Those without food and clean water, and a sound roof over their heads. Dressed in rags and cold of body and of spirit. Living without hope or joy. Never a hug or a kind word. Struggling just to get through each day.
Since we came back from China it is becoming clearer everyday that those children are luckier in so many ways than the poorest of the poor who now reside in Africa. Now that China's economy is booming and people are becoming better able to provide for their children fewer will be given up and those left in orphanages will be fostered which is the trend. The SN will hopefully continue to be adopted and those severely disabled will be better cared for than before.
What saddens me so is that we think what these orphans need is lots of clothes and cute shoes and headbands. Photo ops of holidays that aren't celebrated in their culture...like Easter and Christmas. The effort put forth for those is simply confusing for the children. Scrapbooks that cost many dollars that could be eliminated, redirecting the cash to medical/surgical care, not to mention the time spent on them which would be better used just holding a baby or playing with a toddler or teaching the older children. Best of all would be putting all that time, effort and money into making adoption happen quicker, whether domestic or international, so they have a home and parents who love and care for them and who will build those memories with them.
The best foster home in the world cannot make up for family. At least the children have bed and shelter and food. Thank God..... for the nannies who care for them; who have families of their own yet spend 12 hour days with these little ones and do grow to love them as best they can. It isn't always an easy job; to the volunteers who give money and time and so much "stuff" and who leave their own homes to travel with the babies and care for them after their surgeries and serve on Boards and paint and change diapers and........I am hoping everyone gets the picture. And I am sorry for going on......if I could sum it up in just a few words I would.
It makes no sense to me to spend nearly $1000 on shipping cartons of new clothing, which again costs hundreds and hundreds of dollars, to a country where most of those items came from when that money could feed countless orphans in Africa or pay for surgery or support a good charity that uses the money in a thoughtful and productive way.
For me and my family I am going to try and cut back on the things like hot tubs and the like and try to teach my girls that toonie parties can still be fun. Half of the money for the birthday girl and half to a good cause of their choice and hopefuly involving children. We will continue to bankroll our 3 foster children through World Vision, where we are sure the money we send reaches the orphans. We will try to volunteer in our community and I will take my two youngest back to China next March break to volunteer at The Hope Foster Home near Beijing.
While I am at it also ....we don't give goody bags either........we are helping Mother Earth by cutting back on plastic consumption and the money goes elsewhere too. It is the parents who feel they are not good enough if they don't carry on this tradition who insist on it. The kids could care less and just have fun with their friends!!!
Now stepping down from the soapbox..........for now.