Hopes and Plans for Our China Trip
When I was a little girl, I remember seeing the passport of my friend’s father, and as I turned each page and saw the entry and exit stamps from different countries, I thought inside how wonderful it would be to someday have a little blue book of my own. I didn’t get that first passport until I was 35, when I adopted my first child from China, but I still remember the excitement I felt when the immigration officer firmly put his red stamp in it. I still feel that same excitement every time I land in China – and by the time you read this, I will probably be standing in the immigration line yet again.
Each time I make a trip to check on the children in our programs, I of course reflect back on previous journeys. I always have the same prayer leading up to departure: that any child who truly needs our help will somehow cross my path. And on every trip so far there have been children who needed immediate medical help or healing home care. Children who told me they wanted a chance to go to school. And of course children who have looked up at me with solemn eyes and told me that more than anything else, they wished for a mom or a dad.
My journey this time begins in the mountainous province of Guizhou. We will be visiting foster families in our program in Kaili, which is a Miao minority region. We will also make our first visit to another orphanage in this southeast region of the province, hoping to learn more about the kids living there and how we might be able to help.
Next we will drive up into the mountains to the small town of Weng’an. The majority of children in the orphanage here are school-aged, and I want to thank everyone who donated for new bicycles for them as they have such a long walk to school each day. The local shop owner already has made arrangements to have enough bicycles for every child, and I can’t wait to see the excitement on their faces when they get their very first bike. I am also very hopeful about a potential new partnership for foster care in Guiyang.
While there, we will meet with little Yong, the boy with the large facial tumor so many of you have taken into your hearts. I am hoping that a final surgery plan can be put into place during my trip so that he can finally receive the operation he needs.
We will then head to Anhui province to visit our Anhui Healing Home in Hefei, our orphanage school in Huainan, and finally our foster care program in Fuyang. Our wonderful volunteers have sent me names and information on so many children they want me to visit with in person. There are many children in this province who have been in our programs for years, and so returning to see them is bittersweet. I love seeing their beautiful faces again in person, but of course I am always hoping for a permanent family for each of them.
We then fly up to Beijing to visit with two of our Higher Education students, followed by a visit to our Heartbridge Healing Home. I am of course wondering if anyone will notice if Baby Brody mysteriously disappears and ends up in my suitcase. Come on and admit it….you would be thinking the same thing! Heartbridge is just so amazing to me because I know that every tiny resident would most likely have passed away without the medical care received there. It is always so humbling to hold these kids who have been given a second chance.
Due to the hectic schedule of each of our days on this trip, I won’t be able to write from China. However, when I return, I will post several blogs about the places we visited — both the new locations and those we have helped for many years. I would so appreciate prayers that truly good things for the children can come of this trip.
This time when the immigration officer puts that now familiar Chinese stamp in my passport, I know my heart will be giving thanks to all of you for making our work with orphaned children possible. I will be carrying your love and support for these beautiful kids with me, and I promise to share it generously with every child I meet.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer