Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Matthew, Day Three

Today has been another wonderful day with Matthew. We had no official visits, no papers to sign, no documents to complete... we just got up with him, went to breakfast at the hotel (where he again ate everything we gave him, including a fried egg, watermelon, congee, yogurt, pears, broccoli, and corn), then came back to our room and SKYPEd with both sets of our parents as well as Thomas and Catherine (my parents had just brought our kids back to Murfreesboro) and then a family Sarah met online whose daughter was a foster sister to Matthew one year ago.

We took the van to visit the Hubei Provincial Museum here in Wuhan, where we had an opportunity to see relics from a tomb which dates to around 430 B.C. The tomb was of Marquis Yi, who evidently was a powerful and wealthy individual who decided to have himself buried in a 4-room tomb that was sealed and remained perfectly preserved, even though underwater, until discovered in 1978. Some amazing bronze, jade, and gold artifacts could be found among the items in the tomb, in addition to several preserved coffins for the Marquis, his servants and his many concubines.

After visiting the tomb portion of the museum we went downstairs to a theater area and were treated to one of the most wonderful things (besides Matthew, of course) we have experienced so far in China. In the tomb of the Marquis Yi was found, among the other artifacts, a perfectly preserved set of 65 bronze bells and other musical instruments. The original find is preserved in the museum, but an exact replica had been made and was now in use in the theater for frequent performances by Chinese musicians dressed in traditional clothing. We sat back and enjoyed some beautiful traditional Chinese music played before us, with one musical piece featuring a dancer doing a beautiful routine. We purchased without hesitation a CD of songs made by these musicians and intend to share them with anyone who would also like to enjoy them.

We asked the van driver (through the translation of our guide) to stop by the Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way back to the hotel. The food was flavorful, which I liked, but the chicken used to make the sandwiches we ate (all sandwiches, no matter what their ingredients, are called “hamburgers” in China) had a lot of gristle. Matthew had a hard time going to sleep, crying again for his foster family, but at last he fell asleep as did Sarah and myself. This afternoon we're going to get some shoes for Matthew at a small store close to our hotel as well as check out a local candy store. Tomorrow we will visit the orphanage that Matthew was associated with (even though he actually lived with a foster family) as well as visiting the Yellow Crane Tower, a famous tower here in the city.

Matthew is such a joy. We know he's not completely himself yet, as he's still living in his country of birth and he's not used to us yet, but already we see his personality in what he does. He is so easygoing and laid back, even though he gets upset occasionally when he thinks about his foster family. He is learning to use his shortened arm to good effect, balancing items like a yogurt drink or cup on it to allow better control of these items as well as using it to wipe his little nose. He said a few words today in Chinese and looked at us like we were nuts for not replying back to him in his native tongue. He is a pleasure to be around and we feel so honored and privileged to be chosen by the Lord to be parents to this wonderful boy.