Not this past summer but the summer before an orphan, from China, came to spend three weeks with my dear friend Marianne, her husband Alan and their five children. Xiao Duo was eleven at the time. Although Marianne could much better tell the story, I will do my very best to tell their story from my heart. Here it goes...
Summer of 2015, this boy came to Moses Lake, WA -- a "program" allowed many Chinese orphans to come here and these kids stayed with different American families. Each family raised the funds to get the child here. It was like a lengthy vacation, a time of play, good food, good memories and a peak into American culture. XD's experience was really good. He smiled a lot and ate a lot and seemed to love it here.
My friend Marianne is a great cook and at Marianne and Alan's dining room table, XD could fill his belly. I remember her telling me he dipped lots of things in ketchup. :-) He asked for more please at many meals.
When he had three of his twenty one days left here, a phone call was made from China to the Badgley's home where someone who spoke both Chinese and English talked with Marianne and with XD. Things that Xiao loved while in the Badgley's home, maybe he could do one more time... he began to cry while on the phone or shortly after, sad that his time was coming to a close.
God places big things on average people's hearts.
The Badgleys' chose to listen.
The Badgley's already had five children, they had already adopted one child. Their days were full and they were and are busy people. An eleven year old boy, who does not speak English... in my humble opinion, this is all a leap of faith. And a story of a journey to be told.
I was able to share this unfolding story with students in classrooms where I subbed. I began to share the story of a boy in China who was without siblings and parents and a home to grow up in. For many, XD was about their age. I told them that he once visited Moses Lake, WA. He filled his belly at my friends table, he dipped many things in ketchup. He got to know the Badgley's five children, their dog, their cat and their extended family. He met many families and enjoyed a summer month here, in a home that is safe and loving. I explained that this boy lived in China and is an orphan but that this wonderful Moses Lake family was working hard at getting him here! Compassion filled the room. As I told the story to rooms full of children where I could hear a pin drop, the Badgley's were doing paperwork, fundraising and praying often through the journey of bringing Xiao Duo here.
I could go back to the same classroom and children would ask "Is he here yet?!" "Do you have an update!?" This past month has been especially incredible, because I can say "He is here! He has a family!" The smiles LIGHT up the room! Their excitement and compassion has been something that has blessed me time and time again.
A leap of faith
A journey of hope
I ask you to pray as Xiao Duo adjusts and learns the language.
Pray with me a prayer of thanksgiving for the family who pursued him and for the boy who became their son and brother!
Pray for Marianne's mama heart.
Xiao Duo is 13 now. He is a teenager who speaks a different language and is in a totally new place. Prayers for kindness that surrounds him and for his learning and growth.
I am so thankful for this boy's smile!