Thursday, February 28, 2013

On our way

We are happy to report that we are on our way!  We have packed our bags, stowed away the distractions and are in our first stop along the way in the San Francisco airport.  We can feel the breeze from across the ocean that tells us that this will be a great trip!

I can only imagine the emotions that Sean and Lia are going through right now.  Excitement, fear, nerves, joy, and sadness.  (Surprisingly similar to my own feelings.) Who are these new people they have never met who will take them to a country with a language they don't speak to people they have never known?  What will happen to the friends they will leave behind?  Will they like the food?  Is there even another family they would rather go with??  BIG changes.

We have been here before.  We have seen it all and know that one thing is for sure:  We have no idea what is about to take place.  We know it will all work out and that it will be one of the most memorable experiences of our life but we don't really know what will happen. The training has been over for so long and now it is time for us to put those practices to the test.  But listing to those quiet promptings that all parents are entitled to is what will carry us through.

My thoughts also turn to the children who do not have families coming for them.  Those who will never know the feeling of a mother or father holding them in their arms and telling them how wonderful they are.  And those who are in desperate need of medical, psychological, emotional support.  It is painful to consider these situations but I believe there is hope.  7+ years ago, our Kristin prayed quietly to an unknown God for a family and we were led to her.  She has been an inspiration to us and to all she meets.  3 days ago, I was talking to Kristin about college.  She want to major in helping people in need.  Is there such a major?  I suspect there are many.  In this there is hope for other children.

When we arrive in China, we hope to help a few more children find their homes.  We hope that our visit to the orphanage will open up doors for other children to have their dreams filled. We hope that their stories will inspire others to take actions in the way that only they can.

Imagine the difference you could make.  Make the difference in a way only your can.

Friday, February 22, 2013

What are our plans?

Lets see...  Life has been so very busy getting ready for the trip and all the church activities

We leave on February 28.  Just Doll & I are going.  We just simply couldn't afford to take Ashley and Salem.  So sad about that.  We arrive in Hong Kong on Friday Evening and on Saturday fly to the the province capital.  When we arrive there, we stay the night and on Sunday morning (as early as we can) drive 3 hours down to the orphanage. This will be the first time we have been allowed to visit the orphanage.  We are so excited but anxious about what we will see.  We will spend some time there visiting and taking pictures and videos.  We hope to see some of the children we have been advocating for.  Lia is using a wheelchair but it is the only wheelchair that the orphanage has.  So we are taking 2 wheelchairs with us to leave behind.  We will then pick up Sean and Lia to transport them back to the province capital.  On Monday we finalize the adoption and do the paperwork for their Chinese passports.  Then we wait around for a few days and pick up their passports on Friday March 8 and fly to GuangZhou.  On Saturday, we have medical exams in preparation for US visas.  Then the paper work goes into the US consulate on Tuesday March 12.  We wait until the 14th to pick up the visas and to be sworn in (similar to what is done with immigrants who come into the US.)  Then we take a van to Hong Kong where we will spend the night and then at about noon we fly back to the US on Friday the 15th.   We arrive in San Francisco on the morning of Friday the 15th and go through immigration.  Then we fly back to orange county and life begins again.

Sounds easy but I assure you it will be an emotional roller coaster and we will be ready to be home and start the process of normalizing life.

Unfortunately we will not be able to see Tim in Hong Kong.  Which is fine.  He is doing well and is excited to focus on his mission.  We will get to drive through the town and see the area for just a bit before we get to the airport on the 14th.

Hope you are all doing well,