Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Scary, Strange and Stunning

Scary, Strange and Stunning ...
That about encapsulates our Wednesday. We began early with our group headed back to the clinic to read the babies’ TB tests.Our guide is stellar here. Marched us right in, through an amazingly big crowd and in to the office where all 4 babies in our group were to display their red arms. We were 4th in line, and in seconds we were up. I knew there was an issue when the nurse started marking and measuring. It’s interesting as during the adoption process one lives and dies by paperwork, but here, like labor, those memories have quickly slipped away. I have felt "done". I realized we had lots more to do, passports, visas, etc. but this was a nonevent for me, until we were on our way to chest x-rays.

I didn’t ask at all what if as I knew the Lord had brought us this far, and He would remain faithful to bringing Ava home. I just didn’t anticipate stripping my little girl and holding her down for chest x-rays. Nor did I anticipate the angst of waiting on results.
In minutes, we had clear film. Praise the Lord. This means we will travel with the x-rays for immigration. We visit the consulate this morning and tomorrow we will have little Miss Ava’s visa. I am confident she will never know this process and in many ways I am glad for that. Like Lily she came to us in a profoundly different, intentional way and my love for her is fiercely strong. Like the grinch, my heart grew 4-fold, last Monday, April 16.
She too is spreading her wings to love her siblings and her daddy. She is a really really funny girl and is finding her home in the laughter and joy of her family. What a joy to my heart.

After x-rays, our little group did some shopping and had lunch. Our guide stayed with us as the rest of the group taxied back to the hotel. She showed us Pedestrian Street, a walking/ shopping street and then the Chin Ping market. It was literally a street staged pet shop. We saw turtles and fish, one puppy and lots of kitties. Some for sale, some trying to eat the fish. Most were in dishpans and organized by breed and price. It was fascinating. The kids marveled at all the different animals. Of course we had a dozen discussions about what might fit in our suitcase but we convinced the kids our menagerie is quite full at home.
Last night was the finale of sorts with our group. We had dinner on the Pearl River and the views were just stunning. My girls watched from the window at the changing lights and lovely venues. China continues to amaze me with its beauty and its people.We are so privileged to have learned about this culture and pray we will continue to cherish those memories in our hearts for Ava. She received wonderful care. You can see the love for children in the grandparents that stroll by and speak with her in Chinese.

She has a smile and a little fisted wave for each one. She blossoms every day, smiling more and laughing lots more. What a gift she is. What a gift adoption is. I cannot imagine my life without her and I cannot imagine life without a heavenly Father that adopts us into His family.

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