I personally didn’t even realize the full impact that standing in the gap could make, until I walked through the whole experience with Josiah-now-Jay. It was a privilege to be his mama’s hands and feet before she came to get him, as I visited him weekly at the orphanage. And I looked ever forward to the day that his mama and brother and sister would arrive in China to meet him for the first time. I had stayed in such close contact with her that she graciously invited me to be there when they first met their Jay.
The orphanage director and I stood with him outside as a van drove up and his family stepped out. First mom, then brother and sister, then grandma and grandpa. In Chinese, the director whispered in his ear, “That’s your mama! Go give her a hug!” He bravely and excitedly ran to her with open arms and shouted, “Mama!"
Imagine what is going through each person’s mind in these short seconds:
Josiah-now-Jay is told that he’s going to meet his mom today, but that would be confusing because sometimes he calls his nannies at the orphanage mama… what’s the difference? And what’s adoption? And what’s America?
Being part of his life after going home was something I never expected. But the role that I play, through Hope Station, is bridging a gap that no one else can. As he grows up, he’ll forget Chinese and he’ll forget what his life in the orphanage was like. But I’ll always remember. I’ll always be around to tell those stories about when he was being potty trained, how much he loved books when we first brought them, or the funny sheep shaped cake he had on his 5th birthday.