Today is the Lantern Festival, the final day of the 2 week Spring Festival in China. The kids have been out of school for nearly a month, and tomorrow will be returning to begin their spring semester. We are excited about some of the projects we have in store for the spring, including beginning our official English class next week. We've been in touch with many of the adoptive parents of the kids who will be leaving this year, and we are excited to be able to help prepare the kids for life in the US in a more structured way (until this point it's been a lot of one-on-one, unstructured tutoring). We're also looking forward to getting an art workshop with students from a local fine arts university, and the big brother-big sister mentorship program rolling in the near future! Lots to do!
We've been spending a lot of time talking with the kids about unconditional love lately. Their lives have been so performance based, it is really important (and difficult) for them to be able to understand that they are special, they are valuable, solely because of who they are - a child of God. So often I think of how every time new friends come to the orphanage, they are each drawn to a different child...each seeing his or her unique personality. It's amazing to know that God loves each of them so uniquely and distinctly, and it's thrilling to watch Him give His Eyes and His Heart to different people to manifest that love - not just to the collective, but to individual, precious kids. Although I'm not supposed to have favorites, in my limited, human perspective, it's hard to understand why EVERYONE wouldn't like Tom, Carrie, Leo, Kate, Derek, Alicia, Will, Maggie, Timmy, etc (ok, I'm finding it hard to limit it to one or two)...the best. But I'm always amazed to see how different people are specifically drawn to different kids - even the ones that Mikey and I find to be difficult sometimes!
We've set up a group on facebook where all of you can communicate with each other, and see many more photos and videos of the kids. Check out http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=48394374596&ref=nf . Ask to join, and Mike and I will add you to the group!