Monday, May 5, 2008

Noni's China Journals: Far, Far Away

No one in the Memphis airport knew my name. No one around me knew the diet coke and m&ms I was nervously snacking on (at 5 am) were my favorites.

I had never been in an airport by myself.

There were thousands of people around me, but I didn't know a single one.


The flight to Chicago was uneventful. Fatigue was beginning to set in - just a little. I still had lots of nervous adrenaline.

O'hare airport. Busy people were all walking, running to who knows where- like a bunch of worker ants- each focused on their own task at hand.
The young couple running hand in hand to catch their plane.
The grandma sitting on the shuttle cart as it whisked her to her gate.
The family of four anticipating their arrival home.
The scads of business men and women frantically working on laptops and talking on cells.

The one isolated Noni feeling lost without her family.

I found my gate and parked my "stuff". I decided to sit and wait for the rest of my family to arrive. I took out my laptop and fiddled with the web cam.

In the middle of one of the busiest airports in America, I suddenly felt an angelic hallelujah chorus as my husband answered the web cam call. I clicked on the camera as he did, and voila! There he was!

In the midst of cacophony there was a calm that sang joy to my soul. The familiar voice and image was such a comfort~ and I was still in America!

Within the next hour or so, Brad, Glenda and Macy arrived! Macy was so excited that she was on her way to get her baby sister!

We had a little wait before we boarded our flight to Beijing.

Beijing. A world far, far away.

The flight was 14 hours long. We boarded the plane and walked all the way to the back. Our seats were almost on the back row. I remember thinking that I had more leg room on roller coaster rides than this. The thought also crossed my mind that if anything happened to the plane we would be the first ones to see Jesus. :)

We flew over the North Pole! That aspect amazed me. For some reason I thought we would travel directly West. Instead, we flew North until North turned to South. (Hurt your brain?)

Macy was an absolute doll baby. She played. She slept. She sang. She hugged her Noni. She slept. For some reason, I could not sleep. Never can on a plane. So, I read my Ted Dekker book and played with Macy. I thought a lot about my family and how wonderful God was to allow me to be with Glenda during this precious time.

It was a long and monotonous trip until we flew over China. As we started descending, we could see the Great Wall! Then we hit some turbulence. The closer we came to Beijing the more air pockets we hit.

I remember hearing the sounds of air sickness. Once again I was reminded of a roller coaster ride. Most of the travelers had the Shrek look going on.

We rode with the sun. From the time we left Chicago at 12:45 pm (Wednesday) until we arrived in Beijing around 2:00 pm on Thursday (that was about 2 am Thursday CST). We did not experience night time until we went to bed in Beijing on Thursday. Below is a copy of the email I sent once I got to Beijing:

During the plane trip (14 hours) I kept thinking about Psalm 19. I left my house arounda 4 am on Wednesday morning. The sun came up while I was in the airport in Memphis. As the plane took off that "brand new day" look was in the air. Then I landed in Chicago around 7:45am. The sun was up and shining. I met my family - Brad, Glenda, and Macy around 9:45am. The sun was burning bright by that time. As we departed Chicago around 12:45pm, the sun was so bright in the plane I was tempted to put on my sunglasses. I didn't see darkness fall again until Thursday at 8:00pm. We rode with the sun. That is what reminded me of Psalm 19- Verses 4 and 5 - ....."Of the heavens God has made a tent for the sun which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber; and it rejoices as a strong man to run his course." The Psalmist in his limited knowledge of the heavens put beautifully into words the glory of the sun. Kind David had never ridden in a plane or acquired the book knowledge of the vastness of the universe. But under the influence of the Holy Spirit he penned words that accurately describe the sun "running out of its chamber". God is an awesome God.

The same God that works miracles in our hearts and lives is alive and well in China! I was in shock at the masses of people. God knows each of them. He yearns for them to be His children. That is why He has enabled so many orphanages to exist and thrive in a pagan land. God has a plan and a purpose for each of these orphans. He has a plan for our Mia!

Thank you so much for your prayers! We really needed them on the trip here. When we landed, I honestly thought I was about to meet Jesus face to face! I have never had such a scary landing! But we were safe! Please continue to pray for our trip and our safety and health. Pray that Mia bonds to us quickly and adjusts well to her new family.

There are so many memories I have of those first few hours. I want to share them all, but know that most of those would bore you. So, tomorrow, I will begin to share a few of those memories (and hopefully pictures) of Tiananmen Square, The Summer Palace, The Great Wall, and The Forbidden City (Mulan's palace!).

4 more days until we celebrate "Gotcha Day for our precious Mia!


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