Well, somehow it got to be 11:58 pm on Wednesday night. I don't know where the time went. It feels like just yesterday we were all saying, "Wow can you believe we're leaving in only 2 weeks??" And here we are, with 10 bags packed, ready to head to America. In approximately 5 hours we will be waking up, in the will of the good Lord, to head off to the airport. I'm currently having my last Skype call with Mom and Dad. We have a Skype call pretty much every night, and it will feel weird to actually be able to talk to them in person. And I'm really excited to show off Harvey and his dashing looks.
I've enjoyed my time here so much and I really hate to leave. It's hard to imagine life without Chinese people and without our American neighbors. Somehow I'll deal with it though. I had a breakdown the other night when I was talking to Mom and Dad but I've got myself together and I'm more ok with going home. I really do miss everyone SO much but when you get used to having one life, it's hard to leave it. No doubt, I'm looking forward to Chickfila, Cheerwine, and all things Western, but there's also no doubt that I'll just the same miss the things here. So since I made a list of things I was excited about coming home to, I guess I should make a list about things I'm sad about leaving.
Chinese food. It's a little spicy around here, and leaves my stomach feeling kinda weird but it's just so delicious.
"Hello"s from Chinese people. As you know, Chinese people are infatuated with foreigners. And alot of times they like to yell "Hello!!" at us. And we like to yell "Hello!!" back to them. I will for sure miss this.
Good moods. Somehow Chinese people always seem to be in a good mood. They're always really kind and helpful.
QQs. Unfortunately, I haven't taken full advantage of QQs while being here, but they are little packs of fruit snack-ish things. They're so delicious. And I may or may not have bought 14 packs to take home...
Generosity. Chinese people are so generous. It just amazes me sometimes. Some neighbors brought over 30 eggs one night. Yes, 30. I don't know if they expected us to eat them all, but it was a kind thought. The landlord brought over like 20 peaches. The fruit lady at the market always gives Danielle rotten bananas. When one of Danielle's student's family members is in the hospital and is running out of money and is going to have to leave, the class takes up a collection to send to the family member of the student. This amazes me.
Cheap drinks. Here you can buy a bottle of Coke on the side of the road for like 35 cents.
The market. There's a market about a 3 minute walk from our house and it's so convenient to be able to walk over there and get fruit or vegetables or rice, etc. In America it's like a 10 minute drive to the Walmart.
Traffic. It's insane, but there's never a lack of excitement or horn-blowing.
Well these are only a few of the many, many things that I'm going to miss. And I'm sure once I'm home I'll realize a lot of other things I miss that I wouldn't have even thought twice about.
Now, just to be clear, I am in no way bashing America. I love America and am so thankful for it. I'm not trying to say all Americans are obnoxious and have bad attitudes...it's just that in China there's a feeling of joy and happiness..and alot of times in the States that is not the case. But don't worry...I'll never lose my gratitude for the freedom we have in America and I really do like it alot. Particularly Chickfila. And there really are kind people in the US, I know.
But as much as I love the States, I'm still in love with China. China will always feel like a second home to me, and I hope I can come back again. But if not, I'll just trust it's the Lord's will and try to be ok with that. But for now, it's time to focus on the trip home and reflect on the time I've had here.
To Mom and Dad: Thanks so much for making this trip possible and for giving up your daughter for 2 and a half months. I still remember the day when you told me you were thinking about me going over for Harvey's birth. And I still remember sitting on your bed going insane and not being able to sleep that night. I am so so so thankful for this trip and have learned so much and grown so much. As much as you missed me, it was all worth it, I promise.
To Grace, Lindsey, Ryan, Lyndsay, Harrison, and Daniel: Thank you so much for making this trip so much more enjoyable. It was tough not having friends in Beijing but I just wasn't prepared for how loved I would feel here and how easy it would be to get to know you all. Thanks for welcoming me into your little family and for making an effort to reach out to me. And don't worry, I'll never forget the memories. Such as "might as well" "Stop...look down.." "I've got a brand new pair of roller skates" "I will read my Bible every day!" "Singles or multiples?" Harrison breaking the handle off of the dryer, fairy wings, and much more. I'll miss each one of you like crazy and hope that one day we can meet up again. If not here, then in Heaven. And Grace - I expect a Chickfila date ASAP.
To Josh and Danielle: I can't express how grateful I am for how you've shown so much love to me and made this trip so enjoyable for me. I couldn't have asked for a better time here, many thanks to you two. I'm going to miss all the times I sat on the end of your bed while Danielle fed Harvey, asking hypothetical questions and just making conversation. I'll miss our walks around the lake. I'll miss making dinner for us all. I'll miss helping prepare for SM. I'll miss making sure Harvey's head is turned straight when he takes his weekly picture. I'll miss blogging about my great life with yall. I'll miss doing the dishes. I'll miss our Skype calls with family and friends. Really, I'll just miss doing life with you guys. Again, thank you SO much for letting me come. I love both of you like crazy!! I've enjoyed getting to know you even better and being able to spend this time with you. I'll cherish it forever.
To Harvey: Thanks for making an appearance while I was here. It was greatly appreciated. I love you more than you'll ever know. America is in for a treat! And always remember, I was the aunt that flew half-way across the world to be at your birth. Honestly, I'll miss changing your diapers. And definitely miss holding you. Thank you for smiling at me today. I love you so much. Don't grow up too fast.