Cleft lips are no fun, but they make for some really cute kids with some priceless grins. 

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This Love Runs Deep

The orphanage where I’m serving has both an old folks home for orphans who reached the age 18 still without a family and then there is your typical children’s home with kids of all ages.  I love the children.  I truly believe that I would drop everything if I was told  could take them all home with me. I love them with a love that I can’t explain.  It’s a deeper love than than anything I have ever felt.  It is a passion that shakes me at my core and it’s become part of who I am. It’s a different kind of love.  I know it’s different because I am confident that it is not of me.  It is something that He has cultivated in me over the years.  When I first decided to come to China, He quickly revealed places in my heart that I kept closed off.  I was not allowing things to penetrate me fully.  And I vividly remember begging Him to take and restore those pieces of my heart so that I could feel things as they truly are.  So that my heart would be broken for things that were not of Him and so that I could rejoice in the work that He is doing!

Well, let me tell you, He restored those pieces and He did it well, as usual.  I have never felt a deeper love or passion for a group of people in my life.  Now, let me tell you about one of these people.

She is my NaiNai. (grandmother in Chinese) She is one of the old ladies at the old folks part of the orphanage and she touches my heart every time I see her.

Her face is overwhelmed by wrinkles; each one telling a story of the hard life that she has lived.  She stands at only about 4′ something tall.  She is quite possibly the smallest lady her age that I have seen.  Her hair is almost non-existant and she always has it covered with a navy blue knit hat.  When she smiles, oh that smile, you realize that she doesn’t have any teeth and that her gums look as if they are infested with some sort of disease.

Her body is no longer preserved, but let me tell you about her spirit.  Her spirit is one of a sweet nature and that toothless grin reveals contentment in the middle of a broken world and a less than fortunate life.   She is always one of the firsts to greet me when I come and I make sure she is the last that I say goodbye to. She loves to hold my hand.  When we hold hands, she talks to me in a language/dialect that I cannot understand, but I could listen all day.  There is something about this sweet old lady that draws me in.  Maybe it’s the curiosity of what her life has been or maybe it’s just her likable nature.  Whatever it is, she is captivating and she is a treasure.

As precious as my sweet NaiNai is, I know a good desire has been placed in me to not want this for the kids that sleep in the building next to her; your typical children’s home.  I want them to know family and love long before her age and I want their wrinkles to, one day, tell stories of a life lived to the fullest.  A life filled with love and a relationship with their Creator.

Plead with me. Ask Him to reveal the beauty that is adoption to the director’s eyes.

Right now it seems so far out of reach, but my hand is outstretched and ready to grab it as I know He will continue to bring it closer and closer.

I guess therapy on Thursday was just too much for this sweet girl. 🙂

Village Life

Today, we went to my Chinese roommate, WangXiang’s, village.  It is always a sobering reminder of how blessed I am when I get to spend some time with such hard workers.  WangXiang is great & really funny and her family did not disappoint.  She has a really sweet nephew and one of the cutest grandma’s ever. 

James on the way there!

Taking a very up-hill walk throughout the village.

Beautiful view.

Oh, & my classmate, Trish, had her last class with us this past week so we ran to school and went to breakfast with our teacher. I’m going to miss this lady!