In this Christmas, I just want to post this picture.
Updated: Nov 3, 2022
Have you ever raised children? Do you know what a three-year-old can understand? - It turns out that the correct answer to this question is - it depends on whose children. There is a further answer - it depends on whether the child has a home or not.
We all know an infallible truth—the poor's children are the ones who go home early. So the answer to the question above is that a child without a home can understand a lot at the age of three.
Today we are talking about two children without a home. It's the two little sisters in this photo.
This is a picture I get two and half years before. When I first got it, I was so touchable by the story behind this photo. But as soon as I got busy afterwards, I gradually forgot about this photo.
Before Christmas this year, the Perfect Love Foundation has upgraded and expanded the activity this year, sending gifts and wishes to more Adopted families.
It was during this busy process of working for the adopted children that this photo came back into my sights. Whenever I get quiet, I can't stop savoring the connotation of this photo over and over again.
1. This photo contains a lot of suffering and bitterness
Obviously, this is not a pair of biological sisters, and the two look completely different. It can be seen that the two children are experiencing a special emotional moment, because children of this age do not pretend. The two sisters hugged each other with different expressions on their faces. One little girl looked very happy, and the other looked very sad. Looking at the details, a little girl laughed happily, and a little girl cried uncontrollably. One little girl looked content, the other excited.
This is a pair of children who were abandoned by their parents before they were two years old, and they both share the same painful experience. They used to live together in an orphanage in Guizhou, they all have special needs, and they have experienced a lot together.
They have grieved together—for the fate they were born with; they have worried together。We don’t know how much suffering there will be on the trip ahead!
And this photo was taken in Los Angeles, USA - they were both adopted by an American family. The two sisters traveled across the ocean one after another, and met again in a foreign country thousands of miles away!
But why are the little sisters so different when they meet again after a long absence? The story behind this photo has to be told from the beginning.
2. The picture above a long trip.
The girl on the right is called Qingqing, the girl on the left is called Jiaija. The days they spent together at the Guizhou Orphanage were before Qingqing was three and a half years old, and Jiajia, who was one year older than Qingqing, was four and a half years old.
When Qingqing was just over two years old, she was recommended by a parenting agency to an American couple who lived in Los Angeles and had their own daughter. They actively went through various adoption procedures, which lasted less than a year, and finally completed all the procedures when Qingqing was three and a half years old.
Since then, on the other side of the ocean, Qingqing felt father's love, mother's love, and the love from that sister for the first time. She finally found a sense of "home".
Qingqing is spoiled by this adopted family every day. Her life has been changed. She also began to rediscover the full range of life of a normal child. She was very satisfied, but she never forgot her sister Jiajia who was still in the Guizhou orphanage. She has a simple wish in her heart - to let her sister Jiajia have the same life as her.
Qingqing's adoptive mother is Kimberly Lane. While studying at Xiamen University, she went to an orphanage in Fujian. There she was immediately stunned by the living conditions of these abandoned children. Excrement and urine are everywhere, and children's basic needs are not being taken care of in a timely manner. She made up her mind to adopt these children.
However, Kimberly's adoption journey has not been smooth. It took two years for her to get Qingqing's file sent by the parenting agency. After more than five months of formalities, she finally adopted Qingqing into her home in the United States on March 27, 2016, when Qingqing was three and a half years old.
Because Kimberly has learned Chinese, in the early days of Qingqing's adoption, Kimberly was able to communicate with Qingqing in Chinese when the child did not know English at all. Soon, the mother understood the meaning of her daughter's talking. Qingqing wanted her little sister Jiajia, who was still in the orphanage, to come to this home too.
Kimberly can understand the feeling of the Qingqing. She and her husband decided to adopt another child with special needs. They want to take Jiajia home too. But they ran into a legal hurdle, when the law required a couple to adopt an abandoned baby for at least a year before adopting the next.
But Kimberly didn't want to wait that year. She didn't give up. She is determined to fulfill the wish of her daughter Qingqing. So she started to tell everyone, looking for someone who would adopt this girl with special needs named Jia Jia. She wants these two sisters to live together in US!
After hearing about it, the Swani couple from the same church came forward and demanded that they go through the formalities immediately and adopt Jiajia into their home, even though they had three children by then.
It's a commitment of life, and it's very touching. This connection across the Pacific is only for the wish of a girl with special needs from China, who is less than four years old and can't express her thoughts clearly.
