The China Sessions: 4 -

Words that stick in my throat. Memories I try to form into short stories for people asking. 

Their faces run through my mind, one after another, each brilliant and shining and smiling. 

"I feel like I'm still there...", I wave my hands helplessly..."like my heart is still there, but my brain 
flew back here, and nothing here is China. My heart is there. With the babies who have it.

I didn't expect, in fact, I highly underestimated how much grieving there would be ... coming back.
I KNEW leaving would shatter me. I didn't know that living here and not watching them grow up -

Would break my heart day after day. 
Would leave me in tears. 
Would make me sometimes not want to pray about life
because all I wanted to pray was that I could be with them again. 
Would make me wishing I was married and 30 and could adopt them all. 
Would make it hard to edit photos because I miss them with all my heart. 
Would make stories harder to share because my heart breaks with every word and letter. 

I miss you, my little kiddos. You changed my heart and made me love more.

Being back. It's really really hard. Being separated is so much harder. 

From Tuesday to Friday, when room assignments were given out, my team leader Martha 
would look at me, and say "I know you are aching to be with CJ...", and with her consent, 
I'd be out of that room while slinging on my backpack, the first down the hall to see my boy. 

And here I'm in my "normal" life of helping plan a wedding in just TWO WEEKS,
(which yes, I'm soooo over the moon about and am so excited about),
I'm shooting baby photos and editing baby photos and I'm enjoying a Florida Spring. 

But normal feels so odd now. 

All the American babies don't feel normal, no eyes squint into happy lines.
No one speaks Chinese. I'm not using chopsticks on a daily basis.
There's no one to speak Chinese to, my little Chinese that I delighted in saying. 

 I have so many photos!!! And words. And stories. 

But more than that, I have MEMORIES. 

 Memories that I long for parents to read, that stirs their hearts. 
Photos that I ache for them to see and say "That is my Son. That is my Daughter." 

Like Ben, and his serious face, but contagious laughter.
Ben, who is ready for a family, but doesn't have one yet. Ben, with his gentle soul and sweet hugs. 
Of the way he tilted his head when I'd call his name, even though I'd only been calling him that for 5 days. 
Of the way the look in his eyes steals my breath away. 

In his eyes - PROMISE. Promise of a family. Promise of love. 

Promise of a HOPE that we breathed in, and prayed out on a daily basis, 
as we filled that orphanage with the fierce desire that - 

if LOVE could stir hearts to adopt and become a family, 
we were KNOWING that Love before it hit anyone else. 

It was there before we walked in. It filled us the moment we saw the children. 

It was prayers, it was love, it was hope, it was family, it was the Gospel. 

It was Jesus. 

Please pray for our orphans with our team!!!
Please pray that the ones that have files would be matched with families!
And please pray for the very worthy ones that don't have files to get them!

With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~