Dong Dong’s Bio Video

For several years now I’ve wanted to have bio videos made for the orphans, to help you get to know them better. Their fun personalities and sweet character come through so much more clearly on film than through pictures or words. Recently, God answered prayers by bringing a new couple to our volunteer group, one of whom just “happened” to be a filmographer. When he broached the idea of making videos for each child, I eagerly accepted. As you will see, he did a beautiful job. This video on Dong Dong is the first in what we hope to be a series of short films letting you meet some of our precious kiddos.

A couple of years ago, I posted this article about Dong Dong– http://pearlriverdiaries.com/advocacy/?p=236. Though he’s paper ready and his file has been on China’s Waiting Child List, no family has yet come forward to make this treasure their own.

DongDong with his eggs 4

Let me tell you about Dong Dong. Spend a day with him, as we do when we go to the orphanage. When we drive up, he’s usually waiting in the parking lot, greeting us joyously with “JieJie! GeGe! (Big sister! Big brother!), and giving us hearty hugs. Grabbing our bag with one hand to carry it upstairs, he’ll hold our hand with the other, and happily climb the stairs with us to his domain.

Throughout the day, Dong Dong is never far from one of his buddies. He’ll often have his arm around one of their shoulders as they go about their business. Because he’s a “big brother” at the orphanage, he is a leader in play. Their sometimes rambunctious fun can alternate between wrestling, acting out elaborately imagined scenes, dancing to peppy Cantonese music, playing chase, building blocks, singing karaoke, and playing ball.

With his fun-loving personality comes a very sweet and helpful side. When we give the children baths, he’s often right there to help rinse the tubs, hand us new cloths, dump out the old water, and draw up a fresh tub. He delights in being given something productive to do, and we can see the pride on his face when we commend him for his hard work.

Dong Dong is also a great cuddler. We all enjoy his impulsive, warm hugs throughout the day. In the afternoon, he often has quiet times when he just wants to curl up on our lap and rest his head on our chest. At times he’ll be so contented and relaxed that he’ll just fall asleep. Those are precious moments, indeed.

Please, watch this video and see for yourself what a sweetheart Dong Dong is. Though he has definitely made a place for himself at the orphanage, he would thrive so much more in a loving family. Dong Dong’s time to be adopted is running out. In just a few short years he’ll be fourteen, and forever unable to be adopted. Would you please join me in praying that God would bring a family to adopt Dong Dong? Perhaps that family might even be yours. Feel free to fall in love with him while you watch. Please also don’t hesitate to share this post with a friend or forum you think might be a good fit for him.

We love Dong Dong, and hope that after you watch this video you will, too! :) Contact me at joydexter@pearlriverdiaries.com if you have any questions.

Happy Day

Orphanage Day is a highlight of our week, but more importantly, it’s a highlight of the children’s week. When our van drives into the courtyard, they are waiting eagerly- calling out “JieJie! GeGe! (Big sister! Big brother!)” running to give us hugs, taking us by the hands and pulling us up the stairs for a day of love and fun.

My, how these children love to be loved! Whether they’re being tickled….

…playing ball…

…doing therapy…

…playing together with toys…

…or just being held…

(which is maybe their favorite part)

…these sweethearts thoroughly enjoy every moment of one-on-one attention.

Look at their happy faces…

…gaze into their eyes…

…bask in their shining smiles…

…and imagine what it would be like for each of them to have a family of their own and receive this kind of love and personal attention every day.

Each one of these darling children is waiting for a family.

Created in God’s image, each one of them is valuable and precious is His sight.

Are they precious in ours?

Please continue to pray fervently with us that the God who puts the lonely into families would provide a family for each one of these orphans- homes where Jesus is loved and His Word is taught.

What a day that will be for these children, when they have a home of their own and every day is better than Orphanage Day! :)

Long Overdue Update

Things on the blog have been a bit quiet lately, but (and in part because) the work is going full-blast! God has been doing some pretty amazing things for our sweet kiddos that I can’t wait to share with you so you can join me in delighting in His goodness.

Xiao Mei (Little Plum Blossom) has captured the hearts of many, and I think I’ve received more inquiries about her than any other child.

How could anyone not fall in love with that smile?

Indeed, two families in particular were drawn by those shining eyes and cheeky grin. God gave Xiao Mei an incredible weekend in August in which she both went into foster care with friends of mine in Dong Guan and was chosen by her forever family!

Xiao Mei (now called Emily) is thriving in her new foster family, lapping up the school and Bible lessons that they are giving her and quickly acclimating to her new English-speaking environment. We’re so thankful to her foster family for helping her prepare for her new home in Washington state, where a wonderful Christian family is trying to complete the necessary paperwork as quickly as possible to bring her home. Lord willing, her new life will include five siblings, four horses, a huge yard overlooking Puget Sound, and a mommy and daddy of her very own, who will love her forever. Don’t you just love happy endings?

