We have just stepped inside the door to the children’s wing of the New Day Foster Home outside Beijing with the Foster Home director, Karen Brenneman. In a moment, a mini-avalanche of precious, special-needs toddlers will come barreling toward us down the hall. Among them, shyly at first, our new son Luke.
But on the wall up the stairs to our right, hangs a beautiful photo of a little Chinese boy standing in a wheat field wearing a straw hat who looks strikingly similar to our son-to-be. This, we will soon come to learn, is Paul.
Paul lived at New Day for two years and was very special to all of his caregivers. He died from complications of heart surgery at a hospital in Beijing. But his spirit lives on through Luke (who was originally given the name “Seth” by the New Day Staff after the biblical story of Seth who was born after the slaying of Abel by Cain) and through the dozens of other children still at New Day.
So we pause here for a moment on the threshold of introducing you to Luke in memory of Paul. Luke and the Straka family are just one small part of the much greater story of the love and life-saving treatments provided here and at the New Day Healing Home by the incredible, faith-filled staff. Luke and the Strakas are just one small part of the even greater story of the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the thousands of sweet, underprivileged children, their bodies broken but their beautiful souls intact, offered special grace through places like New Day. We wish we could take them all home.