I took the boys to the park this afternoon because the weather has finally gotten to the point where you don't sweat after being outside for more than .8 seconds. When we got there, I grew bored of the typical playground conversation: developmental milestones, Halloween costumes, Junior's latest shenanigans. So instead I made myself cozy on bench next to a sweet grandma and her little furry dog. A sweet Chinese grandma. Spending time with Chinese grandmas in China doesn't usually make my top 10 list of favorite past times, but being removed from that place for so long has left a Chinese- grandma-shaped hole in my heart. Plus, chances are, she was from Milwaukee and had never even been to the Land of Big Brother at all.
But to my heart's delight, she was a real Chinese person (well, Hong Kong I later found out but that's close enough) there with her son, daughter-in-law, and two grandkids. A real doting, clucking Chinese grandma whose conversations I shamelessly listened to until I was bold enough to interject my own (though much digressed) Chinese. I left having made a handful of new pengyous and missing that other place we call home a little bit more.
The funny thing is that this is the third time this weekend that I've run into Chinese families around town. The library on Friday, the toy store on Saturday, and now the park on Sunday. I suppose it might be God's little reminder that China might not be so far away, even though recent happenings make it feel that way.
Hudson had his physical therapy evaluation last week. The therapist confirmed our pediatrician's suspicions that he has torticollis, and she recommended 2-3 months minimum of physical therapy for him. That means yet again reconfiguring my expectations for what life will look like the next few months. Unpacking the fall clothes I had put away in those expertly weighed 50 pound suitcases I organized. Figuring out how to make the most of the time I didn't think we'd have here.
In the face of yet another delay, I've been reminded of Psalm 16:6: The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. What has transpired for our family this year is certainly not what we planned. In some ways, it seems so inconvenient to be postponed once and now twice to returning to our life & work in China. In other ways, it's a great blessing to have these extra moments with friends & family. I'm fighting to trust that what seems like an ever-changing plan to me is in fact not a surprise to our good God.
So it looks like we'll be around for a little while longer. If you're around, give me a call. And maybe speak a little Chinese to me. It will make me smile!