After my last post, many of you inquired about A Bai, the little girl who constantly asks me when I am going to bring her a mother, and who gazed into my eyes and said, “I love you, because Jesus loves you!” A Bai’s story is long and heart-rending, but I pray that after you hear it, many of you will be moved to advocate for this little girl, storm the gates of heaven on her behalf, or even (hopefully) adopt her.
When A Bai first came to the orphanage, I think most of the volunteers went home and cried. I know I did. Her history was beyond imagination. From a small, poor village in the countryside, A Bai’s father had been out of the picture for a while. Her pregnant mother apparently tried to give birth alone in their shack, with only A Bai there to help. Both the mother and the wee baby died in childbirth. No one knew about the death, so for three months A Bai lived in the hovel with her dead mother and sibling, scrounging through the neighborhood for food. Finally the stench became so horrendous that a neighbor came to investigate, only to find the remains of A Bai’s family and a barely recognizable young girl.
Can you imagine the safe haven the orphanage must have been after such a nightmarish summer? Can you fathom the comfort of having hot bowls of food prepared for you, instead of having to dig through the trash heap for it? Can you feel how wonderful it must have been to go to bed clean and comfortable?
God had still more in store for A Bai.
Three days after she arrived, a young single lady came to the orphanage, intent on fostering an 8 year old girl we knew was there. When one of the kids ran out and told us about A Bai’s arrival, I thought “She’s going to go home with that new girl, not the 8 year old.” Sure enough, God arranged for this broken little girl to go home that day into a loving, Christian environment where she could begin to heal.
We had no idea at the time that A Bai had a special need, attributing her slightly different facial structure to her being a village girl, and perhaps a minority. At the hospital, while doing the necessary medical check-ups for someone who had been in her condition, a doctor who just “happened” to have studied in Canada and was an expert on the subject approached the foster mother and said, “Did you realize that little girl has Williams Syndrome?”
Through that contact whom God so graciously provided, we learned that some of the symptoms of Williams Syndrom explained not only A Bai’s distinctive look; but also her gregarious personality (she has never met a stranger); quickness to make attachments but slowness to form long-term bonds; impressive long-term memory; difficulty with short-term memory and learning; love of music and single-track mind.
As important as being in a loving home was to A Bai’s healing, I believe the real key was her love and acceptance of Jesus Christ as her Savior. That is one on-fire little girl! With her outgoing personality and joy of making new friends, she has evangelized everyone from taxi drivers to waiters to friends on the playground. Her philosophy of “I love you, because Jesus loves you!” is a driving force in how she relates to almost everyone.
It shows, too. She is such a kind, sweet, affectionate little girl, always ready with a warm hug and an “I love you!” or “I missed you!”
A Bai’s foster family called her Hylah, which means “Hallelujah.” They loved her dearly and their tender care in introducing her to Jesus did much to train her into the precious girl she is today. Unfortunately, after nineteen months, their family dynamics changed, and they could no longer keep her. Try as we might, we could find no one who was able to foster her in their place, so she had to go back to the orphanage.
With her world once again changing drastically, A Bai’s only request of the orphanage was that they please not cut her hair. She had worked so hard to grow it out, and at least wanted control over that small part of her life.
At this point, A Bai has two goals in life- to worship Jesus, and to have a mommy and daddy. Repeatedly she has asked me, “When will you bring me a mommy? Will you be my mommy?” All I can do is redirect her focus to Jesus as we pray together for His will, and that He will give A Bai peace and joy where He has her for this time.
Her little heart is so malleable to His Word. When she comes to me with a problem she’s having with one of the other orphans, I remind her that she is the big sister there, and she needs to show Jesus’ love to them, even when they are not loving her. She readily agrees, and immediately goes over to try to hug them or play with them again.
At Orphan Camp, she was crying because someone she’d hoped would come didn’t. When I reminded her that God had given her many other blessings that day, and could she name some of them for me, she promptly answered “Jesus!” After heartily affirming her choice, I asked what else she was thankful for. Again she answered “Jesus!”
Really, that’s enough, isn’t it?
This week, I asked A Bai “If you could tell people anything you wanted to, what would you say?”
“Thank you,” she replied.
“Thank you for what, sweetie?”
“Thank you for finding me a mommy.”
Bless her sweet heart. Her faith is so strong; she is just sure that God is going to bring her a mommy and daddy. I pray she is right.
A Bai’s birthdate is listed as December, 2003, though I think she’s probably a couple of years older than that. Aside from a preliminary diagnosis of Williams Syndrome (which cannot be confirmed in China unless DNA is available from both parents), testing has revealed no other medical issues. Because she was fostered for so many months in an American household, her English is quite conversant. With her loving nature and friendly personality, I know she will be a joyful addition to any family who chooses to adopt her.
A Bai’s “I love you, because Jesus loves you!” shows her heart towards others around her, as well as towards her Savior. The question is- Will you love A Bai because Jesus loves her?
Update- A generous donor has offered to contribute $1000 towards the adoption agency fee of the individuals who adopt this child.This is just a reminder not to let finances be a deciding factor. If God means for this little girl to be in your family, He will provide!