I’m writing this to you from our hotel room in Beijing! We slept a small amount on the plane, but for the most part we’ve been traveling in one form or another for the last 26 hours!
As an admittedly novice traveler, I have discovered three things so far.
One: Going through baggage check, US security check points, and finding your departure gate can be a very seamless procedure. With all of horror stories the news is putting out lately I expected big hairy gorillas in Northwest Airlines uniforms doing everything they could to keep us from leaving on time ?. Instead, everyone was courteous, helpful, and the process couldn’t have gone smoother or faster. We couldn’t have had a more relaxed airport experience…not a big hairy, suitcase tossing gorilla to be found today!
Two: However comfortable you think your airline seat is going to be when you first sit in it, it will not take more than 4 hours for you to look back on your comments and be certain you must have been insane! Money is not known to buy happiness, but unless I miss my guess it has just purchased some very comfortable futuristic pod-like seats for some fortunate souls up in business class!!
Three: If you’re ever tempted to worry about something not going according to your timetable in an adoption process, consider this: even one day changes who you will meet and the experiences that you will have. Dave and I have told each other throughout this whole adoption process that one thing we wouldn’t do is worry about dates – we figured if we were going to say that our adoption was under God’s control, he could probably handle the adoption timeline pretty well himself too! Still, there were days I wondered why a piece of the puzzle hadn’t fallen into place when we thought it should have. Dave and I both wondered prior to leaving whether we’d be able to see God’s timing in our travel today, or whether we’d be left with no explanations.
After boarding our first flight from MSP to Detroit, we were left with no questions! I’d love to share the story, but it will take just a little bit of background to do it. When we first booked our flights, Dave and I had initially been assigned seats that weren’t next to each other. Today when I went up to the ticket counter, the first thing the flight attendant asked was “Would you like tickets together if it’s possible? We don’t have any open right now, but I’d be glad to keep an eye out for you.” I said sure, and sat down to wait for the next 2 hours. A few minutes prior to boarding, she calls me up to the ticket counter and lets me know that 2 adjoining seats have opened up.
Upon boarding the plane, we sat down in our newly assigned seats, and introduced ourselves to our seatmate. It turns out he was a well seasoned traveler who only rarely flies Northwest. In order to keep his airline miles from expiring, he was making three connecting flights through NW instead of his regular one or two. In addition to this, he didn’t want his middle seat, and asked if he could move to the window, thus opening up our two adjoining seats.
As it turns out, Chris, was one of the friendliest gentlemen you’d ever hope to meet. And guess what we have in common?? He and his wife are going through a Christian agency to adopt a little girl from China!! We were able to talk with him a bit about Special Needs adoptions in China, and all of the experiences we’d both had so far. It was incredible!!
Now, I wouldn’t have traded a single day of our wait for that conversation. I look back on all of our impatience, and I just have to say, “God, your timing was right!”
Kris and Dave
** And Andrew, if you’re reading this, thanks for all your help in Beijing. It was great to meet you.