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  #21  
Old 01-30-2009, 09:57 PM
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yay Al all ways saves the day :]
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  #22  
Old 01-30-2009, 09:59 PM
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He's my wish-fulfillment: he doesn't have to take any guff from anyone but lawful authority.
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  #23  
Old 01-30-2009, 10:50 PM
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Awesome Papa Joe.
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  #24  
Old 01-31-2009, 12:10 AM
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While not quite impoverished, the Havens family needed to be careful about money until Dr. Havens could build his new dental practice. World Vision was unable to pay lavish salaries to medical missionaries; and most of the Havens' once-impressive savings had been consumed by three Asian adoptions in a fairly short span of time. So the parents judged it best to forego a motel and camp out at the airport terminal where they were to catch the next available flight to Richmond, Virginia, from which it would be an easy bus trip to Smoky Lake.

Baby Harmony justified her new name by being very calm as she was fed, changed, and set down to sleep in her carrier. Mother and Father sat on waiting-area seats, flanking the luggage. Directly on top of the luggage garments were spread, on which Melody lay close to her newest sister. On the outward side of the luggage, Chilena stoically lay on the floor, with Alipang next outward from her. Thus was the camp fortified.

Once Melody and Harmony were asleep, Eric and Cecilia rose, walked a few paces off and began a soft conversation. It was about the possibility of placing Alipang and Chilena in a public school in Virginia, so that Cecilia would only have to carry the load of homeschooling with Melody until Harmony was talking. Both spouses had been fortunate in their own schools when they had been children; but they had to wonder how far social decay had advanced in America during the years they had lived in the Philippines. Eric was the more willing to resort to a public school, for the sake of Cecilia's health; but Cecilia insisted that she would prefer to teach all her children unless Virginia's public schools proved to be of the _very_ highest quality. On that note they settled in their seats again.

Alipang and Chilena, side by side on their backs and holding hands, were the last family members to fall asleep--not so much because they were doing without comfort in their quasi-sentry position, as because they had so much to whisper together about.

Last edited by Copperfox; 11-09-2012 at 10:06 PM. Reason: Adding a bit with the parents
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  #25  
Old 01-31-2009, 03:17 AM
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"I was afraid you _would_ get arrested this afternoon," Chilena breathed into Alipang's ear, keeping her face there. "And I _don't_ mean 'cause we'd be embarrassed or anything. I was worried for YOU."

Speaking Tagalog--for he still thought better in that language--he replied: "God was in it, sister. When I came out of the anger, I was certain I _was_ going to be arrested. Not that I feel a bit of sympathy for that hoodlum. But you know how often Father has warned me that it's easy in America to get arrested just for teaching troublemakers a lesson. I'm grateful to God for making them not charge me."

"I hope we don't get sued because of it, though."

She had said this in English, so he whispered back, "Don't get _what?_"

"Never mind," Chilena told him, sliding up more closely against him. "I'm glad you care that much about me, Al."

"And I'm really sorry for all the times I acted unfriendly, that first month back in Luzon. I was--I felt like you were trying to take Esperanza's place. But now you have your own place."

Bringing around her hand that wasn't already clasping his, she tapped a finger on his chest, over his heart. "I'm happy to be in there; today I found out that it comes with bodyguard service."

Alipang smiled: a sight which had been rare indeed on his face for the years between his bereavement and his adoption. "Only for special customers. I love you, Chil."

"I love you, Al. Welcome to America."

They kissed goodnight, after which the girl pillowed her head on her brother's shoulder. Soon all six members of the family were finally asleep.

(God _was_ with them; they didn't get sued.)
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  #26  
Old 01-31-2009, 09:30 AM
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*loves the story*
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  #27  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:37 AM
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On the overland flight, Alipang was positioned with only one adjoining seat, and asked that Melody be next to him--simply so that she would not feel neglected by her adored big brother. He had explained as much in Tagalog to Chilena, who understood it intellectually at least. Chilena's own emotional baggage, as an adopted child whose birth parents had handed her to the Havens at age three, made her quite clingy to loved ones. She knew rationally that her increased bonding with Alipang--who compensated her for separation from her biological brothers as she compensated him for the death of his Esperanza--was not threatened by little Melody. But a bit of her still was jealous. For this very reason, she never would have _quite_ the same easy closeness to her Chinese sisters as Alipang would.

Melody had custody of their one shared brother for three time-zone crossings, right down to Baltimore's international airport; but Chilena reclaimed Alipang for the short connecting flight to Richmond, and stuck close to him at the baggage carousel. Then, in a delightful surprise to her parents, she suddenly had an additional male relative to be hugged by: her vaguely-but-fondly-remembered Uncle Doug.

But Mom's hugging turn came first. It was her younger brother, Doug Fairhope, who had left his wife Tracy in Lancaster, Pennsylvania with their children, and had driven down to Virginia in their big van to transport his sister's tribe from there to Smoky Lake. Doug had been patiently waiting at the Richmond airport all through Cecilia's delay in Seattle. After squeezing the life out of his sister, or rather squeezing it back into her, he also warmly greeted Chilena and Eric, swinging the girl off her feet in a bearhug that she welcomed; then came the new introductions.

Doug made the right noises over Harmony, who seemed to like him immediately; took it easy with the timid Melody, but coaxed a smile from her as she clung to her Mommy's legs; and then exchanged with Alipang the manly handshake which was exactly the thing to suit the Filipino man-child.

"How do you like America so far, nephew?"

"Uncle, it are--no, it IS pretty, but the weather is cold at me."

"Then you'll be glad to know that this state never gets _terribly_ cold, even in winter. Listen, Al--can I call you Al?" (The boy nodded.) "I want you to sit up front with me on the drive to Smoky Lake, and you can tell me about catching snakes."

Alipang exchanged a hasty glance with Chilena, who nodded. The quasi-twin siblings had been planning as a matter of course to sit together in the van; but Chilena was trying to suppress her possessiveness toward her brother. She also realized that, with a mostly female family around him, it was good for Alipang to feel himself welcomed into the company of men. He happily chatted with Doug all the way; and Chilena forced herself to be sweet to Melody.

Last edited by Copperfox; 01-31-2009 at 10:42 AM.
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  #28  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:39 AM
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*continues to love the story*
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  #29  
Old 01-31-2009, 10:42 AM
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Awesome story!!
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  #30  
Old 01-31-2009, 11:08 AM
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Going Great Papa Joe.
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