We often read of reports of mothers displaying extraordinary strength – for example, when a petite woman pushes away an oncoming vehicle before it runs over her child, or a mother carrying her child with a heavy bag on her back and arms laden with things. These images encapsulate the old saying- becoming a mother gives one extraordinary strength. Every child is an angel from heaven, but not every child has the privilege of growing up with a mother’s love. For various reasons, children could be abandoned at welfare institutions, left to grow up with caregivers or foster parents. This love that they receive has no blood ties, but is equally warm and beautiful. Today, through the story of Little Quan, we can witness the strength of a mother’s love.
Little Quan was born in June 2018, and abandoned just 3 days later at a “baby hatch”. A little note was attached detailing his birthdate and medical conditions- low birth weight of less than 2.5kg, esophagus atresia, 6 fingers and a heart condition. He required urgent surgery due to the obstruction in his esophagus and his welfare institution contacted us urgently to get our help to transfer him to a children’s hospital in Beijing for emergency surgery. By the time he turned one, Little Quan had already undergone three surgeries.
In 2021, after displaying symptoms of profuse sweating, Little Quan was diagnosed with a tumor in his abdomen which had a high risk of malignancy. Emergency surgery was once again necessary, and in December that same year, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor. Thereafter, it was confirmed that he had neuroblastoma and would require chemotherapy. From January to April 2022, Little Quan went through four cycles of chemotherapy. He is currently in remission, but will be due for another review in five years.
Little Quan’s life experiences may be summarized in a few short sentences, but he is not defined by his illness, as evidenced by his growth and the development of his unique personhood. He is a lively and intelligent little boy with an outgoing personality. He especially enjoys chatting with others and asking “Why?” Nourished by the care and companionship of his caregivers, Little Quan will continue to blossom regardless of any future medical challenges. In July 2021, Little Quan was placed within our Family Model of Care home, and began to experience family life with parents and siblings.
The Family Model of Care was designed to place orphans from the ages of 3 to 16 years old in families where a real couple will take on the roles of “Daddy and Mommy”, letting them grow up in a nurturing and love-filled family, while learning to understand the roles that various family members play. At the same time, the children will be coached in areas of self-care as well as emotional awareness, so as to prepare them for their future integration into society.
Even though these orphans lose the love and care of their birth mothers, the caregivers and foster mothers at our Dew Drops homes become their “mothers” and go through their illness and life’s storms with them. It is these women who accompany these sickly orphans through the days and nights, caring for them unconditionally, letting them receive the warmth of a mother’s love.
Happy Mother's Day!