We hosted Daniel, a foster child who is originally from an orphanage in the area, for the month of January as a respite for his regular foster mom.
Daniel has a complicated history, but it includes a lot of self-stimulation that is likely a combination of institutional survival skills on top of possible autism and other diagnostic conundrums.
It was quite grueling for me in the sleep department (he literally woke up nearly every night at 2 am-ish and was up for the day after that), and rather stressful as the rest of the crew still had their daily needs that needed met.
So much that I would describe it as the most stressful month of my time in China, except for the few months after having a newborn in a brand new culture, illiterate and also sleep deprived to the max three years ago.
But despite our night-time adventures, he was actually quite pleasant during the day and our kids became quite fond of him.
Especially our second daughter and China Surprise really grew to love him.
After we returned from our month away, they were begging to go and visit, so the past two weekends we have taken a little family mission to v
isit him and his foster family and play together for a couple hours.
As soon as we entered the door these past two Sundays and the kids began playing with him, he lit up and clapped and really enjoyed himself.
I do not regret a single day of having him in our home, especially seeing the relationship our kids have with him that is continuing after a time of separation.
I hope all of them grow up to have a heart of compassion for those who are vulnerable, marginalized and cast aside by most in society.