March 14, 2012

China Day 6 - Orphanage day (guest writer Steve)

Most Chinese children or teens that we see will make the peace sign when having their pic taken
Steve's new BFF

Nanjing street outside of our hotel, lined with huge Sycamore trees.

So day 6 starts out the same as before ... Wake up early (not too bad - 5:30 am) and wait for the breakfast buffet to start. Katherine has touched on this subject before but I absolutely need to expand on this. When you are like me, traveling internationally to a place that is so drastically different from your own, is fun for about one day. After that, I have felt a daily ration of discomfort. Nothing looks familiar, people staring constantly, yikes. So little things become your security blanket ... And that is what the breakfast buffet is for Steve. At the buffet, I find familiar friends ... Omelets, chocolate croissants, bacon ... And my best friend of all ... The cappuccino maker.

Thank you cappuccino maker for being here for Kate and me, providing us with some frothy goodness while away from home! What a blessing.

OK, back to earth. With Kate and Josiah still recuperating from their strep, they had to forego the planned trip to Autumn's orphanage. And with Autumn's adoration for Kate, that meant that Sheehan and Steve were tasked with taking the 2-hour trek. The irony here may not be obvious to many ... The two Hall members who least like exploring new places with unfamiliar people would be Sheehan and Steve ... Do you think God likes to intervene in the smallest details?

Anyway, Sheehan and I actually enjoyed the trip. We got to meet the staff that cared for Autumn, her crib that she slept in, and meet and take pictures of her friends while they ate lunch. The orphanage was a nice facility, the children appeared to be well taken care of, and well fed. In hindsight, the trip to our children's orphanages have always proven to be one of the top highlights of our trips. I wish everyone could spend five minutes with children from an orphanage ... They are such wonderful children and when you see the world they live in, their big welcoming smiles, and the longing for love in their eyes, one starts to see the beauty, the magic of adoption. These perfectly normal children receive what most of us consider essentials ... Food, shelter, toys, medical attention. But they lack something even the best orphanages can not provide ... Personalized love and attention ... A home! That is all these children need for true healing. It really helps me gain perspective when I see their eyes, their smiles, their longing for attention. It makes all of my discomfort on this trip make sense and have purpose. And a free cappuccino maker doesn't hurt either!

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