For Families, Waiting Parents, our agency, and Those Who Love Details.
So last night I was borrowing WiFi from our translator while I was blogging so I wanted to be fast and give her back her privacy. She was also in a conversation with our team member, Asia, that I wanted to let happen without me being a distraction. So now I am going to give more details for the family members of the team, any parents who have been matched with children here, our agency, and those of you who love to pray about the details.
OUR TEAM- I don’t want to jinx this but I think this may be the best mission trip team that I have ever been a part of. Even though we all have our differences, they have really come together beautifully.
Toni has been a great leader. She is very open to suggestions from the group and has a calm about her that is a real tone setter when things go outside of their “plan”. She really does a great job at setting the mood and helping the rest of us follow along.
Beth is lucky that I don’t live in her hometown because I think that I would just set up camp in her kitchen. She is so much fun, so real, and has a maturity about her that also helps guide the rest of us. She has spent most of her time with the youngest children and is just a natural. You can see that the nannies trust her. Her spirit overflows joy when she is with those kids and I have no doubt that she is making a silent impression on that room.
Suzette is all that I love about Texas women. She has been spent most of her time with the kids around a year old. There is one child in there who has “chosen” her and keeps walking up and giving her kisses. I think her husband may need to go ahead and create the adoption fund. She will be a great resource for some of the waiting families because many of your children are in her room. She is having a wonderful time and glows when she is with those kids.
Becky has been with the newborns too and spent some time with the older kids. I believe the newborn room was her favorite place. She has been here serving before so her experience has been a valuable resource for the rest of us. She is a nurse and which has come in handy several times when discussing the needs of the kids here. One thing that I really admire about her is that she is the first to lay down her preferences for the good of the team or orphanage. She is a truly selfless person.
Andrea is so right where she was meant to be. She has real energy for the older toddlers and older children. She is full of ideas for how to involve them in activities and connect with them. I am sure being an elementary age teacher helps. J She has really connected with some of the younger nannies using her iphone and discussing things they have in common like Instagram. You can really pray for her that this will continue and that God will open doors to help form lasting and impressionable relationships.
Brandon is our team gentleman. Seriously he is the perfect southern male. He opens doors for us, unloads our luggage, carries heavy items, and just watches over all of us girls. The older kids LOVE him. He is like a human jungle gym. He appears to have a real heart of the little ones with Down Syndrome and they also flock to him. Sometimes you don’t know how a young male is going to do with small kids. Well, he has been AWESOME. I am so glad that he is on this trip.
Asia is an 18 year old who was adopted from China as a baby. You can tell that she has amazing parents and the love she has for her family evident. She has such a servant’s heart. I have noticed this on many occasions when I have watched her step up to serve another team member or the orphanage. Her love for the Lord is seen in everything she does. She has spent most of her time with the toddlers. She has also formed a good relationship with our translator and you can pray for her in that. Asia’s Mom- we tried to call you on my skype phone last night. We will try again today which will be morning your time.
Faith is the daughter of Toni and I just love her. She is 18 and is hearing impaired. Toni signs to her and I make up my own signs when trying to talk to her. She has the sweetest smile as she tolerates my efforts to communicate with her. You can pray for her in a couple ways. First, she has a real heart for the hearing impaired children here but has not been able to have much contact with them. It would amazing if she could spend some time with the older hearing impaired kids. Please pray that the team and staff will help make that happen. I think we have been so busy with all of our own assignments that we might not have advocated for her in this way as much as we should. I woke up this morning with on my heart so please pray that comes together. Also, she is staying a few extra days after we leave to visit her orphanage and deaf school. She does not have permission yet. Pray the doors open up for that and that she has a really positive experience.
Theresa is the 12 year old adopted daughter of Toni. I seriously thought she was 16 when I met her. She has spent most of her time playing with the toddlers. She is a great kid and has blended in with all of us old folks just beautifully. I am not sure my kids would be as agreeable in the heat and struggles of traveling. She too will be visiting her orphanage at the end of the trip so you can pray that doors will open for her as well and that it will be a positive experience.
Summer is our translator and she is so sweet. She has bent over backwards to accommodate these crazy Americans. She has begun asking questions and has joined our evening time as a team. Please pray for our conversations with her. She has bonded well with our group and has been a great translator. She and I spend most of our time together while I am performing physicals on these kids. I wish I could take her home with me.
For the Waiting Parents- Can I say that not a minute goes by in that orphanage when I don’t think of you. I so know the ache in your heart to bring your baby home and I know the helplessness you feel when you can’t be here with them. I also know the hope it gives you to know that we are here so let me fan the flame of hope for you now. Your babies are loved! They are held and kissed. They are fed and played with. They are getting social interaction with each other and are all going outside. The older children are going to school in a small classroom setting with teachers who love them. I observed this yesterday when I was evaluating the older kids. The smile and laugh and many of them love to dance. The babies waiting with heart conditions all need surgery soon. I took extra time to pray over them and I am trusting that the Lord will keep them in his arms. The nannies are good with caring for them. The cleft babies all look great! They are sent to Beijing for their repairs and several of the team members who have experience in this area commented on how good they look. I was amazed at how functional the kids with spina bifida are. They are getting daily therapy here. While all of these kids have “needs”, their greatest need is for a family. They need a mom to hold them and love them. The rest is just details and those are getting taken care of very well here but they cannot make up for a family.
Okay I have to get ready and be to breakfast in 12 minutes. I hope the details blessed the parents and gave you specific ways to pray. I can’t wait to see what today holds.