Sitting here in my pj pants sipping strong coffee reflecting on the week. Oh, what a week. The first week of the semester always is a bit overwhelming, I must admit it and should be prepared for it. But I can safely say this week was more intense than most. Yes, Hubby had his first week of teaching with all the new student and textbook craziness. We did start homeschooling and jumped into figuring out Chinese classes for the girls at the international school and I was at the orphanage setting up what my art classes will be. All of that but more.
Trying to decide what to share and what should be left between me and my coffee.
But if I don’t share their stories…..
I had a few key meetings this week at the orphanage to plan our involvement for the semester. So many opportunities have been mentioned and we really needed clarity and wisdom over what we should do. Unfortunately, the need is just greater than OUR time and resources. But, we happen to know the ONE who has no limits. That was my comfort and peace as I was given a unique invitation to tour a facility outside our city with a special education director.
Let me back up a bit.
Children who grow up in the orphanage have two paths their lives might go down….1. to be adopted and set in a family 2. to grow up in the system and at age 18 they are released to be on their own — or sent to an adult institution.
(Can I just say again….please adopt!)
Three of my older students turned 18 and were sent to the adult facility this summer. Saying goodbye to them was one of the hardest things I have ever done in my life. When I was told they were moving to the adult institution I literally thought I was going to throw up. I have heard stories and my heart couldn’t handle the thought of those horrors being a part of the future for my friends. In that moment I clearly heard the voice of THE FATHER speak to me. “They are not yours. They are mine.”
This week, I was able to visit my three students in their new home….a facility for people with no place in society. As I walked up to the compound that has bars on the windows, my heart hurt for the kids — kids who not only never have known the love of a family, but now are living like prisoners.
A non-profit organization, CA, has built a special unit at the facility for the teens coming from our orphanage. The rooms are nicer with a private bathroom, there is a main living room and dinning area where the residents are able to eat together. But life still is hard. Our kids are used to classes, art and music, games to play, books to read, a caring staff and an area outside to walk. Now at the new facility, they have none of these things. Without these, the days living within the barren walls of the unit must seem endless.
Twice a week two social workers from CA are now going out there to teach the residence life skill classes. During our visit I got to see one of the classes. It is a start.
I was thankful to see my former students, their new home and reassure them that they have not been forgotten. But in a way I kinda do wish I could forget. I didn’t even know this place existed a few days ago. Now I have seen it and know the dear ones locked behind its walls. One resident followed us around and with tears begged for attention. That place, those people, they are burned in my mind.
CA has asked me to teach art classes at this facility once a week. I am at a loss….feeling my heart moved and yet not knowing how to make it all work. This facility is a 2 hour one way bus ride from where we live and is to far for a taxi driver to want to take me there. On top of the issue of transportation, there is no help. At the orphanage the nannies/teachers help me with the classes. I provide the projects and they help with paintbrushes, scissors, tape….whatever I need help with. At this facility there are no nannies or teachers to help. I can not do this alone.
So that is what I am talking to Gd about over my coffee this morning. Since I can’t forget they are out there needing help….I need a Chinese drivers license, a car, and a helper….and maybe a few more hours in my days. That might just about cover it. Okay, I also could use a good dose of Gdly courage.
This is a Gd sized job so we are waiting to see how He comes through. For now, we are buying books, paper, markers, DVDs and other items to send to the residence to use. It is a start.
Not really sure where to go from here or how to close this post. I guess if you will indulge me let me say it one more time…please adopt. Anyone who is able – adopt. If you can’t add a child to your family then donate toward the adoption of a child. If you can’t donate then tell the stories of children who need families and spread the word.
Dear Gd may you find families for these kids before they ever need to be move to adult institutions.