This morning after breakfast Rocky, Gongzhan, and I said goodbye to Beijing and headed to the airport. We boarded Xiamen Airlines in a rush as we were running late, but then waited almost two hours on the plane just to take off due to the busy air way. As we were waiting our turn to take off I enjoyed a good magazine and smiling at a baby next to me, a 12 month old baby girl who was traveling with her grandma. She was wearing a dress with little split pants and was so good even though she was just having to wait. Her smile was precious.
We took off finally for Fuzhou and that was about a two hour flight. As the plane touched down in Fuzhou, tears brimmed my eyes, and I whispered a prayer of thanks to the Lord who has made this trip happen and asked for his blessing while we are here. I am so happy to finally be here. When we arrived at the baggage claim, we went to get our baggage and learned that my main large suitcase that was carrying clothing donations was almost 1/2 soaking wet, as well as Gongzhan’s suitcase and one other passenger, that is all, so we had to file a report at the airport and they agreed to cover the laundry of our suitcases. It turns out that they had ice melt under them. That was tricky when I wanted to present the baby clothes new to the orphanage, so the hotel had to hang dry everything so we could keep the tags still on everything. God was for sure at work, as my bag carrying all the paperwork and DVDs should have been soaking wet too, it was right in between Gongzhan and my bag, and the paperwork was at the bottom of the bag, but God was watching over that I am sure of it. All of our presentation paperwork for Xiamen would have been ruined. I am thankful that God cares for even details like that.
When we got to the hotel in Fuzhou Jack was there to meet us, it was so nice to finally meet him! This is the first time we have all been together as a team in China since we partnered together a couple of years ago. We went out for a nice walk in the city after we checked in and I really enjoyed just being around the local people. We enjoyed a fun dinner together and with tradition had a few toasts to our team and the work here to be accomplished. Tonight we had mushrooms, frog (which Gongzhan jokingly told me was just a field chicken:), and tofu, to name a few things, and it was actually good. I enjoy trying new foods here. We then walked down to the water front where there was a large crowd of people dancing under the night sky to Chinese music. Jack said this is a typical summer night here. It was fun to watch. Tomorrow, we will head to the local civil affairs office in the capitol to meet with the director of the civil affairs office and also the director of adoption here. I am learning a lot from my time with our staff, and I think the two words I would like all families to know when traveling here is to be flexible and to trust our staff. They take good care of our families but sometimes things happen that are unexpected so we have to be flexible. Like flight delays and soaking wet luggage I enjoyed skyping with my family tonight; it has worked great while I have been here. More to come! Thank you for your support and prayers!