Visiting Eagles Wings Sept 2015 | Part 2

Saturday at Eagles Wings

Here are a few highlights from Saturday at Eagles Wings. I spent the day with the kids in the morning, and again in the afternoon until the evening.  It's always so fun and special, yet tiring being around these kids all day!


These kids love asking questions. Why this, why that. WenXuan was asking why I wear glasses. I just said I don't know and because I can't see well. He asked if I spent too much time on the computer! What a funny kid!! Later we were talking about surgery scars as one kid had a visible one by his neck, and the other kids were pointing out scars they have such as legs or back (spina bifida). The kids asked if I have a surgery scar, to which I said no.
'Why do we have them, Rob gege?'...
'I don't know...'.
WenXuan chimes in: 'I know, it's because we're special!'. Now that I knew for sure is true!!
[all in Chinese]

One the boys is very talkative (to say the least!), always asking questions, and yes he is a very sweet kid, I did have to challenge him to not talk for 5 minutes which he thought sounded like fun at first. He didn't quite last though ;)



Sunday
I spent the morning and had lunch with the kids who live in an apartment locally. I was amazed at the progress one of the boys has made. He arrived at Eagles Wings around the time I first went in 2013, at which point he seemed very delayed and did not talk. However, this time he could communicate much better, saying 'Ayi' (aunty/nanny) and telling her different things. It gave me such hope that he can be adopted in the future and that he could do really well and possibly catch up more.


Monday
On Monday I spent the day at the school that Eagles Wings runs for all the orphanage kids. They have over 70 kids in various classes, some like traditional school, others lower functioning kids needing more stimulation. One boy I know from the school there, cared for by another foster home in the orphanage, asked me:
'Rob gege, do you have a dad?'....
Because for the these kids, having a dad or a mom is not a given. Often being with these kids it is easy to forget they are orphans, without their own families, and then little instances like this highlight their reality.


I also got to talk to one of the Eagles Wings managers to get an update on some of the kids adoption status. It's up to the orphanage officials, not the foster home to submit files for different children to be available for adoption. Unfortunately, this isn't always the easiest thing... We talked through the possibility of different kids paperwork being done in the next batch. I long to see a few of the older children have a chance at having their own forever family, for how different their life can be. Although it is a difficult transition for older children, in my experience from the children I have worked with who have been adopted, it is so worth it. Please join me in praying for the orphanage to be willing to do paperwork for more children, and for families to be found to adopt them.

CunLiang (left) will be adopted this month. WenBo (right) I hope can be adopted one day if his paperwork is done before it is too late.
I left this visit with such hope. WenXuan waved from his room in the 10th floor all the way as I walked down the driveway to the orphanage gate.

Visiting Eagles Wings Sept 2015 | Part 1

I had a wonderful week in Beijing, staying at New Day with my friends there. I had time to get my things together before the big move, catch up with friends and see the kids there too! I left Beijing very early Friday morning to spent a long weekend in Jiaozuo.

I had a wonderful afternoon with the kids at Eagles Wings. I got to the orphanage a bit after 2pm and spent until about 7.30pm there. I met the Chinese managers first to catch up and I was asked to get some photos of some specific kids in the school there. This is my 6th time to visit Eagles Wings, so I know most the kids well and I know most of the staff too. One of the first things that happened was being asked what I thought about EW asking for the orphanage to do adoption paperwork for one of the older boys. I said please please do, without hesitation. A boy who would do so well in a family. I was also told one of the boys is being adopted in just A WEEK!!

CunLiang from Eagles Wings, being adopted NEXT WEEK!
First I gave one girl her camp memory book that she left at camp, my sister Ciara sent it back with me. She was SO excited to get it back and proudly showed it around to everyone! Next I went with the younger kids class, they have a lovely new play area that was recently built that many of them go to during the day. They try and have as many kids from the orphanage as possible in some sort of class, though for these kids it is focused play. One of the EW babies with downs syndrome, who when I was here in the summer could not sit up or push himself up from his front (he would just cry!). I lifted him out of his chair and wanted to test his sitting again - and YES he could sit well, and YES he could do tummy time easily! Less than two months later. I took too many photos and went to see the bigger kids. I walked in the room and they were excited to see me! Immediately one boy shouted out: 'Kid A said you're his gege (older brother) but you're my gege and everyones gege'. How sweet!! Being around these kids really is good for your self-esteem! I explained I was his Bring Me Hope camp buddy one year, but that yes I am all of your gege's. I can be both his and everyones!!

LiZhu gets her camp memory book back!
The baby who can now sit up well. Kids with Downs Syndrome develop behind children without DS and often have low muscle tone which means they are very floppy and it takes longer for them to learn to sit (and crawl, and walk...).

Even later one of the boys jokingly said 'I don't like you' {laughing while saying it}, and another kid quickly said 'I like you Rob Gege'. After school I had dinner with the boys and talked to two of the boys being adopted in the next few months. One on the 14th September and one hopefully in November. This is one of my favourite things to do! WenXuan/Wesley had already chosen small gifts for his two younger brothers, and a hair clip to give his mom.



I decided the theme of my few days at Eagles Wings was going to be hope. Today I met so many kids at the orphanage, most of whom I already knew, but many of whom won't be adopted. Many will need a miracle for their adoption paperwork to be done soon, if at all. Many of whom have special needs too great to be considered for adoption... Yes despite this, which could leave you in despair, I feel hope. I have hope for a better future for these kids, for those who will be adopted, and for those who won't. A hope that is greater than me, that comes from an awesome God. When God sees these children He feels love, and He can see them as He intended them to be - full of life and opportunity. It is this hope that roots what we do, and it is powerful.
    'God gives hope to the needy' Psalm 9:18