Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Transformation Tuesday: Lena

Last summer I had the privilege of working in the foster home preschool for 5 weeks. It was there that I met Lena. Oh sweet child, Lena. How much I love this girl! I noticed right away that she was charming, cute, and really funny. 

But there was something else I noticed....

Lena did not talk. She struggled to communicate in other forms. She would often become so frustrated that she would stomp, cry, and refuse help. She seemed very much like she was locked in her own world, too scared, timid, and unhappy to come out. 

Fast forward a year and I am back at New Day! I could not wait to see Lena again this summer! I knew there would still be that energetic, spunky girl--but I was so amazed at all the changes that have taken place in her. 

She is compassionate: I recently had a "boo-boo" on my arm that I kept covered with a bandage. Jenna came up to me every single day, tapped me on the shoulder, and pointed to my arm. She wanted to make sure that I was alright and not in any pain. 

She is smart! Lena understands BOTH Chinese and English, which is not an easy task. Ask her to do anything in either language and she will!

She is excelling in school. Lena has wanted to be in "big girl school" for a while. She finally got that chance this summer when we formed the Pre-K Transition Class. I am so proud of the progress I have seen her make in just a few short weeks. She can pay attention for longer, she wants to interact with peers, she is HAPPY, she loves to read books, she is tracing and drawing shapes and many letters, and she is a JOY to have in the classroom. Her face lights up when it is time to start and she is often the first one to raise her hand to answer a question!

She is learning to communicate. Lena is using her voice to make the beginning sounds of words and every time she does, she makes a giggling sound as if to say, "I can do it!" But the most amazing thing is that she is now using sign language! She can introduce herself, say how she is feeling, knows many colors, and the list goes on. 

Lena has certainly blossomed the past year. I always knew that Lena had these qualities deep inside her, waiting to come out. She has been so loved by her foster family and they have worked with her to start her healing. It is amazing what love can do--but Lena also freely gives love away with endless hugs, kisses, and snuggling up in your lap. The change I have witnessed in her is amazing. We are so blessed by this special treasure!

--This post was written by Catherine, one of our interns/teachers

1 comment:

  1. It's so beautiful to hear these stories of growth and watch the children bloom in the hands of LOVE! Thank you to every single caregiver, teacher, intern, foster family, nanny, and volunteer that gives a piece of their lives to these precious, deserving kids... This story is just a beautiful testimony of what your selfless love and servant's heart help to accomplish! And beautiful Lena's story is just one of many who's futures you have helped to rewrite!

    Blessings and Hugs! <><
    ~ Tanya