As we left the hotel on Wednesday evening, I had been playing with one of the girls adopted from Shenzhen's Social Welfare Institute. I had started calling her pengyou (pung yo) which in Chinese means friend. We did high fives in the hotel foyer and then we three families and our guide walked to Liu Hau Park, which is a couple of blocks away including an underground tunnel to get past the very busy city street.
Due to a previous commitment we left the park not long after a handful of pictures were made. We met this other family at a noodle restaurant not far away. Interesting fare to say the least. The point and choose based on a picture and hope one gets something good and edible.
After a large wheel of food was delivered and mostly consumed it was time to go back to the hotel. I started walking down the street back to the hotel, when Basha grabbed my right hand. To my left was her sister, best friend, also adopted two days earlier. To her left was their Mom and also Tian.
Hand in hand we walked down the street until at some point I turned to Basha's Mom and said, 'Your daughter is teaching me.' Long pause as I struggled to continue. 'She is teaching me love in a new way.' With that simple act of her hand in mine, that act of faith in pengyou, this daughter of Shenzhen, daughter of China, daughter of a new American family was teaching me love in a way I had never known before.
You would be correct in questioning such - why, how could this be? I can only say that this girl with her special need of cerebral palsy, spoke volumes to me. It was an electric moment.
In that moment she was saying by her touch of faith in me as pengyou - I trust you, I value you as a friend and I suppose in someway conveys the love a friend has for a friend. As best I know she is the first person with this need that has ever physically touched me.
However, in that touch, she not only touched my hand, but also my heart giving it a rush more powerful than adrenaline. The touch reached into my very soul, yet it was a touch as soft as a baby bunny's fur, delicate yet firm.
It is a moment I wish to savor over and over.