the orphanage.

Hmm, I have hesitated to share much about my first few visits to the orphanage – because I wasn’t sure how they would go, but after the first 2 weeks – I am in love. I only go once per week, for 2 hours to teach English. The kids are about 3-6 years in age, and the first week we had a 2 year old (who reminded me of Sydney so much!). Many of them have physical & mental disabilities, but some are very hard to distinguish. All are precious, beautiful and have stolen my heart. The orphanage is immaculate for Chinese standards, and the staff does a great job giving the children attention and loving-care. The kids are always clean and smiling huge. This particular place has a great physical therapy area, a “spa” area for showers & massage (I think) and wonderful employees at every turn. I haven’t met many of the children, since they are all in class when I come. I have been told there are about 400 kids in this place, who live on the 2nd floor. Their classes are above on the 3rd floor.

It’s been fun preparing each week, deciding what & how to teach them English. I have been starting out slow with the ABC’s, some familiar greetings, and colors. We try to incorporate games and songs throughout the visit, and using art to keep them attentive, while helping to connect the words with their meanings. It is very challenging to know the best way to teach (and love) these children, but I think that just being there with them, holding their hands and praising their efforts is a huge encouragement. I am still getting to know each child’s personalities, dispositions and trying to keep them engaged for 2 hours. They are all so funny and want to be my shadow when I come. I wish I could share pictures, but I don’t think that would be good. Either way – they are beautiful faces, with dark brown eyes that sparkle and arms that reach out to be held and loved without fear. I hope my heart continues to be strong each week, as I would bring them all home with me if I could.