One of the things I found most overwhelming during my first few months here was the vast number of children that live in our home. My desire was to get to know each one, to know their names (their Chinese names, not just their English names which are easier for me but not what they know), to know why they are here and get to know their unique and individual personalities. I found myself so discouraged when I just couldn't do it. At least not in the time frame that I thought it should happen.
I think I finally realized that I couldn't get to know them all at once. It was going to take me spending intentional time in each nursery to do so and in time, the familiarity would come. Not all at once, but room by room and child by child.
There are several rooms I used to walk into where some of the kids would just cry. This hurt my heart because to me it meant that these children still saw me as a "stranger" in their home. But something began to change about a month ago. All of the sudden, those children stopped crying. They now wave and smile, some will walk (or crawl) over, and blow kisses when I leave the room. As simple as this seems, it's been such a gift. Almost like God speaking through them, reassuring me of my home and my place here; that I belong. I feel an extra close bond with these children because I feel like I almost had to "earn" their trust, whereas others have given it quite freely. It wasn't until they began to see me week after week, month after month that they finally realized I was here to stay and that they could trust this no-longer stranger.
I do use the word "home" loosely because I know that this will not be my home forever. No earthly dwelling will be my home forever. But I do believe God gives us glimpses of what Home will be like, and some places just "feel" more like home than others. I feel like this is one of those places for me. It is a place where I see and feel and know Jesus clearer than I have ever seen, felt, or known Him before. I can't help but look at the faces of these precious children and know that they have a Father who knows them and loves them deeply.
A few weeks ago, as we held some sweet babies, I shared with some friends that were visiting that if Jesus were in physical form here with me, this would be the place where we would be together. We wouldn't be at a coffee shop, we wouldn't be hiking, I don't think we'd even be in America. I think we would be right here and He would be on the floor holding, tickling, wiping noses and giving kisses. I know that "place" of being with Jesus would be different for everyone, but for me, it would be here. I believe He would love to be here. I believe He is here and He loves being here.