While I was packing I had a melt down. I think there are a variety of reasons why I broke down. First, my parents are in Hawaii and I miss talking to my mom. We talk at least once a day. Last Friday she called me from San Diego. They were about to board their cruise ship and I wouldn’t be able to talk to her for four days. I was in the Mani/Pedi chair and started crying. A lot of life happens while you’re in the Mani/Pedi chair. I’ve been able to briefly talk to her a couple of times but it’s still hard.
Second, I’m overwhelmed with work. I will be working out of town this week. I’ll be returning to Houston on Friday night and leaving Saturday morning for China. That is why I had to be completely packed and ready to go this weekend.
Going to China to work with orphans is my passion. I’m so thankful that God put this desire in my heart. I’ve never written about how it happened. I’ve been a little afraid to open up on my blog. Amazeing Teacher has inspired me. She is so open and honest! So, I can do it too. Thanks, Amy.
In the year 2000, I was reading through our quarterly church magazine. A lady from church had gone on a mission trip to work in an orphanage. She talked about holding babies, feeding them, and playing with the older children. What really struck me and possibly changed my life forever… she said, “The orphanages didn’t have enough nannies to care for the children. Many times they lay in a bed all day with no human touch. Sometimes the babies would lose the will to live and die.” I thought to myself, “Someday when I’m older, have more money and I’m married, I want to do that.” Well, “someday” still hasn’t come. :)
In 2006, I was having a tough year. At the end of 2005, I broke up with someone that I really cared about but I knew it wasn’t a relationship God wanted me in. I was down; I started thinking about the article I had read years before. At the time (2006) I thought I read the article 2-3 years prior and I thought the lady in the article had served in China. After a lot of thought and prayer, I called the Women’s Minister at my church. I ask her if she knew anyone who was taking an orphanage mission trip. I told her about the article I had read 2-3 years before. She encouraged me to call the lady (I had never met her) who wrote the article and talk to her about it. I was a little nervous calling someone I didn’t know but I did. She was wonderful. She told me six years ago she had served in a Romanian orphanage. I was stunned. I couldn’t believe that I had remembered an article from SIX years ago and I always thought she had been to China. I ask her, “Isn’t it strange that I still remember that article?” I’ll never forget what she said to me, “Jill, it’s a calling.” I hung up the phone; I knew I had to go.
In the meantime, the Women’s Minister at my church found a group that was going to work in a Chinese orphanage. Carrie (who I’ll be visiting this trip) was working for A Helping Hand Adoption Agency. AHH sends “Friendship Teams” to serve in orphanages around the world throughout the year. Carrie came to our church from Dallas to talk about international adoption. I couldn’t attend the seminar but I called her. Again, I called someone I had never met, not really my style. She invited me on her trip, I accepted, and I’ve never been the same.
Another reason I’ve had such a tough weekend is because I’m scared. I will come home a different person. Although it’s scary, I know it’s not a bad thing. I will see things that will break me and possibly question my faith. It’s probably no secret that I want to be a mother. It’s hard to see children without moms and walk away. I wonder how God can let this happen to those children. I knew the adoption law in China was changing in 2007, no more single parent applications. I didn’t apply. I still believe that I will get married someday (I hope I’m right). Sometimes I feel like the world is passing me by and I’m just watching from the bleachers. While I’m in China, I’ll be turning 34. It’s so hard to type that number. It’s not a bad number; I just thought I would be in a different place in my life by now. Wow~ I can’t believe I’m writing all this. It’s very rare that I put myself out there.
I have one suitcase for myself, a second suitcase with clothes for the kids, and a pink duffle bag full of dress up clothes. Thanks~ Maria, the Cypress Moms, Jana, Stephanie, and Jenny for cleaning out your kid's closets.
Thank you for all your wonderful emails, comments, and encouragement about my trip. After my 2006 China trip I was searching the internet and found my first China adoption blog, Waiting for Sophie Lu. I didn’t know that this world existed. Even though, I never met y'all, you have been such an encouragement and strength to me. I still have a week at home but I will miss reading your blogs. I promise to catch up when I return. This is NOT important but I will also miss my Blackberry. On 2006 trip, I had dreams at night that my phone was ringing. He He.
Thanks Amy C. for taking me out Saturday night for an early birthday. I love my gifts! Your friendship has meant so much to me over the years. Thanks for being there when I’ve needed a friend. Love you.
Fun Gift from Amy
This is one of my favorite pictures of Daisy from our babysitting adventure last week. I love it when she sleeps on her back. She's so stinkin' cute!! I miss her (my sister's dog).