…a second chance at childhood
The Stories

A Strong Girl—Xia

The first time I met Xia was in a vocational school, and she came to Shanghai for a baking training for one year.

I’ve heard her name for a long time and she didn’t come last year because she was not 18 years old yet at that time. She feels lucky to get picked this year.

Xia was so excited when we were talking. “I was longing for learning how to bake for a long time and I finally got this chance. I must try hard and study hard this time,” said she, “I don’t want to go back to the institution in Spring Festival, because I want to have more time to learn.” I also had a great time with Xia, and I found she is able to think independently.

Xia has three siblings and she is the oldest one in her family. Her mother died because of illness when she was only 6. At that time, her difficult time began. The whole family made a living by her father’s wage. They had a tough time since then. Misfortunes never came along singly. In 2010, Xia’s father was standing on the road and suddenly a man jumped down from the ninth floor and hit her father accidently. All of a sudden, the three children lost their father. They became orphans.

The three children faced two options, one was to continue to stay at their community, and the administrative cadres in the community would take care of their life, and the second choice was to send them to the orphanage. Xia told me that the three kids kept awake the whole night because they were struggling with the choices where they were going in the future. They fear the orphanages because they learned people there whip orphans and treat children badly! Trembling, they spent the whole night in dark. At last, they decided to go to the orphanage. At the very beginning, they were over-cautious and kept alert on everybody. They feared to communicate with people as if they feared to do something wrong. But after a period of time, they began to adjust their life in the institution. She said she never felt such warmth in her life. She had fun in the institution. I could tell her happiness from her look and her description about her orphanage life.

Xia is already 21 years old. And she has been away from Shanghai for two years. For these two years, she takes effort to learn everything about baking. She even went to another city to learn skills on cake decorations. Xia expresses that she hopes her sister and brother can study hard no matter how hard her life is and how hard she is going to work to afford her siblings’ tuition fee. She was acting an adult when she was saying those words. Xia told me with excitement, “I’m going to take the college entrance examination this October.” I could tell that she has a perfect plan for her future life. I wish her a happy life forever! Such a positive and energetic girl!

The World Shook-5

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The World Shook-5

The World Shook-2

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The World Shook-2

Orphaned, but not alone

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Orphaned, but not alone