Such a mix of emotions......I can never quite find the words to describe it adequately. Over the years I have visited, the feelings have changed from huge excitement to a comfortable familiarity....from the nervousness first felt in 2005, to in many ways now feeling a part of the "Desheng Family" with all that being a part of a family entails......
But always the same buzz as we arrive at the now familiar gate.......
I love to stand at the new building and look out at the Desheng karst mountains beyond.
Last year we looked out to the mist and torrential rain...this year to the glorious sunshine.
Last year the red lanterns at the gate, this year the flags to commemorate
Mr Yao the director, Ms Qin the doctor, nannies and foster mothers all waiting to greet us, or more importantly, our children.
Xiao Xiao, anxious to get us in to start the
training as there was lots of work to
So no time for a Welcome Photo!!!
I had been invited to present Training to staff, nannies and foster families on Working with Teenagers. I was honoured, but also a little apprehensive.... did they know MY teenagers???????
Teenagers have always been part of my daily life...but do I understand them? Well, actually more than I thought! It was very interesting to do the preparations based partly on my own experiences as a mother and teacher of teenagers...... and also the expertise of others older, wiser and more experienced than me:-)
I still had so much to learn!
Last but not least, some drama excerpts from Foster mothers and Grace-Hope staff.When Xiao and Susan were re-enacting the powerful loss felt by many of the teenagers we would be working with, it was hard to remain in control and was a real reminder of the emotional pain of many of the teenagers in institutions. As they acted out the tearful teenage experience, I could tell that they were moved beyond words. Certainly we all were in the audience , and was a stark reminder of why we were there..
On visiting our favourite shops
we were greeted with welcoming smiles and gestures which showed they remembered us from last year.
This was the amused audience as we made our purchases :-)
we headed back thro the mountains
where Cindy was presenting training for
children with cerebral palsy.
After this, Cindy was able to meet with some of the children remaining in the SWI to assess their needs and suggest therapies and equipment to help improve their lives. Some of them have very severe needs and are in urgent need of help. It was fantastic that this was possible!!!!!!!!!
I was able to go to through to the baby rooms next door where I could only sit on the floor and hold hands and stroke precious faces. I cannot remember a time where I have felt more struck by the need to DO something...and yet felt so powerless...........
Thankfully, we have made more progress than I dreamed possible at that time...and as we speak, plans are in place to cater for the needs of these children, while wheelchairs, equipments and toys are on their way with Cindy K and her family as they visit Desheng with gifts from Desheng Families.
Xiao Xiao translated all the instructions on the medications we had brought, so kindly donated by St Margaret's Church in Dunfermline. Hopefully this will bring some small measure of relief to the children in need .
All too soon, once again it was time to say Goodbye, with presents from the USA, shortbread from Scotland, photos of the Desheng children.....
Last but certainly not least, a special Banner made by some very special ladies in St Margaret's Church,
Dunfermline and presented on behalf of all the Desheng Families Around the World who have been so blessed by their wonderful Desheng children.