As some of you may know, I was adopted from Wuhan, China when I was six months old. During those first few months I lived in foster care homes and in an orphanage. I had one foster care mom and when my Mom and Dad first met me, they met some of the women who took care of me in the orphanage. They said that these women were some of the most kind, loving, and humble people they had met. I am fortunate to have received such good care at the very beginning of my life.
It has always been a hope of mine to someday go back to China. I see it almost as a right of passage, a way to find some closure, and to find another part of myself.
This summer I will do just this. I’ll be making a pilgrimage back to my birth country to care for orphaned children with special medical needs. I will be accompanied by nine fellow adoptees from all over the world.
This trip is possible because of two important organizations: One Sky for All Children and China’s Children International.
One Sky was created to help unlock the vast potential hidden in our world’s most vulnerable young children. It has created and implemented simple, replicable early learning programs that provide nurturing responsive care, transforming the lives of thousands of at-risk children every day, and ensuring that those most in need have a second chance at childhood.
I was given this second chance through the adoption into my loving family. I have been able to have so many opportunities that I would otherwise not have had. I see this as a very small way of giving back and helping other girls like me, discriminated against due to our gender; have a chance to live a fulfilling life.
China’s Children International’s goal is to empower Chinese adoptees from all over the world by providing an inclusive and supportive community for all adoptees who share this common beginning. During the 1980s, China tightened its One Child Policy as a means of curbing the nation’s rapid population growth. As a result, more than 175,000 children, mostly girls, have been adopted into families all over the world since China officially opened its doors to international adoption in 1992. CCI recognizes that while we are connected through our common beginning, being an adoptee is not our defining characteristic as we continue our different paths.
During my two weeks in Beijing, I will be volunteering at the Chunhui China Care Home. This home is a private, temporary care home for orphaned children with special medical needs who require pre- and post-operative medical care.
This home is operated in partnership with the Chinese government’s Tomorrow plan, which provides individual treatment plans and nurturing round-the-clock pre and post- operative care to children at any given time.
Once admitted to the home, each child is given a loving nanny or foster mom who will be there, whether in the hospital or recuperating at the home. The home offers the same kind of loving family-style care and stimulation that OneSky-inspired homes around the country provide: playrooms, music, cuddly toys, and even a preschool. Most important are the loving arms and warm smiles of devoted nannies and foster moms, who are always there for little ones who are fighting for their lives.
I will assist the nannies and foster moms in providing day to day care for the children and have the chance to bond with the children they help care for each day. I have this fundraising page, not for my own trip expenses, but for the care of the children in this home. Please consider donating to a cause that is so close to my heart.
Thank you very much.