Tuesday, February 22, 2011

China Update #3 (Part One)

(From Jay) on Tuesday Evening

Hello Everyone!  As I write this, it's 10 am Tuesday in Sikeston, but it's midnight in Beijing.  Today's been an interesting day!

After a great breakfast at the hotel and a 2 1/2 hour orientation with the Holt staff in our room, we walked down to the lobby ready for an adventure.  Upon walking into the lobby, a man, jumped up out of a seat and walked over to us and showed us a piece of paper with Camille's name.  He was there from Harmony House to pick us up and drive us there.  We hopped in the van and took a 45 minute ride to Harmony House.

As we walked up to the door, our emotions were all over the place:  fear, excitement, anxiety, you name it...We walked in and noticed that there weren't any children around...and soon found out that we arrived at naptime.  We met Lily the director, who is awesome, and the staff nannies.  It was great to meet them all!  But we couldn't contain ourselves, Lily asked if we wanted to see her, and we excitedly said, "yes!".  Upstairs there were three or four rooms filled with cribs with little ones.  The room Lori was in had probably 8 cribs, and she was in the one closest to the door.  I can't express what it felt like to walk up to her crib and see her with my own eyes.  To stand there and watch her sleep and study her face.  It was wonderful!

Before we could do anything, the nannies woke her up out of a very deep sleep.  They began to show her the pictures of us we had sent, and pointed to the pictures and then pointed to us saying 'mama' and 'papa'.  I wish I could say that he leaped from her crib and holding us in a warm embrace...but between waking her unexpectedly, and the reality of the day, she wasn't very excited about us being there.  Of the 25 orphans there right now, she was the only one not happy to see us.  The others hugged us and climbed on us and loved on us...while she kept here distance...studying us.  She didn't know what to think, poor thing.  At two years old, she couldn't understand that we were her family and it was all for her good.  The staff was great!  They were excited for her and kept pushing her toward us.  I finally grabbed her up, and the five of us took a walk around the neighborhood.  And after a short while she stopped crying and checked us out.  It was great seeing her and holding her, but I must confess that her lack of excitement did cause my heart to sink some.  I know she is terrified, and that what she is used to is being ripped from her, but I know that God has ordained this, and that after a short while, she will love us and be used to us.

We spent about 3 hours at the orphanage, and took time to see all the children and take their pictures.  Thanks to the donations of many, we took a whole suitcase full of medicines that will last them a long time.  The children were precious.  Each one of them an orphan, and each one with a special need of some type.  Many had cleft lips or cleft palates, some had heart diseases, some had club feet, and others like Lori were deaf.  One precious little girl, Blossom, had cerebral palsy and could only lay in a chair.  She broke my heart.  I sat with her a long time and just prayed for her and sang to her.  I hope God leads a family to her soon.  We sat down in the living room, and Lily handed us a can with some candied nuts...you would have thought we had thrown some bread to a seagull at the beach...we were swarmed by the kids.  They were each precious!  Each one of us had our favorites and the kids had their favorites.  Mary loved Annie.  Josiah loved Madison.  Several of them, like Doyle, loved Camille.  I found myself spending the most time with Blossom, Linda, and Mark.  I wanted to bring several with me!

After an incredible afternoon, it was time to go and we packed up Lori's things and everyone said goodbye.  It was so bittersweet.  There is no doubt that these children are loved incredibly by the Harmony House staff.  They were excited, though, to see her finally get to go home with her 'forever family'.  But it was hard to watch her nanny cry as we pulled away.

After getting back to the hotel, we have just hung out.  We changed her clothes, and have pulled out books and toys.  She still is very unsure and cries a lot.  She definitely prefers Madison over everyone.  She is so precious and so smart.  And with her hearing aides she appears to hear some, although most of what she heard at the orphanage was chinese.  Tired and exhausted, she finally laid back on Madison and finally fell asleep.  Its now 12:30 am here, and I smile as I see her asleep in the make-shift bed we have pulled next to our bed.  I pray that tomorrow she begins to work through her mourning and begins to bond with us.  I pray that God speeds the process.  I am not very patient.

Please continue to pray for us and for Lori's adjustment.  Thank you for your prayers. 

Please enjoy some photos from today.  Click on any photo to enlarge.


  1. Please note:

    Please leave comments for Jay and Camille! They want to hear from you, but they won't be able to respond on Facebook or on the blog until they return from China. Thanks!

  2. She is beautiful and God is so richly blessing your family. Thank you for the updates! Enjoy your time in China and keep the posts coming!

  3. We are praying for you all!! I'm overwhelmed as I read this... will share it with the family tonight. Love you guys!