Sunday, July 20, 2014

NDNorth: A blanket can change a life. Really!

Remember the the therapists that came to visit us last month? The group therapy session instruction that they did was amazing, but one of their other huge contributions to our work happened when we unpacked a few donations that we had been saving. Inside of our 'Mary Poppins bag of treasures' this time were four lovely hand-crocheted blankets from Dana. We told the nannies that the blankets were for the then four (this was before Kristiana joined our room) children in our care. The babies were ready for naps so the blankets got put to good use right away...

Have you ever seen anything more precious!?

The therapists had different ideas when they saw the blankets. No more sleeping! It's time to get moving.

We started with Timothy, who has had very little neck strength since he was about a month old. The beginning of any new "workout" is never all that fun... but don't worry, it got easier!

Soon, we had Timothy propped up onto his rolled up blanket, looking at his handsome little self in the mirror. The orphanage's therapists were impressed with the improvement they saw in him in such a short time with the use of just a blanket.

But wait! It gets even cuter...

Hannah is another of our littlest ones -she's the youngest baby in our project, actually - and she has some stiffness in her arms. She was already a pro at lifting her head up, but would being propped up onto a blanket help her learn to use her hands and play better? Let's find out.

Hooray! And then Timothy, watching little sister Hannah, decided that he needed to learn how to play as well.

Soon, the two of them were having propped-up-on-blankets pow-wows while playing with toys.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the orphanage, the nannies were inspired! They were watching the transformation of Timothy and Hannah and marveling over the new-found abilities of these special-needs babies, and decided to adopt our "blanket method" with the other babies in the orphanage!

Bless their hearts. 

When we first saw Baijie, the nanny who was on duty in the infant room that day, with the tiny little ones propped up on huge quilts, we giggled proudly. Because the blankets were way too thick for the little ones... and yet we were so proud because she was actually trying! If you've ever worked in an orphanage setting before you'll know that it's really, really hard to introduce new things. It takes a long time to build enough trust for the orphanage staff to actually start imitating your methods. We helped Baijie unroll the blankets a little bit so that the babies were doing more lifting and less flying, and asked if they had any smaller blankets. "No, what we need are more like Timothy's and Hannah's. We don't have any like that."

Well, we do! A box had just arrived full of blankets collected by a group in the US and we were able to pass out some much-more-safely-sized blankets to the orphanage. 

Just look at that them!

...and all because one woman crocheted four little blankets, and because a therapist recommended rolling the blanket up. Making a difference is easier than you thought.

No comments:

Post a Comment