Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Caring for those who care for the orphans . . . Ayi For a Day

I work with the Sparrow Fund on the leadership team of their blog, We Are Grafted In.  It is a privilege to work with amazing organization who works to encourage and support families on their adoption journey. Additionally, they now take yearly trips to China to work in orphanages, caring for the precious children waiting for their forever families and helping provide support the nannies or Ayis who care for these.

In the adoption community, we have experienced a connection with those who cared for our children prior to their joining their forever families. My children had foster parents and Ayi's who cared for them, preparing their hearts for us. On our trip in May to pick up our newest daughter, Eva, we had the unique experience of spending time with precious people who loved on our little girl until her appointed time to join us, her forever family. My gratitude to these sweet people can be fully expressed in words. I think these pictures depict the love Eva received and we felt when we visited. I will be forever grateful for them.

One of Eva's Ayi's

Two more of Eva's caregivers


Eva's Foster Father

Eva's Foster Mother





















Please check out this opportunity to join with the Sparrow Fund as they seek to care for those who care for children on a daily basis. Below is a post I am sharing from the Sparrow Blog detailing this opportunity. 

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They are oft overlooked much like the children they care for. They live in a place where what you do and how much you make is everything which means they have very little. Watching over and meeting the needs of children with no known roots is hardly considered a career; it’s a job. Some of the ayis do their best to do that job well despite the meager pay they’re given. They braid little girls’ hair, make funny faces to make babies giggle, pursue the child who looks different. Others simply do their duty. All of them are in the hard and obviously broken corners of our world, and they cannot help but be impacted by it. They go by the name Ayi or, in some places, are all called Mama in painful irony of the purpose of what they do. Their purpose is to ready children for new mamas, to care for children well enough so that they can leave to be cared for by another, living in a seemingly endless cycle of nurture and departure. Surely, most ayis are glad to see a child leave as it means he has a future and will become something he could never become where he is now. We’ve seen ayis clap their hands and laugh aloud at the news that one of their children has a family coming for her. But, we can only imagine that their hearts bear scars as well from all the goodbyes. Those scars run deeper still for those who were once little girls there themselves but never got to say goodbye. We intercede for vulnerable children, but we often overlook these vulnerable women. His hearts breaks for them as well, as should ours. It is impossible for us to truly know what their days are like, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to enter in. This effort launched today is to move us towards that and give us an opportunity to crack that door open and enter into the experience of a woman whose heart is not unlike our own.

Ayi For a Day.

The team at The Sparrow Fund has thoughtfully and carefully assembled 50 kits, each one slightly different in shades and tastes, to engage and unite 50 women in interceding for the ayis in China The Sparrow Fund serves at an orphanage in Shaanxi as well the innumerable ayis all over China. The kits include various items to use over the course of one dedicated day—shoe covers, sleeve covers, tea, chopsticks, Chinese snacks, Chinese money, and more—with specific prayer prompts to lead you in prayer as you do. But, the experience isn't over at the end of one day. Enclosed in each kit will be a postage-paid envelope you will use to return the sleeve covers to The Sparrow Fund in time to be hand carried to China on October 7th. The sleeve covers you will wear and pray over on your Ayi Day will become an ayi gift and placed on the hands of an another woman on the other side of the globe. The Sparrow Fund needs 50 women who desire to join their hearts and prayers for the sake of 50 other women in China.



50 kits for 50 women for a donation of $50 in 5 weeks. That's the goal. The money raised will be put into The Sparrow Fund's orphan care and ayi care fund. And, the prayers raised will change the world.

Click on the "Donate" button below to become one of the 50. It’s linked up to The Sparrow Fund’s PayPal account and will go directly to them. Please note #ayiday or "Ayi For A Day" in the notes field when you donate. Your kit will be sent to you next week with clear instructions on how to use it to engage your family and your own heart.

Only 50 kits are available, so don't wait to join. And, just to encourage you a little more, the first 10 women who join the effort will find a little extra gift in their kit.


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