Friday, July 21, 2017

Number Thirty-Nine (The Orphanage and Baby Island)~Day 13

You could almost see the humidity dripping from the sky (as we could feel it running down our backs). Even the vans air conditioning brought only partial relief.

Surrounded by green we entered the compound of the orphanage.

The front of the orphanage.
Grace looks so small.

One of the heads of the orphanage, Grace, Hope, and Ying (Ing) 
our guide (who is wonderful)

A woman walked passed us, dressed casually, pulling a wagon with several young children in it and six or seven little ones running along behind.  You could see them scattering a bit as the worker tried to keep them focused on following the wagon.  Every one of them orphans....

They were so little and such a small percentage of this orphanage which houses over a thousand children, from birth to fourteen years old.

With the girls in strollers, we were walked to a ramp around towering buildings.  What looked like apartments, surrounded us like giants.  The children's clothing waved in the breeze on clotheslines.  This was a dormitory for children age eight and up.


We were shown the playground. It was shared with us that it was the old playground and not used now.




We made our way to the building where Grace lived for her three and a half years.



As we entered the main building, three teen boys made their way down the stairway in front of us.  A yellow hat led the way with two others soon following.  Their special needs were obvious as they traipsed along. They smiled shyly, but met my eyes.  You could see the "child" in their hearts, forever children most likely.

Their smiles reminded us so much of Benjamin.

My heart just melted....and broke.

I need to block out the children's faces.
I'm not allowed to show them.  The pictures were often 
accidental while I was taking a picture I had
permission to take.

These boys are not "numbers", but names and giggles.  Three boys...three orphans....

This was a tour though.  It was a tour to understand our Grace better.

It was a tour to know more of what reality is for so many children.

I know the reality.  I really do, but seeing it again and again and again doesn't stop the heart shattering reality each time.

Rooms full of children, rooms full of lives of the lonely, the orphan.....

Carts of bowls were rolled into the children's areas to feed the rooms full of  these little lives.

 

There were twelve cribs to a room (and many rooms).

Our own daughter Grace used to sleep in one of these cribs....alone, yet not alone.


This is the crib Grace spent 3 1/2 years sleeping in.  I was
asked if I wanted to put Grace in the crib and take her picture.  I said no.  
She didn't belong in that crib anymore.  She was never going back in it. 
(The latter was only said in my mind.)

The nannies rushed out to greet our little one.  They called her by her nickname (which is in Cantonese)...Hyoon, Hyoon.  

They quickly brought out one of Grace's friends.

This little one has a newly created file.  She is listed for adoption.
So many of these children need families.

This is Grace's "room".  There are thirty-eight children in this room.  THIRTY-EIGHT CHILDREN
without families.  The little girl in the nanny's arms, our Grace, was number thirty-nine. 

It took one yes, and readiness to fight to bring that "yes" home.  That yes may cost comfort, but there is one less child sleeping in those rooms for EVERY yes that someone utters.



Look carefully at the children trying to get close to the gate.  
They have distinct personalities and likes and dislikes just as any child.

These children...thirty in this room alone...oh my heart!  Our hearts beg for someone to see them 
and be willing to ask God HIS will.

There was no breeze in the hallways, just a sweltering staleness.  

Side note: I want to be clear,  these nannies really seem to care for the children.  They don't replace a family though.  There are not enough nannies, not enough love, not enough....

This is a better orphanage too.  I will tell you the truth.  I've seen what many would call some of the worst.  There was warmth at this place where Grace once lived.  

Grace's finding place was the last important stop of today.  

She was found at Baby Island.  It was a drop box for children that has since been closed and covered with walls.  You can see the original roof peaking over.  They closed it because once it opened there were too many babies abandoned here.  They couldn't handle the sheer numbers.  

Grace~Victory was just one baby of many.


I really want to say something profound here.  

I don't have it.  I don't have the words.  I just have me...human and fallible me.

