I've been feeling a little down about being the longest waiting TA family in the country (not the kind of record I like to set), so I've been researching hotels, obsessing over planning travel activities, etc. I've had lot of success with Jenny's hometown - meeting up with lots of Americans in country and even finding a restaurant with homecooked pork BBQ and delicious milkshakes! But Sarah's province has been a bust - not much to do there - and very few people have visited or have any knowledge about the area. Like the Chinese, "guanxi" or connections, are very important to me, as I prefer seeing the "regular life" of a province vs. the touristy stuff. So the unknown here has been a bummer.
So last night, we ventured out to Claire's, the kiddie jewelry boutique, to use some gift cards the girls had been given. While at the store, I noticed a young girl and her mom, and casually mentioned we were headed to Northern China. After a short conversation, she told me she was from.....Sarah's province! Not only that, but SARAH'S CITY!!! She also lives within a mile of our house - amazing! I am hoping she can tell me all the best things about our daughter's birth home! Her daughter is also able to understand Chinese, and might be a friendly face for both our girls when they arrive. Thank you, God!!
Later last night, I realized that if I'd been traveling, I would have missed meeting this lovely family and having this connection to our daughter's home. God is so good, and He's working out everything - even small things - each day for our best. It's hard to see when plans don't work out the way we expected, but then we have these moments of mercy - even at a shopping mall - that clearly show the kindness and goodness of our God in the smallest of cares and concerns. So as we celebrate the gift of Christ and eternal life for all who believe, we can also cherish a mighty God who stoops to comfort and provide for even our smallest worries. And did I mention? - We found the perfect warm weather gear to cheer us up in the cold North:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows. Matt. 10:29-31