I packed two extra suitcases for China. They were full of toys and clothes to bless the kids Morning Star Foundation and Ben’s original state orphanage, but they also held gifts we had picked out for the precious women who had cared so dearly for our son. They were simple tokens, a framed photo of Ben, a Chinese Bible and a small heart necklace with an imprinted ampersand symbolizing their beautiful hearts which are always open to adding another child to their home. These gifts seemed so small compared to the gift they gave us by loving our son like he was their own child for over two years. So, I wrote a letter to each of his main caregivers trying to express how we felt and had it translated by a Chinese friend. How hard it was, to sum up in a letter what these women had given us. I told them I included a Bible in our gift because the love they gave our son reminded me of the love of a certain man in the Bible, the man the whole story is pointing toward, the man who gave his life for us so we could be restored to God the Father. They had loved our son at a sacrifice to themselves; they loved him even though they knew they would be a day they would have let him go. This kind of sacrificial love is so rare and breathtaking, they needed to know they had loved like Jesus, they had shown Jesus to our family and Ben, and I desperately wanted them to see the love of Jesus if they had never experienced it. Giving Jesus to them as they had done for us was the only gift I could give them that could repay the gift they had given us. I only got to meet one of his primary caregivers but our time together was so special. We watched her put him down for a nap rocking him and patting his back until he fell asleep, both our eyes full of tears. Her tears fell because this was one of the last times she would watch him fall asleep, my tears fell because I was watching true love in action. Sacraficial love. And as we walked out of that room arm in arm I wept as I thanked her, pointing to her heart and back to mine saying, "mama," for these women will always be Ben's mothers, a mothers love never leaves you, even if an oceans divides you. I can not think of more worthy women to share the role of Ben's mother with than these precious ayi's. ,
I hope and pray this story pushes you to love sacrificial love! If these women have inspired you to love like Jesus would you consider giving them a gift for Chinese New years!? Laura Kelley of Pitterpat art has organized a caring page to help raise money to give the Ayi's a cash gift and a motorized scooter! Even one dollar will help us reach our goal!
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Love never fails.