What can I say after walking away from so many children, knowing I can't do anymore right now? God called us to Grace~Victory and Hope~Glory.  THEY are our daughters.

Many reasons are given for not adopting OR not even asking (just asking) God if it's within HIS Will.  
I'm leaving you with two reasons to pray (just to ask our Heavenly Father) and consider saying yes.

They speak louder than me.




Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Please pray friends...

Immanent:
*THAT GOD IS GLORIFIED THROUGH OUR WORDS AND ACTIONS.
*For Grace to feel comfortable and show us her beautiful self. PLEASE PRAY SHE AND HOPE SLEEP with NO FEAR.  We REALLY need sleep!
*For Hope to learn to suck/drink quickly.
*For my eyes, they started itching and when that went away they started feeling swollen (and are a bit bloodshot).  Part of my inner eye on one eye actually looks wrinkled (but doesn't hurt) Please pray for complete healing NOW.
*That Hope's heart condition shows NO issues.
*For Hope and Grace's health.... and my and Amy's health too.  
*For Hope~Glory and Grace~Victory: Their lives have been rocked.  WE know it's a beautiful thing and blessing, but everything is unfamiliar.  We don't look, smell, or sound like her.  (Picture being handed to someone you don't know, have never seen before, and told they are your new family and to go with them.)
*Please pray there are no hiccups, paperwork or otherwise during this entire trip across the world. 
*That Amy and I's bodies are strong and there is no pain and we feel AWAKE and ALERT.   Please also pray there are NO health issues period during our trip...NONE AND WE GET SOME SLEEP.
*Please pray the weather is unseasonably cool in both regions we will be in.  It's not the most important prayer, very possibly the least, but we appreciate it.  Please pray no matter what the weather it doesn't effect us negatively. (When I say "hot", I mean sticky, sweaty, steam bath, sauna, dripping wet, fogged up sunglasses hot.)
*Please pray for our kids and families hearts (ours too) and safety.  This is the hard part, leaving them.  Peace that passes understanding is a good thing.
*Please pray that there is NO lost luggage during any of our trip.  Though we pack a set of clothing in carryons, this is something we hope we don't have to face. (smile).
*Please pray for Tom, Elizabeth, and Alessandra that they find joy, new friends, and a beautiful rhythm in their new duty station.


PLEASE PRAY FOR THE FOLLOWING TWELVE PRAYER REQUESTS AS WELL.

1. THAT GOD IS GLORIFIED IN EVERY STEP OF THIS ADOPTION (MOST IMPORTANT TODAY AND EVERY DAY).

2.  I feel a deep need to have everyone join us in prayer for the attachment of our girls.  Please pray they have NO attachment issues and attach to us as a family very quickly.  We pray that GRACE and HOPE have NO issues with attachment...NONE (that God prepares them as well).

3.  We ask for prayers also that Grace and Hope are good sleepers.  I know that may sound trivial, but knowing what can happen (we've had it both ways) we know if they can sleep (both in country and at home), transition will go much smoother.

4. PLEASE pray protection against ALL of satan's schemes.  He's been messing with our family and with Amy and her family.  PLEASE pray a strong concrete, cement, gold, silver (smile) wall between our lives and his schemes.

5. Please pray for Thomas and I's anxiety/stress.  Life is keeping us going a million miles an hour and peace that passes understanding would be very very welcome!  (Prayers for physical strength as well for both of us)

6. PLEASE PRAY THERE ARE NO PAPERWORK ISSUES IN COUNTRY AND EVERYTHING GOES FLAWLESSLY.  This is my current worry...pffttt.

7. That my traveling companion (Amy) and I stay well (completely) within country and are safe....not even a nauseous stomach which commonly happens at least once.

 8. That God uses us/speaks through us while we are there, see what we need to see and doing what we need to do.

9. That our families are safe while we are apart and that it is a peaceful (and safe) time for them.

10. For Timothy's complete healing...and that he has walking and running in his future (smile).  That his pain is minimal.




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