Half the Sky Foundation

Half the Sky was created in order to enrich the lives of orphaned children in China. We provide model programs and caregiver training designed to offer loving, family-like care to children of all ages and abilities. It is our goal to ensure that every orphaned child has a caring adult in her life and a chance at a bright future..
Jun 15, 2012

HuiJun -- A Delightful Boy

HuiJun: A Delightful Boy

2-year-old HuiJun was admitted to the China Care Home in July, 2011. He was born with finger and toe deformities called syndactyly in which several fingers are fused together. That of course affected the function of his hands and because he also had a deformed toe that turned upward, he had trouble walking and wearing shoes. After his arrival, our nurse also found HuiJun had a hernia.

HuiJun cried for a long time because he was not used to the new environment. His nanny gave him a lot of toys, but he just turned away. Finally, he stopped crying when his nanny carried him to the window and asked him to look through the window at the cars running on the street.

In August, HuiJun was hospitalized for surgery to separate his fingers and cut off his deformed toe. After the surgery, the wound was bound with gauze and he came back to the China Care Home to recover. Then HuiJun went back into the hospital for successful hernia surgery and returned again to recuperate.  

At first HuiJun was timid. Sudden or loud sounds frightened him and he ran to his nanny crying. Then he would bury his head in his nanny’s arms and gradually calm down as the nanny comforted him by patting his back and talking to him gently. If visitors came in, he would hide behind the door or his nanny. Soon after the visitors left, he would come out and play happily.

Now HuiJun is an active boy. He doesn’t like to stay in the nursery -- he likes to walk around in the corridor. Whenever the nanny tells him “Let’s go out,” he opens the door and walks out quickly. He walks better than he used to after the surgery and his hands function well. He can pick up and hold small objects.

HuiJun is good at imitating others. When his nanny teaches him a gesture or movement, he does it to perfection. HuiJun can say some simple words like “da, ayi, mama, bye bye…” and understand his nanny’s instructions like: “JunJun, give me your socks. I’ll help you put them on.”

After months of recovery from his latest surgery, HuiJun was released from the China Care Home. HuiJun is a delightful boy who often made the nannies laugh. The entire China Care staff misses him, but everyone hopes he will stay healthy and that he will be adopted soon.

 

Dec 22, 2011

Feeling the Love

FangFang
FangFang

FangFang is a 2-year-old boy born with retinoblastoma (eye cancer). When he came to the Special Care Nursery at the China Care Home last August, his left eye was atrophied, which required removal, but we were hoping the right eye could be saved.

Unfortunately, doctors found that the cancer cells had metastasized to the optic nerves so FangFang had to lose both eyes. After the surgeries, FangFang also needed six rounds of chemotherapy.

For the past six months, FangFang has spent half that time in hospital. During his hospitalizations, FangFang’s China Care nannies continued to look after him. FangFang only drank milk and refused to eat any solid food even when his nannies fed him spoonful by spoonful. He would spit out the food in his mouth.

Our nannies tried different ways to help him learn to eat. First they fed him milk with a spoon. At the beginning, FangFang didn’t know there was milk in the spoon so he refused to open his mouth. But when he realized it was his familiar food, he began to try the milk. In this way, he gradually got familiar with the spoon. Then our nannies put different food in the spoon and persuaded him to taste it. Feeding him took a long time, but he finally learned to eat solid food. Now his favorite food is dessert!

FangFang used to sleep during the day and play at night. We created a schedule to help him get to sleep at a reasonable hour.  Wake at 6 a.m., nap at 12:30 p.m., and sleep at 9 p.m. During the day, the nannies played with him and didn’t let him stay in bed. Because he didn’t sleep much during the day, he slept at night. Now, he knows when to eat, play and sleep.

FangFang is lucky to have so many nannies caring for him around the clock. With their help, he can say some simple words like “mama” and “grandpa.” Sometimes, he hums a song “Ocean… Ocean.” When the nannies call his name, he gradually moves his body toward the direction of the sound.

As of April, FangFang has completed chemotherapy and has since been discharged from the Special Care Nursery. Though he can’t see the world, we know he can feel the love from people around him.

FangFang
FangFang
FangFang after treatment
FangFang after treatment
Sep 26, 2011

Loving Care for HuiJun

HuiJun before surgery
HuiJun before surgery

HuiJun came to the Special Care Nursery at the China Care Home in Beijing last year as a 1-year-old little girl who was born with a cleft lip and palate, a deformation in her left hand, and no right arm. In just 10 months, HuiJun underwent three surgeries.

Her first surgery was to repair her cleft lip. After HuiJun was discharged from the hospital, she recuperated quickly under the loving eye of her foster mom.

HuiJun didn’t let her disabilities hold her back. Because of her hand deformity, she practiced using her toes a lot. When her foster mom put a toy in front of her, she moved her body towards it and then used her foot to reach for the toy. Her foster mom encouraged her to keep trying until she could pick the toy up with her toes.

HuiJun would use her left arm to support herself and became very adept at crawling on her left side, which soon led to walking. Though balancing was difficult at the beginning, with persistent practice she learned to walk a few steps on her own.

Six months after her first surgery, HuiJun had surgery on her hand so that she could finally move her thumb and little finger separately. After she healed, her foster mom helped her practice lifting or pinching small objects. We were all so proud of the progress she made.  HuiJun’s final surgery in April was to repair her cleft palate.

Every time HuiJin would return to the Special Care Nursery from the hospital she would be thrilled to see her foster mom, holding on to her tightly and crying when other people held her.

Now, nearly a year after she arrived, HuiJun can use her fingers to reach for the cookies in her foster mom’s hand and eat them.  Sometimes she uses both her hands and feet to accomplish tasks.She can say and understand a few words, such as “come here,” “eye,”“ear” and “kiss.” We are all so happy that HuiJin has become such a healthy, happy little girl.

HuiJun today
HuiJun today
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