If you’ve ever visited a foreign country, you probably know the amazing feeling of that place you’ve heard about in Geography class becoming REAL. The culture, food, music, and atmosphere is so exciting. Speaking of food, Chinese food in China is a special experience! It’s so much better over there! I wonder why…. 😉
One thing that changed my perspective for the rest of my life was visiting our second stop after Beijing: the province, Zhengzhou. It was so amazing and life changing for me. We took a bullet train from Beijing to Zhengzhou, which was really fun! The authentic food was incredible, Walmart had 3 stories, and at night the people would gather in the square and do a Chinese version of line dancing. I got to participate!
We pulled up to the orphanage gate in an old van. The atmosphere felt depressing and lonely. The playground was empty and everything was oddly quiet and dismal. I, for some reason, had half expected to see children playing outside or walking around. No such children were to be seen. The air was eerily silent. Flowers were planted around the grounds and murals were painted on the walls in an attempt to make the place more approachable, I guess.
I could honestly write a book about the sadness that I was about to behold. Hundreds, upon hundreds, of children laying in cribs. There were probably twenty children to a room, maybe more or less. Hundreds of rejected Chinese babies waiting silently. Most of these precious children aren’t even up for adoption because China has not gotten their paperwork completed or even started in some cases.
Some of the children were abandoned out on the streets and have no record of their family or where they came from. Every last one has their own sad story of how they got to this miserable place. And now they only lay there in their beds or on the floor. They lay there so long they have what’s called “crib head”- the backs of their little heads completely flat from never being held and never being loved.
Our guide told us that the reason the babies never cried was because they had eventually learned that no matter how much they cry, they’ll never be picked up. The sad truth is there’s not enough staff at the orphanage to care for all of them the way a baby needs to be cared for.
So they wait. They suffer silently.
We walked down the dark halls and viewed the rooms we were permitted to see (We only saw babies and toddlers). Cribs upon cribs, babies upon babies. There were toddlers that were so weak they couldn’t walk. Rooms full of needs, wants, stories, and souls. Some rooms were nicer than others, but all of them shared the same dreary atmosphere that will haunt my heart forever.
Many of the rejected children have disabilities. Chinese families are only permitted to have 2 children MAX. Many Chinese mothers will reject a baby that is not perfect or, just not the gender they wanted. Abortion is rampant and birth control is extremely accessible (We saw it everywhere!). On top of that, the Chinese culture is very superstitious. They will reject anyone with a disability or physical blemish because they believe they are unlucky and bring a curse. This especially hurts my heart. God loves all children, not just the healthy ones. No child is unloved by God. Buddhism has warped the hearts of the Chinese mothers who had a responsibility to love and cherish their children. But they didn’t. Now innocent lives are suffering for the sake of superstition and communist rule.
As sad as my story has been so far, there is some hope for these children. The whole reason I made the trip to China with the aforementioned family was because they were going to adopt two boys: one blind teenager and one toddler with a liver condition. Meeting these children was my favorite part of the entire trip. Words can’t describe the feelings I had seeing two precious lives change radically for the better. These two boys are not lucky. They’re just finally getting what every life deserves, and that is love. God has a plan for them and there are no coincidences in the stories of adopted children. No luck.
These two boys are now thriving here in America with a family that loves them like God loves them. They hear the gospel and they are happier than children that have grown up with a family all their lives. All of the children in China, and the whole world, deserve to be loved and have a family of their own. Every last one of them needs the gospel. Even though many of them will never have a family (a sad, but horribly true, statistic) they can all have a Heavenly Father who loves them more than any earthly parents ever could.
2 Corinthians 6:18 KJV ” And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”
Please pray for Chinese families and especially Chinese orphans. Most of all, pray for the entire nation of China to repent and turn to Jesus. The Lord can change even the communist hearts of stone. Ezekiel 36:26
Never, ever, take your family for granted! God gave you your family for a reason.
May God bless all of the people who have adopted or ministered to orphaned or abandoned children from near and far. I hope someday God will let me join them in changing the lives of children in need.