Children who come to the orphanage tend to be in four distinct categories. One group is infants with obvious special needs or illnesses. Another tragic cross-section is older children whose needs have either become too significant for their parents to handle, or who have outgrown their usefulness to bosses who have used them for financial gain. Quite a number of children, especially boys, come in between 6-12 months, when it becomes obvious that their motor skills development is not consistent with other children their age. Then there are the children who are abandoned due to socioeconomic reasons, or who are truly orphans. Of course, I’m not condoning any of these as reasons for abandoning a precious child, but I think the observation is helpful in understanding their pasts.
Xiao Qiang is in the third group. When he came, he was probably 8-10 months old, and had low muscle tone, which made it difficult for him to be as active as babies that age usually are.
Instantly, he captured my heart. When I held him, his beautiful, soulful eyes searched my face, and he’d smile softly when our gazes met.
Can I just say that I absolutely love this boy? He has the sweetest personality, and is one of the spunkiest, most motivated kids I’ve ever met.
Because of his low muscle tone, everything is harder for him, and we have to do therapy with him to build up strength and dexterity. Most kids at best endure physical therapy sessions, and many resist them with all their might. Not Xiao Qiang- he throws himself into each session with single-minded determination and zeal.
Eagerly responding to encouragement and cheers, he celebrates each sit-up, squat, and stand-up by clapping his hands and grinning. He practically begs for physical therapy sessions, and his hard work is paying off in a big way.
Whereas before it was difficult for him even to roll over, he can now get into a sitting position by himself, and rise to a standing position with very little support. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a more resolved, purposeful kid than Xiao Qiang.
Don’t be fooled by his resolute nature, though. This boy is a real ham!
He will not hesitate to use his sparkling smile and shining eyes to garner admirers.
Nor is he reluctant to show off just a bit when he has a captive audience.
When he has the opportunity to play, he’s all boy.
Digging in the dirt is the best!
I think my favorite part about Xiao Qiang is how much he loves to cuddle.
He’ll just lay his head down on us, pat us softly, and gaze into our eyes…
…until he drifts off to sleep.
How could anybody not love this kid??? He’s just crying out for someone to take him home and love him forever.
Xiao Qiang was born around January 2010, and has been diagnosed by the orphanage as having cerebral palsy. He seems very bright- responding to commands in English and in Chinese, mimicking others readily, and showing initiative in his therapy. He truly is a delightful little boy, and would be a sweet, happy addition to any family.
Would you please prayerfully consider whether you could love this precious boy enough to make him your son? Help us spread the word about Xiao Qiang, so that he can have a family of his very own!