Today was our 2nd day at China Care. This is definitely not a sad place... but a place that takes very sad circumstances and turns them around completely. :) Today I spent the morning in the baby room. There about 10 children there, all between a few months old and 2 years old. All of them were born with some sort of medical need... all of them are receiving medical attention, rehabilitation and incredible care from the staff here.
Brent, an American who gave us a short orientation upon arrival, said that "80% of children who are in state run Chinese orphanages, will die by the time they are 3 years old." What? That statement was startling to me. That means 8 out of every 10 children will not survive. It doesn't even seem possible. He said that children should eat every few hours or so. In state run orphanages they are not fed enough. They become weak, even the strong ones, not to mention those who have cleft lip or cleft pallet and require special attention in order to get enough milk or food down. Then over the weekend they often miss a meal here and there, by Monday morning they are so weak that they become tired and sick, then by Tuesday you've just about lost them. That is unbelievable.
It is very sad to hear of those circumstances. At the same time, it is equally encouraging to spend time with children who have or will receive services through China Care. Some of them look totally normal but have a foot that is turned backwards. Others look, what word can I even use... mangled. But not for long. :) Even those in the worst cases, have the most beautiful smiles and eyes you could ever imagine. Just little angels in a body not quite as 'picture perfect' as others might be, but with spirits and character that allow you to look right past it all.
No matter the size of the portion that many of you have set aside, we want you to know how great an impact it will have. It takes only a few people giving a small portion to make a huge difference in the life of child who is really in need. From $300-$500 can cover the medical costs for a child that has cleft lip, and/or cleft pallet, or to reconstruct the feet and bones of a child that otherwise would never have been able to walk and for that reason would have a very small chance of ever being adopted. Many of the children here are in rehabilitation and waiting to be picked up by their new moms and dads. Talk about love... people are really responding and differences are really being made. While we are here, we have the opportunity to decide in what way so many of your donations will be used. Please help us to pray over this.
Thanks for keeping up with our trip and for showing compassion towards these children! Sally.