Two things have been much on my mind when I think about meeting Peter. I want to see and experience his first home. I want to visit the orphanage where he has lived since he was 10 days old. I’ve seen some pictures and I know it’s big, but that’s it. And for me, it’s not enough. I want to walk inside. I want to see it, smell it, breathe it. I want to know it, as much as it can be known by a visit. I long to know and experience all this- but not just for myself. I want it for Peter. When he’s older, I want to be able to tell him about where he lived for most of his first two years. I want him to know that I was there. I want him to know that I saw and touched and listened as much as I was able. My desire for this is so strong.
But the reality is that most likely, we will not be able to visit Peter’s first home. Until a few months ago, I thought that we would pick Peter up at the orphanage. But that is not the case. Most adoptions in China take place at the Civil Affairs office in the capital of the child’s province. The capital of Peter’s province is 2 hours away from where he lives. So he will travel 2 hours with a nanny to the Civil Affairs office, and that is where we will meet our little boy. At that time, we will request a visit to the orphanage. We hear that only about one fifth of the requests for orphanage visits are granted.
The other thing I’ve been thinking about is all the children who are left behind. When we come home with Peter, he will never be alone again. He will be (and already is) loved and cherished more than words can say. But there are 300 children who live in the orphanage with him. 300 children who have to stay there. The girls have been especially worried about them. Hannah has been asking what we can do for them, and longing to do something.
So about the little owls. Steve’s brother’s family from Oregon was visiting us last week. And we decided at the last minute to celebrate Emily’s birthday early while her cousins were here. Rachel, my sister-in-law, quickly went to work knitting up a little owl to give to Emily for her early birthday. She found the pattern and knit the whole thing in 2 days. And it is super cute. Emily loves it!
The next night, Rachel and I were knitting and talking about Peter. Is there anything else to talk about? I was telling her about these two things, and she had a brilliant idea. We should knit, crochet, or sew as many little animals as we can, take them to the Civil Affairs office when we meet Peter, and ask if we can take them to the orphanage and pass them out. Our hope is that the Director will see our desire and longing, as well as our love for the kids, through the fact that each animal is handmade. Even if he doesn’t allow us to visit and pass them out ourselves, the children who are left behind will receive something, maybe the first thing, that was made just for them out of love. It’s perfect! And when Hannah heard the idea, she said it was just the answer she’s been looking for!
So here’s the thing. We would love to take as many little animals as possible. As I said above, there are 300 children at Peter’s orphanage, and we are leaving in (hopefully) 14 days, on January 24. We are still waiting “patiently” on the last approval. I would love to see just how many we can get. I know the time is short (hopefully), but my hopes are high! Rachel is hoping to make 5 in time to send them to us before we leave. I’m hoping anyone who reads this who can sew or crochet or knit, might want to make one or two or three, or maybe pass the word on to someone else. I’m thinking the animals should be small, so we can fit them in our suitcases. And we need to make sure there is nothing on them that would be a choking hazard. The owl in the picture has button eyes, but it would be better to embroider eyes for the orphanage. And ANY kind of animal would be swell- it doesn’t need to be an owl! Leave a comment or email me if you need ideas for a pattern of some kind. This site has some really cute animal ideas for sewing- Gingercake And another one- Molly Chicken You could even just sew a square and stuff it and embroider a face on it! Here are some other cute knit animals- Petite Purls , as well as a little doll Petite Purls And here’s another picture of Rachel’s owl to give you an idea of the size.
Please join us! I’m hoping to finish one, maybe on the airplane, seeing as I’m not all that speedy!
Happy knitting, crocheting, or sewing!
And happy 20 month birthday to Peter! Hopefully this will be the last one before we meet you!