My time as an a’yi

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“Baby R: The Little Emperor”  I was holding a sleeping Baby R when one of the a’yi’s walked by and looked at him. By instinct she knew he was sick and took him away to give him medicine. Within minutes Baby R had two other a’yi’s fussing over him. The most incredible part was that the a’yi who took Baby R away was off duty and about to leave and delayed her plans to take care of him. Today I saw the depth of the love that all the ay’i’s have for all their “little emperor’s” and how they have taken all of the children here at Alenah’s Home into their heart as family.

 “The Little Things” On the first day of interning I noticed that the children of Alenah’s Home have such a variety of needs. Although it would be easy to assume I mean physical needs I actually mean emotional needs based on their unique personalities. Despite only being here five days, I have tried to have a loving moment with as many of the children as possible. Below is a short list of some of the little moments I have shared with the children that have made my hear burst:

1. Learning that Baby K, aka “Miss Independent,” does not like being held…ever. She prefers to read books with you. Although she does not dislike being spoken to in English she prefers Chinese. By day three I learned that if I spoke to her in only Chinese and let her choose which book to read she would voluntarily sit in my lap. I was so excited when this happened because I was pretty sure she would never let me touch her.

2. Interacting with the older children is hard because my Chinese is too poor to talk to them. On day four however, I learned that being able to breach the language barrier did not matter when it came to brightening a child’s day. The eldest brother of Alenah’s Home is unable to walk and since I am unable to speak Chinese I was always at a loss of how to interact with him. For some reason that day it occurred to me that the eldest brother might be interested in throwing a ball. Tossing a ball around with the eldest brother was one of the highlights of my time here because I was able to make him smile and let him see that I did care about him.

3. Baby steps. This last precious moment does not belong to any specific child at Alenah’s Home, but it was one of my favorite things to assist the children with. Having the children’s tinyfingers tightly grasping mine as they learn to walk made me so proud of them.  Being a dependable and sturdy support with every step epitomizes what being an intern at Alenah’s Home is about. Giving a helping hand when needed and watching over the children as they learn and grow.

“Final Thoughts” My time at Alenah’s Home is so precious to me. Having been adopted from China made the experience even sweeter as I was able to give the children the love and care that an a’yi once gave me. The staff at Alenah’s Home was so welcoming and the fellow interns were great companions on this experience. In my heart I will always love the children I helped nurture here and hope they all receive good families and live happy lives.

~Kami Richmond

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