Thursday, July 5, 2012

The China Team


I have been to China 6 times now. I leave a little bit of my heart here each time I come home.
 I wanted to talk about the support team here in China. I spoke about Mary in Nanchung last week. This week I need to talk about one of the most crucial members of the China team, Beijing Rocky. I first met Rocky last year when we were going to Harbin and Jiamusi. That was a really hard leg of a trip where we needed back up. He was great. Dealing with officials, as my second translator when Gongzhan was busy and all manner of making me feel comfortable. Preparing me for what would come next. Dealing with any problems that arose. Rocky also accompanied us to Nanchung this trip. Endured all those hours in the van and then helped me with the babies, translating medical records and serving as an interpreter for me with orphanage staff and foster Moms. He is familiar with hotels, airlines and all that is official in China. We call him our facilitator. He is a travel guide but even more, smooths our way, coordinates any issues that arise. He is in the central location of Beijing. That is where the CCCWA is located. They jokingly told him last week they had a desk picked out for him. Missing pieces are his specialty. Pulling a rabbit out of the hat, finding, collecting or working on what ever needs it . He will coordinate travel, rebook flights, help families who's flights are delayed. He once waited 8 hours in an airport for a family. Sometimes he will even make snacks for families, helping them any way he can. He retrieves documents, gets them where they need to be and is the helpful face at any official agency Gladney needs him at. If you go through Beijing with Gladney, you will meet him.  He has been so helpful in my trips, translating, facilitating and making me feel totally comfortable in even the most foreign situations. I do not know what i would have done without him.   
I have been privileged to meet and be supported by Beijing Rocky. I am so lucky to have the opportunity to work with him. Along with Ashley in Hunan, and Jack in Guangzhou this makes up Gladney's china support team. I have met Ashley who is also wonderful and an excellent English speaker as well as a kind and caring individual. I have yet to meet Jack. Maybe next trip.
We are so fortunate that Gongzhan has put together such an amazing team.  It allows me to be so effective and allows families to travel with comfort and support.  This is my thank you to Rocky, my thank you to Gongzhan for another incredible trip and my hopes that many families open their hearts to the wonderful children I met on this trip.  Then they too can travel to china to be united with their children and meet these incredible individuals who comprise the China team