On Monday I got up and went straight to the orphanage to where Eagles Wings is (they have a few floors there for the kids homes, offices and the school). I first got to see Linda, the Australian founder. I hadn't seen her since we first met two years ago in China, so I got to chat to her for a bit and then go spend the morning at the orphanage school with the kids. I spent my time with Yong and Qiang. I first met them in 2012 at camp and then spent a lot more time with them in 2013 at Eagles Wings, when I stayed in their apartment for the 5 weeks. They are hilarious, smart, funny, cheeky, playful... They both have cerebral palsy which greatly affects their muscle movements, meaning they cannot walk and get around on the floor scooting. It also means they cannot really speak, though they do understand and have been trying to find other ways to communicate. It was harder in Chinese reading class as while they do know lots of the characters, they can't read them out. The teacher did try test them a few times but it was more difficult. After that class in maths it was a bit easier. They were given sums and on their desk is a board with the numbers 1-20 written out big. They can point to the answer. I helped them with that class and tested their addition. They didn't get them all right but tried hard and knew a lot!
|Qiang in maths class! He loves to learn!|
|Yong in class. Love that smile!|
After lunch I was asked to help one of the boys learn some photography. He is an older boy, and they are trying to think through some possible job opportunities for the kids for when they finish school, one for BeiBei is to do some photography. A local photography studio has agreed to help out (which is awesome!) So I took him outside to practice taking some photos of the garden, and then of the kids playing outside and then we spent the rest of the afternoon in the school taking some photos. I think he enjoyed it! Beforehand he was somewhat hesitant as he is a bit unsteady standing and walking but we figured out that if he kneels down on one knee, he has much more stability! And he can always get a tripod in the future. So I hope that helped give him some more confidence, or at least the realisation that he can do it if he practices some more.
|One photo BeiBei took with Guang. Good, right!!|
I had dinner and then spent another hour or two with the kids before they went to bed. We played and messed around and some of the kids and nannies asked about the other kids who had been adopted. I had some photos ready to show them which they all loved seeing how much the kids had grown and changed since being adopted! One extra special thing was getting to talk to WenXuan/Wesley about his new family. He will be adopted before the end of the year and had waited so long for his chance, watching so many of his friends be adopted. He has photos of his family up beside his bed and proudly showed me the photo album they sent him! He had briefly met them before, but at that time didn't know they would adopt him. I was so happy for him!!! I took one photo of him and said I am sending to his mom, he smiled real big and said 'you said this to my mama?'
It was so awesome to see my favourite kids once again!! A very special day for sure!