Volunteering at The China Care Home-- Day 2, Summer 2010

July 11, 2010

Day 2 by Angela Chu

I have only spent a few days here at The China Care Home in Beijing, but already I feel attached.  From the moment I came to the Home, I was able to appreciate how special this place is. It feels like a home. The children are cared after by “Ma-mas.” The kids call each other brother and sister. They are family here. Each Ma-ma cares for only two or three children.

The first thing that struck me about The China Care Home was how loving the Ma-mas are to the children. They are always so patient, affectionate and attentive. They spend 24 hours a day with the children, seven days a week, and are truly dedicated to them.

The second thing that struck me about The China Care Home was how happy the kids are. They run, they laugh, they play, like all happy children do. That’s why it is easy to forget some of their truly heartbreaking stories.

Take Fang Fang. She has lived at The China Care Home the longest and she is one of the favorites among the staff and volunteers. The moment you meet her, it is easy to understand why.  At only three years old, she is one of the brightest, sweetest, cleverest people I have ever met. Fang-Fang is always the first to run up and give you a hug and a kiss. She remembers everything-- when I left my water bottle in her playroom, she found me an hour later at another part of the Home to return it to me. Her understanding and maturity for her age is astounding—Fang Fang will always be the first in an argument to make peace if you explain to her what is right and wrong.  She’s a tiny little girl, skinny and short, but with a huge personality.

But, Fang Fang has a very sad story. She has an under-developed left arm that is only partially dexterous and also severe heart problems. However, Fang Fang does not let her disabilities get in her way.  Even though she tires easily, she runs with the best of them. And although her arm is small, you barely notice it when you watch her play. I am thrilled that she will soon be adopted ,and for all the many opportunities she has ahead of her. China Care has truly given her the gift of a new life.

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