Sunday, November 16, 2003

Mission Briefing

As you know, I went on a mission to the People's Republic of China on 11/1/03 (that's 01/11/03 for you internationally-savvy types). After lengthy and delicate negotiations with the Communist government, Mrs. SecretAgentMan and I rendezvoused with a beautiful, wonderful fourteen-month old baby girl and exfiltrated her to the United States. Her Chinese name is Li Qiao, and we've also named her "Hannah," which means "Grace of God." She's a born SecretAgent -- when we were in Guongzhou, she liberated a tiny jade goat from a shop without anyone noticing (we later returned it, and were met with many smiles and a lot of laughter). Her favorite lullaby (so far) is "Immaculate Mary." She smiles and waves her fingers when she hears it. She's also very cheerful and brave. When she tries to walk and falls on her bottom, she just smiles and giggles, then gets up again with the help of an extended finger. (She absolutely does not like it if you pick her up, she wants to pull herself up).

Right now, she's home with an exhausted "Uma" (that's Mrs. SecretAgentMan), eating Cheerios by the boxful and being constantly licked by Auggie, our Springer Spaniel. She thinks Auggie's very funny, especially when he licks her feet. He does that wonderfully, very gently and tentatively, because he knows how delicate and precious she is. I think the whole world knows it, too. And for a Spaniel who's gone from "Surrogate Child" to "pet" in the past twenty-four hours, I think Auggie's adjusting nicely. Thanks to everyone whose prayers went with us on our journey. God answered them.

I spent a fair amount of time taking notes while we were in China (Beijing, then Chengdu, then Guongzhou, then Hong Kong and home), and even though we spent most of it in a Preferred Tourist Bubble, I think a lot of things I saw were very interesting and so I'll be blogging on those in the near future if time allows. I'll need Hannah's and Uma's permission, of course, and then it must be said that putting a law practice on hold for two weeks is not the best way to create free time. But I did see one beautiful sight that I want to tell you about now.

It was the second day after the orphanage officials brought Hannah to us. My wife was holding Hannah in her lap. Hannah looked up, black eyes shining, and lifted her right hand. Two fingers, her first and middle, were extended and slightly curved, the others lower and curled inward. The Madonna and child. It was the sign of a blessing from the God-Man who made her and who destined her from the beginning of time to live with us and be our daughter. It was a sign from His Immaculate Mother, whose prayers had borne such perfect fruit in our lives. Christ is King, alleluia, alleluia! Ave, Maria! Only He could make someone as beautiful as Hannah. Only He could have inspired her mother to bear her, then give her up to an unknown fate. Only He could have shepherded her and protected her until we had been prepared for her. There is nothing beyond the power of His love and our Lady's prayers. May His blessings rest forever on us, on Hannah, her birth mother and the good Chinese people who, even in the valley of the Culture of Death, protected and cared for her. Amen.

No comments: