Now that I have successfully completed the first half of my time here at the Home, I thought I should update the blog with a little more than the quick updates I have been doing. I had very good intentions of being a very regular poster, but like at home, life keeps sneaking up on me and giving me more interesting things to fill my time with. Babies are napping now so I have the perfect opportunity to fill you in on some of the details of life here in Lu-Dong, Taiwan.
I have to admit that the first two weeks I was here, I thought I was going to die. I went through a lot of emotions those first few weeks and I'm daily grateful that I made it through that time. I guess I knew that it would be hard but I really had no idea what it would be like to be achingly homesick for family and friends and everything else familiar and comfortable. Because absolutely nothing here is like anything back home, for someone who likes things exactly the same, it really hurt at first. But now that the people I am with are no longer strangers and I have people to share this experience with, life is so much better. After a month and a half I have become familiar with the faces and the routine here so much so that its beginning to feel not just like the Home, but like a home.
We currently have 9 babies here which is a lot less than I was expecting to be here. When I first arrived in August there were 15 babies, but we've had 9 go home and 3 more arrive since then. But having a fewer number babies did something for my pride that needed to be done. I came with the idea that they needed me and I was going to be a hero for the struggling and overworked orphanage. Instead I find that I could go home and I wouldn't be missed and sometimes having too many volunteers in more of a hassle than anything. Ouch! But what I have seen the last few weeks is that I came here to serve and that doesn't have to be what I thought it should be. I find that with fewer babies to look after, I have a greater capacity to look for the other areas that I can serve in. Sometimes that means just being a friend with the other homesick volunteers, or being a peacemaker between parties that don't always understand one another, other times its just laughing and giving hugs to the orphanage kids. I don't always know, but I do know that when my attitude is to serve, the opportunities are there, and the opportunities are many.
On a daily basis I'm reminded of God's creativity is so many different areas. He is very gracious in the small gifts that I am blessed with in a never ending flow. Each day something small and new will come along to remind me that I'm not here alone and I can get through another day because this is God's plan, and not mine. Each one of the babies here is such a precious little person with unique gifts and laughter that make them easier and easier to love. I knew I would love them, but had no idea how much I would grow to love the little smiles, giggles, and noises that each one of them makes. I had no idea how my heart would thrill at the excitement they have at seeing me when I get them out of bed each morning. I sort of imagined that after a few weeks I would want a little bit of a break from holding babies and that I would be going bonkers from crying babies and dirty diapers but have been pleasantly surprised to find that God created a very unique feature into babies. He made them impossible to grow tired of. When I get back from an outing, one of the first things I want to do is gather a baby (usually Cade) into my arms and cover his little face with kisses.
I'm glad that I've reached the top of the hill and can begin the countdown until David gets here, but I'm equally glad that I still have half my time left. The longer I am here, the more I love Taiwan and especially the people. I've been extremely blessed by the girls I work with, Showhwa, and Bev, each in very different ways. I'm so thrilled that I get along so well with each one of them, I had little visions of being stuck here for three months with people I really disliked, because that would be the best thing for character growth. God saw otherwise and has made it possible for me to grow in ways other by trial!
I realize this isn't so much of an update as to what I've been doing, but how I've been doing. It seemed a little more appropriate for me to put all this down, than a day to day explanation of whats been happening here, since thats easy to do with some quick pictures.
Thank-you to each and everyone of you who have been following the blog, commenting on facebook, the endless supply of wonderful emails and phone calls I get. . . you've made me feel blessed to have you in my life, I am excited to come home and see you all, but for now, I'm excited to remain here and enjoy the experience as completely as I can.