Well today started out incredible again. I started the day with what I thought was going to be a brief stop in the newborn nursery just to say hi. I walked over to the frail heart baby that I told you about the other day and who many of you have been praying for. Her eyes were bright and she smiled at me. Friends, she has not been alert before. Of course I picked her up and sat down with her. She looked at me and responded to my voice. She was a different baby! Your prayers are being answered! At the break, the workers in that room said she took an entire bottle for the first time today. Normally she does not have the energy to eat.
As I was getting ready to leave the nursery, the nannies asked me to put carriers on them and then giggled as we put babies in them. They took the babies outside in the carriers and showed them off to the other nannies. So thank you again for those donations! One of the baby nannies is eager to learn English so if you come here in the future, please bring her some Chinese/English translation books. She is the one who is about 4’10. She is a great nanny and performs daily exercises with the newborns to encourage rolling.
My plan for the morning was to evaluate the children with physical disabilities who have not been matched yet. I started in the room for the rollers. Most of them were outside playing but there was one child there with a skull deformity. I was able to do a lengthy eval on him and instruct the nannies on how to work with him to maximize his function. The nanny was very responsive and excited.
From there they took me to a waiting area and brought children to me that I have not seen in the rooms we have been working in. They all had heart defects and have paperwork at the province that has not arrived to the agency yet. Those children were frail and need to get to the States for surgery. One of them has a condition that can’t even be addressed in China but can only be treated in the States. Please pray for their paperwork to be processed quickly and forwarded to the agency and for their travel to be expedited. Again I was able to work with the nannies to teach them how to encourage function in these kids. Most of them are developmentally delayed because they have spent their entire life sick.
The rest of the team had many stories at lunch of children laughing, giving kisses, and interacting with them more. Some also had great interactions with the nannies. After lunch we took the head nanny and a few older children shopping with money that one of the team members brought along. They purchased toys and shoes from a department store because they wanted things of good quality. The experience reminded of an Aggie joke like “how many Chinese and American people does it take to pick out a pair of shoes?” but it turned out that it was good that we were away for such a long time because the orphanage had a surprise official visit from the Province during that time. I believe the lesson for future trips though is to send one team member, the translator, and an orphanage official to do the shopping. Oh and those of us waiting around may or may not have started a flash mob. Sorry there is no video to prove it.
This morning I was moving some files over to an old flash drive when I noticed raw footage from when I brought Ruthie home. The airport was filled with church members holding balloons and signs. I drug it to my desktop and didn’t think anything of it. Then on the bus ride back to the orphanage, I was sitting near the head nanny and was telling her about how loved the adopted children are in America and God reminded me of that video. I showed it to her and she loved it and thanked me for taking care of an orphan. It was a super cool, ordained-by-God moment.
Our time in the afternoon was a little shorter because of our shopping trip so we focused on the younger 3 classrooms. The head nanny and I assembled toys together and then watched as the kids discovered how to use them. It was really awesome. I really like the head nanny and hope to get to spend more time with her before I leave. The rest of the afternoon was spent teaching the nannies in the 6-month to 1-year room how to work with their children with special needs. I love how eager they are to learn.
So a few ideas for parents traveling to the region or for future teams - They need more quality toys like duplo legos and things that children can lay under, stand at, crawl through, etc. A lot of their toys are very small and cheap. The baby’s cloth diapers are covered with plastic bags. They need those cool cloth diaper covers that we use in the States. They wear out baby shoes quickly and could always use more of those too.
We are all falling deeper in love with the children and it makes me sad to think that our time here is now more than half way over. Please pray as we try and finish strong.
Okay I wrote this and then went into our evening session together and God just blew me away again. We had the sweetest time of worship and sharing with our translator. I won’t go into much detail, but it was amazing and you know what to do.