My husband wrote this in a prayer update to our support and prayer team and he says exactly what I am thinking. If you've never done this before, you're missing out on this experience. Here's what he says:
"One thing I've really appreciated about this trip--in fact, about this whole adoption process--is the community of the Body of Christ around us. It has been such a blessing to travel together with the Chua family and with Auntie Reine and with Vera's parents. We were joking today that our girls (Anah and Hannah) will be disappointed when we get home and they realize that we don't see each other at every meal, every day. What a joy to see the love and care that Hannah has for Anah--she gets all excited every time she sees her, and she watches out for her and cares for her like a big sister!
Going to breakfast each morning in the hotel here in Guangzhou is really a beautiful picture of the Kingdom of God--I wish you could see it! Since everyone adopting in China has to complete the process in this city, there are probably 20-30 adoptive families here, many of them (like us & the Chua's) with their other children too. It is really difficult to adopt a healthy baby in China, so the majority of adoptees we see are older children with some kind of special need. So as you walk through the dining room, there's the little boy with only one arm and the albino girl and several with cleft lip/palate, there's our swimming pool friends who are adopting 2 girls (one 11 and one 12) and Samantha's 2-yr-old girl with a heart issue, along with the Chua's fun-loving, find-joy-in-everything Hannah and our little karaoke star Anah. The mixture of ethnicities and ages and health status create quite a scene, but it's a scene that points to the Kingdom of God, and to a King who makes beggars into princes and sinners into beloved sons and daughters.
So there's the community of our little travel party, and the community of all the other adoptive families we are meeting, but there's also the community of being in China. While eating dinner at a very loud Chinese restaurant last night, we were talking about the difference between individualistic Western culture where we think we have to own everything ourselves and the more communal culture of the East that sees many things as common property. As if to hammer home that point, we were walking back to our hotel in a downpour with only 3 or 4 umbrellas for 13 of us--a lady walks up to me, hands me an umbrella and gestures at Anah in the stroller (who is gleefully sticking her head out of the useless umbrella on the stroller and laughing at the shower she is getting) then walks on her way. I tried to keep up with her to return the umbrella, but I couldn't see very well and never found her again. So now we have an extra umbrella to give away to someone else in need. =)
I'm also tremendously grateful for the community of our church family and all of you who are praying for us and have been walking with us through this whole journey so far. This has been perhaps one of the most wonderful experiences i have had, but it has also been one of the most difficult experiences i have ever had. So I thank God for bringing people around us to pray and support and encourage us--we honestly could not do this apart from all of you. We're looking forward to seeing you when we get home. Thank you for being our Community!"
Amen! Thank you all for your support throughout this journey. We really cannot do this alone.