Hesitantly, I stretched my hand out toward him. I had heard so much about this newly adopted little boy, but now that I was really meeting him…all my confidence suddenly vanished and I quaked inside. The seven year old slowly took my hand and grasped it.
“Nihao,” I said softly, gazing at the small Chinese boy.
“Nihao,” he responded enthusiastically. His adoptive mom smiled and beckoned us to come in.
I watched as the young boy, carefully guided by his mom, felt his way to a soft chair and cheerfully plumped down in it.
“What’s your name?” I asked, trying to be friendly and overcome my shyness.
“Brandon,” he answered, turning his head at the sound of my voice.
“And what do they call you in China? In the orphanage?” I reached over from my seat on the rug and gently touched his small hands so he knew where I was.
“Oh,” Brandon nodded his head, “Ming Tian.”
“What a beautiful name,” I murmured. ” ‘Tomorrow.’ ”
It was as if the name symbolized a hope for a better day. And I knew this name suited him well. I looked at the childish face that was like so many others – in all ways except for one.
Because Brandon had been born without eyes.
And that was the reason for my sudden fear, my previous anxiety about meeting an orphan that had no sight — a boy that never had any sight or even any eyes.
I had been afraid.
But now my heart ached for him, and I wondered what his world was like. At that moment, however, Brandon wasn’t feeling as solemn as I.
“Do they have Children’s Day here in America? And Christmas? What’s a new year? What’s that sound? How does an engine run? How? What? When? Why? Where? Who?”
Obviously, he had adjusted well to a new country. I answered his questions as best as I could, surprised at his curiosity and eager, unending chatter. Suddenly, put of the blue, he asked,
“Who is Jesus? What is Jesus?”
I smiled. Through God’s providence, Brandon had been placed in a Christian home and had just experienced church for the first time.
“Jesus is Your Best Friend,” I explained simply. “He loves you so much!”
Puzzled a little, Brandon said, “My (adoptive) mom loves me.”
I looked earnestly into his face, even though I knew he couldn’t see me. “Jesus loves you more than your mom, or your dad, or your siblings.”
He pondered this for a few moments, then left it at that.
But I knew seeds had been sown in his heart. When it was time to leave, I took his hand and said goodbye.
“We’ll come back and visit you, promise.”
“In the afternoon?” He asked hopefully.
“No, not in the afternoon. Not that soon.” I smiled. “Next time.”
He nodded, so I said, “Zaijian! Bye!”
“Zaijian,” he repeated happily.
This experience was so meaningful to me. We take unnumbered things for granted; for example – our natural abilities. Think of the vibrant colors that you see. Tranquil blue, earthy green, bold yellow. How would you describe color to a person who was born blind? It’s nearly impossible. Think of the sound of birds chorusing, and the sound of glorious music. These things are part of our life, and yet, we often fail to value them.
It’s only when we lose everything, that we fully understand and appreciate them.
I know I’ll be praying for Brandon and his new family.
That Girl Over There~