Showinghopetochina's Blog

James 1:27

Taking my story on the road! August 19, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — showinghopetochina @ 9:48 pm

Ok…so maybe not really on the road, but to First Baptist Morristown. I will be speaking at the Sunday evening service on August 29th at 6 o clock. I will be sharing about my time in China this past summer. If any of you guys live in the area and would like to come, I’d love to see you there!

I have one more day until I complete the first week of school. I am so exhausted. I have moved into my new place. Nothing is unpacked. I am beginning to process the things that I experienced this summer…and its not easy. I miss those kids. I miss the joy that I feel when I’m at Maria’s House. Mostly I miss Theo. I spoke with one of his nurses the other night and she told me that he has been crying so much since I left. He has been staying more to himself and requiring a lot more attention than usual. That is such a tough thing to hear. Gosh, I don’t want him to be sad…but I wish there was a way to let him know that I am so sad too. I sent him some new clothes and a new ball last week and an updated picture of he and I together. I wish I Knew when I will see him again…I pray its soon.

Just wanted to let you guys know that I’ll be speaking and I hope to see some of you there!

Love from Nashville!

 

What now? August 5, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — showinghopetochina @ 10:53 am

When you are awake at 4 am, going grocery shopping is a really good activity. There is no one there so you have the place all to yourself. I can’t tell you how nice it was to walk through the grocery store and see meat that was sealed and refrigerated and just really food in general that was completely recognizable. I am however, not happy to be awake. I went about 36 hours without sleep, crashed at 7:00 last night and woke up at 3:30.

I haven’t updated my blog since I’ve been back and thought that I should. I have shared so much about my journey with you guys and I didn’t think it was fair to leave you hanging. I also felt like I needed to share these terribly flattering good bye pictures with you. Crying my eyes out is an incredibly attractive look for me. I am also completely kidding.

I woke up at 3:30 this morning  and realized that  Ihad been dreaming about being back home. It was a lot like what being home today actually was. But in my dream, I had my little boy with me. That was a hard reality to wake up to. I miss him so much. It is a really unbearable kind of pain. To be so  close to him for 6 weeks and then to be on the other side of the world. It is really just not fair. That is a juvenile way to express my feelings on the matter but I Don’t really see any other way to describe it. Not fair.

On my past trips to China, the reverse culture shock on this end has always been pretty terrible. This time is expectedly worse. I Can’t really communicate adequately how strange it felt to get in my car and drive down the road today, to be alone in my apartment without the sounds of children around me, to have full conversations in English, to eat a salad. Strange. I also realized just how much I actually have to process. I have been through a lot this summer! If any of you all are familiar with Steven Curtis Chapman’s music, you may know the song ‘What now?’ One of the verses says :


I saw the face of Jesus
In a little orphan girl
She was standing in the corner
On the other side of the world
And I heard the voice of Jesus
Gently whisper to my heart
Ddn’t you say you wanted to find Me
Well, here I am, here you are
So what now
What will you do now that you’ve found Me?
What now
What will you do with this treasure you’ve found
I know I may not look like what you expected
But if you’ll remember
This is right where I said I would be
You found me, what now?

I continually ask myself that question. What now? What do I do now that I’m back on this side of the world?? I Have come to no conclusions or answers to this question and I guess finding those answers is part of my continuing journey. I only know that I am so open to being a part of this picture, a part of something so much bigger than myself. I know that God will take me back to China. I don’t know when but I surely hope that it is sooner than later. So many of my friends said to me today ‘I didn’t think you would come back!’. I know that they were joking for the most part but I would be lying if I said that I didn’t go over there with a little bit of fear that that might be the next step for me. I Would also be lying if I said that there wasn’t a part of me that thought I Would be on that plane Tuesday with my little boy beside me. Maybe its wishful thinking or a complete childlike faith, but I am a true believer in miracles. I am not naive enough to believe that you can go to China, pick a kid out and bring them home. But I kept hoping that something would happen, that he would get a medical visa. Something! But that didnt happen. So now, on the other side of the world, I just have to sit here and pray for him. Pray that there is a family somewhere out there that is perfect for him and wants to bring him home. That’s all I can do right now.

On the plane from Newark to Nashville, I noticed a beautiful little family. A young man and woman with three precious little children. It was obvious that these children were not the couple’s biological children. I was wearing a shirt that said ‘I Show Hope’. The man asked me ‘ Do you work for Show Hope?’ I said ‘Not officially, but I have been in China all summer working at Maria’s Big House’ He said ‘ Show Hope helped us with our adoption!!’ Turns out, this couple was on their way home from Ethopia and had only known their special new family for one week. I can’t express what a perfect ending that was for my trip. I loved seeing adoption full circle and I feel like God gave me that gift.

I have to get focused. I have to get ready for the new school year. I have to move into a new apartment next week (anybody want to help? Seriously….I don’t know how I’m gonna get that done!!)

Its a brand new day. I woke up this morning and I kept thinking that over and over again. A new start and God has so richly blessed me. So many of you had said how you can’t wait to see what God will do with my life….well, I certainly can’t wait either. I feel like I’m at the beginning of something great.

Thank you all for reading my thoughts and sharing my journey with me. I have to admit how shocked I was when I saw my blog stats and that I had over 6000 views. That blows my mind. But if this blog has raised awareness about the orphan crisis, then my story has made a difference and that is such a big part of what I want out of this. I will not be writing everyday, but when there is something exciting going on, or I feel led to, I will keep you updated.

