Amanda had her first experience in a swimming pool! She was excited about the concept from the point of buying swimsuits, and today we “took the plunge!” Her eyes were wide and she clung tightly, but she followed me into the water on her own accord and allowed me to walk her around the pool both on her stomach AND on her back. She even allowed me to put her head onto the water as she looked at the ceiling. We played with balls and kickboards until she had such a shiver from the water temperature that I decided it was better to end on a good note than to push it farther. Before we exited the water I did have Amanda stand alone in the chest-deep water and walk around. Just as long as she was walking TOWARDS me, she was fine! Just as we finished showering, another family with young children came. I offered for us to go back into the pool, which Amanda considered, until she saw them do cannon balls into the water. Then it was time to go! She may trust me, but not enough to submerge her fully!!! I must admit, it felt good not only to hold her close, but also for her to trust me enough to enter the water. I have been told that many Chinese never submerge themselves—in pools, lakes, or otherwise. A co-worker of Dave’s said that his Chinese wife just submerged her face below the water’s surface for the first time last year! Even in the shower she does NOT like having the water on her face. And Amanda trusted me fully. I feel honored.
Later, we went to the airport. Dave had been nervous for days about this trip, and now he was living his fears. After having our checked luggage checked (we had a butterfly magnet in it that Amanda had painted!) we were denied access to the plane at the security checkpoint. They said that we needed their passports. We told them that we had their adoption paperwork (which we used for both flights until this point) and a copy of their passports (that were waiting for us in Guangzhou), AND we had called our guide to tell them in Chinese, but nothing worked. Dave’s fears were becoming reality. We were told that we had to go to a police station to get a temporary travel permit, but there was NO WAY we were going to be able to leave and return in time for the flight! It turns out that we needed to find a police station in the basement, but we needed to leave NOW. Dave was fluctuating between being red in the face to having the blood drain away, leaving him rather pale, and when I heard that they told us to go to a police station, my stomach dropped through the floor. It was then that I heard God’s voice in my heart: “Watch.” In an instant I knew that I had to choose, and since I was the one to hear His voice, my heart quieted. As Dave strode away from the counter not knowing what to do, I couldn’t help but smile, because God was going to have to show Himself BIG to get us out of this mess!
Within 15 seconds, a Chinese man stepped out of the security line and had asked us if we needed help. We gave him the short-answer details, and he instantly told us where we needed to go and what to do. He also said that since he had time before his flight, he would be happy to walk with us. For the next 20 minutes, he acted as our translator and guide. Even at the police station, when it didn’t look like they would grant us our temp. passports, he pleaded on our behalf. $10 later, we had the appropriate paperwork (that each guide in the other provinces should have given to us) and we were back in the security line.
“Richard” that works for Teledyne was our angel for the day! Dave was in tears after we parted ways; God again showed Himself faithful for guiding our paths. I am so thankful that this time I was able to trust Him…I really hope I can remember for the next wave that comes! I am also thankful that HE simply told me to “watch”, otherwise I might have missed His hand. Lord, I stand in AWE of you!
Side note, Richard mentioned that he and his wife have been considering adopting a child. They had one 10 yr old son, and had considered adoption as a way of having another. I hope that God will use us for his journey of adoption!
All my best,