Luke has been in foster care since infancy, but until we put him up on the blog, no one had come forward to make him their son. I could hardly believe it when I posted his picture, and within half an hour seven families were messaging me about him! God brought one family to the forefront, and as of last month, a godly Christian family from Ohio started paper-chasing to adopt our little sunshine boy. By God’s grace, they will travel to China next year and bring him home to his seven brothers and sisters. Luke is such a people-person; I cannot imagine a situation that would make him happier than being surrounded by a large, loving family!

Though I haven’t written a post specifically devoted to A Lian on the blog, many people have been charmed by her happy face and toothy smile. However, we didn’t have to search for a family in the States for her, because God provided a family right here! When we had the Orphan Camp, we prayed that God would lead the hearts of some of the volunteers towards fostering and/or adopting some of the children. Sure enough, He sent a couple who was willing to do both!

For nearly a month now, A Lian (now called Ruthie) has been fostered by this amazing couple, who has also started doing the paperwork to make her theirs forever. She has settled into their little family like she has always been there, and they’re enjoying her so much that I’m constantly getting updates about the newest cute/funny/smart things she’s been up to (I do love those updates :)).

Miss Ruthie LeeAnn is doing the happy dance to celebrate God’s gracious provision for her life! :)

All three of these adoptions are now in process, and are not finalized yet (which is why I’m not mentioning names). Please pray that God will smooth the way before these families, provide the necessary finances, cut through the red tape, and allow them to make these precious children theirs forever. He is able!

Though there have been many exciting developments for our kids, one of the children we have posted about has not yet been claimed.

Sweet A Bai continues to wait patiently at the orphanage for a family to choose her. Her prayer has been that a family would come for her before Chinese New Year. While I don’t think that is possible, I know she would be overjoyed if she at least received news of a family pursuing her before that time.

Please continue to pray for a family for A Bai. She still has a $1,000 grant available to help defray adoption costs. Share her story with your friends and loved ones. Search your heart and ask the Lord if this dear child could be your daughter. Through these long months, she has never stopped praying for a family. Let’s join her in praying that God would bring one soon!

Finally, please continue to make Jin Qiu’s adoption a matter of daily prayer.

I can’t go into details, but problems and barriers to his adoption have proliferated to the point that it would take a miracle to go through. God is a God of miracles, and I know that He can break through these barriers, if He so chooses. Please pray for wisdom in how and when to approach the various governments involved, and that their hearts would be sympathetic to Jin Qiu’s situation.

Jin Qiu is such a darling boy…my heart just longs for him to be with the godly family who is trying so hard to adopt him. Please join me in praying that God will do mighty things on his behalf!

I hope all of you realize how much God is using you in this advocacy process for these little treasures. Every time you pray, share, or (in some of your cases) come forward to adopt or donate towards their adoptions, God is using you to impact these children’s futures. Please, keep up the great work! I’m so thankful for all of your help and encouragement as you have come alongside us in being the hands and feet of Christ to “the least of these.” By the grace of our sovereign Lord, we are not laboring in vain!

 

Prayers for Jin Qiu

Dear friends, would you please join me in praying for a miracle for this darling boy? Jin Qiu, who has Down syndrome, is one of the kindest, sweetest, most helpful little boys you will ever meet. He has been at the orphanage for 8 years. At 13 years old, he takes his role as “big brother” very seriously- always quick to offer help, care for the younger children, hug and whisper encouragement to the hurting, massage weary shoulders, and give a beaming smile to those around him.

We have been praying hard for a family for Jin Qiu as he approached his 14th birthday, and God miraculously provided one earlier this year. A wonderful, Christian, home-schooling family stepped forward at the last church I addressed during our furlough in the States. They have fallen completely in love with him, believe that God wants him to be their son, and have been doing the necessary paperwork to bring him home.

Unfortunately, an unexpected, very serious obstacle has arisen in this process, and it’s unclear whether his adoption can be completed. None of us who are involved have ever seen anything like it, or know how to handle it. Would you please join us in praying that God would sweep the barriers out of the way, so that our Jin Qiu can be adopted by his family before he turns 14? Tell your friends; tell your church; pray about it together as a family around your dinner table; commit to lifting this matter up daily. We see in James 5:16b the promise that “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.”

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” God has wonderful plans for Jin Qiu, and I know that He will accomplish everything that He has concerning him. Please pray that His power will shine forth in this situation, for the praise of His glory.