Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If you're in china...

If you're in China...
you will get stared at everywhere you go, especially if you have blonde hair
random people will take pictures of you and with you
pedestrians do not have the right of way, cars do
you will have a handful of near death experiences everytime you are in the car
your taxi driver will play chicken with cars about a dozen times a trip
there are no driving rules, only guidelines
you think everyone is angry, but that is just how mandarin sounds
you will get sick from what you eat, often
you will probably have an itchy scalp for weeks until you realize you have lice, ha or just me
you will eat rice everyday for multiple meals
you will see stray dogs everywhere
the dogs often blend in with the trash on the sides of the road
you will hear a lot of 'jeaga jeaga jeaga' and 'neaga neaga neaga'
but most of all you will experience a culture that is nothing like your own
you will meet the most amazing people and beautiful children

I will be coming to China again in the future, if not to serve again, at least to adopt a child, g0d willing

Many of the children here have been matched with families, which is such a blessing, but there are also many that do not have families. Here are pictures of some of the children who need families. I will never stop advocating for these lives.



 
My precious boy Moses needs a family! He has dwarfism, so he is actually eleven years old, he is deaf and mute and has a heart condition. The amount of things that are wrong is discouraging, but the l0rd has a plan for this sweet boy and hopefully that plan includes a family of his own. 

Eric needs a family. He is from an orphanage that does not do international adoption at this time. Hopefully, they will be able to do them in the future and this precious child can get a family! Pr*yer is needed for him! 


Vivian needs a family! 


Luke is kind of in the same situation as Eric! There are just issues with the home orphanage and him getting adopted! However, he needs a family! Much pr*yer needed for him! 

Sweet Charissa needs a family! 

My boy liam needs a family! He has a heart condition and a hernia! 

Cindy needs a family! She has a minor heart condition! 

My little baby Leah needs a family! They still are not sure what is wrong with her. 

Amity needs a family! She has had heart surgery and is good to go! 

Precious Robert needs a family. This boy makes me laugh all the time. He is such a precious child that brings so much joy to everyone he meets.

Kennedy needs a family! Everyone falls in love with Kennedy the second they meet him. His English is wonderful and he is a very smart kid. He loves others and is a precious soul. He needs a family badly! He has severe hydrocephalus, which has made him unable to walk because his body cannot support the weight. He is a fighter, though, and so strong, I will not be surprised if he learns to walk in the future.  

Joseph needs a family! He just turned 13 meaning he has one year until he ages out of the system! He has a heart condition that requires another surgery! He is such a sweet kid! 

Tess needs a family! Tess is in the same boat as Eric and Luke and is unable to get adopted internationally at this time! Pr*yer is needed! 



Maggie needs a family! Maggie has no paper work and so is unable to get adopted. She needs a miracle that only g0d can provide! 

Bill needs a family! He has deformed ears, but he can hear pretty well! 

All of these children are so very precious and all of them need families! A few that I mentioned are unable to be adopted at this time. Please be in pr*yer that things would work out, that barriers be moved, that policies be put into place that allow these precious children to be adopted. You can go to www.chinaorphans.org to find out more about each child! You can also sponsor a child for 35 dollars a month for one year!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Circumstances

