We have been going non-stop since yesterday morning! Mark, Lydia, and I decided to spend more time at the preschool and it was very busy. The kids were busy cutting potatoes for the Thanksgiving meal being prepared for all the staff and kids at New Day. I could tell that Julia was not as vivacious as the day before. She told the nurse that her throat hurt and sure enough, the nurse said that her tonsils were inflamed. That explained some of her melancholy, but I think the reality of her leaving with us was beginning to set in. She sat quietly during the group picture and didn’t insist that Lydia was beside her like the day before. I said multiple prayers throughout the morning to help her with the upcoming transition.
The day before, Thursday, I had the opportunity to sit in on a training about grief, loss, and healing. All of the foster families were represented and I sat beside Julia’s foster mom. At the end, they were invited to share how they feel when their foster children leave. That is a very difficult task for most Chinese women (to share feelings publicly). One foster mom across the room just broke down into tears about the huge hole she has in heart and how she doesn’t know what to do about it. That set-off a chain reaction and every foster mom in the room started crying including Julia’s mom. All I could do was hold and pat her hand. My family is the cause of her pain, but the trainer gave her very good, practical ways that she can start to heal. I prayed for her and I ask all of you to pray for her and her husband’s healing.
On a lighter note, we were invited to their house for dinner on Friday night. Lydia had played ALL day with the foreigners’ little girls so when we finished a very good meal, she conked out right on the sofa at their house! Julia’s foster father graciously offered to take us back on his electric bike cart. That was so nice because otherwise, Mark would have had to carry her for the ten minute walk.
Everyone we’ve encountered has been so gracious and hospitable. I see God’s light and grace in so many faces here. If only they knew Him……………..
This morning(Saturday) we were able to visit the Great Wall! The weather was cold, but we were blessed with sunshine and it wasn’t crowded. The mountains were so majestic and there was such tranquility standing on those boulders. Our guide was very fun and loved Lydia. They rode down the toboggan together. We were at the part of the Great Wall where they’ve built a stainless steel Schillterban to ride down the mountain. It was like a roller coaster. It took about two hours to get there from New Day, but it was definitely worth it.
We stopped at a restaurant on the way back which is famous for its Peking Duck dish. We aren’t big duck eaters, but we tried it……….and didn’t like it! I had to go to the restroom and in the hallway to go there, I noticed a man spitting. We were indoors for crying out loud! I just told myself, this is China, not the US;move on. I also had to get used to the “squatty potty” system when I made it to the restroom. My germophobia was desperately trying to take over, but I seriously squelched it. I’d drive myself crazy if I let it take over. I had my handy dandy anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitizer to help me with this problem.
As you can tell, we have been very busy. Today is the last day of being a family of three; tomorrow we will be a family of four. I pray that Julia will learn to accept us as her forever family so we can see that wonderful , joyful spirit that we all know and love.