It has been a looooong month. That is for sure. It isn't at all the month I expected it to be, and sometimes I still get angry about that. My thoughts started spinning this morning (again) as I read 2 Timothy 2:23 "Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels." Well, I have embroiled myself in way too many foolish and stupid arguments this month; it's embarrassing to even think about. It's way too easy to get tied up in knots when I think about the things I perceive as unjust, unkind or just plain petty.
God has really been helping me to not focus on these disappointments by remembering why I came here to begin with. It wasn't for an organization, to make other people happy or to get a lot of pats on the back; it was for the kids, THESE kids, only the kids. I felt so strongly that this is where I needed to be and that this is where we should come. This has been a real comfort to me over the last weeks of stress and "stupid arguments". So today when my thoughts threatened to spiral down into frustration, God reminded me of what He has accomplished through us coming here, and my thoughts turned to one very special little boy. Wei Tao. Wei Tao has probably taught me more about the difference that one person can make than any child ever will. Wei Tao who is blind, partially deaf, with severe cognitive impairments and extremely low muscle tone. When I arrived here in December, 2008, Wei Tao was 9 months old and his life consisted of not much more than lying like a lump on the floor. I didn't need to understand any Chinese to understand the staff when they tried to tell me that he wasn't worth picking up, there was "no one home". Wei Tao seemed most content when left alone to sleep all day, and so that's what happened; he was left alone.
Together Wei Tao and I made those ayis eat their words as they saw his first smile, heard his first laugh and saw this lifeless lump hug me and pat my back. When Wei Tao was three he learned how to feed himself and now at five years old....WEI TAO CAN WALK!!
Not your typical success story, but his is the only success story I will ever need. Wei Tao reminds me that I came here because God had some work to be done, and I was crazy enough to give it a try, not to listen to people who said it couldn't be done, not for praise or rewards, and certainly not to engage in stupid arguments. But I'll take a pat on the back from Wei Tao any day.
Time has been flying by these last several weeks. We have been busy with volunteers and summer activities for the kids and tying up as many loose ends as possible. Adding to that we had an orphanage call to have us return the three kids we were fostering. That put me in crisis mode for a week. Thanks to lots of prayer and the efforts of many we were able to prevent one child from returning, but the other two (both babies!) had to go. I did that myself and cried on the way home.
It's now time to close this chapter at Eagles Wings and get ready for the next one at New Day. Endings are hard, beginnings are exciting. With the ending of my official role at Eagles Wings I have removed the Eagles Wings page from this site. This was a <very> unofficial channel anyway, but I enjoyed sharing *my* kids here. Please refer to the official website for updates and photos.
So what's up now? Well, we have about a month before we leave Jiaozuo for Beijing. A month to pack! To unwind (haha) and pack. A month to raise the funds we need to move, while we pack. (See the Donations page for more information on our support needs - we need your help!) A month to say goodbye to a city that has been our home for 39 months. It's hard, but it's time. I hope you'll come with us!
About This Blog
Part documentary, part family chronicle and part personal reflection as I try to sort through the ups and downs, the joys, heartaches and surprises of our life and work as we follow the path that God has set for us here in China!
Kristen to continue to adjust to college life and find good friends.
Donna to have wisdom in planning and implementing new programs for the youth and for financial provision to cover our expenses.