 So, I really didn't want to post about this because of ,well many reasons. However, It seems unfair for me not to post about an experience that happened here which I know I will laugh about in a few weeks, maybe. Anyways, so, my head has been itching for over two weeks now. I have just had a really really itchy scalp, especially behind my ears and the back of my neck. I just thought it was from wearing headbands all the time, you know maybe a heat rash or something. Then with the chicken pox everywhere I thought it was paranoia or I was getting them on my head and no where else. So, then one night we are all at dinner. It was the normal thing that Julianne is always itching her head, and no one knew what it was. But, Marissa decided to look through my hair for a little bit while we waited on food and sure enough she found a little critter. Now, at the time we were joking about lice like everyday, but none of us thought I could have that. So, we decided that little critter was just a gnat that had flown into my hair cause we were sitting at an outside bbq and there were bugs everywhere. So, fast forward to Thursday night. All of the interns are in our room and we are bonding and making friendship bracelets. Then, Melissa decides that she should check my head again  just to see, and in better lighting in the bathroom. So, she is checking my hair, and she suddenly says "wait, stop, don't move, there is something moving" I scream, obviously and then cannot stop laughing until she pulls it out. It was the same bug Marissa pulled out a few days ago. So, everyone in the room scatters, obviously no one wants to be near the infected person now that they know I am infected. Melissa, who has had it before, starts to plan my treatment. I seriously do not know what I would have done without Melissa and Mari. They just got here a few days ago, I barely know them, but now I can say we are very close in about a three day span. So, we are in China, we can't just jump in a car and go buy shampoo to treat this. So, we look up other remedies and the one we find everywhere is the mayonnaise treatment. So, after Melissa picks through my hair and gets out as many of the eggs as she can. Mari pours mayonnaise all over my hair. Root to tip. I literally gagged the whole time. We then saran wrapped it and put a hair net thing on it and I let it sit the rest of the night and slept on it before I showered it out the next morning. I even skyped Chris with all of that on my head, you know you have a keeper when :). So, the next day Melissa and Sofie went to the pharmacies that are down the street from here to try and find a fine comb, cause we didn't have one and she had been picking by hand, or any kind of treatment shampoo. They had nothing and they all told them to tell me that I should cut off all of my hair and burn it. So, that was that. Melissa came back and picked through it again, she found eggs and no actual lice, so that was a good sign that maybe the mayo actually worked. Finally, around three o'clock Cindy came in and saved the day! The doctors had found a kit! It was expired but we literally screamed and jumped up and down. Then, we began that treatment, with Mari once again rubbing stuff all over my head, me showering for about the fourth time that day, and then Melissa picking through my hair. Let me just say, thank the l0rd for caring people who will sit and pick through my hair. People who I seriously met two days ago. I need to repay them some how. So, here I am on Saturday, Melissa will pick through my hair in a few hours, and hopefully the verdict will be I can go see kids this afternoon. Once again this took me out of seeing kids for two days, because the last thing we need is for all of these kids to recover from chicken pox and then get lice. None of the kids here have it so I probably got it from a taxi or something. Hopefully, I am good to go today and can see kids. No one else has gotten it so far, and I have had it for almost two weeks so I am hoping its just a mild case or something, if you can even have a mild case of lice, I don't know. So, that's the lice story. Hopefully, I won't be disowned when I get home, everyone here treated me like a leapor for a few days. I also missed out on going with Taylor to visit another foster home on Friday and going to the Agape house this morning with everyone. Its frustrating but something that I have been learning a lot lately is that we are given circumstances all the time that are in place to test us. G0d wants to see how we are going to react to things and if we will sin or grow from it. We are always being tested. G0d has a purpose for each of our lives, he wants us to look like chr1st and he uses situations to test us and grow us. It makes you look at situations completely differently. So, for some reason I was supposed to be the only one to get lice and the only one to get whatever cold/strep/flu that was, but g0d had a reason for it. He is using it to humble, stretch me, help me to be content with where I am at. It does however, make me ready to go home all the more so I can have my mommy take care of me! Sorry mom, you may have to be picking out nits for a few weeks! Its going to be so hard to leave these kids but I am ready to be back home. 

Melissa, pumped that we got a kit! 

Mari starting the treatment! 

Some precious videos of Robert and Josiah! 

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Robert singing the ABC's


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This is how Robert gets around


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Robert and Josiah singing 'Twinkle Twinkle little star'

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The call to adoption

Thank you so much for all of the pr*yers. I started feeling better Saturday and was able to go to Beijing on Sunday for ch*rch and teach and everything on Monday. So thank you. Blossom was also able to get on the plane and leave with her family! Sara was unable to go with them but everything worked out! Here are a few pictures that I just had to post. We went to lunch at a restaurant called Home Plate. My home town got a shot out all the way from China and I had my first dr. pepper in six weeks.



