So this week the big girls have been attending Vacation Bible School, and they are loving it, especially G. She is in a class with one of her very best friends and so she can't wait to go each day. K has been a little more apprehensive at drop-off since she doesn't know any of her classmates but by the time I pick her up she is smiling and eager to share what she has learned.
I took the opportunity this week to read Kay Bratt's book, "Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage". The following is an excerpt from her website, www.kaybratt.com
In 2003, Kay Bratt’s life changed dramatically. A wife and mother of
two girls in South Carolina, Bratt relocated her family to rural China
to support her husband as he took on a new management position for his
American employer. Seeking a way to fill her days and overcome the
isolation she experienced upon arriving in a foreign country, Bratt
began volunteering at the local orphanage. Within months, her simple
desire to make use of her time transformed into a heroic crusade to
improve the living conditions and minimize the unnecessary deaths of
Silent Tears traces the emotional hurdles and daily
frustrations faced by Ms. Bratt as she tried to change the social
conditions for these marginalized children. The memoir vividly
illustrates how she was able to pull from reservoirs of inner strength
to pursue her mission day after day, leaving the reader with the
resounding message that everyone really can make a difference.
Once I started reading, I was sucked in hook, line, and sinker. I was reading it on R's Kindle and then I had the cloud reader open on my PC so I could pick it up whenever I had a spare moment. There were parts of the book that made me cry, parts that made me angry, and parts that made me wonder how that woman continued to go back to that orphanage week after week.
I managed to finish the book today and it left the story of one child hanging and so I was reading Ms. Bratt's website to see if there was an update. K was taking a nap and G was wondering around, just kind of talking intermittently about what had gone on at VBS and I was still processing my thoughts on the book. I just managed to catch the end when she said, "they asked me what the greatest gift was that I had ever received, and I said you."
I must have looked at her in some state of shock, because she went on to say, "without you, nobody would have found me at the orphanage, and I would have died."
I just started sobbing---I mean really sobbing. I must have scared my poor girl half to death. I just hugged her and said, "you are the greatest gift that I've ever been given and I love you so much. God's plan was not for you to die. You were placed at the gates of the orphanage so that you would be found and that Daddy and I would receive the gift of having you as our daughter." At that point we're both sobbing and hugging each other.
Can I just say that's it's been an emotional week??? Between the book and this moment today, I think I need a mini-vacation or at least a good night's rest :-)