Tales from the Zhumadian Lily Orphan Care Center
There are some “mothers” who cherish and care for children not of their own blood, yet offer the world’s greatest maternal love. Today let’s go into the Zhumadian Lily Orphan Care Center (LOCC) to catch a glimpse of the daily lives of its nannies and children.
In the LOCC, there is a boy named Cai Kun, who was born on January 22, 2019, and abandoned shortly after birth. When he arrived at the orphanage, he weighed only 1.3 kg (less than three pounds) and was a premature low-birthweight baby. Because of his poor condition, he had to go to the hospital right away for treatment. He was treated in the hospital for nearly two months before his condition had stabilized enough for him to be discharged. He entered the LOCC in April 2019, weighing only 2 kg (4 lbs 6 oz). His body was so thin; we could barely hear his cry. Pale and weak, there was no light to his eyes. Even his breathing had a sharp wheezing sound. His weak resistance made him extremely susceptible to fall ill. He could drink only a tiny bit amount of milk at a time, so we fed him very slowly and carefully. Still, sometimes he would choke and spit up his milk all over us. We would hold him in our arms and look into his eyes, with worry in our hearts.
We nannies all said: “This child is so small, with no way to tell us his needs. We can’t let him waste what precious strength he has to cry. He must rely on us, on everyone’s careful attention.” So with this thought in mind, all the nannies paid close attention to his expressions, carefully trying to figure out his needs. Despite having many children to care for, the nannies checked on him every hour, day and night. Whenever Cai Kun made a sound, a nanny would rush over to change or feed him. Whatever it was he needed, the nannies would pick him up and gently comfort him back to sleep, fearful that his crying could suffocate him.
With the nannies’ great care and love, Cai Kun’s condition slowly improved. We started to see life come into his eyes and a bloom grow on his cheeks. His crying also got louder! Now he can roll over, lift his head, and do his best to creep forward. Best of all, he now weighs 6 kg (over 13 pounds)! Every day, when he sees his nannies come to work, he gives them a great big smile. Nothing could make us happier than to see those big changes in this tiny little boy.
The LOCC staff often says, “Taking care of a baby under three months old is the most tiring work.” These little babies, especially preemies, constantly need to be fed, checked on, and carefully watched. As parents know, it’s exhausting both physically and mentally. However, although the work is demanding, it is these smallest children who have the biggest changes. When we as nannies see them growing stronger, with rosy cheeks and smiles on their faces, all of our exhaustion vanishes into thin air. For the nannies, love is never a request; it is not an exchange of equal value, but giving it is a heavy responsibility. The LOCC children may not have “mothers,” but they have the same maternal love.
Look at the difference that the loving care and nurture of an “LOCC Mother” can make in a child’s life….
Cai Kun, September 2019