Nana and Grandpa came to DC for a conservative voters conference and Jen and Jon took the opportunity to bring Kate down for her first trip to DC. While waiting for them in the lobby of the DC Hilton, it was clear that Kate needed to be fed. Everyone tried to back into a corner and melt into the background, shielded by a stroller, receiving blanket, and a large potted plant. It was an uncomfortable experience for all involved. But if you're going to have to breastfeed in the lobby of a four-star hotel, at least you can do it where there are several hundred social conservatives around who tend not to frown on that sort of thing. After a half-hour, Nana and Grandpa arrived. There were hugs, kisses and rapid stowage of paraphernalia. A few minutes later, we all traipsed up to the hotel room to relax for an hour before Nana and Grandpa had to leave for a swanky dinner. It was a great chance for Kate to catch up with Nana and Grandpa.
When we were getting ready to head home, we made the gut wrenching discovery that Jen's purse was missing. Frantic searches of the hotel room, diaper bag, and stroller were unsuccessful. We returned to the hotel lobby and found nothing. The front desk and hotel security hadn't seen anything. We ran back to the parking garage to check in the car and with the parking attendant. Still nothing. Since Jen had taken out her purse to pay for parking, we knew it had come to DC with us, but it had been nearly three hours since we'd last seen it. The obvious conclusion was that it had been left somewhere and then taken by someone. By then it was also time to feed Kate again, so we went back up to the Minnery's hotel room. As we ran down the list of items in her purse they included credit & debit cards, all three social security numbers (including Kate's unsigned social security card), Jen's military ID and diver's license, several gift cards and a number of other mementos. Jen fed Kate while I began a flurry of phone calls to credit card companies, banks, and credit bureaus. Eventually, there was nothing else to do. Kate was full, but very cranky. I'd called every relevant agency we could thing of, and neither of us had eaten dinner. We all piled in the car and begin the drive back to Herndon.
On the way home we remember a story our pastor told a few weeks ago about when he'd been driving around with his family one day, unable to find a parking space at the mall. They stopped to pray to the "God of all parking spaces" that He would open something up for them. As expected, we all laughed. He then challenged us to remember that we should be in constant communion with God and not be afraid to ask for little things as well as big things. He then told us how they prayed that God would show His glory by finding them a parking space. He further promised that whenever they told the story, the would give Him the glory for this seemingly little, but undeniable demonstration of His power. Sure enough, a car backed out right in front of them, and our pastor has been zealously sharing the story ever since.
Now Jen and I had been praying already, but this time we prayed in earnest that the situation was beyond our control and that we too would give God the glory if he would somehow reunite us with Jen's purse. On the way home we drove through McDonald's, hoping that maybe we would get some winning game pieces in the Monopoly game. No such luck. They even forgot to include the pieces with Jon's dinner. A few minutes later, Jen anxiously gazed at our front porch as we pulled into the drive way, hoping that perhaps someone had been kind enough (or guilty enough) to drop it off. Again, no such luck.
Heading upstairs I noticed our voicemail light was blinking. Caller ID listed the the DC Hilton. It was the hotel concierge. She had Jen's purse from almost the moment we left it! She hadn't told the front desk or hotel security because she thought it would be safer to try and contact us directly. She ended up having to get our number from information since it wasn't anywhere in Jen's purse. I immediately left on the hour-long trek back to DC while Jen (you guessed it) started to feed Kate again. When I finally got to the hotel, I thanked the concierge for being an answer to prayer. I think we walked by her desk a half-a-dozen times looking for the purse that she'd had all along. So praise the God of missing purses! He answered our prayer in a small (ok at least medium) sized situation that seemed hopeless, and we give Him the glory for it.