We met Ryker when he was 4 years old. It was April 2013 when he came into our care at Maria’s Big House of Hope, and it has been an honor and privilege to play our part in his life. His big smile brings joy to Maria’s every day.
Mornings are a special time for him. Ryker wakes up, dresses himself for the day, and then eats breakfast. On some days, he eats “second breakfast” in a staff kitchen—he loves cereal! Ryker has grown so much since we first met him, and he defintely has the appetite of a growing boy.
After breakfast Ryker goes to preschool—a favorite part of his day. He is joined by some of his best friends and they get to spend an hour and a half learning and playing together. They learn about the seasons and what makes each one special, sign language, numbers, the alphabet, and many other things. Each week the class learns about a different letter.
The opportunity to go to preschool and learn is valuable for both the skills that are learned and the memories that are made. Craft time and play time are just as important as the lesson. The class has fun together eating snacks and making crafts.
Though Ryker likes books and other parts of class, he definitely enjoys craft time the most. You give Ryker a bottle of “gah-lue” and he’s set. No matter the craft, Ryker grabs the bottle of glue first and goes to town.
After the children have finished their activities for the day, they’ll often play outside for a little while. Outside they’ll look for examples of the things they’ve learned in class that day, whether it be different shapes or the falling leaves. They also spend time playing. Ryker loves to ride on someone’s back and pretend like he’s riding a horse. He hops on and exclaims, “Ma! Ma! Ma!” (ma means horse in Chinese) with the biggest smile.
After preschool and playing outside, Ryker heads back to his room. He plays with the nannies and other children. Since Ryker is the oldest child in his room and in our care at Maria’s, he has a special drawer where he can go and get crayons, books, puzzles, and other fun things that help him to expand his creativity and mind. He’ll then eat lunch, and after he’s done he’ll go play in with other children or spend time with a staff member.
There’s a ball pit in the playroom that the kids love. Ryker likes to be quizzed on the different colors of the balls, and the nannies make up games for him where he can practice counting. We’ve witnessed some really important moments when Ryker is playing with the younger children.
Remember when we said he’s quick to learn? Oftentimes we give Ryker choices to help him learn to make good decisions, rather than making decisions for him. Whenever he has candy (he’s always willing to share), Ryker practices helping other children make choices. He’ll hold up the candy and say, “Which one?”
We love watching him help out with the younger children.
Later in the day, Ryker will sometimes have one-on-one time with staff members. He’ll get to have extra craft time, or tell them all about what he has learned that day. He’s especially proud of his numbers and alphabet.
We count it a blessing to know and care for Ryker, but our greatest hope is for Ryker to come to know the love of a family through adoption. To know the love, security, and stability of a family is so important. Please be praying with us for him to soon know this love!