I am still very torn in my thoughts about hosting. It is hard on every one's hearts. I can't imagine how hard it must be on the kids to come here and see and experience so MUCH....only to go back to so little. I have heard stories from every perspective. Some saying the kids are relieved to get back to "normal" life....others that end in very sad, sad ways. We host because 1) we feel very strongly that God has led us to do so and 2) it opens the door for us to begin another adoption sooner than we otherwise could. I fluctuate between the hurt of the goodbyes and heartbreaking stories and the reality of knowing that for most of these kids, this is their LAST chance. I know beyond the shadow of a doubt that if these 30 kids' pictures were posted for adoption - most likely none would be chosen. But of the 30ish posted for hosting, I believe 27-28 were chosen. This was about the same with Lucy's group last summer. With Lucy's group, I believe all but 2 or 3 were adopted. That is an amazing number - absolutely heartbreaking for those not chosen, but amazing for those that were. I believe it was about the same statistics for the winter hosting. This summer, two groups were brought in - one in the first part of summer, one in the second. The numbers are not looking as promising this time. There are a lot of faces - so very precious - that still need homes. Here is a link to see some of these little ones - http://orphanhosting.com/orphan-hosting-programs/advocate-children/. Please stop and pray for each one. Each child is a unique, precious life. They are not throw aways - they are precious children needing families. Pray for God to move families on their behalf.
Would you pray for two in particular?
"The Colonel" is very dear to my heart. He is 12, almost 13 and has DS. This handsome man is so loving and kind.
Then there is also "Lottie" - another dolly with DS. Please pray for families to race forward for these precious ones.
As we were enjoying Nora, we were also waiting for TA (Travel Approval)...it finally came in mid-July. We were wanting to race out the door for Lucy and Peter! But we realized pretty quickly that if we put it off for a week, we would save about $4500 in airfare. Wow. That was a lot for a one week difference. So the crew is leaving very early (like 2 am) on Saturday morning. They will hold Peter for the first time on August 15th and have Lucy again on the 22nd. As always, I am thrilled but scared all at once. It is hard to have my family climb on a plane to go far enough away that I could not get to them quickly, even in an emergency. I know the emotional struggles of the time changes, the culture changes, and the child for whom everything is changing. EVERYTHING. We are very interested to see what Lucy's reaction will be in particular. Will it be easier for her because she knows us? Will she think we will just send her back again? I have only heard one story of the "after" hosting - it was positive - but it was only one out of many. Will she need even more reassurance that we will never leave her again? What of tiny Peter? He has had so many changes in his little life. I pray that God will strengthen him for the days ahead.
For Lucy's birthday in June, we sent her a cake through http://ladybugsnlove.com/. We got back pictures of Lucy with the cake - but what do you notice first in the pictures?
I noticed immediately that only Lucy was smiling. Look at all the other faces. Oh, my heart. They know that Lucy has a family....and they don't. Just like the hosting - there is such heartbreak and joy all mixed together. Don has decided to go to the orphanage with Lucy. The way it works in Lucy's country is that Lucy is brought to Don on the first day, so the visit would be several days later. Again, we have heard both good and bad on the orphanage trips. Some say it is very good for the child to get to go back and say goodbye. Others say it is traumatizing to those left behind. Don had told Lucy that we would take her back so we could get pictures of her with her friends and so she could say goodbye. But now it is leaving a hole in my stomach. How to see those faces and not be broken? Don wonders if we are supposed to meet someone there....another child to come home? We just don't know.
They will fly into Henan from Taipei on Sunday. They will have Peter Monday morning. We have so little information on him (but still a lot more than we had for Jillian!), so he is a bit of a mystery. I will be on pins and needles most of this trip again, just waiting to hear what is happening. Our agency does offer a phone for a fee, so we may get to talk instead of just typing. But that also might make me cry. I will try to keep the blog updated for all those who are following along.
Please be praying for everything - plane rides, sleep, hearts, changes, wisdom....so much to raise before our Savior. So much to trust Him for. So much excitement, so much to try not to worry over.
Here we go.....!