I recently had the unbelievable privilege of visiting 56 babies in a orphanage in China. I got to spend 12 days playing endless rounds of Head, Shoulder, Knees and Toes, of wiping some very smushy boogies, getting peed on a couple of times, and of course, falling completely head over heels in love with these tiny pieces of sunshine.
There were 8 of us women on the trip, and we adopted an honorary 9th member (Chloe, the best intern that ever was!) We spent 10 hours a day sitting on the playroom floors of New Hope Foster Home, and all we did was play and hold. We held all the little ones, and chased all the big ones, and ate lots of rice, and we laughed a lot, because the kids were just that fun. They would attack us for love the minute we came into the room. They wanted to swing on the swings with us, or have us put flowers(weeds) in their hair, and they wanted us to read to them, and to tickle them non-stop. They climbed all over us, and sat in our laps, and played with our hair, just like any other child would do.
But, I am not going to lie, we cried a bit too. See, all these children are special needs. They had cleft palates, and club feet, and metabolic disorders, and cerebral palsy, and down syndrome. They have big needs, and big problems for such tiny, little beings. Thankfully, the couple running New Hope are fighting hard for these kids. They are fighting for these kids to have the surgeries that they need, and they are fighting for these kids to have the kind of care that they need, and they are fighting for these kids to find the love that they need. And they are doing a fantastic job of fighting for these beautiful kids. Because once you meet these kids, you see that they are names, not statistics. Once you spend time with them, all you can see are the big smiles, and the even bigger personalities of these little charmers, and it becomes very personal.
It was in one word, a game-changer for me. It changed once again how I view my cushy, sweet life over here in the Land of Plenty. It changed once again how I view being a mom, when there are so many wee ones with no mom to fight for them. It changed how I view my God, because he expects more. He expects that we should care, and that we should love, and that we should fight for these little ones.