Sunday, June 3, 2012

Adoption Found Me in a New Way

 
Pat with teens from SCH

I am Pat Marcus and have worked for more than 25 years as a pediatric physical therapist.  Up to 50 percent of my practice has encompassed adopted babies and children.  I have worked with children from Eastern Europe,  Africa, Asia, and South America . The greatest majority of children have come from Asia and Russia.  I have always been amazed at the courage of the families and the children who find each other and become a forever family.

One day when working with a family who had adopted a daughter with special needs from China, the mom asked me if I would like to help more children from her daughters orphanage.  Of course I would.  Ha!!  I thought fundraiser for a playground or formula.  No no..  What she had in mind was hands on help.  Go to china, hold the babies, train the caregivers, do some hands on therapy,  Wow.  All that is great but I Hate to travel.  Can I get there by boat?  Hate to fly, even hated it pre 9/11.  I am not sure why planes stay in the air and there are all those people who have to maintain and service them.  Are we really sure about all that.  Not like a car if the check engine light goes on can you pull into the nearest gas station.

OK, get past the travel and the plane, there are children who could use love and help and I am there.  We partner with the Gladney Center for Adoption and Gongzhan Wu arranges our entry to the Shanghai Children's Home.  Our first trip included, myself, another PT, and Janet Fink, Superkids' founder.

We had eight days round trip.  Boy did we rock that trip.  I flew without dying of fright, we saw so many children in the orphanage, it was overwhelming.  Half a day spent with rehabilitation professionals in china, half a day in the orphanage activity rooms, children neither walkers coming in class after class, at least 15 children at a time.  We worked on tummy time, facilitated crawling and movement to prevent developmental delays.  We tried to keep a count and thought we worked with 200 children in the afternoons that week.  very night we all came home, hot tired and cried in the shower.  How many children were there.  Would they ever find families.  We left after a week, exhausted, sad, happy but anxious to go back.

Each trip has been different.  I have cried and laughed, held many waiting children, gotten many high fives and hopefully helped.  So far in China I have visited, Shanghai, Tianjin, Beijing, Hunan,  Harbin and Jiamusi.  In Taiwan, I have visited, Taipei and Taichung.  This upcoming trip I will go to Jiangxi provence.  Heavens, China in the summer.  Please say prayers for me, for strength, for wisdom and for families to love these children.  We know I already do. 

So if it's in your heart please help me help these kids.  It is my heart and love to help children experience the joy, sense of belonging of a forever family. Hopefully it is in yours too.  


Peace, Pat