A Time to Mourn and A Time to Dance

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Today is one of those days where we ask ourselves and one another, “Where were you when…?

I, like every American remember precisely what I was doing. I had dropped my children off at school, when my husband called and asked if I was listening to the news. I had a ministry meeting that morning and by the time everyone showed up, we all knew our lives would never be the same. One of my friends at the meeting, was devastated even more than the rest of us. She had once worked in the World Trade Center and still had friends that did. We sat in front of the TV, not sure if what we were seeing was even possible, wondering what all the smoke meant, thinking there was another explosion, when in reality what we were seeing was the First Tower falling. Fall? How? In an instant we knew there was massive loss of life and hope seemed to disappear.

Fast forward 9 years later. On a very early, September 11th our family of four boarded a plane on a day we’d rather not be flying. But we had to be in Beijing by the 13th. Considering they were already 12 hours ahead of us, we had to leave to catch up with Beijing time. To make matters a little more unsettling, we were flying into Newark, just a hop, skip and a jump from New York City.

But nothing, and I mean absolutely not.one.thing. was going to keep me from going to China to get our girl.

Hope was about to appear.

It would be everyone’s first trip to the East except mine. I became our family’s Tour Guide Barbie. There was such a sense of trepidation and anticipation in each of us, but I remember feeling especially excited and seemed to feel the need to pinch myself every half hour or so, just to make sure this was really happening – that God’s promises to me had really been set into motion.

As we arrived at our gate for the plane trip to China, we were surrounded by, well, Chinese. WE were the minority and what a good life lesson that is to learn. Everyone should have to be the minority at least a few times in their lifetime. It’s good and its humbling. I’m sure they had a good idea of why we were headed their way, but I couldn’t help but wonder what they were thinking. Here’s a family with TWO boys and they are teenagers. What on earth would we want with a Chinese daughter? Most Chinese are just thankful for one child and if its a boy, even better.

After weeks of mind-boggling details and packing, I boarded our flights to China with a back that was thrown out and a head cold that was kicking my hiney. Great, I thought, of all the times to get sick! But I had run myself into the ground, popping in and out of bed at night to write down something I’d missed or another item I needed to pack. Then staying up way into the morning hours to finish one last detail. It’s no wonder I was under the weather on my way to China. But I didn’t care. I was going to get our girl one way or another.

Two weeks of packing over 10 suitcases, backpacks, and baby bags could certainly warrant a little shut-eye. You would think on a loooooong flight like the one we took to Beijing, that I might actually get some and catch up on some sleep. But sleep escaped me the entire flight. Maybe I was restless, maybe I was anxious, maybe I just can’t seem to fall asleep around 250 strangers. No matter the reason, I simply dozed, tossed, turned, and stayed mostly awake for the entire flight.

My mind couldn’t rest, because somewhere on the other side of the Pacific, sat a little girl, in a Henan orphanage, who I had dreamed about making mine, my whole life.

We were on a family adventure like nothing we had ever nor would ever possibly experience again. I had never felt so blessed in my entire life.

Over the next three weeks here on my blog, I’d like to reminisce a bit and give you a little peek into our journey to Hope. I hope you enjoy what is shared, and along the way that you will catch some glimpses of the Father’s love for the orphan, and for each of us.

Photo Quote Friday ~ Making the Soul Tangible

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