He Unlocks Doors

Yesterday was our most eventful day in China so far.  We headed to the airport at 8:30am to fly from Zhengzhou to Guangzhou.  Everything was packed and ready to go.  This was going to be our test flight to see how Everett’s little heart handled a flight.  Before leaving for China we had to get a special Delta approved oxygen machine and a certain number of batteries all required by Delta.  It was the biggest mess and made me never want to fly Delta again, but we needed that flight and we needed an oxygen machine so we did what we had to do.

When we arrived for our flight in Zhengzhou we started to check in, showed our Delta paperwork and all our paperwork from our doctor.  Then began the longest process to try and make this flight happen.  Wendy, our guide and translator, was working so hard on behalf of our family and Shuai.  Josh Kelley was pissed to say the least and his mustache was in quite the tizzy.  The airline was refusing to let Shuai fly due to his health.  Paperwork was shown.  Explanations were given.  We even called Shuai’s doctor here in China and had him explain to the airline.  Still they wouldn’t budge and refused our son his flight.

While Josh and Wendy were fighting I remembered something on my phone.  Way back in April of last year I woke up one night with a very specific message I felt was from Jesus.  Let me say here before you think I’m super in-tune to God’s voice…I’m not…I’m terrible at hearing Him and feel like I never have these moments so when they do happen which is crazy rare I document it asap.  I grabbed my phone that night and pecked out the date, time and words.

When we get there, I unlock doors.  4/14/16 10:40pm

I had not thought about the message since…until now.  As I watched Josh fight on behalf of our son I gathered the kids and we just asked God to unlock doors.  I knew those words were for our family in this moment.  Not knowing what would happen we knew we had to trust and believe nothing about our day had surprised God and that He would be His faithful self.

Our airline refused to let Shuai fly.  Wendy then  tried the other airline who had flights going to Guangzhou and again he was denied.  Wendy said the first airline talked with the other airline before we could get to them.  Wheels immediately started to turn because one of the airlines who denied Shuai is the airline our first flight for home is with from Guangzhou to Beijing.  Cindy immediately started calling colleagues to try and get this mess figured out.

Josh and the big kids went ahead and took the flight to Guangzhou.  Shuai and I waited as Wendy took them through security.  We waited and waited and waited.  Then Wendy came running back with the O2 machine and all the batteries because security wouldn’t let Josh through with them.  Their flight was leaving soon and now Wendy and I had to race to the train station to catch a 7 hour train ride to Guangzhou.

The race was on and while riding in the van I nervously ate one remaining Goo-Goo cluster I had brought as part of gifts we gave out.  That part makes me laugh. I wish you could have seen me.  It was not pretty.  We pulled up to the train station, I strapped Shuai in his stroller (Marcie…the stroller has been a life saver), Wendy ran in to get our tickets and then we sprinted though the station to try and catch the train.  We made it just in time.  I kissed Shuai on the cheek in celebration, he wiped it off…it’s what he does…but then he kissed my cheek ever so softly and I died.  I squealed and smothered him in more kisses all of which he wiped away, but who cares?!?!?!?!?!  My boy kissed me.

Then we settled into a long 7 hour train ride.  Shuai was super tired and grumpy and scared.  He slept a lot.  Cried some.  Took a couple of swings at me 🙂  Refused to eat and drink.  Threw a cracker. I might have broken down into the biggest sob while everyone around us looked on in semi horror.  What was wrong with this lady?!?!?!  I can laugh now, but man it was not pretty.  It was more not pretty than me stuffing my nervous face with a Goo-Goo cluster.  Hahahaha.  I bit every finger nail I had off on the train.  It was just kind of a mess.

Shuai went from my lap to his seat and back and forth 1000 times over the 7 hours.  He was quiet and somber.  I read him books and he played with 3 post-it notes briefly.  I listened to Hillsong Young & Free, journaled and creepily stared at him while he slept.  We also worked on the ‘more’ sign all thanks to handsantizer.  Wringing his hands is comforting to him so he loves loves loves handsanitizer.  Figured we might as well start on some sign language.

While Shuai slept I remembered another message on my phone.  One day shortly after starting the process for Shuai, but not sharing with anyone just yet my friend Amber sent me a text with Joshua 1:9 and said she just felt like she was suppose to send it.  I am always so encouraged by things like this…when God is speaking to other people about me or our family…and then they choose to share it.  I grabbed my Bible and looked up Joshua 1:9.  I know the gist of the verse, but I wanted to see it word for word.

“Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

The exact words my heart needed in such a stress filled moment and time.  Here I was on a train, in China, alone with my new three-year-old who has been with us for 2 days, who is grieving and sad, and wondering how on earth is our flight home going to work out and did I mention alone?  But that’s not what the verse says…the Lord your God is with your wherever you go.  And I knew He was.

We finally arrived in Guangzhou and made it to our hotel around 9pm.  We were hungry and exhausted.  It had been the craziest day.

We all crashed after some tasty local Chinese and everyone slept so good.  Shuai only woke up twice and both times went back to sleep.  I must say it is the sweetest hearing him in the middle of the night call out “mama”.

Today has been pretty chill.  He had his medical appointment this morning and did awesome except when they took labs which made him and me cry.  This kid is tearing our hearts into pieces.  He is the sweetest and seeing him really cry hard for the first time was pitiful.

As always our day was full of good food and naps.  Josh has been working on flight stuff.  We’re just not sure how all this is going to play out.  The airline says we need a note from a Chinese doctor with a stamp saying he can fly.  The hospital said no one in China will give us that so called letter.  Now our agency is trying to get a letter from Shuai’s doctor back in Zhengzhou.  It just feels so messy, but we know that we know that we know God is good, faithful and always in control.  We are choosing to believe He will unlock these doors and make a way.

If you would pray with us about our flights home we would be so grateful.  Your kindness and encouraging words and prayers already have amazed us.  You guys are the nicest.  Thank you for joining in our excitement about Everett…he really is amazing.  God has truly yet again blessed our socks off with another amazing kiddo.


  1. Jamie J says:

    Sending lots of love and prayers for safe and smooth travels the rest of your journey home!! ❤️

  2. So many prayers for you all and this situation. So happy for you and your sweet boy!

  3. Sending prayers and best wishes that your flight home will be smooth and without incident. Look at all you have already overcome..?!! You got this and you are not alone.

  4. Praying for open doors! So excited to see what God is doing!

  5. Praying early morning from MN after I happened on your blog from Created to Care, which I’m not attending, but just felt led to. we had our own flight drama a year ago trying to come home from China. Praying you back to the states and that your mind will be filled with all hope and expectancy while you are feeling weary in spirit. That you will experience a *Big Hug* from God!
    “Wait & hope for & expect the Lord. Be brave & of good courage & let your heart be stout & enduring. Yes, wait & hope & expect the Lord.” Psalm 27:14

  6. Sherry Semlow says:

    Absolutely praying and expecting big miracles! We thank you God for granting favor for the Kelleys. You have called them this far and will unlock every door to get them home. You are a way maker! Thank you Jesus!

  7. Indefinitely praying and fasting on behalf of Everett, you guys, and the flight home. I know about those long train rides, girl. Hang in there. You’re seeing and showing the face of God.

  8. Every prayer we have is being directed toward your family. May you arrive home peacefully.

  9. Lisa gilliam says:

    Praying for peace and rest as you walk through not open door but many. May God show you evidence of His Hand in each step

  10. Covering you all in prayers!

  11. Praying, not only for unlocked doors, but for doors that are swung open wide! May God give you rest…peace to your hearts…and a speedy trip home!

  12. Without knowing what you were going through, last night our kids prayed for your safe return home. Hoping you find doors that open by His power and peace that fills your hearts.

  13. Praying for your flight home!

  14. Meriah Henderson says:


  15. Candice Haynes says:

    Saying constant prayers for all of you for a speedy and easy trip home!

  16. Lighting a candle and praying you home!

  17. Love and Jesus conquer all. You are filled with love and Jesus…you will conquer all this. Prayers going out to your family in China from mine in AZ. Safe travels ❤️

  18. Praying for you all!! May the doors open at the right time and may your flight home be completely uneventful. Safe travels!!

  19. Praying open doors and safe travels for all of you all the way home!!

  20. do you know that from GZ to hong kong you can hire a van to drive you? ask your guide about it- it was pricey– but it may be the only option- not sure if there is a bullet train or not

  21. I’m up in the middle of the night with a sick kiddo. As he sleeps, you were brought to my mind. So I’m praying tonight at 1 am that the doors are unlocking now in Jesus’ name.

  22. Caroline Millette says:

    Was SO good to see you at breakfast yesterday! Praying for you all these next few days, claiming these promises of unlocked doors & never being alone. Hugs, friend!

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