My Chinese Babies

Whenever I come home to Kunming, I cannot leave without visiting my babies at the orphanage/school in the foothills at the north edge of the city.  They have my heart, I tell ya.  And I love like they were my own babies.

Today was that day.  A dear friend, Cookie, met us and took the long hour and a half bus trek across the city. Do you lovelies wanna come along?!  It might make you cry. . . I did.

This orphanage/school is unique, in that the director has adopted almost 30 children himself and hosts hundreds of other poor village kids for school each day.  They also have a booming Kung Fu school on the premises.

At face value, this seems like a great situation, but the rumored stories from the older girls about the director, curdle my stomach in anger.  While the school and buildings decent by many orphanage standards, the children still live very alone.  With only some teachers watch over them during the after school hours, my hearts aches for their loneliness.

It's been almost a year and a half since I've seen the kids.  My heart was beating excitedly as we climbed the small mountain road to the school.  

Would the kids be excited when they saw us walk through the gate?!  Would they be shocked and surprised by the unannounced visit? 

It was better than I hoped. . .

The one girl who especially holds my heart is Jamie.  I first met her at the summer camps in 2009.  Then those trips to visit the school while I lived in the city those six months.  Finally she was my buddy at the last summer camp Adam and I staffed in 2010.
When Jamie came running up to me when we walked into the school courtyard, we hugged and kissed and kissed and hugged.  I love this girl like she came from me.  The ache in my heart that I could bring her home was overwhelming.  I just wanted to squeeze her tiny body and kiss those cheeks and never stop.  I kept saying in Chinese I really really missed you.  And she would echo every time.

We spent the afternoon playing little dolls.  I was the mama.  The little girls were my children.  We traded pretty dresses and shoes and fed the little dog. 

Then we colored pictures.  Jamie drew the two of us standing next to a tree.  I had big blonde pig tails.  She had a purple skirt on.  Then she asked me to draw one for her.  We made a deal to take them to our rooms and keep them there.

Then it was time to pack everything up and go home.  The inevitable question came.  

When will you be back?  

I hate saying it won't be til next summer. 

It's such a long time.  

I will be back with Ya Dang Ge Ge! {big brother Adam}

Her little pinky finger came straight at me.  
The little pinky promise game.

July.  I will be back.

As Jamie walked with us to the gate, she held tight to my hand.  I fought the tears with every ounce of strength in my body.  

Don't cry, Nicole.  Be strong for the kids.  

I will miss you every day. 
I whispered in Chinese as I kissed her the last time.

 Sometimes I get tired of looking hurt in the eyes.  
The brokenness.  
The loneliness.  The abandonement.

It hurts too much.  Sometimes I feel if I could ignore it, it wouldn't ache so badly.  But Jesus asks us to face the pain head on.  To not ignore the fact that there are hurting babies all around the world who need us.  Need us to stand up on their behalf.  Need us to love them.  To give them hope.

Jesus doesn't ignore their suffering.  He weeps for them.  
And because I want to be where He is.  Feel what He feels.  Do what He does.
I will keep going back.  I will keep weeping over their pain.  Their suffering.  Their loneliness.  

Trusting that their Heavenly Father loves and cares for them more than I ever could.  And that is the greatest peace of all.


  1. Thanks so much for sharing that. What a beautiful testimony you are to those children. Thank you for sharing God's love with them for those of us who can't! (time to go get a tissue...)

  2. Oh my gosh, you might just be my newest blog obsession! You were so sweet to leave a comment on my blog (and ps, your balloon photos are AMAZING!), so of course I popped by your blog. I couldn't stop reading your posts, and seriously, the post above gave me chills. I might have to go get some tissues now! You've got a new follower, and I can't wait to read what's next!


  3. Oh my. I have chills all over. I feel the same about my little Palestinian children...it's so hard!

  4. I totally know how this feels! I have the same emotions about my girls at the orphanage in Ethiopia!

  5. ...and my mexican babies! great post!

  6. I love you.

    And, I love your passion for the hurting and helpless, poor and neglected.

  7. What an incredibly moving post. It makes me want to find loving homes for every one of those children! God has really given you a passion for these children...I know he'll use you to make a real difference.


    Cindy @Notes in the Key of Life

  8. thsnk you so much nicole for your comment.
    this is a great post.amazing photos and you are really sweet!

  9. i feel exactly the same way with the sweet Jamaican children every year. you put it so beautifully and yet simply. love.

  10. oh this post brings tears to my eyes. such sweetness. thanks for sharing your journey and loving those girls.

  11. Oh what a heart tugging blog!!! My heart ached just reading it!! God pour HIS love and peace over your heart!!!