I know Heidi and Jan already wrote about their wonderful trip to Gaoming and Foshan. Linda and I headed from Beijing to Shantou instead. Early the next morning, Linda and I started at the orphanage and were met by the kids in our school program who were downstairs playing on the new playground equipment that was recently installed. We got lots of hugs from the children before heading upstairs to check on all of the kids LWB had sponsored for surgery this year. Each baby was so beautiful, and it was great to see how the children who had heart surgery had filled out and were looking so great. The aunties joked that following surgery they all became so active that their work load increased. There are several children needing cleft surgery, and one particularly stole my heart. His eyelashes are so long that they looked like black fringe, and he was sitting in his bamboo chair listening to the music playing in the room. He is so tiny but he was wiggling back and forth to the music in perfect time. It was SO cute to watch!
On the third floor the kids were having lunch, but they still took the time to come and say hello. Many of the foster families stopped by with their kids as well. I am always so touched by the care and concern of the mamas and babas, and one dad in particular was SO proud of his foster daughter. He brought her up to me over and over again to say “see…look what she can do!” and he would stroke her cheeks and say “beautiful girl” with so much pride.
At lunchtime the teen kids came back from school, and it was so great to see them all again. We were able to sit down and talk with them about their futures, and as I listened to each one speak, my wishes were that each of them be able to find a way to make their dreams come true. I have known them for five years now, and can’t believe it is now time for them to make very real decisions about what they will do when they leave the orphanage.
All too soon it was time to head to the bus station to catch our bus to Fujian province. As we headed off on the highway north, my head was filled with the images of all of the beautiful children I had seen that day. So many amazing children….. each one so deserving of knowing love and happiness.