Friday, February 13, 2009
Day 2 Ox Camp
Words can never described what we just experienced in the last 48 hours...
As it is 11 pm and we just got back to our hotel in Beijing, I am going to try to quickly recap the events.
Yesterday, there was an opening ceremony where CCAA, Aleda, Civil Affairs officer, and the orphanage director all gave speeches. THen the kids all did a 1 minute intro about themselves. We knew then that we were in love with them all!!! After, Aleda (wiht translator) read them the book she wrote entitled "Our Two Cultures".
We then showed two movies about MAA children that were adopted. THANK YOU LISA AND CHRISTEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hey Christen- Chet asked if he could live in a house just like "Jacob's on the movie"!!!!
We then answered questions and the kids did a talent show in the afternoon. We then dressed up as clowns and played games with the children. We had a ball. All the kids loved us but one... Poor little Gretchen was terrified!!!!!!!!!
After camp, we interviewed the children who travelled from Guangdong at our hotel. (Martina, Blake, Lorie, Amy, and Zack) They were right down the hall from us!!! Martina is a tiny, sweet, gentle angel. She really got to all of us. Amy is a FIREBALL! The biggest ham Ive ever seen. I think that girl is going to be the next American idol! She loves the stage and is an incredible dancer!!! She is a total cuddle bug and LOVES having her photo taken. She is always jumping in front of the camera. (Quiet families BEWARE!!!) Blake and Zack are peas in a pod. They are always together. Both are sweet, outgoing, kind and extremely loving toward each other, their nannies and the girls. Lorie is shy and first and quickly warms up. She is sweet and kind. She also loves to dance and perform and takes Amy's lead often, while Martina quietly watches and smiles for a while before then joining in as well.. You really should all see the dance routine they did. It was amazing.
Today- we did interviews with the kids all morning, while they did arts and crafts we brought. They painted masks, painted their own jewelry boxes, made jewelry, and played with play-doh. They loved it! The interviews were extremely emotion and we had to take a few breaks to compose ourselves... Basically, EVERY child asked for a family of their own, Toby asked me to "promise" and "guarantee" that I would find a "family to love him", and Kenny asked me if I had any children... This led to a conversation where I showed him pictures of my Charlie and Dani. After studying the photos for over a minute quietly, he asked me if they could be his brother and sister... THAT IS WHEN I TOTALLY LOST IT...
Aleda, Ali and I all say this is one of the most incredible and emotional experiences of our life. Just so you all know, we made only one promise to each and every child... That we would share with our families how wonderful they all are and try our best and our hardest to find them the family they deserve.
I will talk about some more kids each day becuase I have so much to say about every one. Also, instead of 39, we had 42. We had the two 12 year old girls I told you about and another little boy (already with an American name) called Caleb. He just turned 7, is adorable and smart as a whip. He also speaks some English and yelled at the translator's help at times. His SN is he is missing most of his left hand. You would never know it though... Like most limb difference children, they know no better and simply adjust. He is a gift and I am attaching some photos of him.
We are so filled with so many emotions... In a word, these children are simply amazing. The whole time, we would forget that they are children with special needs and we would just see happy, beautiful, smiling, playing, well adjusted, incredible children. These kids get around by themselves, take care of themselves... I have to tell you, I was really scared at first as these needs seemed so overwhelming, and our staff was wondering how we would ever find them families. I am convinced now that when people see these children playing and talking and dancing and running, you will realize that there is nothing to fear. I think these children are an incredible gift to anyone who is lucky enough to adopt them.
I ask anyone considering adoption to just take a look at these kids. You never know... Aleda and I will be happy to talk to you about questions... We will be writing up summaries of our observations, and I have already gotten a lot of paper medicals from CCAA. I also have tons of photo and video on each child so you may see for yourself what we see.
Please forgive me if I am all over the place, but my eyes are literally crossing as I type. I haven't slept more than 3-4 hours a night since I got here. Now that it is over, my thoughts keep racing.. "Who do I know that may love this child???"
I am going to go now, brush my toofers, and pray for these children and for us to find their families. Please take a look at our angels... You never know...