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 http://www.chinalittleflower.org

1 comment:

Samantha said...

Ashley! Your pictures are beautiful. I've always wanted to do one of the Lifeworks programs. Looks like you're making quite the difference over there.

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