Orphanage Christmas, 2015

Christmas at the orphanage is always packed full of joy and laughter. Simple pleasures and gifts are met with shining eyes a delighted smiles. It’s hard to imagine a happier chaos. :)

Hugs are the best gifts of all!

Each year, we begin by gathering the children and the ayis around and reading the Christmas story. This year they listened quietly, even raptly, to the Luke 2 recounting of the birth of Jesus. It’s always touching to contemplate how God wove adoption into His own Son’s story (by having His earthly father, Joseph, care for Him through adoption), in order that one day we might be adopted as His sons and daughters.

After giving the ayis our gifts of appreciation to them, for loving and caring for the children week in and week out, the craziness of celebrating with the children began. Local believers had outdone themselves collecting specific items for the children…

The Gifts Arrive!

…and the boxes of gifts just kept coming!

So. Many. Presents.

It didn’t take the kids long to start opening their presents.

IMG_0281 DSC_9441

As always, shoes were probably the most popular gift.

Love my sporty new shoes!

There’s something about new shoes of their own that captivates a child…

Can't take my eyes off of you....

…and fills them with joy.

So, so proud!

Warm coats and wraps were layered on and modeled by their proud new owners.

Bundling up

I love my snuggly new coat...and my Jie Jie!

Little Red Riding Hood; isn't she gorgeous???

Beautiful outfits were properly admired.

Girly girl

Xiao Hong, lovely in her traditional outfit.

While the babies were content to just be cuddled and watch the happy activity.

Our newest Downs arrival; what a little love he is!

Sweet RuRu

God supplied so abundantly; it was overwhelming how many practical, warm, lovely, and durable things the children received.

What a joyful chaos!

King of the Mountain

Of course, what would Christmas be without toys? Like any children, the orphans delighted in playing with their prizes.

Playing is more fun with GeGe!

Fun at the end of the tunnel.

Is that not just the happiest face??

Little Drummer Boy

Stamp of Approval

Driving Miss ZhuZhu

Having a ball!

Faster!

Multi-tasking

What Christmas experience would be complete without playing with the boxes and paper?

Sweetest gift of all.

At first they weren’t quite sure what to think of this new activity…

What is this strange new game?

But they soon got over it, and reveled in the glorious mess of it.

I think I like it!

As wonderful as it all was, as fabulously excited as the children were, I couldn’t help but think of the present they all need most…the gift of a family. Clothes, shoes, toys, those are great blessings, but none of them can compare with the joy of family, and having a mommy and daddy of their very own. I’m reminded of that when I listen to this song by Steven Curtis Chapman. It’s been around a long time, but when I hear it, I’m always brought to tears thinking of the truth it conveys. What these children really want, what they need, is love and a family.

 

Please, pray for them as we enter this new year, fresh with promise and opportunity. Perhaps this is the year God will bring some of them a family.

Precious Zhong Zhong

After all, how great would it be to have this sweetheart under your tree next year? :)

He's such a lovable little stinker!

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