Monday, May 3, 2010

To Whom It May Concern

The morning of our departure was a beautiful spring day in our nations capitol. The cherry blossoms were in bloom and there was a crisp chill in the air as we ventured to the airport with all our cargo. Dave exercised his engineering background into the wee early morning hours the evening before precisely organizing all the donations to the orphanage into 3 large crates. There wasn’t a square inch to spare. We arrived in plenty of time to be sure we made it through security without issues given our unusual checked baggage.

It was at that point everything went south. Security at Dulles was tight and John came running around the corner to tell me “Daddy needed me right away”. I (Susan) was the designated luggage keeper of the gate for our carry on’s while Dave waited for the crates of medical supplies to through the x ray scanner. They pulled the crates – all of them, and began to unload every item. There were hundreds of items in the crates. Security began to hand swab items and told us they couldn’t assure us the crates would make it in time. Dave was sweating bullets as one by one they “inspected” every. Single. Item. I finally sent Dave a text that I felt the more he was sweating, the more they would search and “Inspect”! We attempted to explain to the “nice” security folks what all this was for, but their reaction was yeah yeah, we’ve heard it all before, and we had to leave or we were going to miss our flight.

So, we left US soil not knowing whether our precious crates would arrive with us in Beijing and even if they did, would all the supplies still be accounted for? In addition, there was still some uncertainity about what problems might be lying ahead in Beijing going through Chinese customs even if everything made it.

At first we were very upset, after all the generosity from those that donated, and all the time we had put into the project to that point etc etc.. but finally acknowledged that those crates did not belong to us, they belonged to the same Heavenly Father who created the precious children they were bound for, so we released it all to Him. It was totally out of our hands with absolutely nothing we could do about it.

As those that have been there done that on the long flight to China, we settled in for the 14+ hour flight and tried hard not to think of HOW LONG WE WERE GOING TO BE ON THAT AIRPLANE! You become very creative in your entertainment during such long periods locked in that closet in the sky.

The flight was actually tolerable – but what choice do you have if it’s not? The flight monitor mapped our route and you could track your own flight, but frankly it was disheartening to see that little airplane seem to stay stationary over Siberia for hours.. J

John was a fabulous traveler. He never complained, or asked “how many more miles”.. lol. He amused himself with watching the inflight movie “Toy Story” – 4 times.

After landing in Beijing and exiting the plane, John immediately became a rock star in China. It was a little uneasy for him at first as many of the Chinese people have never seen a blonde haired little boy. The guards at the immigration check point called other guards over to check him out. They were very obvious in their curiosity of John. We explained to John why they were doing this and he has seemed to now take it in stride, smiles, and sometimes lets them pat his hair.

We made it through immigration without issue, and then went to baggage claim to check on our precious cargo! Crate, 1, 2 and 3 made it!!! Praise God, all crates were intact and we only had one more hurdle. China customs.

Our orphanage directors gave us a few pointers prior to our arrival about getting through China customs without issue such as staying with the crowd, and walking briskly etc.. We breezed right through as they seemed to be much more interested in John’s blonde hair than what was in our crates! YES!! We were IN China and were now face to face with Lynsay and Bill (the orphange founders and directors) and all medical supplies were now safely with their new family!!

Lynsay and Bill picked us up and driver extroidenaire Bill navigated the Beijing highway system like a native! We had what we THOUGHT was a several hour layover before we had to be back for our continuing flight on to Guilin, and we were off to the orphange!!


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