As Christmas approaches, so did our day to welcome in one more. Children in orphanages from 3 different countries zipped up their jackets, waved goodbye to orphanages and boarded planes, brave faces on, as they flew, some for the first time across long oceans, stretching over countries to families and arms and warmth waiting for them, Christmas hosting. One little girl was flying to us.
Our good friends the Williams are hosting a girl from Ph too, and we drove up together. We had prayed for a smooth ride to LA through rush hour, and surprisingly enough, we sailed through, record time.
So we sat for dinner at the airport, no toddlers in sight. Serving the Lord is hard work, man. #DoubleDate
We met up with a couple other families, swapped stories, saw each others signs, ate some more food, then, as the hour approached, we made the walk down the corridor.
It had grown dark since we arrived, a chill in the air on this unseasonably warm day as we gathered by the escalator. Someone checked their phone, “The plane has landed,” they told us. We grabbed our signs.
Then, we spotted them.
Rose is the oldest, and saw her host family, Aaron and Kelly. Kelly and Rose bonded right away, “Where is Chloe?” Rose asked, remembering the family pictures Kelly had sent, “Good memory!” Kelly told her as they held hands to get her bag.
J whispered a raspy, “hi” as I took her hand and asked her who that was in the picture on our sign, she looked into my eyes, “Me,” she said, barely louder than a whisper.
“That’s right!” I told her.
Kelly and I took our girls to the bathroom before we drove back to SD from LA while the guys grabbed their bags (They actually had bags!) and huddled together for a picture before our final leg home.
“They have a DVD player in their car,” I told the girls, “Rose, you hit the jackpot with this family,” and the girls smiled politely, holding our hands to the car. They watched a cute puppy Christmas movie on the way home.
“That one’s ours!” I pointed to our house with the lights, so glad we did lights this year. We walked in and I pointed out the cat, “Look! Our cat!” I showed her, animals always a great connector. She smiled as our cat meowed a grumpy hello.
We walked in Maria’s room and Maria squealed with delight, she hadn’t been sleeping. We let J pick which bunk bed she wanted, and offered her two stuffed animals, she chose the small one we gave her at the airport. The girls brushed their teeth with new brushes, got into cozy pj’s we gave her, and got tucked into bed with hugs and kisses.
“If you need me, you call for Tita Amy, ok?” and she smiled, cozy in her bed. We held the girls hands and prayed, to our wonderful God, who makes everything so good.
We pondered your love-in-action, God, waiting in your temple: Your name, God, evokes a train of Hallelujahs wherever It is spoken, near and far; your arms are heaped with goodness-in-action psalm 48/9-10
The boys are going to fliiiip when they all wake up! Finley has been pretending to talk to her on the phone all week, fingers to lips to hush us, “I talking to J-uh-yin,” he whispers, before he resumes his, “Uhmmm, yeahs,” into the plastic phone.