My heart just couldn’t handle what I experienced today.
My eyes wouldn’t stop welling up with tears.
My breathing was short.
I am utterly and completely exhausted.
I almost lot it. Quite a few times. I had to secretly and quickly wipe my tears.
Visiting your son’s former orphange + being someone who is high on empathy + being stretched by being in a new culture = heart wrecked.
A visit I’ll never forget.
We went to Kai’s formers orphanage in Nanjing today. One of the interesting things about most buildings here is that the hallways aren’t heated. I guess it make sense, why heat the hallways?! As we walked in, it naturally felt cold. When, we got to his room, it was sweltering with heat and then it happened.
My heart just broke.
Seeing so many kids with special needs just laying on the floor, well, it wrecked me.
There were multiple kids with Down Syndrome, kids with congenital heart problems, kids with PKU and a gambit of other needs.
One child, unable to crawl, just pounded his little head onto to the floor.
Another little boy just stared and moved his leg up and down.
BUT…don’t think for a minute that the nannies and care givers don’t love those kids. When we walked up to Kai’s former home, 5 care givers came out on the balcony and all yelled his name. He is a Rock Star. Then, his favorite nanny came running (YES, RUNNING) to him! She kept hugging and kissing him. My heart kept with joy because I know he was well loved! His face lit up!
I worried about taking him back. I worried he would think we were leaving him.
I do think it was important for us to see. I do think it was important for him to get one more time to be loved by the women who have raised him.
Something very interesting happened. Kai cried.
It was the first time he’s cried since we’ve had him. He almost became a different kid in there. Not in a bad way, but in a ‘I didn’t have a mom and dad here’ kind of way.
We talked with his nannies. We learned more about how they perceived the PKU diet to look like. We watched him play in some of his favorite spots. We watched his favorite nanny feed him one last time. Her face just lit up.
We stood next to his empty crib. The crib he spent almost 3 years of his life in. We cried. We realized there were almost 12 cribs in his room.
Then the moment happened. It was suttle. There was no fanfare. No announcements. No hashtags. No Facebook post. No special lights.
I saw Jesus laying on the floor.
As I was wiping tear after tear, I saw HIM. He was as clear as day. His smile was amazing. His warmth was intoxicating. His presence was soothing.
He was sitting on the floor and a little boy with special needs was resting his head on Jesus’ lap.
My Jesus was there.
My Jesus cares for the least of these. My Jesus is where the sick, the hurting and the broken are.
But, here’s the kicker. I don’t believe He seems them that way. When we look at a child who is physically or mentally unhealthy, we see them that way.
I don’t think Jesus sees them this way. He just gets on their level, and lays their head on his lap and loves them.
I couldn’t help but remember some of my favorite passages of scripture from Romans 12:9-17 from the Message
‘Love from the center of who you are’
‘Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle’
‘Don’t quite in hard times; pray all the harder’
‘Get along with each other; don’t be stuck up. Make friends with nobodies; don’t be the great somebody’
‘Don’t hit back; discover beauty in everyone’
Today was overwhelming. Today was exhausting. Today was moving. Today was powerful.
Today reminded me that I have been given a great privilege. It is because of many that I am now the dad to Kai. That is something I will not take for granted.
It also reminded me that I have the blessing of bring Jesus to others. And, that I can be Jesus to those who need Him most.
I saw Jesus today in Kai’s orphanage and it just wrecked me.