Monday, May 2, 2016

God is in the Details - arriving in Taiyuan

Sometimes God is overwhelmingly in the details. And if we don't open our hearts, it prevents us from seeing all the beauty of those signs around us.  One of the first things we spotted driving into the center of Taiyuan last Sunday, where we would meet our daughter the next day, was a statue of the famous WuWei horse, the very city--in all of China--in which our beautiful daughter, Madi, was born. It felt like the warmest welcome sign.

How do you explain that our guide in Taiyuan, China has a nice Irish name like Maggie, and that the first person who would greet us at our hotel was a young Chinese man named Murphy?  Yes...all the way in China.


Or that after beginning last Sunday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Beijing for Mass and then taking a scenic 2.5 hour bullet train ride into Lulu's province, we would be swept away for dinner in the finest Shanxi restaurant by a Grandma and Grandpa who we've known all the way from sunny Florida? It almost sounds like a movie, doesn't it?  But these were the real God-laced events of our Sunday arriving in province to meet Lulu.  That evening was the most amazing part, and there is only one word to describe our experience...surreal. 

Last fall at school pick up each day, my friend Margaret (who speaks Mandarin) would converse with a sweet elderly couple who spoke no English. Their granddaughter goes to Banyan Creek, the very same school as our kids. Well one day, Margaret discovered that they were headed back to China for several years. I overheard the conversation and happened to ask which province they live in. Her answer stunned me..."Shanxi." We quickly pulled up a map on our phones to verify it was the same province...the same one where our daughter was living. I told her which city we'd be staying in and it was--in all of China--the exact city we'd be staying in to adopt Lulu--Taiyuan. I promised to stay in touch with their daughter and son-in-law (who have kindly translated videos of Lulu for us during our wait) and told them that we wanted to see them while in China.

A couple of weeks ago, I reached out to their son-in-law to see if there was anything we could deliver to his in-laws, and we made arrangements. He gave me their phone number and asked me to call them right away to plan their visit to the hotel. Once we were settled on Sunday and had completed some necessary adoption paperwork with our guide, Maggie, I asked her to call them for us. And they asked if they could come meet us right then and there. As the Lord would have it--always in the details-- Maggie was available to stay and translate for us so we would be able to communicate with them.

We met in the lobby, and it seriously made me a puddle to see them across the world from where we'd first met. We marveled at the mere chances of our union, and it was only an event that God could weave together. They quickly became known as Lao Lao and Lao Ye (Grandma and Grandpa). We gave them their items, and Lao Lao handed me a most beautiful set of hand-crocheted coasters to keep as a gift. 

Then they graciously insisted on taking all of us to dinner. Their son-in-law drove us to a restaurant that's known as the best in the area and serves local Shanxi delicacies. In fact, the chef is well known and has restaurants in the U.S. too. We sat together in a private room and even though there was a language barrier, it didn't matter. You could feel the love in that room. These kind and generous people treated us to at least fifteen local delicacies--the dishes kept coming and coming. 


After our meal, we said our goodbyes and promised to see each other back on U.S. soil where we can treat them to a backyard barbecue at our home and with our daughter from their homeland province.  We marveled, again, at our union.  Something like this could only happen once in a lifetime, and we completed our reunion celebration with selfies and hugs.

I'd say God sure rolled out quite the welcome mat for us to meet Lulu the next day...such beautiful details to praise the Lord for.

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