I have been home from China for almost a month now. I have sat down to write about my experiences a few times but I get stuck because of mixed emotions about things. It also didn’t help that I got a head cold on my flight home that lasted for 2 weeks. Life with 4 young kids doesn’t slow down when you are sick, it just seems to go that much faster around you. I think being sick just made the jet lag that much worse then it normally is when you have to switch by 13 hours but I have recovered and trying to get caught up on things around the house. I found some interesting things out while in China. When we adopted, all the children’s files went on this large shared list where agencies would try and match you with a child. On days that they added children to the list, it was a fast pace race to try and click on files to reserve children for their clients. It didn’t give the agency much time to really work on matching families and children for the best fit. Apparently they are switching the system. Agencies are getting matched with different orphanages in country. That means that agencies can go over there, see the children interact, report back to families and really work on finding a match that would work. I think there are a lot of good things that can come from this but some bad too. A few good things…..I traveled with a group of doctors and physical therapists. They are going over there and training the caregivers on how best to care for the children there. Because agencies are matched to orphanages, they have a sense of responsibility to help those future children before they get matched to families that are in the process of adopting. The earlier you can get treatment or some sort of intervention, the better. Also, agencies are able to meet and interact with the children there. I think it gives harder to place kids (kids with higher special needs) a better chance because you start seeing who that child really is instead of just a face with a medical need attached to it. Like this one, a 13 year old who is very sweet and fun to talk but is confined to a wheelchair. The agencies can also start advocating for some of these children. A lot of this is done on the Superkids website. Right now they are trying really hard to find a family for Jack, a 6 year old boy who has vision problems but is very smart, he can speak Mandarin and English. His info is here http://superkidscharity.blogspot.com/2016/05/because-you-can-never-have-too-many.html
It was a lot of fun to meet these children, to hang out with them and play with them like legos and play-doh but knowing they don’t have a mom or a dad to do those things with made I think everyone on the trip a little sad because they are such wonderful kids. One day we took about 10 kids out on a field trip. After lunch we took them to a kitchen and made cookies and muffins with them. To teach them how to cook was a lot of fun, something that I do with my own children all the time. The simple act of helping them beat an egg can bring such joy.
At a different orphanage, I spent the better of 2 afternoons talking to a 13 year old boy who is about to age out of the system; meaning once he turns 14 he can not be adopted ever. There is a family interested in him but he is scared, scared to leave his culture, leave his “family” (other kids in the orphanage that he has grown up with), leave behind everything that he has come to count on for an unknown….a new culture, a new family, a new language, new foods, new lifestyle, a new everything. They only have until June because then he turns 14 and adoption will no longer be an option for his future. He will grow up with never having a family to come home to which makes me sad. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of great workers in the orphanages that care for him and others like him but I don’t think that is the family unit that God intended him to be in. I am talking about the boy in blue; however the boy in the wheelchair, the one I was talking about earlier in the post, he will be in the same situation in a few more months but he doesn’t even have a family considering him. These two boys, they act like they are brothers and in a way they are because they have spend their whole life together and now 1 may leave and the other will stay.
I know before I left, I had a lot of people tell me they were praying for safe travels (which I had), for my health (which was great until the plane ride home) and for many other things on my trip and I wanted to say thank you. Although I did get a few comments that people were praying for me not to fall in love with one and bring one home with me (which, not going to lie, really frustrated me). But I think I would love it if you could continue to pray for these kids, that whoever God is calling to adopt them that they listen and are obedient right away, that their extended families are supportive. And pray for the children who are sitting in orphanages right now, to give them hope as they wait for a family, to give them courage as they go home with a family they don’t know and for strength for those that will never have a family to call their own. It frustrates me to know kids like these may never have a family.