I wasn’t sure how it would work. We arranged for evaluations of the host kids this past Saturday. All the details were prefect. We had OTs, we had eager students, we had both bilingual Cantonese/English and Mandarin/English speakers to help translate. We had host kids eager to show off! But, we didn’t have anyone who knew CSL (Chinese Sign Language). And, that’s how Jennifer communicates. We decided to have one of the translators write the directives in Chinese for her, and have her read. It had to work.
We quickly learned that while Jennifer could read simple Chinese characters, she was having a hard time with more difficult characters and concepts. She was trying so hard, but wasn’t grasping what we were asking of her. Oh well, we will continue to try, and do our best, though we could see Jennifer’s frustration, most likely because she could sense she wasn’t getting what we were asking, and she so wanted to please us.
In struts Shane, with a loud ‘HELLO’ and a smile from ear to ear. My first reaction was to motion for him to ‘be quiet…we are busy.’ He looked at me, then looked at Jennifer. And then he signed to her. She smiled. And did exactly what we had been trying to ask her to do for the past 10 minutes. Eureka. He can hear. He can sign. We continued the evaluation by having the translator tell Shane what we were asking of Jennifer, and Shane signing to Jennifer our requests. Jennifer would respond to Shane in sign, and Shane would let us know her thoughts. This boy. This orphan. Had rocked his own evaluation, and was now free to play in the monstrous indoor playground. But instead he saw his friend needing help. And he helped.
Amazing doesn’t even begin to describe this kid. Shane has been a helper from day one. From insisting he bring the groceries in (and insisting his host brother help, instead of host Mom), to insisting on making sure host Grandpa was comfortable, to this last week, and insisting on helping his friend Jennifer communicate. Shane has a heart of gold, and we are still searching high and low for a family to see his heart, to see him, and to say YES.
Shane leaves Thursday, after a month in the USA teaching so many about bravery, selflessness, and love. We are still searching for Shane’s forever family. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more about this inspiring young man. Or visit us at www.madisonadoption.org