For those of you who have followed my journey for a long time, you know the struggles that I have encountered with this orphanage: limited visiting hours, distrusting staff, governmental red tape, lack of cooperation, no openness to change, and so on. It takes supernatural (literally) perseverance to keep on keeping on in the face of such discouragement.
But then every once in a while, our kind Father gives me a glimpse into what He’s up to.
Last Wednesday was one of those days.
I often start the morning in the babies’ room, getting them out of their cribs and onto the floor, playing, talking, singing, crawling, and walking with them. Two of the youngest nannies were in there that day, two girls who grew up in that very orphanage and eventually “graduated” to the position of paid nanny. They seemed talkative that day so I struck up a conversation:
“Wow, really? We’ve seen pictures of him, he looks so tall now and his skin is so much darker! Why do they let him play out in the sun so much?”
(It’s a common concern for Chinese parents and nannies to not want their children’s skin to be touched by the sun.)
“American families believe the sun is good for children.”
“Does he still speak Chinese?”
“No, he only speaks English now! Although he does remember how to say 我妈妈!”
(…Josiah’s name for his favorite nanny.)
My phone started ringing. It was Josiah-now-Jay himself video calling! I answered, and the young nannies nearly fell over when they saw him on the screen. Everyone started talking to each other at once, and it was a little chaotic. But the nannies were so pleased to see him doing well and growing up.
I stayed later than usual, well past visiting hours, because the gate guard never came to tell me I had to leave. To top off an already encouraging day, on my way out I was walking by the staff all eating lunch together. They pulled me over to their table and invited me to eat with them. We ate and chatted and laughed together… and all the while, I couldn’t escape the feeling that this moment was very significant. I walked away that day with renewed perseverance and purpose, thanking my Father for His kindness.