• Stolen Hearts

    Date: 2013.05.10 | Category: Adoption, China 2013, Jasmine (Shuang Shuang) | Tags:

    We drove to her orphanage today. The scenery was unbelievable, absolutely breathtaking. Mountains and big deep valleys as far as the eye can see. We drove for 5 hours to get to the orphanage. It was all paved road except for one small stretch. This small stretch was like an amusement park ride. Potholes and bumps that almost knocked you off your seat.

    Have I mentioned how much fun the driving is here? I’m not sure why they have lines on the road. It’s more like a suggestion than anything else. In and out, barely missing another car, add a mountain with huge drop offs and it was just a party. As we were driving home, we saw little kids on the side of this mountain roads, where cars drive fast with all that in and out business, walking home from school with their book bags. I’m telling you there wasn’t a house to be seen for miles. I asked our guide Bill about it and he said these farm children want an education so bad that some of them walk 2 hours to and from school every day. We take much for granted.

    We got to her city, which I was told was a small rural community. Ha! It’s about ten Des Moines’! It is hard to explain what you see there. I’m just glad to be taking her home. I asked if they’d really put her on the street. They said sometimes, they put children in adult institutions. So she probably wouldn’t be in the street, but for a little girl who can do nothing for herself except eat and brush her teeth. It wouldn’t have been pretty.

    When we got to the city our driver and our guide were calling someone and driving around in circles. We were starting to wonder why they couldn’t find the orphanage. We were sitting in traffic and out of no where came Jack, her English tutor from the orphanage, he rode his bike and directed us to this small little shop. The orphanage director had invited us for lunch. The meal was unbelievable. So many different foods to try. We ate with chopsticks. It was a memorable moment full of laughter and good times.

    Then we headed off to the orphanage. The good news is the workers at the orphanage were wonderful. They all love her. First, they took us to see the babies. Their were a couple that stole our hearts with their belly laughs. One wouldn’t let go of Dan’s finger. If only he had a pocket big enough……..

    Then we went & saw her bedroom. It was a nice little room with Sponge Bob blankets. They had the rest of the children in a room waiting for us, all lined up on their little chairs. One little boy smiled up at Cassie and said ni hao jie jie (hi big sister) so she kneeled down to his level and he kissed her on the cheek. Pocket number three filled. Cassie was smitten with a giggly little baby too. This boy had so much personality. We met another little guy who leaves for the states next week. I don’t know who these parents are but they are in for a treat. Oh what a big hearted little guy, who had hugs and smiles for everyone.

    We brought tons of clothes with us for Min because I had two different sets of measurements. Some of the smaller clothes will not fit because her scoliosis is so bad she needs a larger shirt. I pointed to the clothes and told her, with our new made up language – signenglishbadchinese, “too hot, too small” and then pointed to a picture that I have of her two best friends. They share a room together in the orphanage. She shook her head yes very enthusiastically and said “thank you”. Linda had also brought one of those fleece blanket kits to make with Min. It had two pieces of fleece that you tie together so we just let her hand the blankets and the bag of clothes to the girls in another room so the others wouldn’t see. Thy skipped down the hall to their room after giving Min a huge hug. It was a wonderful moment. And mommy would bring those two girls home too. I need to find them a family. They were sweet with no visible defects. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. I’d need a suitcase for these girls, a pocket just wouldn’t cut it.

    The tall girl looked so sad sitting there. I had her come sit by me so I could put a bow in her hair. She snuggled in next to me and just looked at me with the saddest eyes. She just wants a mama and if she doesn’t get one where will she be? Man, I wish I could clone myself. I wish I could do more. I can’t stand it. It makes me want to build a house with lots of bedrooms. I’d have a classroom right there with a teacher. I’d have a maid so I didn’t have to waste my time on things that didn’t matter and I would be a mama to as many as I could. So right about now I can hear you say “wouldn’t that just be another orphanage?”. No! Because what is missing from those places isn’t love or caring. It’s the feeling of belonging, of mattering, of family. Knowing you have a family is something an institution just can’t give you. Every time Min leans in to me and looks at me with those big eyes and says “mama”, I know what matters.

    Right now, I’m sitting on the bathroom floor, texting out this post on my phone, at 3 am again. I should try to get more sleep. Later, I will download the pictures and you will see what I mean. Be prepared to have your heart stolen.