Sunday, August 24, 2014

China- My Experience at Maria's {Part 2}

Thank-you to all who left question on my last post. Don't worry, if I don't answer your questions in this post, i'll answer them in future posts.

After the initial arrival at Maria's and my first day I began to feel more comfortable. It wasn't totally awkward to walk into a nursery of ten children and four nannies. All who are without a doubt talking about you while you have no idea what their saying. [By the way, the nannies are SUPER sweet ladies! Some are more shy than others, but a good deal of them will try to communicate with you. And they love when you take pictures of the kids and will help you hold the kids!]

I didn't grow close to any specific children at first. Which upset me at first. But then I found myself going back to the "Dumbo Room". Maria-Claire really began to capture my heart. As one of the oldest children at MBHOH, it was easy to develop a relationship built on more than toys. Garrick, who also lives in the "Dumbo Room", also began to tug on my heart, full of giggles and personality he was easy to love.

But not every child is easy to love. How do you build a relationship with a child who can't move on their own? How do you laugh and play with a child who can't respond to your touch or voice? I think God spoke to me more while I sat in a corner holding a child who was unable to communicate or even smile at me than any others. I'll be completely honest, dealing with that stuff is difficult for me. I would much rather play with a child who can giggle and run around. But what I like is not always what God wants.

Later on I also fell in love with a little boy named Vincent. He is paralyzed from waist down but he is really fast, both crawling and in his little wheelchair. He has the cutest little laugh and I loved playing with him every day! He lives in the "Peter Rabbit Room". There were also a few babies who I, and some of the other girls really felt connected to. 
Speaking of the people on the trip. I was truly blessed with such an incredible team! I had no idea what to expect going into a mission knowing no one. But everyone was able to connect so quickly and we became like sisters. I honestly can't believe we only knew each other for days it felt like years! But out of my 19 team members I became especially close with a girl named Kayla. We were the last to arrive at the airport and we just kinda click. We were able to arrange seating on the plane so that for 13 hours we could be next to each other. Then at Maria's are beds were next to each it other. God really blessed me with Kayla! I just wish we didn't live so far from each other!
Kayla and I riding up to the Great Wall!
Kayla and I in Old City
Feel free to keep leaving questions and I will certainly answer them in the posts to come!

Monday, August 18, 2014

China- My Experience Serving at Maria's {Part 1}

** I cannot post any pictures of the children I met at Maria's Big House of Hope online. China and Show Hope have requested the pictures of these children be kept off the internet and out of public view. This is to protect the children, their families, and their adoption. **

What a place. I remember riding in the bus with my 19 other team members and driving through a gate that led to a huge blue building. There is was. I'd seen pictures, I'd read stories, I'd dreamed about it; but nothing compared to seeing it with my own eyes. For those who don't know, Maria's Big House of Hope is a 6 story special care unit located in Luoyang, China. It is not and orphanage. When we first arrived I was so overwhelmed, so many nurseries, so many children. 

If you don't know the story behind MBHOH please read about it at

We arrived at Maria's around 4pm and dinner was at 6pm. So I forced myself to unpack and not see any children. But the next morning at 7:30 (the earliest you can go into any of the nurseries) I found myself in the "Finding Nemo Room"
Each room has a Disney Theme

I found myself with playing with a little girl who had a heart defect and down syndrome. Sassy and sweet, she had me and a friend laughing for the next half hour. But then I entered the "Winnie the Pooh" room. As I walked in the door my heart skipped a beat. A little boy sat on the floor almost identical to Luke.
The last pictures taken of Luke before he died.

His name was Ryker, almost four years old. He had spina bifida and was paralyzed from the waist down. The boy was sweet, but too similar to Luke. I had to leave the room soon. On the inside I was a mess, falling apart. But the outside was completely calm, I showed no different emotion. I had determined before the trip that I wasn't going to tell anyone about Luke.

So I left the room and found another nursery as I tried to forget about the wound that had be touched ever so slightly. More to come...

*Please begin leaving question about my trip so that I can answer them within these posts.*