We woke up tired and not looking forward to what was ahead. We had breakfast as normal. Then Mark had a phone call with his sponsor, a lovely lady from California who knows him and wanted him to come to camp so much that she organised it all and paid for him to come. When we showed him a photo of her he shouted 'Mama!!'. He was excited to be able to hear her voice! After that he emailed her to tell her how much fun he was having at camp.
Then we had our last assembly, sang our favourite songs for the last time. My favourite is 'Wo ai ni'. The lyrics are like this:
I love the oceans and the breeze, I love the rhythm of the seas, Wo ai ni, I love you, Wo ai ni, I love you
Don't you know it's trueeeeeee.... you're the reason that I do..... Wo ai ni, I love you, Wo ai ni, I love you
Then we had letter reading time. I wrote each of my three kids a long letter and read it to them and it was translated too. The kids then take the letters home and can treasure them all year! I also wrote a letter to each of the kids at Eagles Wings 6, who I loved with while there. I went to each of these kids and read my letters to them too. When I went to read Wendy her letter I knew I had to stay strong. So I read through it bit by bit as it was translated for her. Just before we got to the end she suddenly burst into tears. I could see it happening before it happened as Wendy sticks out her lower lip really far just as she is starting to cry. Sometimes if I say 'Don't you show me that lip' and push it back in, she will laugh and get distracted but not this time. She sobbed as I finished the letter. I somehow held it together and sat her on my lap. My princess.
We took the kids for a nice last lunch to a chinese dumpling <jiaozi> restaurant which everyone loved! This place do really good fried dumplings which are lovely and crispy on the outside. Then we book the kids back just in time to say goodbye and put them on the bus home. As we walked them outside to the bus I gave each kid a hug and said goodbye. Barry was ahead of me on his wheelchair. I tried so hard to hold it together but couldn't help but cry. Everytime he turned around I pretended not to be crying but I'm sure he noticed. Zach was trying so hard to hold it together. He was so cute. He just starred ahead and sniffled a bit and had the funniest expressions. I was there when he burst into tears though and scooped him up and kissed him on the cheek and told him I love him and wrapped him tight in my arms. The kids were slowly put on the bus one by one. Some crying some not. Barry was fine for the whole time and was the last one to put on the bus. I put him beside one of the big criers in hope that Barry's calmness would help the other kids. It was so hard stepping off the bus and watching it leave.
I spotted my translator Paul in the corner and as I walked over to him he broke down in tears. These kids affect us all. No one could walk away from a week with orphans unchanged.
Then just after that, it was Mark's turn to leave as he comes from a different orphanage. He too was crying as we said goodbye. I got him to stop smiling by making him perform some of his cool breakdancing! I can stay in touch with Mark by email which is awesome! I really hope I can see him a gain!
All day I missed those kids so incredibly much. As I still do now. I will forever miss those kids when I'm not with them. It was my last goodbye to my kids of 2013. And the hardest one right at the end. So many emotions rushing through my mind and heart that day.
God let me see them again next year. Let me stay in touch.
[photos to come]