Wednesday, August 31, 2011

day 18

Today was really day 20 out of 21! We made it. There were days we didn't think we would. Strangely, our time here in Guangzhou has been so easy and enjoyable that it flew by and I could probably survive another week here. But I'm glad I don't have to. Too bad we didn't get one week in Beijing and two here.

This will need to be a quick post because we leave tomorrow at 6:45 and I never sleep well the night before we travel anywhere, let alone across the world. If we arrive home on our scheduled flight we will be traveling by car, plane or sitting in an airport for nearly 28 straight hours. Pray for all three of us, please! It is an exhausting trip.

This morning we took Hope swimming and she hated it at first. It took her a long while to stop screaming but she eventually enjoyed herself. We took photos at the White Swan hotel lobby which is traditionally where all adoptive families take photos of their child. She loved wearing her new Chinese dress and was all smiles and poses until we had to leave and by then her swimming had caught up with her and she was exhausted and threw a massive fit in her stroller all the way back to the hotel. She ended up sleeping for 3 hours. We had one last dinner with friends and celebrated her 4th birthday with a tiny cheesecake that was as close to a b-day cake as I could find here. I think she had no clue that it was her birthday. She definitely had no clue about blowing out the candles on the cake but she had a blast doing it once Andy showed her. She giggled and smiled and loved having us all sing Happy Birthday to her. She pretty much loves being the center of any one's attention.

And so now our hotel room looks like a tornado went through it as I'm about 3/4 of the way done packing but still have tons of things in piles and corners all set to be packed.

We are scheduled to arrive home at 10:30pm on Sept 1st but are hoping to get an earlier flight from Chicago. We have about a six hour layover there as of now. Some of you have asked about coming to the airport and you are welcome to do that if you are up for a late night! You can email our home address or call our home phone and be put on the list to call if we do get an earlier flight. The kids have a "airport welcome home party" list of people to call if our flight changes.

Thanks to everyone who has prayed for us during this whole process. This is not a journey one wants to take alone. There are so many of you who have had a part in us being able to be here to get Hope. You know who you are and we are grateful for you.

Almost a year ago we quietly and a bit fearfully started this adoption process. At the time we we didn't even know who we would be adopting. But God had a little girl in His mind half way across the world named Liu Jiajia. Our journey to her has at times been a breeze. At other times it's been difficult. It's always consisted of small faith steps along the way. We haven't mastered the art of being faithful. We have complained. We have had fear. We have been tired. We have been overwhelmed. But God has provided for us exactly what we have needed at every step. So although Liu Jiajia will now be our Hope Jia Schmidt, she is, in a way, a part of many of your families too. She is here with us because others have come alongside us.

There are so many blessings you see when you walk the road of adoption. God's redeeming love and grace have at times seemed almost tangible to us during this journey. I hope it has been to you too. Because the story of little Liu Jiajia is really the story of all of us. We're all lost. We all long to belong. We all are made to be loved. And we are all broken. We all need a savior. And like Liu Jiajia experienced on August 14, 2011, there is a God who comes to us in our weakness. Who loves us despite our brokenness. Who delights in us even before we can ever do anything for Him. We are all Liu Jiajia. I am. Andy is. We've been given a new name. A new life. A secure future and an eternal hope through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It's the reason we're sitting here in a somewhat icky hotel room in China this evening. Because He loved us, we will love others in the same way. And loving like Jesus isn't easy. It costs us our time, our energy, our comfort, our money, our life. And sometimes it costs us three weeks in a country on the other side of the world. We counted the cost and chose to pay it. I'm so glad we did. Because God has taken what we have handed Him, what seemed like a sacrifice at the time, and given us a blessing in one sweet little girl named Hope. She may seem like the one with all the new blessings in life. But, actually, we are.

Thanks for being part of our miracle.

1 comment:

  1. Woo-hoo! Hope everything goes well with the flights home.