Location: Beijing, China
Today has been a very emotional day. We spent the morning at the baby home, and we got spend some quality mommy and me time with the babies and toddlers. We spent four hours at home but, it only felt like thirty minutes. When it was time to say our goodbyes, many of us have trouble letting go. As I said a small prayer for my two baby girls, Wen Yang and Jia Hui, tears welled up in my eyes, and I couldn’t keep myself from bawling. Both of them had the biggest, most contagious smiles and were always so happy. I have never felt so much love for anything in the world like I have for these two babies. I will always remember Yang’s giggle snort and Hui’s attempts at trying to walk but instead falling on her little butt. I cried on the car ride back to the apartment too. I was a wreck. Luckily I was greeted by some comfort food made by Thomas. We had pasta, and carbs always mend the heart. After lunch, the group home kids came to visit us. They got pretty wild, and it was nice to run around and play with them. We had a massive pillow fight, and all the boys were protecting Alex Z. and hitting the girls instead. When it was time for them to leave, I once again started crying. We then went out to our final dinner. Catherine made a cake, and we celebrated Alex H., Grace, Catherine and Brent’s (Thomas’s dad) birthdays. Afterward, we went back to the apartment, and we had our closing ceremony which consisted of a small talent show thing we all had to be a part of. We had imitations skits, parodies, shout outs, the 12 days of Lifeworks and some songs. It was a lot of fun and brought back a lot of memories from the trip. When all the acts were over, we got to watch the video from the trip and surprise surprise I cried even more. The video was really good, and it was nice to see funny clips of us from throughout the trip. After the video, we all sat in a circle with our eyes closed for affirmations. A few people were picked at a time to stand inside the circle, and when Emily would say things like who do you look up to or who makes you smile, they would go around and touch people’s heads. We each had turns doing this, and if you are following my emotional pattern, you can probably guess that I started crying again. Once it was all over, we were free to start packing and writing our cards to each other. A bunch of us made one last quick trip to the store to get our favorite pineapple ice cream, which by the way I will miss very much in America. As our last day in China comes to an end, I can’t help but think of all the amazing experiences I have had and all the people I got to share them with. I feel like I have made friendships that will last a lifetime and I’m so sad that I have to say goodbye. The memories that I have made are unforgettable, from Leonie being my food buddy to Nate trying to teach me how to shuffle cards and me just failing miserably at it, to Grace walking around with poop on her pants at the summer palace. I have also gained so much life experience from being on this trip and getting to work with Little Flower. It’s truly an amazing organization, and I’m so grateful that I had a chance to touch the hearts of these kids as they have touched mine.