I apologize for not getting this out sooner. If I am allowed to take a moment to be transparent, I have been somewhat avoiding this task. I have a hard time sharing things like this with the world. I treasure these moments, and think to myself, “no one else will understand. They weren’t there. They didn’t see what I saw… they didn’t hold those babies.” But then I realize that if we don’t tell the world, no one else will do anything about it.
We spent three days at New Day Foster Home in Beijing. This facility exists to take children that have severe medical needs or disabilities and can’t be adequately cared for by the government orphanages. They are responsible for approximately 50 children, but half of these kids live with foster families in the surrounding village. They divide the children by age; the babies, the toddlers, the pre-schoolers, and the ‘back-yard’ school (these children are older and living in the Forever Home. The oldest is 12).
On Tuesday morning, we were given a detailed schedule of what our day would look like. After an orientation, Bessie and I were asked to observe the babies outside, and then the preschool class during their 25 minute music time. What we saw/heard during this time was completely unexpected. Every song was in English! They were using songs we use here! What a surprise for us. We immediately started re-planning our entire session with the children. Our repertoire just multiplied by 100.
After lunch we spent an hour training one shift of nannies while the Sarah, the education director, translated. We then did about 30 minutes of music in the backyard school. Three out of four of these children are completely bilingual.
Our day finished with a tour of the New Day factory, in which they create (from start to finish) various trinkets for sale through Christian bookstores and other retailers. We can now say we have been in a “Made in China” factory! This factory exists because non-profit organizations are illegal in China, so the profits of the company go to run the factory, foster home, and forever home.