Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pat reflects on her visit to Shanghai

Now that we are back for a few weeks I am constantly thinking about Shanghai and the amazing children we had the privilege to meet.  I wonder when these "Special Needs" children will find forever families.  What we define as special needs in the USA is very different from what China defines as special needs.  So many of these "special needs children," would not be defined as such in the U.S.  Many of the children we evaluated will have no residual issues once they are placed in loving homes. Many who had problems as infants had no issues when we saw them.  I'm sure its scary reading profiles and then thinking, "What are the children really like?"  I'm sure everyone would be pleased to  know the children we saw were all in good shape.

We were pleased this time to visit a foster care station that supervises 120 foster care cases for a suburb of Shanghai.  They were kind, personable and efficient.  The foster care station was so clean you could have eaten off the floor.  It was bright and colorful and decorated with bright colors.  The children in foster care were confident and at ease.  They played with the toys and made themselves at home in the activity room.  The people at the foster care station knew these children well and enjoyed their work.   They laughed and joked happily with all the kiddos.  I loved being there and meeting all the children.  It made me want to work there too.  There was just a sense of happiness in the work.  I hope when we go to shanghai again we can return to the foster care station and give them an update on how everyone is doing with their forever families.         

Pat