Monday, November 16, 2009

RTC Give to the Max Tuesday Nov 17th

Red Thread Charities – “Give to the Max” on Tuesday, November 17th!!!

Tomorrow, November 17th, beginning at 8:00 a.m. and continuing for 24 hours, contribute to Red Thread Charities at using your credit card and your gift will be increased by sharing in a $500,000 match from the Saint Paul Foundation, Minneapolis Foundation and Bush Foundation. No transaction fees will be charged, so 100% comes to Red Thread Charities, but it must go through the website!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Making a difference

Bridget’s story:

I’m really hoping to get into PT school so I was thrilled that I got to be an assistant in the therapy rooms. An infant girl was brought into our room. As I looked at her I noticed she had very little animation in the way of facial expression or activity. During her OT screening she barely responded making if very difficult for the therapist to make any recommendations. The PT was finishing up with another kiddo so I went on to hold her while we waited. From instinct I started to bounce and swing this little girl, close to my body, like she was my own child. Once we started the PT evaluation, she was much more animated, responding more to our prompts than before. The OT that was in the room was surprised, saying, “Is this the same little girl?” Then we went on to talk about what could have caused the change in her behavior. The OT got very excited when I said that I had rocked her and such. This simple motion had helped stimulate the little girl and that stimulation helped to wake up her system. It was so interesting for me to see the impact of such a small action on my part. It took so little of my time but it meant the world to this baby. If we all gave a little bit of our time, not only in a foreign country, but also in our local communities, we could get a lot done. Something as simple as listening to a child’s 47th story of the day could [loosely] help the world by instilling creativity and intelligence in one kid. It may sound cliché but this event made me truly believe it.

Thank you, Bridget. I believe it too. Jane

link to RTC 2009 photo album

Monday, November 9, 2009

Therapy Balls

I am so thankful for our volunteers who pay their way to China and give their time and expertise to help the children.

If I could name one tool that is universal to our therapists it would be the big giant therapy ball. On every RTC trip PTs and OTs screen the children and demonstrate techniques to nannies and foster parents using the ever present therapy balls. RTC has donated many to orphanages and foster families. Therapy balls are used to connect with the child in a playful way to gain trust while assessing the child’s postural stability and core strength. Therapy toys/ tools are used to evaluate how a child perceives sensation. Are they fearful? More engaged? Do they seek or avoid? How does this impact their primary ‘occupation’ of PLAY and their interactions with others. OTs and PTs assess strengths and weaknesses in regard to the child’s gross motor and fine motor skills by using these tools. Watching a demonstration at Special Childrens’ Center in Hudson WI, I noticed a speech therapist bouncing a child on a ball while helping the child speak. She told me that this technique helps a child, who would normally be running around the room, organize his brain so he can concentrate on what the therapist is teaching. If any of you reading this blog are interested in a career in pediatric therapy, I think it is a very noble occupation. If any of you might wish to contribute financially to RTC you can visit our website and consider donation. Our reps in China will be distributing therapy balls to the foster families this week. Your donation helps us get these therapy balls to families who now have been trained to use them!

link to RTC 2009 photo album

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I love the way parents in China adorn their children with jade and string jewelry for luck. I remember a child in Guiping who had a jade necklace on that looked like he'd worn it for a long time. He was 3. I asked about it and the nanny told me that he was found as an infant wearing the necklace and they dared not take it off because the mother surely placed it on him for good luck.
When we adopted our daughter Quin, we stayed at the Wanghu Hotel in Hangzhou. Since we were foriegners, we were given a room on the 4th floor. 4=si=death. Chinese people consider 4 a very unlucky number. Some hotels don't even have a 4th floor. We were madly in love with our daughter and we were oblivious to this ominous number. Actually, the number '4' has always been my lucky number and I still consider it so. I just love these photos of kids with lucky necklaces. There were many. I wonder if any of you adoptive parents received your children with a lucky necklace or bracelet. How cool would that be?

link to RTC 2009 photo album

Here are two more kids sporting handknits. Every fashion forward baby should have a little wool vest to wear over a sleeper on these crisp fall days.

I believe it is very comforting for families to find out that the child they are waiting so patiently to bring home is living in a foster home close by the orphanage. The foster families we have encountered are almost always older couples with grown children. They are very devoted to the child they are looking after, very affectionate and also very proud. Many children had on hand knit sweaters, vests and pants lovingly made by the foster mother. I know this because I have been a knitter in my lifetime and I can recognize a handmade garment. Also whenever I saw a little handmade sweater I asked the foster mother whether she made it. A nod and a smile was always the answer.