It was twice as much, but worth it 





So, this past weekend I got to watch from over the balcony as Blossom got to meet her parents for the first time. I got to watch the first hellos and awkward hugs. It was a beautiful picture of this thing called adoption. Two parents who already have three kids of their own, coming to china to adopt a 14 year old girl who cannot communicate very well in English. The faith of those parents is unbelievable. It will not be easy by any means but the l0rd will bless them beyond anything they can imagine. I believe that we are all called to adopt. Every one of us. Adoption is often plan b for families. If I can't have my own children then I'll adopt. I think that this is incorrect. I think adoption should also be plan a. We have all been adopted. Everyone that is a Chr1stian has been adopted by Chr1st into g0ds family. We are now his children. If chr1st did this for us and if we are called to be like chr1st and we are called to do to the least of these as chr1st did to us. How are we not all called to adopt. Another book that I have read while I was here is Kisses from Katie. Everyone needs to read this book. She talks in it about how there are x number of poor people in the world and how many more chr1stians there are than that number. She talks about how g0d would not create too many people and not enough resources in his world. I feel the same way about orph*ns. I do not believe that g0d would create too many children and not enough families to adopt them. I don't believe it. As christians, I believe that we are called to adopt. There is a need for families to adopt here in china. There is a need for adoption in almost every foreign country and there is a need in the US. I do not think that we are all called to adopt overseas. I believe we are all called to adopt, period. There are orphans all over the world without moms to love them and fathers to guide them to the l0rd. This is not right. We are called to walk as he did. We are called to take care of the least of these. We are called to look after orphans. We are not called to the american dream. We are not called to comfortable living. We are not called to retirement plans. We are not called to these things. We are called to lose our lives for his sake. We are called to love others and g0d before ourselves. We are called to sacrifice our lives. We are called to walk as he did. We are called to do so much more than we are doing. Even if we don't do all that g0d has called us to do, he still loves us the same. But how can we not do it. When he has done so much for us. So yes, I believe that we are all called to adopt, not as a plan b but as plan a. Yes, expenses are high. Yes, it is hard. Yes, there are so many issues that come along with it. Yes, often these children are damaged in so many ways. But, g0d provides in every way. And g0d will bless you beyond what you can imagine.

www. chinaorphans.org

Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the the spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. Romans 8:23

For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jes*s Chr1st, in accordance with his pleasure and will. Ephesians 1:4-5. 

Religion that g0d our father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orph*ns and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27

Friday, June 15, 2012

Two weeks and pr*yer

We are down to two weeks. Exactly 14 days from today I will be getting on a plane to fly to Seattle, Minneapolis, and then home to Memphis. 14 days. I seriously cannot believe that is all I have left here. Yes, it is bittersweet. I am missing my family, friends, and boyfriend terribly but I can't imagine leaving these kids and the friends that I have made here. I can't imagine not seeing my kiddos and hugging and kissing on them all the time. The even worse part to all of this, is that I am sick. I came down with whatever this is yesterday. Fever, headache, aches all over, and a sore throat. I woke up this morning with my throat feeling about 8 sizes too big. I thought I got my tonsils out when I was younger to avoid this, but I have gotten strep throat a few times since then, which is what I am guessing this is. Please pr*y that I get better. I only have 14 days and I want to be with the kids every day. If I am sick I can't see them. I have already been in bed for a day and a half and I am hoping that after resting tomorrow too; I will be good to go on Sunday. I really want to be able to teach and see kids Monday! Please pr*y I get better. Please also pr*y for the kids here. Chicken pox is continuing to go around, which is just the worst. On top of that Sara thinks she has chicken pox and needs to be traveling with Blossom and her family for all the adoption stuff on Sunday. Also, Blossom has chicken pox and her family is getting here today to meet her. Pr*yer is needed for everyone right now. Quick recovers all around so that we can all do what we need to do. Especially, that Sara and Blossom get better so that they can travel. Satan always has a way of making things difficult, but g0d is in control and his will will be done. Like I mentioned in a previous post, they are running on an ever approaching deadline to Blossom's birthday on the 21st to be able to adopt her. They have to begin the paper work stuff here before then to be able to adopt her. So it is crucial that they be able to fly out on Sunday. Please be in pr*yer for them.

One of my favorite verses has always been 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. It just has always been a good reminder to me of what I should be doing daily. Recently, while reading The purpose Driven Life, the HS revealed something entirely knew to me that I had never really seen in the verse before. The verse is "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is g0d's will for you in Chr1st Jes*s." The verse is easy to understand. We are called to be joyful, to pray all the time, and to give thanks all the time. Easy. Or well, its easy to say that that is easy. Actually putting that into practice is way more difficult, but that's not my point. My point is the last part. This is g0d's will for you in Chr1st Jes*s. This is g0d's will for you. We are always wondering what g0d's will is for our lives. Does he want me to do this or this? What school? What career? Who should I marry? We are all searching for g0d's will in our lives and we are all terrified that we are not living in it. But the truth is, this is g0d's will for our lives. That we are joyful always because we have been given the most precious gift. Life, a s*vior, mercy, grace, forgiveness through Jes*s Chr1st. We should be joyful all the time. We should pray continually. The l0rd wants us to be in constant communication with him at all times. If we do this, he is going to take us to the next step. There is no need to worry about anything if you are talking with him all the time. He will reveal to you the next step when it is time for you to know it. He will take you to and through everything if you pray to him continually. And, we should gives thanks in all circumstances. Whether, we are in a good time in life or a bad time. Whether we are living out our calling or sick in a bed in a foreign country, we should give thanks in all circumstances because he is in control and he knows what he is doing. So this is the verse I live by. This is g0ds will for our lives. He will bring us to each next step and he will be there the entire time. This is his will. That we "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is g0d's will for you in Chr1st Jes*s." 


