Ni Hao! How’re you doing so far today? Got time for a coffee and a virtual Chinese doughnut while I bend your ear a little? Of course you do. Say, when we were growing up, our parents took in a number of foster kids and I found that to be quite an experience. Like suddenly having another brother or sister. Well here’s a couple who has gone way beyond a few kids...
When a young couple from Zhuangxi village in China’s Shanxi province found an abandoned baby in 1989, they they decided to take the poor child in and raise it as their own.
Since then, Chen Tianwen and his wife Guo Gairan have always been on the lookout for abandoned children.
Over time, the local Civil Affairs Bureau kept sending abandoned children to the couple for adoption, because there were no other welfare institutions back then. And Chen and Guo never refused.
The couple, now in their 60s, have taken care of over forty disabled orphans in the past 26 years, along with their own three children.
As the number of children under the couple’s care grew, Guo decided to quit her job at a local factory to help look after them. She tended to the family’s land instead, as a source of income. But things got better eventually, as the story of their benevolence spread. The local government approached them and offered to pay them 150 yuan ($24) per month towards the welfare of each child. The couple receive larger donations from kindhearted individuals, and the government now gives them 1,000 ($161) yuan per orphan.
The bigger challenge for Chen and Guo has been their neighbors’ attitude towards their unusual family. Many of them were not accepting of their choices, and would ignore them or refuse to let their own children play with the orphans. Even their oldest child, Junwei, had trouble adjusting to his parents radically different lifestyle.
Unfortunately, Chen was eventually forced to tell Junwei that, just like their other children, he too was adopted.The boy stormed out in a feat of rage and hasn’t returned since.
Things have changed over time, and Chen and Guo are now accepted by the village as model citizens.
“It turns out we’re not idiots after all, and the work we’re doing is good. We’re role models,” Guo said.
The couple have purchased a bigger house with the help of volunteers, and five of the disabled children under their care have completely recovered.
Sources: China Daily, Shanghaiist
See ya, eh!