Currently we have 7 older children, ranging from 3-9 years old, in our mom-care-model in Inner Mongolia. Three nannies by day and two by night provide amazing, around the clock, mother-like care to these children with special needs.
Although this special care unit is housed within the orphanage, it has a single door that leads to an apartment-style living area. It is comprised of 6 different rooms: two bedrooms (a large one for the children and a small one for the nannies), a kitchen, a dining area with child-size tables and chairs, a play/therapy area, and a bathroom/laundry room.
This mom-care-model functions as one large family and provides the children with not only the love and nurturing that is crucial to their overall health, but also the stability, structure and consistency to help them thrive and optimize their potential. Monday through Friday, the children have busy schedules that look something like this:
With the exception of Zhong who is in specialized seating, the children all sit independently in their chairs at the table for meal time. While waiting for their food, you might hear singing, laughing or even typical sibling banter. This communal eating has a very family feel and has been therapeutic for the younger ones who haven’t always enjoyed mealtime; you’ll see them desiring to feed themselves or possibly even trying new foods.
The children go to school on-site with other children from the orphanage. Classes typically include 6-8 students and two teachers. Their nannies drop them off and pick them up from school, just like a parent might.
The children are thriving in this environment and tremendous gains are evident. This mom-care-model has got to be the next best option when fostering or adoption aren’t immediate realities. Several of these children, do however, have adoption files and others will in the future. We hope and pray that each child in our mom-care-model will come to know the love of a forever family.