Its about the …



There was some old school The Simpson’s character who would wail some phase like, “what is no one thinking about the kids,” whenever there was some idiotic plan.  This bit filled some void regarding child safety or education.  Today this phase rang through my mind when Jacob met up with one of his friends from the Orphan Hosting Program.

Over the past four weeks we have seen a lot of expression come across Jacobs demeanour. We witnessed his body language though a spectrum from emotions ranging from excitement to being melancholy to being frustrated (usually with his three little housemates). But yesterday at Laguardia Airport I witnessed a new level, exuberance.  Jacob lit up when he reunited with his travel companion, Wen De. It was like seeing two peas being put back in their pod.

The background on their friendship, as I know it, starts with the beginning of their trip from Guangzhou to Beijing to Houston to New York City some four and a half weeks ago. However, there were stronger roots showing through as the two twelve-year-olds shared stories, laughed and goofed around together. They entertained all the New York hosting families with their excitement and interactions.  They bonded or their stories.

As we gathered as hosting parents we shared our own stories as the  anticipations of saying our goodbyes to the kids gathered around us. The GWCA chaperone began organizing the kids together. She organized them in groups to retrieve their boarding passes.  The kids ebbed and flowed between each other, their hosting families and the chaperone a few more times and then it was time to say good-bye. I translated to Jacob that I was proud of him for being brave. I told him we had a lot of fun and thanked him for being a good model for my three boys. He said thank you and gave a good hug. Jacob’s forever father also traveled with us and he said his goodbyes. There was an unspoken understanding, a bond, between them where I believe that Jacob had an understanding of the shared future that lay ahead.  Wen De took the opportunity to take the translator to tell Jacob’s forever father and I that Jacob is a terrific kid.

That moment was probably the most heart-wrenching for me.  Wen De, with all his energy, his positive spirit, his being the life of the party is waiting to find his forever family. I got to spend time yesterday talking with his Hosting family.   They had all positive things to say about him.  They told about his action as a caretaker. He is engaging. He knows how to bond.  He is smart.

We will be devoting this space over the next couple of weeks to help advocate for Wen De. We are searching for a forever family who has an open heart and an open home for Wen De. We would like to find this family by September 7. We will post more information about him, about a grant for him and of course more pictures.

It is about the kids … it is about the friends … it is about family.


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