Lift Off – Day 1

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Day 1 to China

I began writing this blog just a few minutes into the longest plane ride I will ever take.  (No space flight aspirations at this point.)

We are literally traveling ‘As far as the east is from the west.’  Any further from home and I would be closer.

It’s amazing! As  little girl, I don’t believe I ever imagined traveling to the far east for an adventure as great as this. Surprisingly enough our travel so far has been uneventful. (If you knew the history of my family and vacations, you would realize that this is something to be celebrated in itself.  The Griswolds got nothin on the Swabys!) People have been patient and kind.  Thus far, the staff of United Airlines has been awesome!  (I managed to sweet talk a couple other passengers in allowing us all to sit together.  They were gracious and kind to do it without complaint.  We’ve had several people ask us why we are traveling to China.  Little HulaLoo says ‘To Bring my little sister home’ which leads to an open and encouraging conversation.  One of my first encounters on the walkway into the plane cabin was with a young women who works with some of the orphanages in China.  “I love to see families going to help the orphans there.  It is so needed.’   As far as I am concerned, she had me at hello.

The ride up to Chicago (in order to benefit from the direct flight) went pretty well thanks to Uncle Tony.  The hardest part so far has been the goodbyes to everyone at home.  Pappo and Grandma Patty are holding down the fort and anxiously awaiting our return. Aunt Jenny has provided a an assortment of fun surprises that we are opening periodically to reward behavior and fight boredom which has been a life saver since about exit #10 on the highway! also has a new tablet loaded with games which is the best $50 we have spent in a long time.  I have already been able to leverage it for good behavior!

Mom was concerned because she didn’t carry her snacks on to the plane, but I have assured her that I have packed enough food for a small army to survive for at least a few weeks.  (If they don’t mind a steady diet of Rice Krispie Treats and cheese and crackers..) Our baggage overfloweth… (I even have winter clothes for the orphanage!  Eric was amazed at what I could fit in.  Those vacuum bags really work folks.) I even have the portable baggage scale to rearrange if we need to! (China’s weight limit per bag is less than in the USA.)

I’m keeping my eyes open for opportunity and adventure! I want to say thank you to all the friends and family who have been praying for us and with us on this very long journey.  I got many warm text messages and prayer offerings before we set off on this journey of a lifetime.  You truly find out who your friends and family are when you step out on faith.  Can’t wait to see you all soon!

 

Your Friend,

Meredith
LLI 

 

 

 

 

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More Blessed to Give than to Receive

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When we started down this road of adoption it was a very personal decision that we made as a couple.  Some of the challenges we have anticipated and I’m sure there are many more we haven’t. We knew what it would cost.  We agreed that we would bear the responsibilties for this new child and that included financial responsibility.  Will it all be easy?  No. Have there been and will there be many sacrifices along the way? Yes. Yes. Yes.

So when our small group asked to do a special benefit lunch for us, my initial thought was ‘There are so many people that deserve it more than us.’  But then I thought about something my Mom had shared with me a few weeks before. She reminded me that we need to be mindful not to  deny others the blessing of providing love and support.  And the truth is every ounce of support is helpful! We have gained strength and reassurance from those around us as we move farther into this adoption process.  That need will do nothing but grow as we get closer to being matched and bringing Little W home.

And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive. ‘

Acts 20:35

 

Has there been someone in the last 30 days who has asked you ‘How can I help?’ or said something like ‘let me know what I can do?’  My guess is that most of us gloss over it while in our minds we are formulating the plan that will move us to a goal all on our own.  ‘I can do it!’ is our internal mantra.  Not a bad thing, but some things in life are better when we let people move a little closer to us.  My question to you is this:  ‘What blessings are you denying to others and yourself?  Is your ‘I can do it’ attitude keeping others at arms length?
 
Denise & Cathy  (true servants / servers !)

Denise & Cathy
(true servants!)

Mike & Dee (Hamming it up)

Mike & Dee
(Hamming it up)

We were recently surrounded by peope who wanted to bless our adoption process. Our small group will be some of the first family members that this new little one will know in the USA.  How fitting that they should play a role in bring Lil’ W here! Of course the principle of ‘More Blessed to Give than Receive’ is one of the primary reasons for us choosing adoption in the first place.  Dear friends of MFCC, please know that we will pay it forward.
LLI!
Your friend,
Meredith