My eldest sister said it best: “We all talked about the adventure Dan was embarking on and how it would change her life. None of us could have pictured this tragedy ahead of her.”
Dannye Reigh went to China with the idea of helping her dear friend, Melodie, in her home of 25+ special needs foster children. It was hard for her to go, but she knew one thing – she could not stay home living her Starbuck’s-loving, care-free single life while knowing that she should go. As shown in my last post, she did go.
Many suspected Dannye Reigh might fall in love with this new experience – so much so that she would want to stay. Dan did fall in love, but not so much with the experience as with one certain part of the experience – Baby YanZi. It wasn’t long before Dan was telling me on our daily chats that she wanted to look into adopting 9 month old YanZi. There were difficulties, of course. YanZi is special needs, as all the children there are. YanZi was a Downs baby with a cleft palate, several holes in her heart, and congestive heart failure. To compound these problems, in order to adopt a Chinese baby, you must be younger than 55 if married (which took Bill and I out of the equation) and at least 30 years old if single, which put Dan’s adoption plans off for about 9 months. So Dan collected information, began making a plan of action, and spent her days and nights loving on YanZi!
In the meantime, YanZi desperately needed surgery on her little heart. In China, you don’t just call up your doctor and plan surgery – not if you are an orphan. There is a waiting list, and it is not based on need.
So our little YanZi got worse, and on Friday, August 24, 2013, she went to be with Jesus. I can’t go into details of the lack of care given to orphans at the hospitals there, but I will say that the Lord gave Mel and Dannye a huge gift of a Chinese doctor who was sympathetic to them and to YanZi; who gave orders for them to be treated well. Even amidst the gut-wrenching grief my Dannye Reigh feels, she thanks God for this, and some other details that could have made this horror even worse.
As a Mom, I can scarcely bear being away from Dan during her grief and pain. As a Mom, though, I can praise our Heavenly Father that He is with her, and that she KNOWS He is! The road of grief is long, but Dannye is staying in China until her time is up, in October. I am longing for her, but I know this will aid in the healing process. I am so grateful for such a daughter as our Dannye Reigh, and I am eternally grateful that YanZi knew her, too. This granddaughter of my heart knew a Mommy’s great love during the last month of her short little life – the unconditional Mommy-love of our Dannye Reigh!
As a matter of prayer, please lift Dannye and Melodie up during this time of grief. Mel is Mommy to all of these children, and had already lost a little love last year. They have another little one ill even now, and without the care he needs, he won’t get better. As Dannye told me, money is not the big problem, but bureaucracy and lack of love for orphans is. Mel prays for a forever home for all of her babies, and for some, that is their only hope.
YanZi means Little Bird, and Dannye was reminded of the song, “His Eye is on The Sparrow” for the life of her little girl. It is especially poignant now:
“Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come, Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home, When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He: His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me….
“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear, And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears; Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise, When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies, I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me; His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.
I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free, For His eye is on the sparrow, And I know He watches me.”
God bless your day!