All of the boys featured in this post are on the shared list so their files can be obtained by any agency. These boys had the opportunity to attend a Bring Me Hope Camp this past summer. At the camp, American volunteers were able to spend time with these special children, working with them, playing with them, and getting to know their personalities. The descriptions below were written by the volunteers that spent time with these boys.
Meet Sheldon, age 8
Sheldon is 8 years old and very, very cute! We were told he is healthy but his files say that he has poor muscular tension. This special need came as a surprise to his camp volunteer since she did not notice him having any problems with his muscular abilities. (His medical files may contain more information on this.) At camp, Sheldon was an active, fun boy who had a smile etched across his face much of the time!
What Sheldon’s Bring Me Hope volunteer had to say:
“Sheldon is an 8 year old boy full of life and energy. He is very sociable and loves playing with other children. While at camp, Sheldon’s favorite activities included craft time, dance parties, and putting together puzzles. Overall, this little boy was such a joy to be around. I thoroughly enjoyed each moment I got to spend with him. His silly and playful personality kept me entertained and laughing the whole week long.
One moment at camp with Sheldon that I will never forget was when we had to say goodbye. He was seated in the van to go back to his orphanage when he looked out the window and saw that I was crying. He reached his hand out of the van to hand me a bracelet he had made at craft time during the week. My translator told me that as he was handing it to me, he said that the bracelet was for me to look at when I was sad so I wouldn’t be sad anymore. In that moment that this spunky little boy showed his beautiful sensitive and caring side that I hadn’t seen yet. I knew more than ever that THIS BOY NEEDS A FAMILY!!!
Sheldon is a very healthy boy with no special needs or known significant medical history. Due to the language barrier, I was not able to get a sense of all aspects of his developmental status. However, through observation of him during craft time, I can say that his motor skills looked on target for an 8 year old. He was able to draw, color, and cut at a developmentally appropriate level. I also observed that while he was putting together puzzles he had strategies in mind to match the shape and color of the pieces.”
Meet Baron, age 8
Baron is a sweet 8 year old boy who had so much fun at camp this summer! He has a generous spirit and loves to share. His special need is cerebral palsy. Baron uses a wheelchair but don’t let that stop you from seeing his big personality!
What Baron’s Bring Me Hope volunteer had to say:
“The first thing I noticed about Baron when I met him was his winning smile and sparkling eyes. This turned out to be the typical expression for Baron during the week I spent with him. This only changed once that I saw, when he was asked to take a nap in the afternoon. He didn’t like that too much (what 10 year-old boy does?). We decided that the week was too short for naps. I would ask him if everything was all right and without his translator, Baron would say Oooh Kaaaay and laugh. Baron enjoyed taking walks (or rolls, since Baron used a wheelchair) with his family group, making crafts, and face-painting. He also enjoyed catching and throwing a beachball from his wheelchair.
Baron’s translator was a Chinese college student , who was really dedicated to him. He fed Baron for the first meal we had together, but after the first meal, Baron told him that he didn’t need to feed him any longer, because the translator wasn ‘t getting to eat his own food! Since Baron was able to feed himself with only a small amount of help, he fed himself after our first meal or two. Baron showed his caring for others in other ways as well. The translators would buy snacks for the kids. During our movie times at night, Baron would always share his snacks with several of the other children. While he enjoyed the movie, sharing his snacks seemed to be more important to him.
Baron used a wheelchair due to his Cerebral Palsy, and did require help to go to the bathroom and shower. He was happy to do as much as he could and would let us know what he needed help with. Baron was able to feed himself and string beads making a bracelet. Baron slept well throughout the night. Through Baron’s response to discussion and activities going on around him, it was apparent that he was intelligent. Baron bonded readily to his translator and American buddy and was very sad to leave.”
Meet Jasper, age 9
Jasper is a boy who just loves exploring! He is a great kid who loves to laugh, dance, smile and hug. He bonded really well with his volunteer buddy this year at camp and just loved piggy back rides! Jasper’s special need is phenylketonuria (PKU). Read below about all of the amazing things his volunteer has to say about their time together. He sure seems like a special boy!
What Jasper’s Bring Me Hope volunteer had to say:
“Jasper is a Christopher Columbus, a Neil Armstrong of sorts. In his heart lies an explorer dedicated to new discoveries and distant lands. Jasper was at his happiest when he was outside seeing the world. He also really enjoyed studied how things work – what makes that fan operate and how does it push cool air to my face? He is blessed with a great, curious mind.
It has been months since camp, but I can still vividly see an excited smile on Jasper’s face. What put that smile there? It had started to rain one day and Jasper immediately went outside to jump, splash, and feel the cool rain. Seeing the excitement on his face, I let him enjoy this time to himself and watched from afar as he ‘hooted’ and ‘holler’d’ each time a drop hit his face. When finished, Jasper rain back inside and collapsed into my arms for an exhausted hug and then he looked up at me and smiled. He smiled with an excitement, not from the physical activity itself, but from the knowing that he had someone who cared about him watching him and sharing his enjoyment.
Another thing he loved to do was to find new things and see how they work and once he figured out how things “Work” he gets a big smile, claps his hands and laughs – enjoying his success. One time he figured out how to turn the air conditioner on/off by himself. He was extremely happy and excited. After this I told him it was time for lunch and he sat calmly at the table, peaceful and content. When he finished he let out a contented sigh and relaxed. It seemed his the joy he experienced succeeding with the air conditioner carried on for a number of hours. This experience allowed me to see his full range of emotions: excited – happy – content – calm.
Jasper is a great young boy. he bonded to me as a provider of sorts. If he wanted help with something he would come to me. I believe he saw me as a safe person who could provide for his needs. As the week progressed he hugged more, smiled more and ran away less.(at the start of the week he was always running away) By the end of the week I felt he trusted me. This really showed me how much he does need a family of his own, so he can get care like this and attention all the time. “
Meet Axel, age 9
Update: My family has found me!
Axel is a sweet 9 year old boy who attended the camp this year. His volunteer found him to be very clever and caring. Axel’s special need is Meningocele, postoperative, a form of spina bifida. At camp he was very outgoing and confident. Axel loved meeting new people, sometimes greeting them with ‘good evening’ which he learned to say early in the week!
Read what his volunteer wrote about him:
“Axel is a smart, lovable child with a cute personality. Someone gave him the english name “peace” and he showed it to me with a proud smile. He can be affectionate, and would kiss my cheek goodnight (but he didn’t want to miss my cheek in public as he got embarrassed) and take my hand and practice saying my name in English. He likes to swim and play with toy cars and is almost always moving and active, but he also enjoys and can stay focused on quieter activities such as drawing. He liked to put my hair in pigtails and was very careful and gentle about it. He would always make sure he wasn’t pulling too hard! How sweet!
He likes to play make believe games too. He wanted to play school and be the teacher. He taught me how to write his name in Chinese characters. At one point he gathered the other boys in our family group and they pretended to be police men, arresting me and all of the Chinese volunteers. For our talent show we did a skit based on roles he had made up for us. He and the other boys were superheroes.
As I said, he is a healthy, active boy and very smart and educated. He can write very well and loves to chat away in Chinese, even though I couldn’t understand what he was saying! I would love more than anything for him to have a family of his own.”