Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
Today, I learned a lot about turbulence. The kind that happens on an airplane. I learned what it is, and what it is not. I used to believe that every little bump and jump during flight was turbulence. Prior to this trip to China, I found flying to be extraordinarily stressful. So, anytime someone would ask me about my flight, I would always answer, “It was horrible, a lot of turbulence!” Turns out I did not have a clue. That is until today.
Actually, as it turns out, turbulence is where the plane is jolted and knocked around (sometimes violently) by airwaves moving at different speeds. It is random and unpredictable. Objects float temporarily during especially large drops. The flight attendants slam their serving carts shut and hurriedly dash for their seats. And even though it was my “fasting” day, I snatched a bag of peanuts from the cart as the attendant whisked by. She screamed something at me in Chinese to express her displeasure at my disregard for the “food service discontinuance” announcement. I did not care. I had no intention of going down starving! While we were still bouncing like a rubber ball, I calmly opened them. There were exactly 8 peanuts in the bag. Seriously! I decided to die hungry. About that time the pilot came over the loud speaker and in a frenzied Chinese voice made an announcement. I assumed he said “BRACE FOR IMPACT”. I did so. Then he made the announcement in English. “Ladies and Gentlemen, I apologize for the light turbulence we have encountered. We hope the rest of your journey with us will be enjoyable. Have a nice day, and thank you for flying Air China!”
Light turbulence? Really? So much about life is perspective isn’t it? Sometimes the things in life that we think are such a big deal are really no big deal at all. We just don’t usually figure that out until we face a bigger deal. Visiting Lily’s orphanage made me realize that the things that I fret and sometimes agonize over pale next to a world of children with no parents. This really bothers me. More so now that I have seen it up close. I kind of hope it bothers you too. Is there something you’ve been losing sleep over? Maybe it’s just a tiny thing and the devil wants you to focus on it so much that you never have time for weightier concerns. Issues important to God. He tells us what those are by the way. For you it may not be orphan relief, but for goodness sake pick something and get busy fixing it.
Ok enough preaching. I am home! I miss Susan and Lily, but am so happy to see Em and Teddy and Daniel. I am putting a picture up with this post and tomorrow I will put all the sermonizing aside and tell you about our trip to Lily’s orphanage. Great stuff! More pictures too.
Thank you for your support, your prayers and all your great comments. Susan and I love reading them!
Monday, June 21, 2010
I am writing this blog in Microsoft Word and sending it to Teddy to post on my blogspot because I have been unable to access to site from here in Jinan China. A few updates: Since last I wrote, we have done A LOT! The 13-hour flight from New York to Beijing was tough but incredible. We flew over the North Pole and it was amazing. Flew into Jinan the next morning and within 3 hours they were knocking on our hotel door with Lily in tow. Can you imagine the emotions we all were feeling? If you are thinking adjectives like thrilling, and ecstatic, and happy and excited, you would be completely wrong. At first, all of us, including Lily were more like terrified, and overwhelmed and helpless. Honestly, I was thinking, why am I here, what were we thinking? The same things many of you have been asking all along. Lily screamed to the top of her lungs for three hours solid, which we were told ahead of time is a very good thing. It certainly did not seem to be so good to me. However, in my heart I was screaming as well. After meeting with the orphanage director, we all went to the Chinese Wal-Mart for supplies. If you haven’t googled the Chinese Wal-Mart, you really really should. Although the online pictures don’t really do the experience justice, take a look anyway. I had seen the pics earlier, and still I was startled! Much of the meat is so fresh it is still breathing. Seriously! And, to make me feel even better, almost EVERYONE here is China that we have met, and those who come up to us on the street ask how someone so old could be married for so long to someone so young, and that Susan looks “normal’ to have a child Lily’s age and that I look like the grandpa! So, they treat me here the same way they do in the U.S.
Anyway, somewhere in this process Lily started to get very comfortable with Susan. Still not so much with me. They hold hands and walk and she calls Susan mama. I was so excited when finally she held her hand out to me. I reached to hold it and she let me know it wasn’t my hand she wanted. It was my goldfish crackers! Oh, by the way, I left the camera transfer cord at home so I cannot download pictures. I will do that when I get home. I know I am rambling here, but I want to tell you as much as possible and not go on and on.
Ruby (her English name) is our translator and she has handled everything for us so beautifully. Today was the official adoption and it went very smoothly. Details later, but Lily is ours officially. Thanks to Doc (Susan’s dad) we learned how to Skype, and Emily and Daniel and Teddy have seen Lily online so they can fill you in on what they have seen! Blair and Jeff are on an anniversary trip so they have not met her yet but can't wait. She is laughing and blowing kisses and eating a whole lot. Definitely a “Cheek”!
Now back to the emotions thing. NOW, we are very thrilled, happy, ecstatic and excited, and can’t wait to get her home. When I get in, I will post pictures and more updates. Tomorrow we go by high-speed train to Lily’s orphanage city and then Wednesday morning (Tuesday evening for you) I begin the trip back. Please pray for Susan and Lily as this very unfamiliar place is logistically a challenge. Pray for the kids at home and our flights. We love you. Look forward to seeing everyone!