Monday, August 16, 2010

All the Difference

Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land. -Proverbs 25:25
We recently received a letter from Joshua. Here it is:

Dear mom and dad,
How are you?
I am glad that you choose me to your family member. Thank you for your gifts that you sent to me. I share and play with them with my close friends.
My best friend is Guang Huang Zheng. He is very kind to me. When I have trouble in doing my homework, he will not tell me the right answer directly, instead he will teach me the ways to analyzing the problem. What’s more, he tells me, “You should not only look for the answers when you suffer trouble in studies, but also look for the way to solve such kinds of problem. Doing this, you won’t be wrong again.” So I share with him first since I have something good to eat and play with now, and then I share with other friends. Finally can you send me some shampoo?
Hope you all to be healthy and happy everyday. I will be waiting for you to come to meet me. I love you very much.
Hai Hua
Jul.30th, 2010

Getting the care package we sent to him caused a bit of a mess, but at least in the end he did receive the things we sent him. We sent him a few small toys, clothes, 20 candy bars (so he could share), toothbrush/toothpaste, a backpack, some pens, a journal, and some pictures.

It was extremely hard for me to read Joshua's request for shampoo. Here is a teenage boy who has for the first time in his life parents to ask for things from, and the one thing he asks for is shampoo. It didn't really shock me, after all I have heard all the stories about how terrible Christina's life was at her orphanage in Siberia and the things she didn't have there. However, even when it's not surprising, it's still agonizing to read that your own son doesn't have even the most basic necessities of life. I think often of the kids at Christina's orphanage in Siberia that begged us to find families for them too. Sadly, most of those kids will never find families, and many will die before they are even 20 years old. Very, very few will ever live a "decent" life (and I put decent in quotes because the few that reach this level of success will still live a life that's far below the poverty level here in America, and they will still face many hardships and prejudices for having grown up as an orphan). Very few people understand why we have willingly chosen such a difficult path. Some of our own family completely disapprove of it. However, when shampoo is the most important thing a child can ask for, when children around the world beg for a family, when small children live by themselves on the street, you can do only 2 things about it - you can choose to forget it and continue living your life as if in complete ignorance of the desperate needs of so many children around the world or you can choose to do something to make a difference. One choice leads to the easy path, one choice leads to the more difficult path. We have chosen to do something about it, and while it may be the more difficult path it is also the more rewarding path, and more significantly it is the path we are called by Christ to take.

"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference." -Robert Frost's "The Road Not Taken" poem

The Starfish Story
Original Story by: Loren Eisley

One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?”
The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean.
The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish?
You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish,
and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said…”
I made a difference for that one.”


The Straight's said...

Love your passion for these sweet children. Good luck on your journey!

Krista said...

You have an incredible family and your children sound adorable!
Your son's best friend who is helping him with homework sound remarkable too~
I hope he will too find a forever family soon!
Krista D

Julie said...

congrats on traveling next week! just saw your blog thru RQ! so excited for you guys! We adopted our son in October 2009 from Guiyang- his referral pics were taken on the same couch as your daughters- he was in a wonderful foster family and we were blessed to meet his foster mom at the civil affairs office.

we are almost DTC for DD2- who is actually our son's foster sister- total God thing how we found her and are now able to adopt her as well- so we will be traveling back to Guiyang in the next 6ish months to adopt her as well!

look forward to following your journey to china to bring home this 2 precious kids!


Shirlee McCoy said...

Wow. That just makes me tear up. I'm so glad your son has someone to ask for shampoo from, but my heart breaks for all the children who do not.