Sunday, March 4, 2012

Sterling Mei: (23) Simon Says


Our group walked out of the U.S. Consulate having successfully submitted our dossiers and completed our final interview. We were exchanging congratulations with broad smiles on our faces, and again thanking Simon for walking us through a difficult process flawlessly. We had witnessed other couples who were anguishing with anxiety and full blown panic as they were told that there were problems with their documents. It was a heart-wrenching observation. Once again, we were thankful to be partnered with Children's Hope International.


Entire work done with LIVE flowers.

Naturally, the conversation turned to the next phase of our itinerary, preparing to journey home. The group was discussing how eager they were to return, and as usual… I had a differing perspective. "I would like to be able to stay another week." Simon turned to me and said, "What did you say?" I repeated that I would like to be able to enjoy another week here, I really like it. He said that was the first time in his 15 years that he had heard an American make that statement. Well… of course it would be me.

Allow me to set the record straight. Although I have only mentioned politics in my blog on one other occasion, I strive to be informed and always have an opinion. I am a strong, Consititutional-based, Conservative that believes in the free market, capitalism, and the right of the individual above social justice. I believe that we are a nation of laws, not of men. I believe that America was a nation founded with an acknowledgment of God, who is the basis of our morality and sense of justice. I am convinced that society should begin with personal responsibility and accountability. In short… I am no communist.

So, now that I have that disclosure out there, let me continue with my story.

What I like about China is the incredible beauty that the people had created in this society. As I expressed in an earlier post, it is a testament to the spirit of the people of China. If you look into the history, then you will be amazed by how art and custom has been incorporated throughout the dynasties, and how an oppressed society has found meaning in what so many of us take for granted.

An afternoon in the park will tell you all you need to know about the people of China. There are no strangers. Kellie and I are grateful that we have been greeted with open arms. Now, there is also a dark underbelly that no-one discusses… you have to look no farther than your web browser to see it. YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, and Blogs are Forbidden. My blogs are being posted through an email workaround that I was able to set up before I left the states. 

I apologize to those of you who have commented… I can't view the blog or access it in any way. Skype is also blocked here, but I found a way to work around the block, and it has been incredible to see the faces and hear the voices of our kids and parents!

I have seen here a similar spirit that we have seen in our days spent in Guatemala… beauty and spirit among difficult situations. It has taught me to be more aggressive in seizing the moments in life that are to be cherished. I am working to be less of a grumbler, and less of a critic… less fretting and regretting.


Simon says that American's should exercise more and drink more tea. While he and I have differing views on a great many things, I think we can agree on that. There is wonder and beauty to be found in our circumstance. There is thanks that should more often be whispered from our mouths.

Kellie and I celebrate today because we have completed all of our paperwork. And as we smile, I realize that we need to take that smile back with us to our everyday life. This country of China has opened its doors to us to allow us a 2nd daughter. It has also given us a smile and lots of incredible food!

Sometimes I learn the most simple concepts in life through the most complex predicaments. I am thankful for the simple beauty found in everyday life here. So, I ask you… wherever you're at and whatever you're doing today, take a moment to have a hot cup of tea (or maybe some Guatemalan coffee) and allow your mind to find the beauty and the goodness that is around you. If you can, share that time with someone you love.

For me, each morning is spent looking into the deep eyes and incredible smile of a little girl that thinks I am funny. When she reaches for me… there is nothing better in the whole world.

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