Many of you knew that I was going to try really hard to try to visit Maria's Big House of Hope while in China. Thrilled that last weekend it worked out for the other Stephanie and I to make the trip to LY for a couple of days. Stephanie one of the other volunteers here at New Hope was very interested in coming down with me as this was her first trip to China. I was excited to go to the Big Blue house that I had visited and helped at on my past trips. For those that don't know Maria's Big House of Hope was built and funded by Show Hope ( Steven Curtis and Mary Beth Chapmen's organization ) in partnership with New Hope Foundation . Maria's is the home to 140 critical care special needs babies. Mariah who is the head nurse at Maria's and I have kept in contact over the past 4 years. My first trip to China was a week after she arrived. It was wonderful to sit and talk to her for a bit and show her some updated pictures of my crazy family.
|Stephanie, Stephanie and Mariah|
I was super excited to reconnect with the staff at Maria's,some of which I've had the honor to call friends for the last 4 yrs. It was also great to hang out and talk to the 2 interns down there. Dan came over a couple weeks before me and will be leaving in August too. Kelsi arrived about a week after me and will be there until October. They are both so wonderful and you can tell they are a huge blessing to all the kids there. I was also able to meet the wonderful Martin family, which I have heard so much about. Dr. Steve is the in house doctor at Maria's. He lives there with his wife Laura and their 6 kiddos.
I loved being able just to float in and out of nurseries and have none of kids know me. Yes, I know that sounds strange but whenever I walk into a nursery at Hope I am attacked by my preschoolers. This means I never get to sit and hold any babies!! So I had 2 goals while I was visiting the nurseries at Maria's. The first was to go and find the tiniest,(holdable)baby in house! I was able to do just that and for a solid hour I just loved on this tiny bit of God's perfection!
My second goal was to find all the babies that have been blessed with an extra chromosome like my brother. I loved going around and playing or holding all the sweet babies with Down syndrome. They just melted my heart and made me miss Jameson and the rest of my siblings so much more.
It was a wonderful trip but I could not wait to get back to New Hope and see all the kiddos that I know and love. I missed the feeling of knowing all the kids names when I walked into a nursery.
I have attached a few pictures to the blog from my trip
|It was a super clear day flying out of Beijing|
|The Sponsor team was still there for our last night so we enjoyed a rooftop cookout with them.|
|Painting done by Stephanie H.|