So in my last post, I said that there weren't any present under our Christmas tree. Let me just go ahead and clarify, lest you think we're anti-presents (we're not). It's kind of hard to time international shipping, so sometimes the boxes come before Christmas. Sometimes they don't. This time they didn't. My parents are waiting to do Christmas presents when we're back in the States in February. As for our family...well, I'll just give the excuse that the boys are still really little and don't really care much about presents. In fact, their favorite toys recently are my dryer (which, yes, resides in the living room) and my broom. I'll just go ahead and let them entertain themselves with the free things we already own than stress out over buying them new stuff. For now, at least.
But back to Christmas presents...I found out a few weeks ago that some of our favorite people of all time, Brad & Carrie V, had to make a trip up to Beijing to renew their son's passport. Since we're but a short train ride from Beijing, I created a master plan for a rendezvous. I pitched my plan to Kevin sort of like this:
Me: I know what I want for Christmas.
Kev: You don't get a present this Christmas.
Me: Ha, ha. No, really, I know what I want.
Kev: No, really, you don't get a present. Do you remember your expensive new lens you got for your birthday? You said it would count as your birthday & Christmas present.
Me: Drat, that does sound like something I would say...
Nevertheless, we decided it would be worth it to spring up to Beijing for less than 48 hours to hang out with these rockin' folks. We stayed at some Beijing friends' super-fancy apartment (seriously, it's like Pottery Barn fell out of the sky in the middle of China) and ate some pretty tasty Tex-mex. I know what you're thinking...decent Tex-mex in Beijing? Well, it is true that I'm not the best judge since I've been away from Texas for quite some time and didn't even really care about Tex-mex while I was there, but I will say that this preggo tummy was very happy indeed. Plus, they sell Diet Dr. Pepper, so what could possibly be wrong with a meal like that?
And oh how glad we are that we went! These are the kinds of friends who ask questions. Real questions. And don't let you get away with anything but honest answers. These are the friends whose family convinced us that we could take the first step toward adoption. These are the kind of friends whose intentionality about life makes you think twice about the decisions you're making. These are the kinds of friends who make you want to love Jesus more. These are the kinds of friends who make you laugh until you might cry. These are the kinds of friends that make it worthwhile to drag two babies along on a multi-hour trip and not regret it for a second. So very thankful for friends like these!