The first time I came to Beijing, a little less than a year ago, I took pictures of absolutely everything. The billboards, the food, the menus at restaurants, the squatty toilets, seriously, everything. As I rode into the city today, I did not think once about pulling out my camera. Not that I’m a pro at this whole Chinese thing at all (the cab driver laughed at me everytime I attempted the language), but there are so many things here that don’t seem weird to me anymore. However, one thing I will never ever get used to is rooms full of children with no families. That shock does not go away. As I rocked a tiny baby to sleep tonight, I just stared at him in complete amazement. There are a million questions that run through my mind as I hold a small child whose tiny hand is wrapped tightly around around my finger. Why could your mother not keep you? What situation forced her to make this decision? How long will you be here? Will someone take you home? Why do families have to wait so long for an adoption to go through? Why can’t a 27 year old single from Nashville TN bring you home? I pray that the feelings I have whenever I walk into this place never change. If children with no homes is ever something that I can get used to, well then I guess the reality of it would be something to try to avoid (just like I try to avoid the squatty potties:)) As painful as this truth is in this country, it is something that can never be pushed into the back of my mind. I want my heart to ache every day for all of these children. I honestly don’t believe that I was Given this love for just a couple trips to China. I know there is a much bigger picture here, one that may take years to ever see a glimpse of. My prayer for myself is that every day for the next 6 weeks, I will never begin to see any of this as normal and that my responsibility in this will become more and more clear.
Now that I have covered a little insightfulness… I’ll fill you in on what the past 24 hours has looked like for me. I rode a bike into ‘the village’ last night. When I skyped with my mother, she was appalled that I was not wearing a helmet. I had honestly just expected her to be amazed that I could still ride a bike. I suffered some serious jetlag last night. Apparently the sun rises at 4 am here. That was no good. I went to the markets today and bought some fabulous prizes and now I’m getting ready to go out to eat with some of the summer interns here in Beijing. I’m pretty excited about eating b/c in the past 36 hours all I have eaten is a fiber bar, a bowl of rice and some princess gummy snacks (thank you, Caroline Greene). My stomach has been growling for 6 hours. I’m ready for some food.
Love from China!