Hope Springs Eternal

 July 5, 2011

Well GREAT NEWS we got the OK from Mia's orphanage director to bring in speech therapy or move her to Shepherd's Field! Operation "Let's Talk" in underway.

I have sent out about 30 emails so far this morning trying to locate speech therapists to work with Mia in Guangdong.  I’ve heard back from a couple of US based folks who have provided a couple leads and of course I followed up on those as soon as I got them.  Most of my inquiries went to China though where is well past business hours.  I’m hoping and praying I’ll get a positive response by morning.

It turns out that speech pathology is not a widely practiced modality in China so there is a very real shortage of trained professionals with most therapists clustered in major metropolitan areas. (Mia is not in a major metropolitan area.)  Realistically the odds of finding someone who can get to Mia’s orphanage are not good but I’m an optimist and believer in everyday miracles. 

Relentless Hope… it’s sort of a gift (or curse) of mine.

I have also contacted Shepherd’s Field to inquire about the possibility of having Mia live there while we wait to bring her home. 

Shepherd’s Field was one of the orphanages we visited while in China last month.  It is an American run, group foster home styled “village” located about an hour outside of Beijing.  Compared to the State run orphanages it was Shangri-La.  Shepherd’s Field is a complex of buildings including home style residences for the children, a clinic, a school, an activity center, green space, a playground and an inn for parents to stay while bonding with their children.  Add to that American trained physicians, regular visits by physical and speech therapist, English and Chinese preschool and a caregiver for every two children and you start to get an idea of how exceptional this place is.
One of my very distinct observations about Shepherd’s Field was that the babies there were babbling and making all the appropriate pre language gurgles one would expect from a toddler.  Not so in the Social Welfare Institute.  There the babies were near silent, already showing signs of “typical institutional” language delays. Even without therapy I am certain Mia would develop better language skills at Shepard’s Field but of course they have the therapy too.
I’m torn about uprooting her from the only “home” she knows and its hard to know the best option.  Then again I don’t know if either is a realistic possibility yet.  Mia’s orphanage director has said yes to both options but I need to identify resources and get a few more people to say “yes” before we make any real progress.
This parenting from the other side of the world is tough.

To learn more about Shepherd’s Field and how you can sponsor a SF child please visit their website here.

Hey check it out we are back at #1 Mommy Blog.  Keep up the good work.  And, keep clicking that brown bar down there. While you are at it, say a little prayer that a Chinese speech therapist who just happens to summer in Guangdong reads Top Mommy Blogs!

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