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!