Merry Christmas from Guangzhou!!
This morning I asked the kids what they were most thankful for today, and Ryan said “I’m thankful that Elyana is with us, and doesn’t have to be in the orphanage this year for Christmas.” We all agree and are so grateful today for God’s beautiful gift of Jesus to us, and the gift of Elyana to our family.
Elyana experienced her first Christmas of lounging in p.j.’s all morning! We went down to breakfast in them and she stayed in them all day, until time for dinner.
Was so nice to have a full day of resting & relaxing. Elyana really enjoys her time playing with Ryan and Jenna.
Though it’s been so hard to be away from family for this long, it’s been a good Christmas. It’s been such a simple day full of peace and joy. Those are the two words that popped out to us as we read the Christmas story in Luke…….
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:10-14
As we celebrate Christmas in China today we have so much to reflect on. I am thinking about our determination to get to Elyana, so that we could show her how much of a treasure she is, and how much we love her.
This same love planted in us, abounds so much more in our Father in heaven. Nothing could stop His love from getting to us. He was so determined to get to us, and save us from the desperate state we were in, that he was willing to take on the form of a helpless baby, be wrapped in rags, laid in a feeding trough, and later spread out his arms to be nailed to a cross. I am in awe today of the love of our Savior. It cannot even be measured in human terms….His love is perfect and unfailing. It never disappoints us….true “love never fails.” He was willing to do anything He could to rescue us, giving us a way to escape death. And what a neat feeling today to know that no matter where we are today…….. China, Africa, Europe, the U.S…..or anywhere in the world…we can celebrate this gift of adoption we have all been given.
“For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Rom 8:15
For those of you curious about Christmas in China. Well, most don’t celebrate it. If they do it’s just a fun songs to sing and parties to attend, or a special dinner out. The shops stay open, and the demolition work continues 24/7 outside our hotel window! (I’m not sure how we will sleep when it’s so quiet at home!)
There are decorations like presents, trees, Santa ect.,
Christmas music is heard in all the Western hotels/shops, and the hostesses in our hotel restaurant are dressed in Santa outfits to make the westerners feel welcome……..but something BIG is missing here……. Jesus. I know there are many Chinese Christians celebrating today, we just don’t see any signs of it from where we are staying. We haven’t seen any nativity scenes here, so it has been so nice to have our little manger scene picture and tree the kids colored and decorated before leaving home. Though we know she has no clue what we are telling her, Elyana already says Jesus, and tries to make the animal noises in the picture.
We know there are also many Americans don’t include Jesus in their celebration, but most people have at least seen a nativity scene, and know something of it. When (our guide) Summer came in our hotel room….she asked us to tell her what the nativity picture was all about. John shared with her that we celebrate the birth of Jesus. She thought it was so neat we brought it with us.
We have learned so much about China from Summer. She was telling us yesterday that in middle school she went to school from 7am to 9pm!! So…. it’s no wonder they know so little of Jesus, and so much of what the Chinese gov. wants them to know. What a different place. We would ask that you pray for our guides and the other people we’ve met in China. There are so many here who still do not know who Jesus is, but we pray they can feel His amazing love through all of us who visit here for adoption. I cannot imagine living one day without His love, and pray this love continues to be spread all over China!
This afternoon, before dinner, Kya came to play with Elyana….we have seen some of Kya’s first smiles in the past couple days! (It’s so exciting to see the transformation!)
(they love their biscuits from the orphanage)
After playing, it was time for Christmas dinner!
My beautiful biggest girl….all dressed up and ready to go!
The dinner was beautiful! Everything was like a work of art. I told John I don’t think I will ever even try to top this dinner! It felt nice to get dressed up and celebrate together.
Everything we saw was edible! It was the most American meal we’ve had this whole trip! What a treat! I even found steamed broccoli….yum. Been missing normal veggies! (you say it Brocoreee here though…funny story behind that)
Elyana looked at this picture before going to bed tonight….she just smiled saying Daddy and Momeeee!
Our friends Tracy and Kya joined us for dinner too! Was nice to spend Christmas dinner with them! (I am sure she is so ready to see her family back home!)
High chair buddies at breakfast this morning and dinner this evening….what a special Christmas for both these girls.
My handsome (not so little anymore) man. I think he grew on this trip! He is getting SO tall!! I think he’s just trying to pass me up!
Ok….so the Chinese decorated the tables with party stuff…that looked more like New Years Eve/Mardi gra. Elyana cracked us up when she copied Ryan and Jenna, by putting on all the gear. What a little ham…..
They definitely had fun at dinner…..Elyana has good teachers….
We are headed to bed, as you are getting up to celebrate. We are thinking of you all and praying God wraps His peace and joy around each of you and your families today.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and send our love!!!!