After a year and a half, the Swani couple complete their wish! When Qingqing was 5 years old and Jiajia was 6 years old, the two little sisters met in Los Angeles after a long absence. On November 9, 2017, the two girls finally met in the United States.
Their church held a grand celebration for the two little sisters. So I took the historic photo in front of me. That's why two little sisters hug each other, one can't stop laughing and the other can't stop crying. This photo captures the moment when the two children are together, and this photo also represents the success of the efforts of two American couples! This photo is written as a story of great love in the world.
There is also a touching story at the moment when Kimberly adopted Qingqing.
Every adoptive parent has an important step in completing the legal process of adoption. That is to give the child an English name. This legally valid name is printed on the child's passport and US ID.
Most American parents at this time gave their adopted children a common, authentic American name so that even if the child's teachers and friends remembered it, it wouldn't be too difficult to pronounce. But Kimberly understands Chinese, and she learned that the Chinese name of Qingjing means "clear and sunny sky". So she decided to keep this meaning when she gave Qingjing an English name. Therefore, Qingqing's English name is called Claire, because she hopes that there will be no haze in Qingqing's future life, and she will always have a clear sky.
3. The story behind the photos are continues.
The story doesn't end here. The two little sisters came to the United States with love, but life still has immeasurable hardships for them.
Let’s talk about Qingqing first. When the adoption agency recommended Qingqing to Kimberly, it had already told her that the child was a cleft lip. Then, in China, a cleft lip suture was performed. So Kimberly thought the problem was solved. But when she brought Qingqing to the United States, she found out that Qingqing's problem is not in her lips at all, she had a serious dislocation and incompleteness of the palate in her mouth! Therefore, although Qingqing has sutured her lips, the voice of the child when she speaks is indistinct. How will the children work and live in the future? Kimberly and her husband couldn't bear the outcome. They decided to give the child a thorough treatment three years ago.
The hospital's examination and treatment plan for Qingqing came out - it really shocked everyone. The total length of treatment is 8 to 10 years! At least five series of operations are to be performed in advance, and bones are taken from Qingqing's legs. After enough bones are taken, the next stage of work--intraoral surgical correction is performed.
Just a few days ago, the doctor told Kimberly that Qingqing could start the next stage of treatment in January next year. ——A series of operations are performed to push back and reshape the existing palatine bone by inserting a setting with metal gears into the oral cavity. At the same time, use the leg bone to fill the gap of the anterior palate of the oral cavity little by little. This process will take several more years to complete.
This kind of treatment is extremely painful for the young Qingqing, but as a mother, she is still a little happy-because it means that the series of operations in the past few years have been successful, and the doctor has taken enough bones from Qingqing's leg. Now we can finally do the project of "closing" the internal bones of the mouth!
This is the result that his family has been waiting for for many years. If this operation is successful, then Qingqing will speak and sing almost like normal people in the future, which is the goal they have worked hard for over the years. Although Qingqing was born with disabilities, what they want is for this child to grow into a perfect person!
For the ordinary people, opening our mouth to speak is a simple thing. But for this family, parents have to accompany their children through such a difficult journey.
Let’s talk about Jiajia. In order to make her grow into a normal person, she has to take a series of operations in the United States because of her congenital disability. But in the process, Laurel Swane died of cancer. The mother who loved Jiajia so much left her forever.
Their church launched a fundraiser for her family, hoping that caring people from all walks of life could help this loving family get through this difficult time.
Matt Swane, a man always came out with smile, still can't get over his grief. He did his best alone, and with his 4 children, he was struggling to move forward.
Christmas is an important holiday in Christianity to commemorate the birth of Jesus. Every year at this time of year, the joyful Christmas songs in the United States are fluttering in the streets and alleys, and there is a warm and joyful atmosphere everywhere. People gather as families for a festive meal.
In the two ordinary American families of Kimberly and Swani, there are two extraordinary Chinese girls who grew up happily under the care of the great love in the world.
I was lucky to have Christmas gifts for the children of both families, so I was able to participate in the happiness of the children.
I want to do my best to make these two families who are facing hardships and difficulties understand that they are not alone as parents on the way of their children's future growth. As people from the children's hometown, we will walk with them.
Author: Qun Shen, President of A Perfect Love Foundation