Today we got to do something truly amazing. We got to spend the day volunteering at Hope Heeling Home in Bu Wei (jut outside of Beijing). We had the opportunity to meet with the founder of the New Hope Foundation, Joyce and Robin. New Hope is where Max spent the past two years before transitioning back to his birth providence earlier this month. Joyce, Robin, the nurses and the caretakers really demonstrate how much they care for the children. You can tell by the stories they tell. They cite names, dates, what care they needed, described their little personalities like I used to be able to cite baseball statistics. Joyce, Robin and their staff are blessed in what they do.
During out time we were able to see where Max slept, ate, and played. We toured the adjoined Heartbrdige Healing Home were Max was originally admitted and where he recovered from his surgery. We heard about how great the doctor was who took care of Max’s recovery. There was a little pre-school where the kids learned their ABCs, read books and did projects. The facility was bright and warm in spirit. There was an giant playground. Alex and Michael will be jealous to see the jungle gym equipment that Max got to play.
We got to play with some of the children. We spent about two hours in a playroom with seven kids ranging in age from 18 months to three years old. There were five caretakers in the room attending to them. However, when Michelle and I walked in and sat on the floor the kid’s attention turned to us. They didn’t miss a beat. They had a new audience. They also gave me practice about being attentive to more than two kids at one. They sat on our laps. I tried to read to them. They sang with us to such hits as wheels and the bus, head-shoulders-knees & toes, and twinkle-twinkle. We could tell they must sing such songs in pre-school and with their caretakers. The kids went into dancing and doing the hand motions for each song.
What really warmed our hearts was when one of the caretakers recognized us as Max’s parents. She recognized us from the picture-pillow we sent this past winter. The fact we didn’t speak the same language didn’t slow us down a bit. She showed us some pictures, showed us where he played, introduced us to the other caretakers. She was very proud to have met us and very proud of Max. We feel blessed to have met her. I did show her some video and picture of Alex and Michael. She recognized them as Max’s brothers. She gave Michelle big hugs and wished us well.
Robin took us out to a great little restaurant. He ordered a few different dishes for us while realizing we were not being too adventurous. The food was very flavorful. There was a great little desert of deep fried apple slices, rolled in sugar. When delivered we dunked the pieces in water which gave the dessert an sweet crunch.
The best part of the day was to hear from Joyce, Robin and the nurse on how sweet and special Max is to everyone. They said it was sad to see him leave. I hope we demonstrated the love and care we will give him as well as out appreciation for everything they do to care for these children who need a little help to get started on their journey.
Tomorrow we are off to Hefie. Less then 36 hours until Max is in our arms.