We are in a place of transition at the moment. We are in the US this summer for what we'd planned to be 6 weeks but is now turning out to be more like 8 or 9. When we return to Beijing, our cozy little cottage at New Hope is packed up and we are physically ready to move to an apartment in Beijing...where we do not yet know, but hopeful we'll figure it out when we get there! My emotions, however, may follow behind a bit slower.
One of my favorite things (and mind you, there are many) about living where we've lived, both at Maria's Big House and at New Hope, is the constant sound of children in our midst. When I lived at Maria's, I loved sitting on the couch in the 4th floor kitchen and hearing children down the hall...laughing, crying, jabbering on as small children do, their sweet voices echoing into the room. I didn't always have to be with them, but I knew that they were there.
I loved sitting in the office when I was working on a piece or project and having kids run in and go straight for the middle drawer in my desk knowing that's where I kept my stash of Dum-dums for them and their friends. We'd go through a daily routine where they'd gather enough for themselves and every child in their nursery who was old enough to eat a sucker. Suckers were my way of making friends with those kids who were a bit slower to warm up, so I was always sure to keep a bag around.
When I moved to Beijing after we got married, our little home was located at the entrance of New Hope Foster Home and although we weren't in the same building as the kids, we were still on the grounds with them and the sound of their presence around us was still evident and full. Because I started teaching full-time at a school last year, I wasn't able to spend as much time getting to know the babies there as well as I had at Maria's, but it was still a sweet comfort knowing they were there. Saturday mornings were generally full of laughter coming from the playground that was located right
outside our front door.
At one point I remembered that I still had a bag of suckers and made my attempt at winning the hearts of some of the kids there too. I was quickly reminded that if you feed them (sugar), they will come! :) So it wasn't long before we had a little canister of loli pops on our windowsill, ready for any wandering toddlers we might have at our door.