A long train ride
Here at BAAS, we talk about doing our best for the children who especially need us. Children who have special medical needs or older children who may have given up hope of finding a family of their own. We talk a lot about working longer hours and going as far as we have to, to serve the needs of these children. We recently received a letter that we think speaks to this much better than we ever could. We're sharing it here with the Nichols family's permission:
In October 2013, BAAS China Coordinator, Xiaoqing Cai, made a long journey to an orphanage in Sichuan Province. It was an overnight train ride from the province capital, a small orphanage that had never been involved in international adoption. I wonder, did Xiaoqing know? Did she have any idea how many lives would change from that one trip?
Twenty-one children found families because of the relationship built from that visit. Most of those children were older children, children that would never have had permanent families had they stayed in China. One trip and a door opened to a world of opportunities for children who had never even dreamed of the possibilities. One of those children was mine. She remembers that visit well. She would be the first to tell you she had no idea what a family was really like, but she was jealous sometimes of her friends at school that had families. She tells me now that she is never jealous of anyone anymore.
I asked her if she would like to write a letter to China about her life in America to be included in her three year post placement report. These are things some of the things she wanted to share with them, and she gives me permission to share with you too:
I have been in America for 3 years. I learned to read and write.
Throughout the years, I have made many friends. My friends are nice and they are funny too.
I have two sisters, two brothers, 2 cats and 2 dogs. My family is nice to me.
Saying goodbye to everything familiar, learning a new language, learning a new culture, learning to navigate life with a family of strangers, these things are hard. We would never want to mislead anyone about that. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of love. It takes a lot of patience. It takes a lot of time. It’s become something beautiful, sturdy, and irreplaceable. Everything changed for all of us. But it started with a really long train trip. Thank you Xiaoqing Cai.