Well its taken a few days to get back into reality! We had a fantastic experience in Hong Kong and china and got to see things that you could not imagine still exist! The orphanage of course was the high light of our trip, so I thought today I would blog about that...
We were both feeling a lot of emotions leading up to the day... excitement, joy, sadness, anxiousness and nervousness all at the same time! Approaching the orphanage, I was really surprised how pleasant it looked. We were met at the gates by the manager of the orphanage. It was great that we had our friend and manufacturer, Herbert there with us, as no body spoke a word of english! We had two HUGE bags full of toys, clothes and blankets thanks to you all!
unfortunately we were not able to personally give the gifts to the children, which we thought was understandable, as they would most likely have to go through them all first to check that they were clean and no hazards.
We could tell however that they were EXTREMELY GRATEFUL! We walked through the corridors and viewed each room. There was a physio room, which we thought was a wonderful resource given that the majority of the children have some sort of disability.
We then walked past the little pre-school room where they were all eating their lunch and looked really happy!
It was very nice to see. The tears had already started welling in my eyes.
We turned the corner and were greeted at the end of the corridor by a very special little man that had a very old soul. His eyes looked straight into mine; I knelt down and opened my arms and he walked in for a cuddle!
The next room, was just so heart breaking and heart warming at the same time! These babies were just beautiful!
Most of them were born with some sort of problem. We were talking to our chinese manufacturer and he said that in the city they can only have one baby each and in the country they are allowed 2 as long as the first baby is a girl, then they are allowed to try for a boy. So pretty much, when a baby is born that is not quite perfect they are very unwanted by most chinese parents. Most could not afford the medical needs of these children and others would much rather try again for perfection. These babies are left on the side of the road to be picked up by the police and taken to the orphanage.
Its horrible, but it is the reality that these poor babies face. this orphanage has around 130 orphans from all over Quanzhou and the money that all of you helped us raise will go towards sponsoring a beautiful little girl "Hannah" that was born with heart problems, cleft pallet and a few other health issues. We have also asked to provide the babies with some soft mattresses. This was a bit distressing to us, they used towels that were tied around their waist with rope as some padding on the hard wooden base of the cots.
We should not have favorites, but we each fell in love with a baby and cannot get them out of our head! I have even looked into adopting a Chinese baby, because I was so touched by my experience. Unfortunately, it looks like the Australian government just makes it extremely hard and costly to adopt an international baby. There is no way around it except living in another country for more than one year, then adopting through their countries government only, then applying for a visa once you are ready to return to Australia! I can't believe that Australia has so many resources and so many parents that need a baby and these babies are sitting waiting in orphanages for a home and our government cannot simplify the process. I was shocked to hear that Parents usually wait around five years before successfully adopting an international baby. Kate's little guy that really touched her heart was 4 months old and was in desperate need for surgery on his cleft pallet. He was beautiful and so alert for his age!
The little girl I cannot stop thinking about was on her way to the USA the next day to join a family. She had so much personality and was my snuggley Koala bear!
There was a gorgeous little boy there too, that was so positive and happy but will and has come up against so many challenges in his short little life that it deeply saddened all of us. He was born albino, blind, cleft pallet and a heart condition........WHY?
Lets hope someone can find it in their heart to choose him!
"Love without boundaries" is doing a fabulous job supporting the orphanages in China. They help provide bedding, clothes, toys and much needed medical assistance. It has really inspired Kate and I to go further with this and assist in Balinese orphanages next year. These children will never be forgotten by Three Little Trees! xx