Ok lets just be honest here…we all play favorites. It isn’t always intentional, but sometimes our bonds with certain children are stronger than others. As a teacher, playing favorites is a big no-no! But since I am not handing out grades or disciplinary action, I suppose it might be alright to have some favorites here. And since my days are down into the single digits here and some of that time will be preoccupied entertaining a group that is coming in tomorrow evening, I decided to spend the day today with some of my special little ones.
Naturally, I always start my day in Theo’s room. That wasn’t such a great idea today. I showed up right as his ayi was giving him lunch. When I walked in, he refused to eat anymore. He would not open his mouth for her. She got frustrated and gave his bowl and spoon to me hoping I would have more luck. I did for a little while, using the airplane spoon method and then he just wanted to play…so I left b/c I knew that he needed to eat. He cried and screamed. I will be more aware of meal time for future reference. I also learned that his ayis thought that I was here this whole time to prepare to take him to America with me. They never asked questions about my being here, and they all call me his mama anyway. So when I had the nurses translate to the nannies that I would be leaving in 9 days, they asked ‘When should we have him ready to go?’ A perfectly natural question since they are used to that here. After I sadly had to have the nurses translate that I could not take him with me, they all wanted to know when I would be coming back. I told them that I would be praying for the chance to do this again next year. I can’t imagine going a year without that sweet face and his precious laugh. It rips my heart out to think about being gone from him long at all. I say it once and I’ll say it again, Theo and I have a truly divine relationship that there is just no earthly explanation for. I took him to the nurses lounge for a while this afternoon. The nurses were watching Korean soap operas (which are completely horrible by the way). Theo sat in my lap and stared intently at the screen for over an hour. I know he doesn’t know Korean so I’m pretty sure he was just fixated on the screen with people on it. I would almost bet its the only tv he’s ever seen. He was completely enthralled.
Throughout the rest of the day, I played ‘This little piggie’ with Lebron as he squealed with laughter when this little piggie went ‘weeeeeweeeeweee all the way home!’. I rocked Martine to sleep after another baby had prematurely woken her from her nap. I broke out my old ‘elmo’ voice to play puppets with Carissa. I marveled at how much Carter has grown since I was here in March. Juliana and I had an intense game of peek-a-boo and after that, I sang with Jessica. We were watching a Chinese sing-a-long video, which she knew every word to, and she held one of my hands and patted the top of it with her other one. Of course I spent some time with Asher. He really enjoys the play telephone and had quite a few calls to make.
The opportunity to spend this kind of time with these little angels is completely priceless. I feel so blessed. I learn so much more from them than they could ever gain from me. I love every child in this house of hope…but I have made special relationships with a handful of them that I know I will have with me in my heart forever. And while the very selfish part in me says that I hope to see them again next year, the other part of me, that understands what these kids need, hopes that they won’t be here next year. I hope that their forever families find them and that they are in their new homes surrounded by love and giving their new parents the kind of joy that I got a small glimpse of today.
Tomorrow, I have errands to run and a to-do list that needs to be checked off in preparation for the group coming in tomorrow night from Beijing. They are Show Hope donors from different parts of the US. I always love to see people enter Maria’s House for the first time because I know that when they leave, their lives will be changed forever!
Love from China!