Disabled and abandoned chibuy bracelets in bulkldren find "sincere, true" love
Jing Fengying,56, tends two foster children at the Hohhot Children"s Welfare Institute in the Inner Mongolia autonomous region earlier this month. WANG JINGQIANG / XINHUA
HOHHOT - At 7 am every morning, 56-year-old Jing Fengying and her husband, Zhang Youbing, wake up their four foster children and spend an hour dressing and feeding them. They need to leave by 8 am for classes.
The couple have devoted eight years to caring for abandoned children in their home at the Hohhot Children"s Welfare Institute, Inner Mongolia autonomous region. In 2009, the institute hired them to serve as foster parents for four disabled children.
They live in a three-bedroom house at the institute and are responsible for the day-to-day care of the children until they are either legally adopted or reach their 18th birthday.
Jing and Zhang receive about 1,800 yuan ($270) per child from the institute each month. They have fostered 18 children altogether.
They currently care for Songsong, a 4-year-old boy who was born prematurely, and three disabled children. Their other 14 foster children have found permanent families or were transferred to other social welfare homes when they turned 18.
Before joining the institute, Jing did odd jobs to make money.
"At first I just wanted to have a stable job," she said. "But now I feel good giving these children the love of a family."
In 2009, the welfare institute in Hohhot launched its "simulated family" program to help the children get proper parental care.
There are eight couples living at the institute. Each cares for four disabled or abandoned children. All the couples are between 45 and 55 years old and have completed at least nine years of formal education.
In addition to the day-to-day care, the couples attend training on raising a disabled child. The institute focuses on the children"s medical treatment, education and rehabilitation.
The program aims to have children enjoy the warmth of a home and family as much as possible, and helps them learn to interact with their family members, the institute"s Zhang Yan said. "Children without proper parental care tend to become withdrawn or violent. That"s why we tried this method."
Another goal of the program is to help children adjust to a parent-child relationship and to normal family life after they are legally adopted.
"With the care of these foster parents, some withdrawn and sensitive children feel the warmth of family life and learn to communicate with others," Zhang said.
Songsong was lucky to be fostered at Jing"s home. He began as a sick, abandoned infant but has grown into a healthy boy, thanks to the care he has received.
"Songsong is very healthy now. Many families will be willing to adopt him," Jing said. "I am happy he will have his own family, but also feel sad to see him leave us soon."
Jing"s biological son and daughter, who are both married and work in Hohhot, often come to see their parents and foster siblings, of whom Jing said: "The love we give them is sincere and true. After years together, we are a family."
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