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Leaving you with a video of my boy Seth 
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And my Kindergartners singing Jes*s loves me in English at the beginning and then in Chinese. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Saturdays...


Saturdays are my favorite days here. Not because its technically a day off, but because after sleeping in I get to spend all afternoon with the children with no interruptions. 


So much joy and love! 

My boy Liam is getting so chubby, which is just wonderful! 


He is such a cutie! 




Amity! She is was one of the cutest babies because she just lights up! She was a blue baby and got surgery earlier this year on her heart and is healthy now! She has red hair, they recently cut it off so you can't see it anymore but it is red red! 


Cindy! What a sweetheart! She is new to Shepherd's Field. She got here a few weeks ago and is doing so well. She has a minor heart problem. She has just started to sit up and is so proud of herself! She honestly looks more Hispanic then Asian, she is such a cutie! 

Leah! She is still tiny and not gaining weight at all like she should be. Please continue to pr*y for her. That she will gain weight and they can figure out what is wrong with her. 
This is Grace Ruth. I tried to post these pictures earlier but my computer wasn't working for a little while. Grace Ruth came to Shepherd's field extremely sick. They took her straight to the hospital when she arrived. She had a heart problem that would require a very expensive surgery, pneumonia, and had suffered brain damage from being without oxygen. They brought her back to Shepherd's Field because there was nothing else the hospital could do. She was in the clinic on oxygen for about a week. The entire staff prayed for her during this time, along with people all over the world that are connected with Shepherd's Field, that either she would improve or the l0rd would take her home. He did take her home on Sunday. It is extremely sad and something that is hard to deal with, but we all know that she is in a better place now. 

The boys eating an afternoon snack. 

Precious Robert! 


Josiah! 

Robert figured out how to take self pictures on my phone! They took like 50 pictures! 


Then, Josiah took the phone from Robert and I had to catch a picture of this single tear rolling down his face. 


Kennedy! He also took a million pictures and videos! My videos won't work. I will post them eventually!

Eric playing outside! 

Ting ting! 

Me and Eric! 

Eric was my photographer for a while. He took pictures of literally everything in the house. This is Julie! She is such a sweetheart! I met her pretty early on here and everyday since then, when I walk in her house, she just lights up and runs to me so I will pick her up! She will just sit there in my lap for forever. Sometimes she wants me to look at a book with her, but usually she just like to sit. I love when I can make her giggle by flipping her upside down! Love this girl! 

This is Annabel Lee! She is such a cute child! She is the ayi's favorite in house of love and they are usually holding her, which is great, but I haven't played with her that much! She is getting adopted at the end of this month! 

Some of the kids in House of Peace! 

Francis is in the orange, then Moses, Grayson, and Maggie! They were freaking out cause I had my phone and was taking videos and pictures of them! They loved it! 

Ting ting joined the photo op! 




We got Mcdonalds for the first time for lunch on Sunday in Beijing. It tasted the exact same, which is actually kind of scary. 



There is a girl here named Wendy. She is 21 years old and in a wheel chair. Her English is okay but she can't understand as much as some of the other older kids can. She is skeptical of visitors because so many of them come in and out of here. She has gotten close to who knows how many over the years and they always leave. It makes sense that she is weary of making close bonds with any of us anymore. I did her hair for Children's Day and after that I guess she decided I was an okay person. She asked me if I would take her to the store one night and then asked if I would teach her English everyday. So now, everyday from nine to ten I teach her English. Yesterday was the first time I taught her. I was freaking out because I have no idea what I am doing and was in constant pray with g0d the entire time. It was out of my comfort zone and full of my weaknesses. However, g0d works even more in those times. "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.".. For when I am weak, then I am strong." 2 Corinthians 12: 9:10 His power is seen through our weaknesses. The past two days of teaching her have gone really well. It is by nothing I am doing but all the l0rds work that she is learning fast. Because we have always known how to speak English, you never realize how insanely hard it is. We have some of the weirdest words and Wendy always complains about how difficult American names are. They really are. She is still having trouble with getting my name right, thanks mom :). Please pr*y for us as I try to teach her and she tries to learn! Also, pr*y for her heart. I do not know whether she is saved or not and I already had to break the news that I only have three weeks left here and I will be leaving her just like everyone else has. Pr*y that the l0rd would work through me to influence her and that her heart would not be saddened by people leaving but that she would come to an understanding of it and be able to love people even if only for a short time.