Where East Meets West – Part 2

Posted by on Feb 3, 2014 | 0 comments

When all you have is time… time to wait, to think, to pray, to anticipate one moment… you can’t help but imagine what that moment might be like.

Every family’s adoption day is different. Sometimes, a family’s first meeting is at their hotel, for others, an orphanage or an office building were other families are waiting, equally anticipating, the meeting of their child. We didn’t know exactly how our meeting would happen, but on the morning of December 16th, we gathered our supplies and official documents, and prepared to make the last car trip to meet our son.

We were ready early.

We found ourselves pacing in our hotel room. Too early to go down to the lobby. Not enough time to take a trip to the nearby park.

SO, what do you do when everything you’ve worked toward for the past year is about to happen but it can’t just yet? Ummm….

We prayed…

I made origami paper stars…

We inventoried our supplies…

We paced and prayed some more…

Then, my husband wisely suggested that maybe I should play the toy ukulele we’d brought for our son. Music has always been cathartic for me, so I took his suggestion and zoned out for a bit. What did I play? Well, lucky you, my husband recorded it. Haha. It was a song I’d written months ago when thinking about our son’s future in America. He’s known many different “homes” already. Too many. He’s transitioned through 5-6 living spaces, from central China to it’s eastern border, and has been introduced to over 4 languages during that time. The concept of home weighs heavy on my heart for our little boy. How I long for this child, our son, to know home. I felt much better after some quiet, think-it-over, self time.

Well, finally the moment came. We got in our van and made the trip to the adoption affairs office.

First, I need to explain that in China, buildings have many different levels, usually with different purposes. One floor could be a restaurant, the next, a hotel, the next, a shopping area and so on. We understood this, but still found ourselves surprised when our van arrived at a live construction site. The building was being renovated for a coming hotel and the office for adoption affairs had just relocated to the 15th floor of the building. So, we walked around wiring, hopped over extension cords, squeezed past workers cutting steel beams and waited for the elevator.

Another party joined us and we all waited.

Only, it wasn’t another party.

A double-take of the strangers revealed they were holding a small child in their arms.

We froze. All of us.

After what seemed like an eternity frozen in time, our translator broke the silence and asked in mandarin if the child was our son.


Sensing everyone’s shock/surprise, our son did what any child would have done – he panicked. No one knew what to do. We weren’t at the adoption office yet and no one was ready for the hand-off. I wasn’t. Shane wasn’t. Our son wasn’t [Insert screaming and flailing here].

We got on the elevator and rode it to the 12th floor.

What’s that you say? I said the adoption office was on the 15th floor?

Yep. But, the current renovations prevented a straight ride to the 15th. So, we all got off and walked the next three floors in awkward silence. Well, most of us. [Insert more panicked cries and screaming here].

When we reached the affairs office, the staff collected our paperwork and began working. They guided us to a room with decorated walls, coffee tables, chairs and a sofa. This was it, the place they’d intended for us to meet.

But, no looking back now. We were here. We were ALL here!

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