Friday, March 25, 2016

Home from China -


I'm Home. 

"Today (Sunday). Up/Traveling for 31 hours. Awake for 28. Flying for 17. 
4 airports. 3 flights. Two Sunday sunrises. Two Sunday breakfasts. Back in the USA. Home."


As of Sunday night, I was on the USA mainland, and glad to be back in a semi familiar,
 if not instantly confusing and surreal Homeland.
Apparently my culture shock swings the other way, not going away, but coming back, haha.
I stopped just short of panic when I went into a bathroom in Houston. 

Let's just say we live in the lap of luxury and I've been struggling to re-adjust. 

I've been journaling. A LOT. I've been aching for the kids and babies I fell in love with. 
I've been grieving that there are orphans at all and orphans without families in this world.
I've been processing and praying. I've been editing photos. I've been sharing a little with my family. 

I've been waking up at 6am, ready to go love on my babies, but I'm half a world away. 
It's been way harder to come back than I ever expected. For our whole team, in fact. 

It was amazing, wonderful, life-changing in China. Our team laughed and cried and became a family.
It was simultaneously one of the best things I've ever done with my life and also one of the hardest. 
We saw beautiful sites and drank in the beauty of China and loved on precious kids! 

We left our hearts back in China, and don't feel quite put together. 
Nor could we, because we left part of us there. We long for our little ones like no other longing. 

Thank you, a million times, for your prayers. You sustained us and we knew it. 
What a sweet and beautiful thing the body of Christ is toward each other.
 I want you ALL to visit China!! :) 

I have hundreds of stories, and will love sharing them here, or meet me for coffee sometime! 

I've been holding back. 
My Instagram has been full of adventures, day by day, and Facebook heard it too, but this is .... harder here.
You haven't been following along and need more catching up. 
But now it's been a week since I left the orphanage, and it's time to start sharing stories. 

I'm not going to sugarcoat it. 
These stories will probably break your heart. 
Advocating for Orphans is not a way to wrap people and things up in a pretty little box. It hurts. 
I am not going to lie to you - if you want to really talk about what I saw in China,
I will not be able to make it through a story without crying. 

We came away changed. Now that we have seen, we are moved. 

I hope you will be moved too. I hope you will listen with your whole heart. I hope you will see. 
I hope you will love with us the ones that mean so much to us and to Jesus. 

Thank you, so much. 

With love,
~ Jean Marie ~ 

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