Published on July 31st, 2011 | by Paz21
Orphanage in China
Last week I was privileged to go and visit an orphanage in China. I clearly remember the 20/20 special about Romania and their orphanages that struck the hearts of many. I believe I was only 12 years old when I saw it and I bet lots of parents would have disagreed with mine letting me watch it. I am grateful that they did. It was good for me to know that there were children all over the world much less fortunate than I. No matter how mad I could get for not being allowed to be on the phone past 9 pm; I had food, a bed, and more importantly love. Thank you mom!
A friend of mine mentioned that she used to volunteer at an orphanage near Guangzhou every week and wondered if I would like to join her to visit one afternoon. She had shown me pictures of past visits and which children were her favorite.
It is a government run orphanage in China and is about one hour outside of Guangzhou. They specialize in taking children with down syndrome and severe mental and physical disabilities. I was very eager to visit and meet the children.
I didn’t know what to really expect and was a bit nervous. After our 4 hour visit, I was sad to leave. They are all such amazing children.
The children were so happy to see my friend and me (their new friend).
Here are some of their smiling faces.
The majority of the children have severe down syndrome, paralysis, or are blind. There was actually a baby that was just adopted from the orphanage from an American family a few weeks before. I have to say one of my proudest “American” feelings ever.
There is a doctor there everyday and several nurses to help take care of the children. As you can imagine it is a huge responsibility that should never be considered an easy task.
Meet my friend!
I don’t know his name, but we are buds. Some of the children have a cloth tied around their waists and then tied to a window so that they don’t get too far from their beds. Think of it as an old day play pen. He is pretty big and can easily scale his crib. He can’t really talk, but he sure enjoyed a good giggle when I tickled him. 🙂 He has the best smile.
She is smiling from ear to ear. Meet one of the girls who is severely paralyze and I believe has a mental disability as well.
The children were in very good spirits and the joy they have is amazing. We saw many boxes of milk and bags of rice. They had plenty of yummy food. We were there in time for meal time.
Here is one of our friends enjoying their dinner.
All of the children can eat by themselves, but she wanted me to feed her. I went into “mom” mode and was asking her to sit still while I feed her. Similar to what our own dinner table looks like sometimes. Kids will be kids!
I got a picture and a smile!
Were some of the rooms a bit smelly…yes. When we entered the teenage boys room it smelled a bit. Could things have been cleaner…yes. Did I have to wash my hands as I left…yes. Could I take better care of all of these children…I don’t know. I was not there to judge. I was there to be a friend.
There was one teenage blind boy you gave us phone numbers to call for him. My friend gave him her phone and we called all of the numbers until someone answered. We don’t know what his story is, but he was happy to talk, and my friend sent the woman the address to the orphanage per her request. She was very surprised to learn that foreigners were there visiting.
Here is Sam who is very smart and speaks a little English. He has problems with his legs. He is such an awesome kid!
How can you not love that smile!!!
These kids don’t want money or diamonds they want your time. They actually get a lot of visitors on the weekends which made me very happy to hear. The kids love having visitors and meeting new people. If you ever get a chance to volunteer at an orphanage in China, please do so!
These children are amazing!! I hope to take Lupita there in a few weeks. So grateful to have this experience and for them to let me in their home.