The China Sessions: 7 "Ben" -
I named him "Ben".
There were two darling lookalike boys and I could not for the life of me tell them apart.
It was the first day and it was all so new, but names helped. Names helped a ton.
I studied his serious face with the tendency to burst into a wide smile in an instant.
His brown eyes were steady and would lock with mine with a gaze a mile deep.
I looked at the other little boy, and said "Joel", and then back at him, and said "Ben".
It fit instantly. He was Ben. My brother-in-law's new little namesake.
He was small. He loved to be held and snuggled.
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.
Ben, who 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 stole my breath away, every single time.
In his eyes - PROMISE.
Ben was such an adventurer and mover. One time he put this musical ring on his head like a crown,
and crawled around to the laughter of the nannies and I! Such an adorable little guy.
He would be so serious....and then see you watching him...
....and a smile would cross it, so tenderly and sweetly.
It was irresistible and I always had a smile back!!
It brought me so much joy to see him give and accept love so freely.
I had so much love to give....and he quietly, sweetly, took it. He knew my love.
Late on the first day....Monday, he was crying his eyes out because his favorite nanny left the room,
so I picked him up and walked over to the window for some peace.
I started to sing to him, different little happy songs of life and love, and he didn't like any of them,
I kept trying, thinking he'd like the next, and he was stiff and inconsolable,
until I sang one of my favorite lullabies from my childhood...
"All day. All night. Angels watchin' over me, my Lord.
All day. All night. Angels are watchin' over me.
Sun is setting in the west, angels watchin' over me, my Lord.
Come now, child, and take your rest, while Angels are watchin' over you...."
I cradled him against my chest, and he laid his head right down against my heart.
He gave a great big sigh, and as I sang it and patted his back,
he, in turn, patted the back of my shoulder softly.
Tenderly he played with my heart necklace with his free hand, it jingling as I sang.
My sweet little Ben.....so many times we wonder if we will be enough....
only to be reminded that God's peace is a direct gift of the Holy Spirit and is so very tangible.
I stroked his head, and I whispered through tears catching in my throat
that he was important, that someone would love him, I already did....
he with his whole mouthful of teeth and wide grin and steady eyes.
He fell asleep in my arms. No longer the fretting, bawling baby of 15 minutes ago.
He could hear my heart, he knew peace.
He knew I was singing over him in love. He was certain of me.
"Now I lay me down to sleep, ohh, Angels watchin' over me, my Lord.
Pray the Lord my soul to keep, while Angels are watchin' over me.
Ohh, all day. All night. Angels watchin' over me, my Lord.
All day. All night. Angels are watchin'.....over me."
So many times I've thought of this special moment, and instantly started crying.
I asked for so much prayer that God's love would be tangible to the ones we touched....
I don't think it is possible that it could have been MORE.
It was an outpouring of God's love, and it was God's very heart for orphans.
Every time I think of the moment Ben calmed in my arms, I think of Zephaniah 3:17 -
"The Lord your God in your midst, the Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing."
Be certain of this, that the Father of the Fatherless longs to bring these children
into safe and loving arms, where families will hold them, will sing to them, will rejoice over them,
will love them with a taste of the undeniable love that He has loved us with.
Do not fear. Be strong.
The Mighty One, will save.
If you are Ben's family.....I'm praying for you.
Write AWAA.org to learn more on waiting children in China.
With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~