Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I was lost, but now….

Of all the items on our itinerary for this trip to China, this day was the one I was least looking forward. Today we were to travel to Ava’s home district to file for her passport. This is a very new procedure here in China. It’s newness has detained some families and I am sure caused agencies great logistic issues as drivers and translators must be arranged to all different areas of the province. We were also told to prepare for an interrogation of sorts by the local authorities regarding our adoption. Brian and I both felt it could not be as hard or grueling as the adoption courtroom in Kazakhstan, but in many ways this process has already been hard; I am ready for easy.

We drove for 2.5 hours seeing more of this beautiful country and its environs. We left in rain, the first we have seen on this trip but arrived to the office with sun and warmth. We exited our van and greeted the two ladies who brought us Ava on Monday; the director and officer of her orphanage. Ava saw them and quickly grabbed my neck. I think it was to assure me even more than to assure her, she reminded me that her claim had been staked. I love this girl!

We entered a very modern office, turned over our paperwork and sat and waited. Our children were in rare form. They laughed and even Ava joined in dropping all her goodies out of her little purse so she could watch her brothers pick them up. All this silliness helped to make the wait palatable. Finally, Brian, me and Ava were called to the front and I was told to sit as they took the baby’s picture. All the women chattered simultaneously to the baby which I didn’t understand and she began to cry. I shooshed her and she obeyed. Amazing that the voice of a mother stretches beyond language. We sat back in the waiting area and within minutes our coordinator told us it was time to leave. Yes, ladies and gents, no questions, no interrogation. That is the hand of God once again standing in the face of my fears and proving himself faithful.

We left feeling on top of the world and asked if we could have an authentic Chinese meal. Our guide stayed with us and we so enjoyed learning more about the culture, food, customs and traditions. We had a delightful time until Lily encountered her first squatty potty. Let’s just say, Fancy Nancy type girls and squatty potties do not mix well. We left, all of our "business" conducted, and went to Ava’s finding place. We had been told it was at the northside of a busy road in the district where we registered. We drove and Brian and I immediately noticed almost a grove of trees. I was sure the driver would stop, but he went on. We drove from a very pleasant retail and market spaces to a very dirty, old shopping district. The local children had been left out of school and they were every where – walking and riding on the backs of their parents scooters with their backpacks in the baskets. I studied every nearby face and realized my daughter could have been one of these school children one day, but the Lord had something else in mind.

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