Miss Gioia

Saturday, February 2, 2008

The Ones Left Behind

When we leave China in two weeks, we will leave with one baby girl. But we will be leaving so many behind. I was surprised that I did not cry at the social welfare institute when we picked up Gioia. As she was brought in the room, I just felt overwhelmingly peaceful and thankful. But when we took a little tour, I walked through two rooms filled with cribs. And those cribs held babies all bundled in blankets as protection against the cold. Then, I cried. For all the babies who have not yet found their families. For the babies who never will.

I am not sure if you have been following the news of China, but the southern half of this country has been hit by some record winter storms. In certain areas, power is down, water is not running, and food and coal prices have doubled or tripled, as no new supplies can get through on trains. This is very bad for China, but it is incredibly bad for China's orphaned children.

This afternoon, I read an email from Jenny Bowen, who runs a charity to benefit orphans in China. Her email (which you can read here) contains reports from orphanages across China in the aftermath of these storms. Many institutes are fine, but others are struggling with no water and no heat. Some places are asking for funds to help buy food, as prices have increased so dramatically in the past week. Some say "help other places first," and then go on to say, "but if you have 200 warm blankets for children, please send those."

I don't usually post about charities or causes to support, as we feel that giving is very personal. But today, as I watch my new daughter nap in her warm hotel room, I thought it was appropriate to remember those thousands (millions?) left behind.

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Blogger Angela said...

Your writing is so perfectly worded and brought tears to my eyes! We are still waiting for a referral, and one of those "cold" babies might be ours. It just breaks my heart, as I wonder why the slow down, if they have babies in there freezing, why have'nt they referred them yet? Anyway, I made a donation last night, what else could I do!
Your little angel is just too precious! Hope y'all make it home safetly and don't get stuck in the snow!

February 4, 2008 1:24 PM  
Blogger krj said...

I found you through Johnny, congratulations on your new little girl (who is,by the way, simply beautiful).

Your reflections about the SWI and those left behind reminded me of one of the best books I have read in a very, very long time "China Ghosts".
Life with baby will be hectic, but I'm certain you will fully relate to the experience of this dad and his emotions in bringing his daughter home.

Best of luck to all of you.

February 5, 2008 3:46 AM  

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