Tuesday, August 30, 2016

A Flight That Almost Wasn't

If you follow me on Instagram or are closely related, you know this story, or at least part of it.
 I asked LPP if I could share it here, and her words were, "Sure. I deserve it!"
So, LPP was accepted into the Northern Europe Study Abroad Program and was set to leave on Saturday.
She was limited on the amount of luggage she could take and had been packing and repacking to get the proper items gathered so she won't freeze. 
She has been reading the 5 books required for her courses as well as trying to learn some German.
Add that to her sister's Festa activities and it was a busy summer.
On Friday morning at 745am, she finally remembered to ask her dad to get her passport from the safe.
 As he turned to return ours to the safe, LPP walked up to him, with the passport opened in her hands saying, 
"Who IS this??????" 
I glanced over her shoulder and thought the picture was her old one and that the Passport Office goofed on the photos.
 In that moment, time stood still. 
 LPP describes it as watching herself talk and move. 
Outer body experience. 
The photo in the passport was not our girl when she was younger...it was Melissa W's whose name was also on the passport! 
We had the wrong PASSPORT!!!
My mind immediately began thinking how to fix it. 
I was on the State Department Website as well as her college's looking for phone numbers.
  Hubby was attempting to locate Miss Melissa on Facebook. 
Then the question hit us all, HOW and WHEN could this have happened. 
Facts started to fall into place.
The Mexico Mission trip LPP went on in the Spring. 
She got into her school's student directory and sure enough, Melissa did attend.
 And there was a phone number.
 And her Mom answered the phone.
And Melissa was home.
And Melissa had LPP's passport!
AND Melissa did not live in Vermont or Florida.
She lives in Los Angeles and was home!
Within 45 minutes, I had delivered SPF to school, made arrangements to have her picked  up, showered and dressed  (I had walked already and was stinky!) and we were on the road getting gas and making the trek to San Gabriel.
 Three and a half hours later, we arrived on Melissa's doorstep and the trade was made!
 It seems that while Melissa and our daughter had not been in the same Potter's Clay group, they had been in the same van on the way home. 
As the van crossed the border, the group leader took all the passports to present to Immigration and then passed back to the students.
 This is where one or both of the girls glanced at the photo and each thought it was theirs. 
 Lessons have been learned and I am certain they will each ALWAYS read their passport every time it leaves their hands.
They had better!
Up until this point on the drive, the mood had been light but wary.
  We were pretty certain Melissa would remain home and was not some crazy person, but until we had the correct book in our hand it was not funny. 
 The moment the car door closed in front of her house, though, LPP and I both started laughing!  
The relief was enormous. and two headaches immediately appeared. 
 It is amazing to me how our bodies and minds cope under duress.
It also amazed us that once the mix-up was discovered, just how apparent God's presence was.
  Everything from that moment on went like clockwork.
We are blessed.
 Up next,the following morning, 4 hours in the opposite direction.
It's a good thing that I love my car!
And my girl.