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Unseen Tears: The Challenges of Orphans and Orphanages in China (Cultural Crossroads) (Volume 2) Paperback – July 30, 2015
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great literature but gives a realistic insight into the treatment of orphans in China.
The author weaves in a bit of Chinese culture (for example, some wedding customs), which I found fascinating because I’ve wanted to visit China for years. Truly, this is a remarkable book!
Spoiler Alert: There’s a good reason why “Unseen Tears” reads like a novel. It is! However, it’s based on many trips that the author, Beau Sides, took to China. And it made me feel good to read in the Note from the Author in the back of the book that Anne and her orphanage are indeed, real.
The reader is introduced to orphans and orphanages alike. We meet orphans that so badly want families but may never find one. We have an eye into how the kids learn, play, and interact with others. This story tugged at my heart, yet made me smile. I found myself engrossed in following the journey of people who learn about these special kids and make it their mission to help as many orphans as they can. The orphans in the book are no ordinary orphans. So many of them have special needs and are the forgotten kids.
I wanted to cheer when I read how the characters in the book learned about the plight of the orphans and how they brought them into their hearts by trying to make a difference in every way possible. The commitment and support for transforming little lives as I read was incredible. Although names and certain details were changed, the story was so very real. The children in this book, although disabled, are the real stars and it’s a story that we all need to read and share. Enter a new world and pick up Unseen Tears today.
The storyline is so personable I was drawn into the drama of the orphanages and sympathized with Jan, Lizzy, Anne, Holly, Canyon and other characters from the book as they learn the personal stories of orphans who want to be adopted, but will likely never have that opportunity. Go with them as they visit the children, learn about their care, play games with them and witness the interactions between administrators, agencies, and workers involved in their daily activities.
While visiting the orphanages Jan Cross create a video to send to her co-workers back in the States to get them on board with helping funding an operation for a baby who had a hole in her heart. Jan also bought a refrigerator for the orphanage because it was a way she could contribute and fill an immediate need.
Returning to her job Jan found that because of her success in learning about the plights of the orphanages, her position was enhanced to take over management of international work. Her communications through articles and blogs added another dimension to the work of her employer allowing them to increase their online presence.
This book doesn’t paint an unrealistic picture of an easy life, void of controversy. There are clashes in personality, and conflicts threaded through relationships. The stress level of raising children who many consider unadoptable carries is weighty and the needs are great. The orphanage and leader depicted in the book is real, every story is true, but the names have all been changed. The compassion of the orphanage leader, the generosity of the Jan Cross workgroup, and the children living at the orphanage are not imagined, they are authentic and big as life.
This is a book that needed to be written. It’s interesting and so explicit in teaching readers so much about China that may never be learned by any other channel. Treat yourself to a book that reads like a novel but teaches like a textbook.
As you read this book you will become an emotional participant in another culture. You'll experience the joy of the children when visitors come and bring toys and activities and your experience the sorrow when children are removed from the orphanage because of policy changes. It's a story of hope. Read along.