I remember when I first started seeing these flyers for the hosting program.
The needs of the kids overwhelmed me.
Most things I had never heard of, and honestly I could barely pronounce half of the words.
And then I watched this hosting program in action.
First I watched my best friends host 2 children from the Philippines, who soon became their son and daughter.
My first experience to really participate was 2 years ago. We had barely stepped off the plane with our 2 newest children and so we did not do much.
Besides entertain some chaperones during which time we managed to allow their passports to get stolen out of our van.
I don’t care to remember THAT story to much…
The 2nd hosting experience was of course this past month.
You know I have done a few things with China stuff besides CZ. But that is my heart, my family where I KNOW that I know that I am supposed to be.
So I have probably in some ways “snubbed” any opportunities to work anywhere else.
Much of that because I am OVERWHELMED by the needs that are in CZ. How can I possibly open my heart up to ANYWHERE else?
And sometimes just because I have visited other places there that I have not felt the tug, that our team is REALLY needed there.
But then this hosting experience, it stirred something in me.
These children that came. I can’t get them off my mind.
I know what it is like for ME when I leave China. I struggle so much.
So what is it like for them. They have had a taste of life in a family.
They have had food, and clothes and toys and fun.
They have been loved deeply and hugged and kissed on.
And now they are back to the orphanage.
That breaks me. And I know it is breaking all of the mama’s hearts who had to put them on that plane.
The ones that I am really struggling with are those not chosen.
Right now 9 of those children have families who will begin the process to bring them home. They will move heaven and earth to get it done as fast as possible.
Lord willing by this time next year those 9 will be back here, with the people that they know and who know them.
But 4 of them still wait.
2 MIGHT have families.
So I am going to concentrate on the 2 who don’t.
First up is Samuel.
He is full of energy and my house got a GOOD workout in the hours he was here.
Not going to lie, he was busy.
But then he climbed in bed. And I tucked him in, kissing him goodnight.
He woke up so calm and sweet and he clung to me at the airport.
I thought of that saying, we can’t judge a book by it’s cover.
And that is what I think with Samuel. He overwhelmed me upon meeting him.
But then I got to see this little spirit inside of him that snuggled in and could see all the love he has in him and I know that a family would fall in love if they can see that part of him.
We see these photos on a flyer, we read the list and we are SCARED.
I remember reading about Noah. His list was the longest, his picture a bit scary.
And then I met him.
I told Mark, how can anyone say NO to him? What is the big deal, he needs an eye lift and yes his “special needs” list is long but WATCH him and look how sweet his kisses are and listen to his raspy voice!
Mark said, “you are seeing the child and not the needs,
some people can’t do that.”
That is truth.
Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the list that we forget to see who these children really are.
We forget that God created them PERFECT in His eyes.
Noah’s family DID find him, praise the Lord.
But Samuel is still waiting.
And so is Aubrey.
Aubrey has major vision issues. And I did not get to spend a ton of time with her.
She was nervous with the change of moving from her host families to our friends for the night.
But once her host mom left we actually saw her start to run around with the kids and giggle and smile.
Here is what my friend who kept her for the night said..
"Aubrey is very bright. She can speak 2 languages, Mandarin and Cantonese. I was shocked at how many English words she had picked up while being here. She was given glasses for the first time ever and they are really helping her so much. She is very smart, so polite and has so much love to give."
I wish we could make these children come alive for you. I wish we could show you more than a photo and a “list”.
They are so so much more than that.
There is so much hope and love and sweetness wrapped up in them.
God has given us voices for so many different reasons.
I pray that I can use my voice well to share these children. That I can tell those chaperones who came that your child WAS chosen. They will be loved and that this trip you came on was worth all of the travel and stress and unknowns and being away from your own families for a month.
I pray that we can show even them they are more than a list. They are a loved and treasured son and daughter.