back at the clinic tomorrow afternoon and likely again Thursday afternoon...
We've emailed our travel agent to inquire about costs involved in transferring plane tickets.
The odds are that The Engineer and Little Man will head home as originally scheduled. Sister may or may not go with them. And for sure, Heng and I will be here until his rash clears and he's deemed no longer contagious.
God is keeping my heart at peace. The Engineer emailed work and they've given him permission to do whatever is best for the family. And so we wait to learn of the expenses involved. Please, please pray that Delta will be merciful. Pray that Heng's rash clears and is identified. Pray for our little girls, back home. I miss them SO VERY MUCH. I can't imagine five more days apart.
Last night I read Spurgeon's, "Morning and Evening" and was struck by God's perfectly sovereign timing…
How applicable and comforting!
We rest in God's sovereignty. I cannot help but recall the week following baby girl's birth when I was bedridden and how I was so frustrated and begrudging the time until Mama pointed out God had ordained that time and it was a gift. And it WAS a gift. I held our new baby 24/7 and now I am so thankful for that time. I hear Mama's words again as I look at the possibility of being confined to a hotel room for the next five days, quite possibly just me and Heng. I cringe at the thought. I'm not brave. I don't want to do this alone. And it's when I think those thoughts, that the Holy Spirit faithfully reminds me that I am not alone. That even in this, in a foreign land where a foreign language is spoken, He is with me and His grace is sufficient.
Please, pray that we rest in His sovereignty. Pray that we keep our eyes on the Lord and that He continues to keep us in His perfect peace. Pray that Heng's rash clears and if that's not the Lord's will, please pray we can stay here, together. Please pray for our little girls and please thank God for family willing to keep them and to support us - without ever even batting an eye.
To God be the glory!
Happy Tuesday, y'all.