Tuesday, January 19, 2016

A Tale of a Suitcase...

It finally made it. Remember that suitcase that never made it on the return trip to China? Well, 40 days later it finally showed up...

Who knows where it's been. The tag on it suggests it had a "tagging error" and was forwarded to the China airport. Was it sitting in a room somewhere? Somehow in its absence it managed to lose the 5 bags of chocolate chips (hard to find here!), bag of Reese's cups (gifts for others as peanut butter chocolate is absent here), and 2 boxes of hot cocoa mix. Or maybe someone was craving chocolate? But I am so so thankful the suitcase and almost everything in it arrived!

When the airline told us they couldn't find it, I was really sad. Sadder than I should be about stuff. But I'd spent a lot of time and thought into finding gifts for people here, a way to give back to those who have given so much to us. Those gifts were in the suitcase. God showed me that maybe sometimes I just need to learn how to receive without giving back... But it's still so so nice to have it back.

It is just stuff. Stuff we could live without. But I kept running into things I thought I had only to realize - it must have been in that suitcase! So now my brain is at rest. :) We have the seasonings and spices hard to find here, the medicine in case girls get fevers, the 12 month size clothes Ellie will be in before we know it, and the shoes for when she starts walking... Ryan's nice dress pants and the sweet, handmade gifts from friends.

Like these adorable little bears. A former dance student made them for the girls, and Hadassah was so excited to see one with "H" for her and one with "E" for Ellie. While the H bear was in Hadassah's suitcase and made it, the E bear I thought was lost forever when the red suitcase never showed up. But now they're reunited and I look forward to seeing the girls play with them together as they grow. 

The way we got the suitcase is a story in itself. We were in the final process of giving the airline our bank information to make the transfer of money to make up the loss of our property. A sizable sum (three times the amount I totaled up from what I could remember in the suitcase!) - and even now, after we told them our luggage finally showed up, they're saying they're still going to make the transfer. Pretty crazy... And a blessing, as we did spend a lot to make the two months in the states happen. I'd be willing to do without a suitcase for 40 days again if it means we get over $1000... Who knew! But anyways, how the suitcase arrived...

So the call came at 9:30 PM on Thursday night, and he told me they'd send the suitcase to us right away. I told them "We're about to go to bed - can you deliver it tomorrow?" and they agreed. When I reported to Ryan the wonderful news, he said "No! You should have had them deliver it now in case it gets lost again!" I laughed, but when it never showed up the next day, I wondered if I'd made the right choice... So we finally called in the evening to ask about it, and they said it should arrive around 9 PM. That time came and brought our sweet friend who was staying the weekend, but no suitcase. 

Hadassah absolutely loved have this "ayi" around for the weekend!
 When we got a call around 10 PM, thankfully our friend is Chinese so was able to understand the deliveryman, who said he was running late and would arrive around 11 PM. Not wanting to stay up that late, especially as he said it could be later, we (through her translation) agreed that he could leave it with the guard at the apartment gate when he arrived.

Well, we got a call at 1 AM. Woken from a deep sleep, it's that much more incredibly hard to understand someone speaking fast in Chinese on the phone. Thankfully Ryan did the duty, as I had to get Ellie who was sleeping in our room that night (to give our friend a bedroom), and who, of course, woke up in the middle of the night for the first time in weeks as a result. After the second call-back, we realized he was also knocking at our door. Evidently the guard wouldn't keep it. So, we were just a *tad* less grateful to receive our stuff, it being 1 AM... But that feeling soon passed when I opened the suitcase and discovered the things I'd forgotten were in it. Felt like Christmas. :)

All in all, it was a good weekend. We had a returned suitcase, a sweet friend staying with us, giving great conversation, doing our dishes, and loving our girls. We are blessed.


  1. Aw! So glad your lost luggage was found at last. Better late than never, right? =)

  2. I love those dresses! They are So cute!!!!

  3. How special to see the sweet little toy bears re-united again! We are so glad H and E like them so much! Helen enjoyed making them. I'm so sorry about all your chocolate!! That is a disappointment for sure! -Donna Jo