Written by Shaun Swartz
“Today when I held onto a child that I have gotten close to over the past couple of weeks, I actually experienced a glimpse of the reality of goodbye. He had a heart defect and a cleft palate. His cleft palate expanded his mouth but it was not unattractive. His smile was just that much wider; his laugh that much bigger.”
“As I looked into his milky brown eyes, I wondered about his future. I just kept repeating, “one day you will have a forever family who loves you even more than I do.” I wondered, will he go to school? College? Will his heart ever be fixed? If I love him enough, will I make his heart whole? I thought to myself, ‘Am I holding a hero?’ But that one I knew the answer to. He was. He hadn’t pulled anyone out of a burning building. He had never given CPR. But in my arms was a miracle, an inspiration, and the ultimate example of perseverance…”
“… And to me that makes him a hero. Coming on this trip I expected to do orphanage volunteer work and give myself a pat on the back, but I gained so much more. My perspective is forever changed and part of my heart will always remain at China Little Flower. While holding onto that child, I realized I only was witnessing the first chapter of his life, but I also realized that as GoBeyond students, when we return we have to start a new chapter of our lives. A chapter where we spread the word about China Little Flower and their humanitarian work overseas, and maybe through that someday we too can become heroes.” — Click here to learn more about our partner organization, China Little Flower.