We are on the bullet train somewhere in the country side between Qufu and Nanning. We are also between stunning modernization and staggering poverty. We have been in an elegant chandeliered powder room and an hour later in a public latrine with no privacy stalls and a ditch to squat over. We have eaten fried cicada, sea cucumber and chicken feet. We have tried to function in the bitter cold and now the rosy red of the children cold burned faces bring an uncomfortable new meaning. What an introduction to life my American raised girls are getting.
We have equally frightened and mesmerized the children of three orphanages with our technology, unfamiliar language and stranger faces in the whirlwind that has been the last three days. We have firmly imbedded in our hearts the children of Ruzhou, Heze and Jining. Their caregivers have become our dear comrades as we work together to help the children living under their roofs. Each adult works for them to have a future with health, opportunities and family. The children are ready. They wish to be included. When I hugged each child and whispered in their ear that I was working hard to find their family and ended my embrace with a kiss, they leaned in for more. Some were quick to kiss me back. All remained waiting as we left and the security door was locked behind us.
It is hard to see so many children who struggle. It is impossible to meet every need at once but we will certainly wear ourselves out trying to meet as many needs as we possibly can. We need the help of every person that can lend a hand or offer a prayer.