Yesterday's visit to Shenzhen was an interesting experience. We crossed the border and caught a van which took us to an orphanage. It was a tall building filled with floors of children. We only visited two areas. In one area there were severely handicap children. What ages? I do not know but one boy was 18. There we colored with them all the while trying to keep them from eating the crayons and any scraps of paper that fell. We fed them raisins one at a time. Held hands with sores, patted backs, hugged on and stroked shaven heads. Of course, because I do not know Mandarin or Cantonese I could not understand what they were saying. I do not think it mattered much they still held my hands and just enjoyed some interaction. There were some children in beds when I first entered the hall. I just went up to them and put my hands on the first one I saw. Girl or boy I have no idea but the child looked up at me unable to move or talk and smiled. I talked to this little broken one and heard giggles. So, I went to all the children in the beds and put my hands on them and talked to them. More than one child responded! Cerebral palsy? I have no idea but broken twisted bodies encapsulating a little soul. I must say that they were well clothed and well fed. Their physical needs cared for but each of these little ones longs for more one on one attention. They just want a mom (or dad for that matter) to touch them. So since I fit the bill I touched and talked to as many as possible. After an hour in that hall we went to the toddlers and babies. They had a group of about 12toddlers sitting in little high chairs for lunch. We went up to them and they started crying like they were terrified of strangers which is not surprising considering that is the "stranger danger" age. We sat down in front a toddler with a hot metal bowl and spoon. The yummy food of the day was some sort of squash, greens, rice and chopped meat. It actually smelled much better than the typical jar of American baby food! I sat there trying to cool off that super hot bowl of food. Ouch! My toddler was sitting there crying so I played tickle spiders and peak a boo until she started to laugh. Such a pretty little girl. Most of the children were obviously cleft palate or down syndrome but not this one. I pray that she will be adopted into a God loving family. When she quit eating the nurse came over and spooned a huge mouthful into her mouth. Poor thing gagged and the nurse patted her back and she spit it back into the bowl. This little procedure was repeated about 12 times! I think she was truly done! The nurse took her and put her on a potty and I left. In the next room were mostly down syndrome babies although there was one with a huge head that had water on the brain. There was also a 7year old boy whose legs did not work. Mentally nothing was wrong with him although he was in the room with a group of down syndrome kids so I do not think he is being educated or stimulated to his potential. I picked up a child and that baby was so excited to be held. (A bit mooshy with the cloth diaper and food down the front!) I carried this one around for a while and talked to him/her and touched and talked to others as we walked. Then I went to put this one back into the bed and the crying broke my heart. Stiff little limbs, bad teeth obviously down syndrome but so need a mom to carry this little one around! I then picked up another downs girl/boy who was in the corner and needed some one too. This baby just melted into me and clung with all the power of his/her muscles. It was difficult to put the baby down and walk away. So many little ones with so many needs. As we were leaving a nurse walked out of the toddler area with the baby I fed. The baby blew me a kiss! I hope that I can go back and love on those forgotten ones again! In the mean time I will pray for them as often as I think of them.