Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Orphans in China

So I'm out here working with teens from the US who are volunteering with orphans in China. It sounds a bit heavy and emotional. But I have to say, most of the time I remain pretty level and unemotional about it all. But every once in a while I do get overwhelmed with what the situation is and what is happening to these little people who never had any say in their own fate whatsoever. All we hear growing up is that our parents will love us no matter what happens. But what if you're abandoned by your parents?.... Who's responsibility is it to love you no matter what, when that happens?

What's more heartbreaking is that I know there are mom's out there who are agonizing over abandoning their own child. Because they had a disorder or a deformity that would be too expensive for their family to fix, they made the decision to try to give this child an opportunity at a better life. But the reality is, at state run orphanages in China, there isn't much chance at a better life, especially for those kids with disabilities.

Which is where China Little Flower comes in. They take babies with disabilities out of orphanages and get them the medical care that they need. Then they have a greater chance of being adopted.

China Little Flower also has a home for older kids, who have a pretty small chance of being adopted. Our teens have also been working with these kids. They actually have a really awesome setup here. They have 4 of what they call "Group Homes" which the older kids are split up between. Each family has a mother and a father (hired by CLF) who have signed a contract to stay on for a certain number of years, and all the kids that live within the home refer to each other as their brothers and sisters. At first I wasn't sure what to make of this, but we recently had the chance to go and spend an evening in one of the homes to make Chinese Dumplings with the family. I have to say it was one of the warmest family experiences I've ever experienced. The parents are amazing and treat every child as if it were their own. A couple of the families have their own children who they treat no differently from the Group Home kids.

These kids are really incredible and I have such a soft spot for them.

For more information about the China Little Flower organization visit

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Quote

I was given this book for Valentine's Day this year from Eliot and am only now getting around to reading it. It's called Travels by Michael Crichton, and I have to say, I'm really happy I put off reading it until now, while I'm traveling. It's seems a lot more relevant right now, and I love reading books when they're relevant to what I'm doing in the moment. Anyways, this quote really jumped out at me and put into words exactly how I feel.

"Often I feel I go to some distant region of the world to be reminded of who I really am. There is no mystery about why this should be so. Stripped of your ordinary surroundings, your friends, your daily routines, your refrigerator full of your food, you closet full of your clothes-with all this taken away, you are forced into direct experience. Such direct experience inevitably makes you aware of who it is that is having the experience. That's not always comfortable, but it is always invigorating."

-Michael Crichton


Wow, my first blog update from China. It hasn't been easy because now EVERYTHING is blocked here. Even my image hosting website doesn't work. So I've been trying to find some free time (a bit limited) to get through the Great Chinese Firewall.

Just to update everyone. Things have been going really well and we're about to end the first session of the program. Which means we're sending home 8 people on Wednesday and receiving 18 (yes 18!) more on Friday.

I've found a bit of time now just to show you some pictures of what's going on here. Here are some of the babies that live at the Baby Home that is run by China Little Flower. All are orphans, most have medical issues which is why they are here in Beijing to begin with, and some are ready to be adopted out. But all are so loveable, and I've been really enjoying my time with these precious little bundles.

For more information on these babies go to

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