A Wonderful Visit at Hope
Today, Shane, Linda, and I spent a wonderful day at Hope, talking with Dr. Joyce Hill about the different medical issues that we have dealt with over the last year and the best ways to work with different children. So many of the kids have such complex issues, and we are so grateful that they have Dr. Hill to watch over them.
Before heading upstairs, we stopped in a room where our Heartbridge baby Xin was hanging out. He had to move downstairs because he was a bit too rowdy for the babies. He is sponsored by my dear friend so I wanted to spend lots of time with him. He is just too cute and was letting me hug him and tickle him.. I could have played with him all day….but also in that room are a lot of other toddlers who were bidding for our attention. One little girl in particular was introduced to us as “the naughtiest girl at the home,” and boy is she full of energy and spunk.. She would fit well into a family of older brothers! As Linda and I were sitting on the floor playing with her she grabbed Linda’s glasses off her face, pulled necklaces, took out both our hair clips, and more. I think she could have played all day, but we needed to get back up to Heartbridge to check on our babies.
Wen was happy to see us. He just loves to smile and get attention. He can sit up for about 10-15 seconds at a time but prefers to dance in his walker. He got us all laughing when he raised both arms over his head and swayed back and forth to the beat of his own drum. The three of us broke out into singing , “We are the World” to match his movements! The aunties have tied a 2 foot piece of fabric to his walker and they roll him around using it as a leash. They send him this way and that and twirl him like he is dancing, and he loves every second of it.
We had a great time playing with “Cheeks”, our nickname for little Chun. He is a a Heartbridge boy who is getting treatment for club feet and who wins “best nutrition baby” hands down. He was flopped over on his tummy when we arrived wearing his brace with a bar between his shoes. On his belly on the floor, he reminded me of watching my husband snowboard for the first time, trying to figure out after you fall how to stand back up or roll over!
For the last hour of our time with the babies I picked up baby Xiang. He had been so sick and so frail, and I am so grateful he was able to get to Heartbridge. His skin is still transparent but his eyes are curious and alert. I held him for nearly 45 minutes.
After that, we went outside to see the grounds. Every day, sometimes twice a day, the bigger children from New Hope Foundation take a walk. Each ayi pushes a double stroller, and they walk for about 30-45 minutes. As we went outdoors, the baby parade was coming back into the drive. I went and asked the ayi if I could have Xin for awhile to play with him. Xin is one of our Heartbridge babies, but because he is a big boy now he gets to go outside each day. He is all smiles and I’m sure that he knows he is adorable. I took him up to the lovely apartment we were staying in and sat him down in a big leather chair. He played with a photo of his sponsors for awhile until he decided to do the whole “throw it on the floor and watch the silly grown up pick it up” game. Mean ole Wendy took it away from him at that point. His next game was to take a tissue, wipe his nose, and toss it in the trash. Get another Kleenex, wipe his nose, toss it in the trash. After about 4 tissues, mean ole Shane took away the tissue box. Next we tried pushing the tissue box back and forth on the floor like a boat, but he didn’t really get into that game. All too soon my Xin time was up, and it was time to get him back to his ayi for lunch. As I started to take him down the steps in my arms, I was singing some silly little song and he was giggling so hard.
Our time at Heartbridge was just so wonderful. All of the children are getting such tender loving care. Now it is on to Hefei and the beginning of our cleft mission!
Wendy Petersen, RN