This morning we woke up to a pretty thick fog, and we headed out by van to Longyan. It typically takes a couple of hours to get there, but due to the fog the main road was closed, so we took a back road, which almost doubled the time to get there. The time passed quickly though, and I enjoyed visiting with Lillian who is Chinese and works at the orphanage and her job is to prepare the paperwork. She speaks good English. I also always enjoy just looking out the window and taking China in, I love to people watch, and seeing the mountains, the homes, the buildings, etc. The driving is always an experience here too and I get a kick out of how we are able to wind through traffic and not manage to get in a wreck, it certainly is an art 🙂 The Longyan orphanage kindly let use their facility to see the kids that are being fostered out there from Xiamen .
We held the physical exams in a large physical therapy room there. My heart was so full of joy when I saw three little ones that that have been placed since I came in July! One little boy with a cleft lip and palate, he was so busy, every picture was an action shot! He was all boy. He found a stroller and wanted to push it all over the room. Two little girls, one is little sweet Mia with Down Syndrome and one with congenital heart disease, who had the most beautiful eyes also came in that we have placed. The girls were both very attached to their foster mom! It is amazing to see the ladies here who do foster care, I would expect young moms typically like in the USA, but it is the grandmother age women! I was so humbled to see them care for the kids in this way! I heard that they usually have one child, but often live far from them due to work so if they do have a grandchild they may not seen them often so they take joy in fostering and have the experience. They are patient and kind, and very protective from my observations, they were not happy about us taking clothes off the kids to do full body exams, they kept trying to dress them asap so they would not be cold. I loved watching how attached the girls were to them, it was really sweet, and I see this as a very good sign that they will attach well later to their adoptive parents. It is more concerning when you see a child not attached to a caregiver. I was quite smitten today with a little boy too that we saw with Down Syndrome. He came in to the room in a little black tie! He will be two in August.
We then continued on in to the country of Longyan to visit a village where another group of kids lives. It was neat to see village life in China. One of the homes was opened up to us for the exams of the kids. Two of which have families from AGCI! I saw one little guy we have placed who has some delay and was premature, he looks strong and happy, and was also very attached to his foster mom. The other little girl, “Ayla” from our website had an electric personality. When I got her referral she had multiple special needs, we were so happy when she was placed! She is tiny but was strong and walking all over the place checking out everything we were doing, and getting down and looking in to kids faces. One little boy with cerebral palsy who was lying on the floor she went over too, tickled him in the belly and kissed him right on the mouth! What a sweet girl. I took her picture and showed it to her and she laughed out loud, she loved it. The photo above is the photo of her doing that J It was neat to see a lot more little ones that we will hopefully get on our next list for adoption!
We saw I believe 19 kids all together today. We got home really late, but it was so good to see all the kids today. It is amazing to me that even though the days are long, I do not really feel tired, my heart is full. I am reminded of the verse “For Christ’s love compels us….” 2 Corinthians 5:14. When I see the plight of an orphan, I cannot help but be compelled to want to do everything I can to help them have a better life. I know that this love in my heart for them comes from the Lord living inside of me. I know he loves these kids so much and I desire to be his hands and feet to them. This is not just a job to me, but a calling on my life, I love these kids….
As you know, my theme verse for our work in this province been Ephesians 3:21. Well, on the way home today, Lillian, who is Chinese and who works at Xiamen and prepares all the paperwork she said how has your trip been going, and is it more than you imagined??? I could not believe she used those words! She knows English but it is not clear all that time with it not being her primary language, but those are the words she used all on her own. I blinked back tears. Wow. Yes, I told her, yes, it has been, from getting $25,000 in grants for the older boys, to seeing Xiamen chosen for the Fujian baby island so we can place these these special Fujian kids, to getting to choose the next list, and then traveling to meet many of the foster families in Longyan and visit one of the foster villages. Wow, absolutely, more than I imagined and the trip is not over. God is moving and it is privilege to watch and be apart of it. It is such an honor to work with loving parents like many of you, and I love knowing the kids are being matched with such great families.
Thank you for your prayers! Tomorrow I head to Fuzhou!