Good Morning Dear Readers. Nancy Lawton Shirley and Qiuxia Hu are in Hangzhou this week checking on the progress of RTC's program in Hangzhou. We are thrilled to get this update and we wanted to share it with all of you. Have a tissue handy!
From Nancy to Kiki about Children at Hangzhou – 4/11/11
Dear Kiki: I wish that you could have come to see the fruits of your hard labor! I had tears in my eyes all morning as I witnessed more transformation in all areas (baby, toddler, conductive ed, foster). Despite lack of adequate staffing numbers, they have found ways to support the children. Everywhere I went I saw happy children's faces, no shut down, children engaged. It may not be perfect, but what they understand about the children's needs has made a big difference. They understand environment set up, sensory needs, and the need for physical exercises and rehab. They bought boppies ( small rubber seats with trays), smaller high chairs, and corner chairs on their own for the baby unit!! The children looked great! What Nannies they have really have been well trained by the orphanage staff. I saw compassion and skill!
They LOVE the walkers!!! I saw the children using them–and demanding to use them! They have made a big difference for the two children–and they need more of that exact type. One girl who just arrived at the orphanage in Dec. is now walking short distances even without it!! (She didn't walk at all when she came--so the walker and the rehab have been a huge benefit to her!) So your PT things are really being used!
I am so glad you were able to be here for the last several years! Your contribution to this project is significant and the project really is VERY successful! Thank you!!!!
From Nancy to Cheryl & Jane about Children – 4/11/11
Hi! Just wanted to share more about today. I am pretty spent. The emotional intensity of things was so high today–for all of us. The realization that the orphanage is really moving towards better skills and programs was so moving. So many good things are happening here for the children despite the staffing shortages. The boy that broke my heart last Oct. unglued me today. Last October he had just been abandoned (at age 3) just the week before we arrived. He has cerebral palsy and had difficulties with his hands and legs. He was terrified and so sad–totally traumatized. And he was smart. I could hardly handle it. I was so afraid he would give up. I was afraid that he would disconnect from the world. Today I saw him in the special rehab preschool–and he remembered me! He was all smiles and he was obviously so happy to be in preschool! He has learned to belly crawl and his hand use is getting better. Clearly the staff has been working with him for rehab. Clearly he felt connected to those around him. He made every trip I have made to China worth it.
The stories like this one were multitude. One little girl came this December and did not walk or talk at age 5. She now walks with her new walker and is walking for short periods independently. She is beginning to talk. This is just the beginning of April…this means the orphanage staff is doing a great job!!!
Another child would cry and cry if anyone but her foster mom held her or even looked at her. Now she is playful and smiles and wants attention! She fully participates in the special preschool program–helping her classmates and participating with the teacher!
Another child was in foster care and didn't show any awareness of his left arm and hand. We had trained the foster mom in brushing and joint compressions last March. Now he is using his left spontaneously during play! Foster moms are showing enthusiasm for their children and the rehab plans. They are showing nice skills with the children…and it is really showing in the children's progress. The model appears to be working!
My heart is amazed and so happy!!! Thank you Red Thread Charities for the vision of it all!!!