We had a bigger group of visitors this time, including our wonderful friends Cary and Diane and a few local college students. We brought lots of goodies, balloons, bubbles, coloring supplies, and facepaint. What a blast. The older kids were there this time, so we were able to do a few more organized activities, like soccer with the boys. We also played musical chairs (no CD players or ipod speakers, we just sang instead) with a bunch of the kids, young and old. It was very informal, with no winning or losing, just the mystery of when everyone will have to sit down. They loved it.
Some of you know that last fall/winter HS worked with other orphan advocates to find families for two of the boys at this orphanage. They are turning 14 and aging out of the adoption system this summer. A family stepped forward and was able to apply to adopt BOTH of them. Amazing. So one of these precious boys was there when we visited this weekend. We took lots of pictures for his family-to-be, despite the fact that he doesn’t know he has been matched with an adoptive family yet (the boys won’t be told until their parents get their travel approval). Cary taught him some words in English and asked him if he liked studying English. “Not really,” he responded. Cary and I just looked at each other and said, “too bad” and laughed about it. Soon he will be learning lots of English with his new family. I’m sure he will find it’s worth it.
I don’t know what more to say other than this: all these kids need families. It is so wonderful to spend time with them, and so heartbreaking to know that the rest of these kids are gonna grow up here with very few role models for living a healthy life. They have such limited access to the outside world, and nobody to help them learn about life as they grow up. And yet, despite it all, they find a way to smile for us when we come to visit. No crying or sad faces when we leave, simply a hope that we will return again soon.
Sara returned to Beijing yesterday, but I am staying til Friday for a few extra meetings. So as of this morning I had all this free time til Friday that I didn’t know what I was going to do with. Well, of course my time has been filling up already. I was asked to escort a group of ladies tomorrow to the orph, and the director has already agreed. So I will be returning for a third and final time! So excited.
Enjoy the pictures!