Well today was estrogen Friday. I was a blubbery mess before I even left the hotel and so were several other team members. We warned Brandon ahead of time that it was going to be a rough one with so many women having to say goodbye to children they had fallen in love with.
Today’s mission was to finish strong as we wrapped up all of our tasks. I finished my evaluations and training the nannies. We finished shopping for gifts for the staff. We handed out the last of our donations and even ordered more. When it was all said and done, we provided baby blankets, crafts, candy, baby carriers, countless numbers of flip flops, clothes, hats, tennis shoes for teenagers, large developmental toys, cleft bottles, 100 pairs of baby shoes, 60 pairs of toddler shoes, 4 pediatric rolling walkers, and 4 bumbo seats. Your generosity and the generosity of our team brought the staff to tears on more than one occasion.
We had some fun along the way today too. Chinese names are so hard to remember so we gave many of the kids American and Mexican names. We had Emory, Vivy, Sechuan Chicken (that is what her name sounds like), Juan, Rico, Sophia, Lucy, Ricardo (who became Ricarda when we figured out she was actually a girl), Isabella, Elvis, and many more. It may sound strange, but now I can put a face with a name much easier. J I bet you can picture the Chinese version of baby Elvis in your head already and you would be exactly right.
One thing we also did was go shopping for bracelets for the nannies. Each team member gave matching bracelets to the nannies in the room where they spent the most time. I hope my nannies wear theirs and remember me. I know that I will wear mine often and pray for them when I see it.
Finally, we went to dinner with the orphanage directors and head nanny. This dinner turned out to be such a great time. The female director and I played our own version of “20 questions” where we took turns asking each other about our countries. The male director is a little bit harder to get to know, but as soon as I mentioned the name of my favorite child at the orphanage, we became fast friends and he even broke out his cell phone to show me pictures of her. Apparently she is his favorite too. J I am really hopeful that this dinner allowed us to strengthen our relationships with each other in order to help lay the groundwork for future trips.
I am attaching some extra pictures here that were taken by different members of team this week. Enjoy!