Volunteering at the China Care Home - Wenjing Chen – Day 8

July 25, 2011

We are always told to appreciate how fortunate we are, but being at the China Care Home, we can truly understand what this means. We are so fortunate to have parents who love us and relatives who care for us. The children here, many with serious conditions such as heart defects and spinal bifida, were abandoned and left alone, with no one to love and care for them. At the China Care Home, they not only receive the best medical support possible, but also the love and care of the nannies.

When I first arrived at the home, I was uncertain how I should hold babies or what to do when they start crying. The nannies patiently taught me how to communicate with the toddlers and take them to preschool. They showed me how to hold the babies when they have just woken up from their naps. I have grown particularly attached to BeiBei, a little girl who recently had heart surgery. Although BeiBei is only a year and a half old, she does not cry easily. Instead, she closely observes everything around her with her big, innocent eyes. When I first met her, she looked at me curiously, wondering who I was. After a couple of attempts, BeiBei finally allowed me to hold her. When I held her tiny hands and bounced her around, BeiBei instantly smiled and her laugh made everyone in the room smile too. After a couple of days, she started gesturing for me to pick her up whenever I came into her room. Sometimes she even throws small tantrums, refusing to let go when I have to leave.

Before this experience, I got to learn about China Care through the club at my college. We were able to raise money each term and send the money to sponsor children for surgery. This experience has shown me exactly how the money is being used and how our fundraising efforts are helping the children here. I will miss the staff and the nannies, who have taken such great care of us and of the children. But I will miss the children the most. The attachment that I feel to the babies at the China Care Home is incredible.

Wenjing is a member of the China Care Club at Dartmouth. She is a sophomore planning on going to medical school.

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