Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 7 in Chenzhou

Today has been too much to put into words.

We headed to the orphanage in the morning and everyone was kinda sad because we knew it was our last day.

We decided that we would play with the babies in the morning, because we are having a party with the nannies and the kids in the afternoon.

It was hard going down the hallways past the kids when we usually play with them in the morning, but we all knew that this was our last few hours of baby time. I grabbed Jack and we had some fun like usual. He had some more naked time and spent some time in the air as well. He's such a happy baby. 

His cold seems to be a little bit better today, so that has definitely been an answer to prayer! 

After I fed him and we took a group picture with all of us and the babies, it was time to start putting them back in their cribs. You could tell that nobody wanted to put their babies in the crib because we all waited until the last minute. 

I spent some time singing "You are My Sunshine" to him while we laid on the mats together. 

Then it was time to put him back. Cue the tears. 

I went into the crib room and took one look at his crib and started to cry. The one verse that continued to come to mind was John 14:18 where Jesus says, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." With this running through my head and Jack in my arms, it was too much to handle. 

Throwing him into the air for the last time was so hard. 

Then I had to put him in his crib. 

And he started to cry. 

Hardest thing ever. 

After picking him back up again and putting him back down in his crib three different times, I had to leave him alone in his crib while he was crying. 

Walking out of the room to the sound of my baby's cry is the worst feeling ever. 

I'm writing this during our break right now, and so far this has probably been the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Forget all the other "hard" things I have faced in my life. This was the hardest and the worst.

We headed back to the orphanage and it was so hard knowing that it was our last walk there. We had about an hour to play with the kids before the party started and we just drew on door hangers and played with stickers. 

On our way to the party, the 19 year old girl who is in a wheelchair was heading up too. My little boy Colin unheld my hand and then went back to push her. Sweetest thing ever. 

The party was on the very top floor and when we walked in, it was a huge conference room. There were tables and chairs and even a very big stage. 

We played with kids for a little while before the actual party started and then they had us sit down. The president said a little thank you speech and they Shannon did the same thing. They gave us their gifts--they gave each of us a picture of us with one of the kids and it is on like a little frame thing. So adorable. And then we gave them the world map of red threads connecting all our cities to chenzhou. We gave them the nanny gifts which they all loved and then it was time to partay! 

First some kids did the most adorable little song and dance and then they did another little one with some of the nannies. 

Then it was our turn.

We have been practicing Adelweiss (that's probably not how you spell is) from the Sound of Music for a few days now. We all sang a verse in English and then Annie did the whole thing in Chinese while we all hummed behind her. I think it went pretty well. 

After that we did the Cha Cha Slide with some of the kids and they all seemed to enjoy that too. 

Then it was time for CAKE! These cakes are absolutely beautiful! We got two of them and they were huge! They have the coolest candles on top too which open up into a flower and then spin and play a song. Pretty cool if you ask me. 

The kids loved the cake, and ended up with it all over them. We enjoyed it too. And eating fruit was such a treat :) I've missed fruit a lot!

They started to clean up and take all the kids upstairs. Time to say goodbye? I guess so. 

We went into the baby room and grabbed our things and then headed to the big kids room to start saying goodbye. 

Cue tears again.

I said goodbye to Ray first which was hard. And then I started to say goodbye to Leah and all the other crazy girls. 

And then I saw Colin. My little Colin who I have grown to love so much. The one that looks for me everyday. 

I just sat and hugged and cried. Bawled actually. He gave me the look that made me think that he didn't really know what was going on. Made me sad. 

He began to wipe away my tears with his gentle little hands and that just made me even more sad to leave him. 

I am going to miss his sweet smile.

I am going to miss his big hugs.

I am going to miss his precious heart.

As I was sitting down I didn't think I would be able to get up and actually leave. At this point just about everyone except Megan, Elyssa, and myself had left. They were all on their way to dinner. 

I almost told them to just leave me. But I knew I had to go. 

This was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. 

The hardest day of my life. 

The nannies kept telling us that it was time for the kids to eat so we really had to leave. 

Megan, Elyssa, and myself waited outside with Joy, one of the nannies, Helen, another nanny, and our guide Fawn. 

We all piled into the van and then headed to dinner with just about everyone. 

Dinner was super good, and then they had one more thing for us. We took a group picture at the end of the party, and they printed a big one of it for all of us. I have to get it framed soon! 

We had to say goodbye to all the nannies which was not as hard as saying goodbye to the kids. I had pretty much said goodbye to Joy at the orphanage because I didn't think she was coming to dinner. So I kind of got that over with early on. 

As I was hugging Joy goodbye for the last time, I told her I would see her next year. So...I guess I'll be back. I surely do hope I get to go back next year. 

This has been the most life changing trip of my life. The most amazing trip ever. I never want to leave this place. 

The nannies did say that we could live at the orphanage if we wanted to. Sooo...Mom? It sounds pretty good to me. 

One nanny, Liz, is going to see us off tomorrow so that will be good. I will miss them all so much.

I'm sorry this has been such a rant. But it literally has been such a long and hard day. 

And now I have to go stuff a bunch of stuff into my suitcase! Carry on only for the train tomorrow. It's gonna be hard. 

1 comment:

  1. So proud of you Charlie. You girls are such an inspiration.