Thursday, October 27, 2011

Angels and Angel House

Towards the end of last October's trip, we were privileged to be able to meet with more angels.......

We were invited to eat at the lovely home of a wonderful couple who care for 3 children with profound special needs. They are a retired couple who have devoted their lives to caring for these children. The meal was amazing, but nothing compared to the work they do each day to give these children the best life possible. Despite living upstairs, most days they carry the children downstairs to take them for a cycle in an old bike with a  cart attached.

I would have so LOVED to take a photo of that!

                     The children were bright, attentive and VERY interested in their new toys

.....and the foster mother was very interested in Shawn's therapy techniques to help the children.
                                          It was a beautiful visit in more ways than one
                                            we left feeling that WE had been blessed!
                           On to meet more Angels in the aptly named Angel House in Nanning
 Angel House 
is an amazing place to serve the needs of children with cerebral palsy. Their work was pioneering back in 2002 and now provides an essential service to children and families in the community, helping them to care for their children in their homes, as well as for orphans.

We are grateful to them for allowing us the time and the place to meet together with the rest of our special children and their foster mothers.
                               Patricia, one of our lovelies who has been with us since 2005 -
                               I love to see her with her now long hair in bows, looking girly :-)
                                                        Little Monique, having a wee rest
 Lee was having a hard time and as the therapists tried to carry out his therapy, he cried and it was clear that something was wrong..the poor boy was inconsolable. It was one of the most special and memorable points of the whole trip for me, when Shawn, having watched and listened patiently came over asked the therapist to stop and took Lee on her lap.

                                    She said nothing and just held him tight, singing softly.........
         We watched, mesmerised as this little soul sighed and melted into her arms and embrace.
                              Shawn continued to sing, and Lee fell into a relaxed sleep

 When he awoke a short time later, refreshed, Shawn diagnosed a problem with his left hip 
and asked that therapy NOT be done on that side until further investigation. 
She then continued the therapy on the other side which he accepted without a murmur.

Poor Lee still has multiple needs and problems...
but it was special to be watch Shawn help him in that moment.

Helen continued, learning from Shawn how to work with the children, 
explaining to the Foster mothers how they could best help their children at home.

                                          A Fantastic Afternoon with some Very Special Angels

 However, our hearts nearly broke watching these valiant women, 
helping each other to lift heavy children onto their backs

                                                                        and their fronts
 in order to be able to navigate the stairs and the transport needed to get them back to their homes

                                                    We watched in humble amazement,
                         tears rolling down our cheeks at the thought of the hardships of their lives
                                      and yet their joy, love and commitment to these children.
Sometimes there are just no words....... just have to be there.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Love, Cuddles and Therapy at Nanning Dairy Farm

Oh,  this takes me back....

We have only just returned from our 2011 trip to China..but cannot begin to share our news til we have completed the news from 2010!

Is it truly a sign of age when the years just go too fast???????

So, back to October 2010.............

Was it really one year ago when Shawn and Helen sat in the Majestic chatting about the needs of the special children we were about to meet?

 Then off to the Dairy farm in Nanning which has been home to hundreds of children adopted around the world. When Foster care began from Nanning SWI , the first foster mothers were from this area and there has been a long tradition of foster families living here caring for the Nanning children.
 I was really excited to be able to go and visit!

Walking into  the first home we were met with the excited smiles and giggles of our precious Linda!

                                                           She is such a bundle of delight.......
                              and it is always such a joy to see how she is progressing.............
This little girl's progress symbolises the vision and hope of both Grace-Hope and our New Hope Programme to change lives! 
Without this vision and the faithful support from sponsors, this little girl and many more like her would be left languishing in an orphanage cot.

Our team of happy helpers sprang into action, preparing the ground outside for our therapy session with the children and their dedicated foster mothers.

Everything ready, Shawn can begin encouraging the foster mothers who have taken on this demanding and important job of caring for these precious children with profound needs.
She explains thro Helen the importance of touch in building attachment with the children
and the therapy exercises to increase and strengthen muscle control.

                                 A very "hands on experience" for the children and foster mothers.

It is always fascinating to watch how a Team works.

Amazing to watch Shawn in action, gently watching, explaining, showing how to make a difference in these little lives.

 Once the rest of our little team had helped to greet the children and set up the equipment, 
they got about their own business round the corner with Ellen and their crafts

                    So delightful to see the happy little faces, surrounded by love in this place

          Once the hard work was over, it was time to share the new clothes and toys with the children

                                     Linda is excited with her new toys and as ever, keen to learn,
                                                      loving the interaction with new people

All too soon.after a wonderful morning 
it was time to say goodbye to these precious people......
                                     ........ who do the real hard work day by day caring for the children.
The reality of carrying these now heavy children into wheelchairs, 
up and down stairs
 and making their way around as best they can,
 is not easy!
These families are the unsung heroes, making the difference in these little lives

            Armed with smiles,toys, clothes, pampers nappies, therapies, advice, encouragement and support

                                                     the families made their way home......

Time for a quick look round the Dairy Farm, greeting friends and capturing the flavour of this place where so many Nanning children have been cared for over the years by a community of wonderful families

All of us left amazed and humbled by the experience, privileged to be in that place, 
to be little cogs in the wheels that make a difference, 
remembering that the daily hard work goes on for these families!
It certainly helps to keep life in perspective!!!!!!