It seems that blogging only works for me when I am in China these years.
I guess 7 children will do that to a person.
Or facebook or iphones, they seem to steal so much of my “free” time.
But I miss writing and I have challenged myself to start again. To make it a priority. I love looking back over the years at what God has done, and I know I will regret that for all these missing posts.
So here we go. It seems only obvious that my first blog back in a year would be about nothing less than… China.
But instead of being IN China, this is about China coming here.
In my home.
Let me go back. To May. The month of craziness. Honestly, ALWAYS crazy here but especially May.
Makenna graduated high school. I need to post about these life events that are so so big and changing our everyday. But for now she graduated.
Because our trip TO china was planned for departure May 25th, we had her graduation party early.
2 weeks before the China trip I had 200 people IN MY HOUSE to celebrate our beautiful oldest daughter. It was such a fun fun day. You know I love pinterest and I lived out my pinterest dreams in her party. J
May 22nd she graduated!
May 25th we left in the dark of morning to begin our journey back to China for my 9th trip. Makenna, Sawyer and I.
June 8th we returned home.
June 11th we drove 8 hours to drop her off at college for a 2 week freshman orientation. On the 8 HOUR drive home (why oh why is my child going SO far!!) Michelle called me to ask if I could help with hosting some China chaperones the following week. Chaperones that spoke no English.
At first I thought NO WAY. I have been home from China a few days, I am tired. But it is China and I miss China so terribly I ache and so YES yes, I will do it.
I, doing what I do well, text people I knew and asked if THEY could host them. And thankfully they did. But we would do some of the running and the coordinating and spending time with them.
And then it ended up that we had one more guy arriving from China that we would pick up from the airport. So it was our day to entertain the first set of chaperones. We had set it up they would visit the Chinese Gospel Church for dinner and fellowship before we met the last guy at the airport. (they are not believers but they were hungry for food AND someone to speak in their own language)
We almost dropped them off at the church. I mean honestly, we had every right to skip it. We were exhausted, we would not be able to communicate, we needed a break.
But God… We were SO blessed by our visit. They asked me to share about our story, my trips, my heart for the orphan.
They listened and they asked if they could go with me to help on our trips, to translate, to be love to those they could communicate with. They handed me $ for the orphanage.
God often humbles me. What if I had said no? I almost missed it. This blessing He had waiting for me.
We left there so excited and headed to the airport to meet our next chaperone. We will call him Shawn.
Are you wondering what a chaperone is? I should explain.
In His Hands Orphan Ministry brings over children every summer from China through Madison Adoption Agency partnerships. Kids that are a little harder to place.
Chaperones travel with them and this might be the orphanage director, a nanny or teacher of the children, etc..
So sad in fact we asked if we could have them back again for the end of their trip!
It worked out we were able to get them back to attend our church for the 2nd time. The sermon was on the Great commission.
Myself and friends were sharing on our different mission trips during the service. I had the songs & sermon translated so they could follow along.
We were able to share our hearts and who we are. We shared WHY we do what we do.
None of this being nice and hospitable is about us or what WE want.
It is because God is in us and He wants us to love. No matter how that looks.
We played tourists in the city, we sat more, we enjoyed our company with long late talks and fun busy days.
We saw a side of China we don’t always understand.
We saw a side of China we don’t always understand.
And they saw a side of adoption they don’t understand.
They said how hard it is to wonder what happens once they say goodbye to the children at their orphanage. They were able to see this side of adoption. How much the kids are loved, how they just blend right in to our families.
They saw a side of giving and loving that they have not before.
On Wednesday we took them back to Springfield for their early flight out on Thursday morning. They said, it is so difficult to say goodbye.
And it really is.
I gave them bibles and they promised they would read them.
They asked me to come see them on my next trip.
And then their flights were cancelled because of bad storms.
13 children, 2 chaperones from China.
Rescheduled out of St Louis for Friday morning.
So I did what just came natural.
Come here! It will be a party! God gave us another day, we will meet the children that did not find families on this trip.
Thursday night we hosted 5 boys and the 2 men, a girl went to our friends house close by.
It was crazy and loud and we met families who had to say goodbye to the children they will adopt and God was so present in this house.
I watched boys amazed at the ice maker, amazed at the trashcan, laughing as I tucked them into bed and handed them each a stuffed animal to snuggle with.
We spent more time late into the night talking with our friends.
These children were here a month. Families hosted with no intentions to adopt, but fell in love.
My heart was shattered as it always is when it comes to loving orphans.
But the tears are good! 13 children came to the US as orphans. 9 leave with the promise of a forever family! 2 more are possibly matched!
13 children that would not have known love.
Tears are always good when we are broken for what God is broken for.
We drove home and I checked the status of their flight.
I anxiously watched and it continued to be delayed. There was no way they were making their connection in Dallas.
I called the airlines and they said they had already re-ticketed the group. To stay the night in Dallas and leave in groups over the next few days.
I “calmly” explained that would not work. 13 children who are special needs can NOT be in dallas overnight and not fly together!
I was told there was nothing that could be done. I gathered up prayer warriors.
And I asked for a manager. Who said there is nothing they could do.
We prayed some more and I called again and asked for a higher up manager. I asked if they could fly them back here OR send us there, on the airlines bill.
OR how about just HOLD THE PLANE. At this point the delay was very close. They would be running, but they would be in the airport before the China flight took off.
“We don’t hold planes”.
Probably true, who are we to ask for them to hold a plane?
After being on the phone for over an hour they said they would alert the gate agents and they would see if they could wait a little bit.
We prayed, oh we prayed.
I watched the updates and the flight to Hong Kong was DELAYED. Just a few minutes but it was listed as delayed.
The St Louis flight landed in Dallas.
We told them to RUN.
By Gods grace they made it to the flight.
I got a message from Shawn and this is what he said.
“ Thanks to God we are on the flight”.
This friend who did not know what God could do just a few weeks ago, watched God work. And he knew it was Him!
This stuff is crazy and tiring and sometimes we don’t want to say yes. But oh when we do, when we give God a chance to be present and listen and we love, we are so blessed.
My heart is overflowing tonight as I reflect on this adventure. I am sad and I miss them all and I wish I was in China right now. But I am so very thankful for friends across the Ocean.
I give thanks to God for all He has done and all I know He will continue to do.