Let me start this blog post with a funny story. As many of our families who have traveled to China know, the culture is…….different. We always tell our families that everything down to the toilet is foreign, and it’s so true. One bathroom I went in had “helpful” photo instructions on how to use the toilet – which in China, is a small trench on the ground. Today I saw a lady dressed completely in a cow print onesie lugging around a paint bucket as her suitcase for an intra-China flight. I don’t know if I’ll ever get tired of seeing things like this! It also reminds me that my rush out to the store early morning Saturday pajama outfits are okay even in other countries.
It’s little moments like these you have to enjoy because interview trips are a whirlwind. It’s get up at 5:30 am, catch the train at 6:30 am, meet the kiddos, hop on a train, repeat until you somehow land at your hotel in a haze of exhaustion, email your coworker with everything that’s happened to you (including the cow print jammies), and then try to sleep to do it all over again tomorrow. The excitement each morning, though, keeps you awake and carries you through all the worries of the day. I was hoping to see some of our past winter and summer hosting kiddos who are waiting for their families, but to my disappointment, almost all the children were off at school across the street.
The children for hosting were there for the interviews, though, so all was well. As our staff returns again and again to meet the children for the next program, we start to see some of the children we’ve met before but who are still waiting for their forever family. We’re faced with that unanswerable question, “Why are they still waiting?” After promising to myself yesterday to find one child a family no matter what, today I’m speaking with one who has smiled, answered our questions, and sat on our photolisting for the past two programs, patiently waiting his turn to be chosen. He’s a handsome boy with an infectious smile that lights his whole face , and in this past year has become a bit of the darling of the orphanage. His caretakers made sure we knew he was one of the “very best boys” at the orphanage, and they hoped we could find him a family. He smiled and laughed along with us while we talked to him, and we learned he rides the local bus to school and…wait for it moms…even has learned to do his own laundry!
He’s one of many children we see who has little time left. In about a year, he will age out of the orphanage system, and he’ll no longer be eligible for adoption. We’ve talked in depth before about what it means to age out for these children, and I worry about each one of the children who faces this in their future. He’s going to be on our photolisting again, and we’ve been told that this summer will be the last time we’re able to advocate for him.
So here I am, struggling to keep my eyes open in a cab and trying to cram in every detail from the day, including one little boy and his last chance. We will try again and again and again until we’re told we can’t try anymore…because every child at every age deserves a place to call home.
A note from the hosting staff at home – if you’re interested in getting matched with a hosting child, you can start your application! Early applications are considered VIP and will get access to the photolisting for a limited time before it is launched publicly. You can also contact us with any questions you may have about the hosting programs at firstname.lastname@example.org.