Orphans in Hohhot live in orphanage-sponsored foster families until they are 3 years old, at which point they return to the orphanage due to the high costs of maintaining them in foster families. We sponsor foster care for several of the children older than 3 years old, enabling them to remain in healthy family environments.
Because many of these children have serious special needs that prevent them from being eligible for adoption, this foster program is a long-term commitment. However, we believe the progress and hope we've seen in these children's lives proves that it is a worthy investment.
Saving Lives with Love
On a recent visit to one of our foster families in Hohhot, the foster grandpa walked to a corner of his small, one-room house and took a framed picture off the wall... the only decoration hanging in their home. It was a collage of photographs of all the children he and his wife had ever fostered ¨C children who now live in all corners of the world. Next to the picture frame, a small chalkboard with the children's names written on it hung on the wall. Beside their names, he¡¯d written the dates of their arrivals and departures and tallied how many days they had been in their care.
Then he pointed to a small clothes-line hanging in the corner of the room. On it hung several well-worn outfits, mementos from each of their foster children. He explained that the red one belonged to a little girl who always loved the color red. The one with the holes belonged to a little guy who, when he first arrived, chewed on his clothes until they wore through. Each outfit brought to the grandpa¡¯s mind memories of each precious child.
With watery eyes, he told us, "I just want to know that they are OK and happy."
The orphanage representative visiting the family with us confided that whenever they have a child who seems hopeless and certain to die from lack of care, they bring him to this family. In their small home with their meager resources, this grandpa and grandma nurse children back to health. They save lives with their love.
Like so many of the foster parents in our programs, this couple pours an enormous amount of love and affection into children¡¯s lives. And when the kids leave to go to their ¡°forever families,¡± a piece of the foster parents¡¯ hearts goes with them.