We've been more busy lately and neither one of us can sit down to write in our blog! It's also difficult when you are learning another language to spend long periods of time each day writing in English. Chinese classes are going well for both of us. We are in different classes now, and Jeremy is actually a couple chapters ahead of me now. It was difficult to face that at first, but it's nice to ask him for help now with grammar or words he's already learned :). The class we were both in together originally was great because we had an excellent laoshi (teacher), and we worked really hard. At the beginning, it was great to be at the top of the class and an example, but the minute I began to get a word wrong or sentences incorrect I would be embarrassed (bu hao yisi!). I was sick from morning sickness and missed lots of class for a period. Now I'm feeling much better and back in classes, but in a different one with a great new teacher. But Jeremy and I both liked the teacher we had together the best though. She and all the other teachers at the school have been so excited for my pregnancy. I am so glad I have been able to be back at the school and spending more time there. We only have about 3 more weeks left there. It will be sad to say good-bye to them.
All our Chinese teachers and friends we've made here tell me to make sure that I "chi hao" (eat good) and eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Here this has been easy to do. We have an outdoor market behind our apartment buildings where we can get baby bok choy, carrots, green onions, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, eggplant, tomatoes, peppers, cherries, and all different kinds of interesting fruits for good prices. Chinese cooking is supposed to be healthier and simply - just stir fry meat and vegetables, and then make rice. I also ran into some ladies at the gym where we can work out at after school, and they were all concerned that I not exercise "too severely" or it could harm my baby. I think they were expressing concern because I was standing outside of a belly dancing fitness class at the club at the time and thinking about coming to the next one. One of the ladies who works at the club who is a friend to Jeremy and I recommended that I "you yong" (swim) and do other lighter sports instead, and stay away from "tiao wu" (dancing) or running. I've only been walking on the treadmill since the beginning of my pregnancy, but I thought it was neat how concerned everyone has been. They seem to be very cautious about pregnancies in their culture and some have suggested funny ideas to me. I've also been warned that it isn't good for pregnant women to drink cold liquids or to have things such as ice cream. I can't imagine why when it's in the mid-summer and really hot and dusty outside! There was also a custom after birth that we heard of that I won't mention here.
We've also been busy with BICF activities...Jeremy went and spent a Saturday doing outside work and painting at an organization that helps Chinese migrant children and families in Beijing. He did such a good job and I am so proud of him. I saw pictures from somebody else's camera and he was all up on a ledge painting the second level of a new migrant school building. This is one group of people we have had a heart for in China. Another Saturday we travelled outside Beijing to a neighboring city called Langfang, about an hour away, and visited one of the orphanages there. It was a bigger orphanage, NGO, and really nice. There was a nanny to every 3 babies and they were all playing and interacting really well. We were allowed to jump right in and hold the babies! Most of them were labelled "special needs" and had had cleft lip palate surgeries, and a couple had cerebral palsy. They were all precious. We really have a heart to adopt someday, it's something we talked about even before we got married. We'll just wait and see if the desire continues to come back and if it's something God is putting on our hearts to begin at some point, whether from China or some other country. Adopting children from China has many restrictions, but is supposedly fairly stable. It just takes a little longer (from 2 to 3 years), but most of the restrictions don't apply to us anyways...we are both over 30 years of age and that was one of them. Enough for now, we will try to write more later. Thank you so much to everyone for thinking of us!! We know it's helped alot, and we have continued to grow in so many ways through difficulties here that we've faced and come through together. Jeremy says he feels he has grown more in the past 4 or 5 months of being in China than in several years of living in the states like usual, and I agree with him. Living in a foreign country and trying to learn Chinese together as a married couple is a challenge!