Thanks again…

Love from Nashville 🙂

 

Until next time, China!! August 3, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — showinghopetochina @ 4:55 am

The driverliterally just pulled up to take me to the airport. My flight will be leaving at 3:45 pm China time. I will arrive in Newark at 5:15 pm ET and in Nashville at 9:40 CT. Please pray for safe travels for me as I fly. I cant believe its over. My good friend Shannon wrote in a letter to me that on the flight to China I would be worried about all the things I had left at home and on the flight back, I would only be thinking about the memories that I had made and the little ones that I left behind. I believe this will be the case today. I woke up this morning and couldn’t believe that I wasn’t at Maria’s house. I went to sleep last night wondering if Theo was looking for me to come kiss him good night. I dread the transition back into ‘normal’ life. I know that I am entering it with new perspective and understanding and I thank God for the people He has waiting for me on the other side of the world. That being said….I can’t wait to come back to China.

One last ‘LOVE FROM CHINA!’….for now!

 

leaving chi-ku August 1, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — showinghopetochina @ 6:15 pm

I don’t want to leave

Love China more than ever

Cant wait til next time

 

Total Eclipse of the Heart

Filed under: Uncategorized — showinghopetochina @ 5:11 pm

I was truly anticipating to write some sort of tear-filled, heart wrenching blog tonight…but I’m not in that place right now. My heart is in such a place of gratitude. Now, I’m sure that tomorrow morning, my heart will be completely broken and terribly sad. However, tonight I am just so filled with joy and happiness.

It is difficult to believe that it has been 6 weeks since I was sitting on a plane in Newark NJ throwing up into a barf bag on a plane ( Yes, mother, that’s true…and I know this is the first you have heard of that. I was so confused as to how being so sure of something could be totally mixed with so much anxiety. I said outloud ‘what am I doing?’. The man sitting beside of me looked at me like I was crazy. But, truth is, I was so nervous. I knew that once that plane took off, there was no getting off. I knew that the next 6 weeks of my life would be spent in China no matter what. As much as I knew that I loved these babies, I didn’t know if I had what it took to make it here for this long. And maybe I didn’t….but God gave me what I needed. He gave me peace. He gave me friends. He gave me more incredible memories and experiences than I could have ever dreamed possible.


Please forgive some of these pictures. They are not the most flattering. Just become I am overcome with joy right now, does not mean that I have not cried today, because I have. I will be leaving here at 9 am tomorrow morning. I had to say some of my goodbyes today in order to make sure that I would have time in the morning to get situated and spend as much time as possible with my baby. I took a nurse with me almost everywhere that I went today so that they could translate to the ayis what was going on. Each room that they went in had ayis with sweet things to say. The ayis in Asher’s room said ‘Please don’t go to America. We like you to stay here.’ The night time ayi in Theo’s room said ‘If you go, he will cry all the time.) The daytime ayis in the tinkerbell room were very happy that I gave them some clothes that I was leaving here. One of them used her best English to come up to me, grab my hands and say ‘I like you.’

Some of the ayis in Theo’s room kept thanking me over and over again. They were very excited to take the picture above. I will definitely be framing this one. Each room that I went in asked me, ‘When will you be back?’ My answer was the same in every room…I hope to be back before next year. As you read this, please pray that God will allow that opportunity for me. I feel as if I have family here now.

The nurse that took the group picture, kept my camera and stole this shot of Theo and I. Can you tell I’ve been crying??? I completely dread tomorrow’s goodbye! We had such a good day today. I must have spent at least 6 hours with him. We watched a movie (he has really gotten into the tv thing), we played with the ball, we looked out the window, we danced around in circles…he was all smiles and laughter all day long. That is until I was telling his ayis that I was leaving tomorrow. This little boy understand way more than one would imagine. He cried and whimpered for the rest of the night. There really are no words to convey the love that I have for this child. It may  seem silly to some of you who have your own children and may be sitting there thinking that I don’t know what I’m talking about. But, I know that God has given me Theo. I will continue to pray for him every day. Pray for his safety. Pray that he will have a forever family. Pray that I will see him again. I love him like he was my own.

The reason that I am so happy right now is because I feel so loved. As I have mentioned several times, I did not expect the friendships that I have been blessed with. I love the nurses that are here serving these people. I love their hearts. I love them as great friends. They threw a ‘going away party’ for me today. Jona made spaghetti. Sharon and Edz walked 2 miles to get me my favorite Chinese beer. Mikey flew in from Beijing…I was overwhelmed by their love. All day long, Sharon would count down how many hours I had left here, saying how sad that she was. I’m sure that I will cry many tears as I hug them good bye in the morning. Keeping with tradition, we had a full out karaoke party. I honestly have no voice left. We have been singing for 3 straight hours. The best was ‘Total Eclipse of the Heart’. As a group effort, we scored and 83! Which is pretty stellar compared to the ‘8’ that I scored singing ‘Hangin Tough’. I am eternally grateful for these women (and a man) and feel as I am leaving here with forever friends.

I should probably go to bed now. I’m all packed. The girls asked me if I was ready to go. I said ‘packed? yes! Ready? no!’ How could I ever be ready for this goodbye? How could I ever be ready to close the book on the most incredible summer of my life? Its just not possible. A friend of mine said to me the other day ‘I just wish that you had the same peace about leaving that you had about going!’. I wish that I did too. Pray that God will give me that peace over the next 24 hours.

Mikey will be taking me to the airport tomorrow morning at 9 am. (that’s 9 pm eastern time and 8pm central) Please keep me in your prayers. Lord knows that I will need them all as I walk out the door of this building with fresh memories, a greater knowledge of God’s calling in my life, and the impression that each of these children have made on my heart.

LOVE FROM CHINA!