Today has been a pretty interesting day despite everyone’s frequent trips to the bathroom. I spent the morning watching the Chapman girls while their parents and the medical team went to the state run orphanage and the hospital. ( the hospital staff took the medical staff out to lunch and seriously served them cow penis soup. I’m glad I stayed behind for that outing ) Dr.Joyce Hill was also here this morning. She and her husband are the people who started the New Hope Foundation in China and who have partnered with Steve and Marybeth to make all this happen here. It was really cool to have some one on one time with her to talk about the kids and how this started and where they dream of it going. I knew that her job was a huge undertaking but hadn’t really thought about all the decisions that had to be made on a daily basis. As I was sitting here talking to her, she was receiving email updates about children from other units and children who have had surgeries. She told me about a little boy with a tumor on his head that had surgery several days ago. He had been put on life support and couldn’t breathe when he was taken off the respirator. She had to make the decision to take him of the machines and let him go. I cant imagine having the burden of those type of decisions being on me on a daily basis. Please pray for Dr.Joyce as she continues her ministry and seeks wisdom in the choices that she has to make.
I have also really enjoyed spending time with Mary beth Chapman. Most of you know that she is my hero. She has such a genuine heart and passion for these orphans. I admire her tremendously. It was so nice to talk to her and Dr.Joyce together and hear how God brought them together and worked the pieces of Maria’s House together. I spoke with them about fostering babies who come to America short term with a medical visa in order to receive surgery at Vanderbilt…if I can’t be in China all the time, wouldn’t it be nice to have a little bit of China come to me?
Before dinner tonight Steven played a few songs and prayed with the Drs. He is so talented and compassionate and one of the most peaceful people I have ever met. It is always a joy to listen to him sing.
After a fantastic dinner at the pizza hut, I had to go buy milk and water b/c we are out here at Maria’s. I volunteered to do this on my own without thinking that I didn’t know where to locate either of these items at the Carrefour. So I get my shopping cart and start making my way around the store. The water was fairly easy to spot b/c it is so similar to the American packaging of water. However, the milk here is in these little boxes and not even kept in the refrigerator. I had no idea where to locate it. So I just pushed my cart around continually yelling MILK!! MILK!! I figured that eventually someone would understand some English and help me. I got even more odd looks than usual but finally some giggly teenage girls led me to the milk.
I took some of the kids to kindergarten today. They loved it. We played, colored, used instruments, had a puppet show and got out some play dough…until the kids started eating it. It was so good to see what a little bit of stimulation can do for them. They are so smart. They just need opportunities. I can’t imagine how they would thrive with a loving family and one on one attention. I don’t think there is a greater gift that someone can give in life than the gift of adoption. What a tremendous sacrifice and blessing wrapped into one. I think about it every day and can’t wait until it becomes a gift that I Can give.
Every night after dinner I go in to see Theo and kiss him goodnight. Over the past 6 days it has become a ritual and he knows I’m coming. He is always looking at the door until I walk in. I just laid there with him tonight and gently rubbed his head until he went to sleep. Then, as I would carefully make my way to the door, his eyes would open wide and he would start to cry…so of course I would go back. We went through this routine several times until he was deep asleep. I feel a little guilty sometimes b/c I know this only bring him some temporary happiness. In a little over 4 weeks I’ll be gone and I hate to think of him sitting there, looking for me at night. But, what do I do? Is it selfish for me to create routines with him while I am here? If I didn’t know that God had orchestrated this love that Theo and I share, I would feel like it was some sort of cruel joke. And I still don’t think its entirely fair. I know that my hands are tied, not only can I not financially support an adoption at this point, but the Chinese government won’t allow it. So there is my ‘I want to bring my baby home’ rant for the day.
I’m gonna go to bed now. I’m having the time of my life.
Love from China!