Change the World of One

It’s when you travel that you’re reminded that a good dinner the night before makes all the difference. The wonderful orphanage director had treated us to a yummy late night dinner, and we were able to get to sleep almost immediately with a good meal on our stomachs and a long day ahead.
I almost can’t believe I was here just six months ago, interviewing the kiddos who are now about to arrive in just a month’s time. It reminds me that there are always more orphans to serve, and I sometimes find myself overwhelmed by thinking how I can help each and every one of these beautiful children. Reality sets in, and I remember that I can’t change the world, but I can change the world of just one. For every one child in hosting that finds his or her forever family, that is one difference I know I can make.
 12 yr old girl - day one
Interview days are exactly like you imagine them – full to the brim. Before we can even get situated with our interview materials, the first kiddo is walking into the room. She is 12 going on 13, and my heart breaks for the children who will hit 14 and age out of the orphanage system here in China. In the moment of seeing her face, I’m reminded of the sense of loss you see in so many of the children’s eyes in the orphanages. There is a sense of waiting, wanting for someone to be their family is never ending. Many of these eyes have a look of desperation and even despair because the wait has been so long.
the brothers
To our surprise, the highlight of our day was meeting “the brothers.” If you’re familiar with adoptions in China, siblings are quite rare in the orphanages, as most children are placed there from birth. Even more rare, these two little guys are healthy, handsome, and smart as can be. At 13 and 9, these two kiddos desperately need a saving grace – the oldest is set to age out in just under a year. We will need to find a family ready to start bringing them home NOW to help them. They are typical boys and brothers, but they told us that they don’t get annoyed with each other. Even more heart-wrenching, the younger brother told us he cares for his brother VERY much. I know when we get back, the team will be ready to do everything we can to make sure they get to stay together and grow up in the forever family that they so deserve.
After a day full of 22 interviews, we hopped back onto the bus for the 5 hour ride back to Guangzhou. We chose to again stay away from the “unidentifiable meat products” and made it back to our hotel pretty late in the evening. Our bodies still haven’t adjusted to the time, so we headed down the street to find dinner that was a little more identifiable. While I tried some chicken on a stick, the rest of the crew was feeling a little less adventurous, opting for Pepsi and Snickers, the dinner of champions. We’re now settling in to rest up and get ready to meet another 30 fresh faces tomorrow, each with their own hopes of finding their forever family.
Until then 干杯! (Cheers!)

– Shannon

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