Hugs and Waffle Fries

By Tracy Scoggins


 Since the moment 7 year old Jia spotted us at the airport in Chicago, we’ve been absolutely amazed at how happy, trusting and adaptable he seems to be.  He waved goodbye to his friends and chaperones, grabbed host dad’s hand, and off they went!  We still had 2 more flights to get to our home in Richmond, VA, and he just rolled with it, despite his exhaustion and jet lag.  Amazing!

He shares a room with our 11 year old son, and that seems to give him a lot of comfort at bedtime.  When we tuck them in and shut the door, we hear a loud, “Gut night, COLE!” followed by a much softer, “Good night, Jia Qing.”

Each morning is the same.  He gets up with the other kids to watch TV or play, eats a huge breakfast, and then takes a bubble bath.  He LOVES bubble baths!  Although he is quite independent, he has let me wash his hair, clip his nails, clean his ears, etc. without so much as a fuss.

Our family loves Chickfila, and we didn’t wait long to introduced him to the new love of his life:  WAFFLE FRIES.  When we pull into the parking lot he smiles and claps his hands!  The other thing that apparently is very new to him is HUGS.  When he first arrived, although he was very happy and compliant, he didn’t seem to have a clue about giving or receiving hugs.  He would either go stiff as a board or just push us away altogether.  Slowly, as he started seeing his host siblings getting hugs or sitting on mom or dad’s lap, he started moving in that direction, too.  Now?  Oh my- he’s a hugging machine!  He loves piggy back rides (also new to him) and even gives and receives kisses.  It’s been such an incredible transformation!

God’s hand has been evident from the very beginning, when we first saw Jia’s photo on the Project 143 page.  Not only were we able to raise the entire 3K in hosting fees, but we then raised another 2K, needed to fly him and us to and from Chicago (twice!).  We’ve enjoyed him so much, and we are just humbled and thankful to be the family to make a difference in this little guy’s life.  I’ve been blogging about our experience with him, and spreading the word as much as I’m able, about orphan hosting.  It’s not an easy road all the time, but it is SO worth it.  When he runs into the kitchen to HUG me and say, “HI MOMMY!” it is all worth it!