It’s been a crazy few weeks, hence the lack of posts. Within the last month, we’ve had our share of crazy weeks, amazing weeks, wild weeks, surprising weeks, and where-did-this-week-go weeks. In case you’re counting, yes, that’s five weeks in one month… because that’s how we seem to roll these days.
We’ve been talking a lot about the “next step” in our work up here. If you’re following New Day North on facebook, then you have probably seen just how well the little ones in our care are doing. Everything seems rather stable (although we’re heading out next week for a major schedule revamp and three-day intense training), which seems to mean, for my wonderfully calm and thoughtful parents, that it’s time to do something wild and adventurous. We have two big things on our radar right now. One of them I shouldn’t tell you about until Saturday (hint: it might bark).
The other thing? Well. Check this out.
My dad is now a genuine Chinese man. He owns an empty apartment. Why? Well, let me start from the beginning…
Once upon a time Chinese New Year had passed and so the time for beginning new things had begun. New clothes, haircuts, goals and aspirations and projects… it was time. John, our co-worker, began stalking Chinese real estate websites, looking for apartments in our complex that were for rent. You see, our “next step” up here is starting a local foster home/training center where we can care for special needs orphans and train local staff to go out into the other Inner Mongolian orphanages and train them. An apartment is a good first step.
Daddy and I were at the orphanage all day long. We had left the house a little after 6am and it was lunchtime when we got the call from my mom that John had found an apartment – ground floor! (our dream), and had seen it and scheduled for us to see it when we got back home around 8pm. It would either be a good fit for our foster home, or maybe even for our family. Raising a family on the 15th floor in a city is a hard thing, just ask my mama.
Our train ended up running 40 minutes late, and then it was hard to find a taxi, so we weren’t home until nearly 8:30. The real estate agent and landlord were there waiting for us, and we got a tour.
The place looked beautiful, and the location was perfect. My mom then mentioned that she had asked about a dog, and they had said “no.” She also asked about a foster home. “No” again. But what’s a “no” to stop us? I don’t know… it was quite amusing watching them walk around the apartment, dreaming how we could set up a foster home inside, when the powers that be had already decreed “no.”
We went home, watched a movie and went to bed. We had told the landlord that we would call them back the next day (Saturday.) Saturday morning dawned and my parents began a day of discussions. They talked and talked, planned and dreamed. They figured it all out and had it all arranged. Only one problem: the landlord had said “no.” Oh, and in my family, we don’t make decisions in hours… even days. We take weeks and/or months. Soo…
Saturday night, March 7th 2015, we called the real estate agent and asked again about a dog. “No.” Okay then, what about a foster home, “No.” Well, could we at least come and talk about it, and if we make a decision we can put down a deposit tonight? “Sure.”
Is this situation not weird? I was boggled.
We went to the apartment. Sitting on the coffee table was a lease, ready to be signed. We showed the landlord pictures of our current room of kids in the other government orphanage, mats on the floor and smiles on the faces. We said “we’re not starting a preschool with many kids, only a few children will live here. And our hope is that they’ll all be adopted before they’re old enough to tear a house apart!”
“Okay, that’s fine!” she said.
And then we signed the lease. We paid a deposit. We scheduled to meet with them the next week and choose which pieces of furniture we wanted and which we didn’t want.
We rented an apartment. Aiya.
We’re starting a foster home. Aiya.
Now we have a million more things to do. Aiya.
And that’s the story! Sometimes you just need to do the crazy thing, take a leap (or belly-flop?) of faith and say “yes, we’ll take it.” We’re thankful, so very thankful. God is good and faithful and even though we most often have no idea what we’re doing, He’s gently leading us through this process of surrender and big-steps. It’s going to be good.