Thanks for contributing, Claire!
Perhaps it’s a cliché, but including myself, many of us grow up hugely taking for granted what it means to be constantly cuddled and adored, by loving, caring parents. Although across the world, there are many who do not enjoy such a privilege, prior to my visit to the orphanage, I had not dwelt on the difficult reality and consequences of this. Parents across the world love sacrificially and fight for the wants and needs of their children every single day. Cliché or not, loving parents do one hundred times more things than just providing Christmas presents, they go above and beyond serving their children in ways we don’t often remember or even realize. Every child needs individual love and attention to become who they were created to be, with Hope Station aiming to see this realized for orphans across China.
“Hope Station strongly believes that each child deserves to have a loving, forever family of their own. Forever parents are the ultimate champion for a child, cherishing them and fighting for them no matter what life may bring. Unfortunately, many children live without parents for a very long time if not forever. These children are just as deserving of having an adult to champion them.”  Sadly, as is immediately evident even from my first visit to the orphanage, the severe understaffing leaves the children’s physical, mental and emotional individual needs neglected. Despite having caring nannies, they cannot physically attend to each individual child’s requirements as is necessary. The wonderful children lack parents to give each of them their varied basic physical needs, let alone the individual love and attention they need to thrive. This severe understaffing means that day to day, one Nanny watches a room of ten kids, for twenty-four hours a day. Even the possibility of attempting to attend to ten children at once is crazy! Despite their hard work and love for the children, with such limits on staff it is not physically possible for them to provide for the requirements of each child. Furthermore, this means these little kiddos don’t experience the wonders of life out of the four walls of the orphanage, or maybe even their rooms. The need for each of these individuals to be loved individually and unconditionally is immediately evident.
On meeting the children of the orphanage for the first time, the many wonderful sides of each child’s character are clear. These wonder-humans are each so precious and unique with their own individual personalities, intricately designed. From Ava who loves to cuddle, giggle and practice walking despite her cerebral palsy condition, to little serious Finn who looks intently at everyone around him, occasionally cracking a big smile.