Hope has called Maria’s Big House of Hope her home for more than two years now. You may recognize her from previous blogs, print pieces, and this recent video Sponsor Update. Hope has come a long way since she first arrived at MBHOH, during which time she was severely malnourished in addition to her diagnosis of cerebral palsy. Cerebral Palsy is a group of multiple brain and motor skill condition. While symptoms vary depending on the type and severity, Hope’s CP results in her body being very rigid and her radiant smile being her primary form of communication.
She attends preschool every day and loves coming. Her nanny recently shared that when she picks Hope up each morning and says “sheng ke!” (class time), Hope gets a huge smile on her face. Each morning as she comes into our classroom, her face immediately lights up as she realizes her surroundings and begins to hear her classmates’ voices. Although Hope is unable to speak, her smile seems to say it all. One by one, her classmates walk up to her chair and greet her with “good morning Hope” and a kiss to the hand.
Although it would be easy to talk about the ways in which Hope has been impacted by the care she has received, an aspect you may not realize is how Hope has impacted those around her because of this care. One of my favorite things each morning is to watch Dr. Steve’s youngest daughter, Charlotte, come in and go straight to Hope’s chair. Hope obviously recognizes Charlotte’s bright blonde hair and gentle voice. If Hope is looking the other way, Charlotte will patiently wait, holding her hand, until Hope looks her in the eyes. I have loved watching this bond develop for over a year now. I truly believe this friendship will leave an irreplaceable mark on each of their hearts forever.
To be honest, I often wonder what Hope would say if she could speak. As I look into her deep eyes, I can’t help but wonder if there is a beaming life just wanting to burst out of her; to dance, to sing, to jump and play, to leave behind this limited earthly body. I wonder what her future holds and whether she will ever know the love of a forever family. But despite these unknowns, I cannot deny the fact that on a daily basis I see what love and compassion look like because of Hope. Her classmates are so tender with her and consistently look out for her. They watch her to see when she is happy and make sure she doesn’t miss her snack. They lovingly touch her hands and give her toys to hold during play time. They like to push her around in her chair and make sure she doesn’t miss a bit of the fun. And these are 3-year-olds doing these things!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” – Matthew 19:14
March is Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Please join us in prayer for Hope and all children who face this condition without the love of a forever family.
Help make Hope’s care possible by becoming a Show Hope sponsor today.