Thursday, September 22, 2005

Day 4 for Luoying team 2. We all are feeling the exhaustion factor and we have had some really hard cases this past 24 hours. Many children come in frightened, of course, and we have had a few real tigers today. Poor babies, walking into a strange building and giving over their very lives to the hands of strangers who look, talk, smell and act differently than anyone they have ever seen in their little lives. They are so vulnerable.

Of course, then there are the exceptions to that with the children who make friends everywhere they go. Our little Due from Xinjiang is such an example. We all had such a hard time today saying goodbye to her. She has won all of our hearts. She made her rounds to say goodbye to everyone and gave many hugs and kisses along the way. We all wish we could bring her home.
It was goodbye day for Cui also, and everyone on staff made the effort to come out to hug her and say goodbye. She is now a beautiful girl with a beautiful smile and a chance for a future. This one child is worth it all. She will do something wonderful. You just know that when you are in her presence. She has something great to accomplish in her lifetime. We are so lucky to have been such a small part of her future.

Our orphanage kids are really warming up to the staff and making friends along the way. One little boy from the older kids floor has taken over the recovery room and has the nurses in stitches all the time. Today Nancy gave him her surgical hat and stethoscope and he was definitely one happy camper. The look on his face said "HEY, I AM IN CHARGE HERE!!!" We were all cracking up and rolling on the floor. This is what is making memories for us all. These little moments of intimate contact with another world that opens its doors for the good of the children.

Tomorrow is our last day of surgery. We have been incredibly busy so we are looking forward to slowing down, but we have also been so intensely involved in this venture that we know it will leave a huge hole in our hearts to break our unit down. We know it cannot go on forever, but in many ways we wish it were not the end. We all talk about beginnings rather than endings. That is the gift that this mission has given to us all.