Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Choked Up

I didn't cry on Gotcha Day. Lots of parents- and even more kids do, but I wasn't moved to tears. The first time I cried was four days later when I visited Yang Xi SWI (Tenley's orphanage) and I saw her crib. I knew about the harsh realities of Chinese orphanage life- and technically YX is shiny, new & state of the art- but seeing the cage that Tenley had lived in for 9 months brought me to tears. No mattress, no blankets, no bumper, no mobile- just a wood board and bars.

She lives in the lap of luxury now: a full size bed with a fluffy pillow and Disney Princess sheets keeping she and her bazillion stuffed animals cozy every night. She's seen these pictures, but she doesn't remember this place. She's still bears it's mark though: sleeping on the board left a large flat spot on the back of her head that has made her ears uneven- one is higher and one is further forward. You will never see me put a headband on her, and God help her if she needs to wear glasses.
This is all almost 3 years in the past, and I don't generally spend my days thinking about it. But today I cried about it again- but this time it was tears of joy and gratitude.
This website belongs to Shana and Derek who are traveling all over the world on their honeymoon. One of their destinations was China, and one of the things they did was volunteer at - of all places- Yang Xi. They too found the cribs heartwrenching, and in December they created a small miracle for those girls. Click on the links, and enjoy their adventure.
I am so grateful to these people I have never met for their kindness and generosity. If they or any of their friends of family who donated read this: THANK YOU. It makes a difference- a huge difference. Even to me- 3 years and thousands of miles away.
I will never forget the sight of Tenley's nursury- and Shana and Derek's pictures transported me right back to that day. And the December pictures have given me peace made me smile - 120 little lives changed. Proof positive that it is amazing what good can come from generosity and an open heart.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008