Wednesday, August 10, 2011

if you're wondering

If you're wondering what we'll be doing in China for 3 weeks...

Our travel schedule:

Sat, Aug 13th: Arrive in Beijing late afternoon
Sun, Aug 14th: Go to orphanage to meet Hope, sign papers
Mon, Aug 15th: Civil Affairs office for adoption registration at 9:30am
Tues, Aug 16th: free
Wed, Aug 17th: Pick up registration certificate at Civil Affairs office and notarize Hope's passport
Thurs, Aug 18th: free, Chinese acrobatic show in the evening
Fri, Aug 19th: free, Great Wall tour (Mutianyu)
Sat, Aug 20th: free
Sun, Aug 21st: free
Mon, Aug 22nd: free, tour Chundixia Village
Tues, Aug 23rd: free, Kung Fu show in evening
Wed, Aug 24th: free
Thurs, Aug 25th: Pick up Hope's passport
Fri, Aug 26th: Fly to Guangzhou
Sat, Aug 27th: Visa photo and medical exam (including TB test)
Sun, Aug 28th: free
Mon, Aug 29th: Pick up TB test results
Tues, Aug 30th: Visa appointment and oath ceremony at U.S. Consulate
Wed, Aug 31st: Pick up visa
Thurs, Sept 1st: Leave for home!

Yikes, maybe I shouldn't have just typed that all out. I'm nervous again. Three weeks is a long time. Three weeks is even longer if you type every single day out and see it in black and white.

I'm actually getting very excited about it all. Well, "very" may be stretching the truth a bit but I am excited. I have felt like I haven't really had time to really appreciate the fact that we are going to China to get Hope. The girls and Andy and I just returned from a mission trip in Monterrey, Mexico about a week and a half ago. The timing for our China trip was not ideal as it ended up being just 2 weeks after we got home from Mexico. And to add to my stress level, the mission trip involved a lot of intense work projects...think making/pouring concrete in what felt like 500 degree heat. Oh, and mixing that concrete while wearing really cute brand new shoes that were not at all suitable for such work. Shoes that I bought for leisure walks around the orphanages we were to be working in. I somehow mistook "serving orphans" to mean sitting and playing with kids as opposed to the concrete work projects we were actually expected to do. To say I was unprepared for the mission trip would be an understatement. So I spent a lot of the time in Mexico feeling sorry for myself, complaining in my head to myself, and wishing I were home.

When I finally got home I was not at all ready to turn around and leave again. I spent a week feeling totally overwhelmed and unprepared to leave for China. In fact, I didn't want to go. The thought of unpacking from Mexico only to re-pack for a 3 week trip all while trying to maintain some sort of normal routine at home for our family was a bit too much for me to handle gracefully. I'll just say that any one who thinks we have it all together or that we have an extra dose of patience or love or angelic-ness is quite mistaken. I fail miserably at even the most basic things. To love. To put my needs aside. To be gracious. And thankful. And peaceful.

So that's where I've been. To Mexico. Complaining pretty much all the way. And then home. Complaining and whining there too.

And this is where I'm going. To China. For Hope. And I'm learning a whole lot of things along the way. To sum it up: I'm a mess. And God still loves me. I generally try too hard on my own effort to make things work. And He still calls me. I say I trust God and then completely don't. And He doesn't leave me. Or I do trust Him and then complain about every step of faith I take. And He is faithful to complete what He begins.

The road to adoption is filled with so many lessons. Lessons that I desperately need.

He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30


  1. Thank you for being so transparent. You are not alone. I am a complete mess and totally humbled because God still loves me! I know that we have not had a chance to catch up and you are leaving. Please know that I think of you often & will be praying for you the entire time. God's plans always prevail and I can not wait to meet Hope soon!

    ~Maria Santiago

  2. Hi there,

    Congratulations on your upcoming adoption!

    I've just asked to join your Shutterfly account. I and am a Madison parent AND a Beijing Mom. If you haven't already joined, you might want to join the yahoo!Beijing adoption group. Three weeks is a looong time! We were there three weeks before it was required due to a paperwork glitch. If you want any tips, just let me know.