…a second chance at childhood
The Stories

I Will Keep on Walking

I have a round face, with pink-and-white cheeks and a pair of clear big limpid eyes.

I am Qin YaJie. I used to think life was unfair to me. When I was born, my parents abandoned me because of my brain illness. However, life was not always cruel-I received more love and care when I was in Guilin Children’s Welfare Institution.

When I was three years old, I was enrolled in a new program, which was the Little Sisters Program. Because of my spastic CP, I could only support myself with one side of my arms and legs. I had to move when the teachers are holding my hands. When the first time I saw the bright and clean classroom, and the children there were smiling at me. I greeted them with excitement. However, what they could hear was only my saying, “Ah,ah” but that did not stop all the teachers and children from circling me and gave me warm greetings, “Hi, YaJie”

Most of the time I would choose to sit on the rocking horse, biting my nails and immerse in my own world. If the teacher asked me to sit as the other children on the chair, I would be very annoyed and would yell “ahah” loudly to express my unwillingness.

But I liked them taking me to visit around the classroom. There are so many beautiful decorations on the wall and many photos of the children; there are also many kinds of toys in a place where they call “House of Dolls”. Oh, there is a cabinet displayed with many toy cars, red, green, blue and all kinds of colors. After the visit, I would be willing to sit down on the chair, but couldn’t help wondering, “When can my photos be hung on the wall too?”

In the following days, the teachers would take me to practice walking everyday. I did not dare to walk on my own because I would definitely fall on the floor heavily without any support of other people. It really hurt a lot. I feared to fall again after one trial so no matter how the teacher encouraged me, I just would not have one more try. However, the teacher seemed more “stubborn” than I was. She did not give up helping me practice, but changed the way. She asked to stand with my back against the wall for a while everyday. At the beginning, I could only resist for a little while before I sat on the ground. In order to help me resist longer, she would bring me a lot of different toys to distract my attention from the tiredness and pain while I was standing. Gradually I could stand for longer and longer…

Day in and day out, one day I suddenly realized that my right leg was stronger than before, especially when I rode on a rocking horse, I could even stand up by holding on the handles.

Besides, during this period of time, not only the teachers, but also the other children treated me very friendly. They often invited me to join their games. I myself wanted to play like them as well, but I just could not keep me balanced on my feet. How I wish I could walk-The teachers seemed to be able to read my mind- she understood how strongly I wished to walk, so she spent more and more hours helping me practice walking. I myself became more persistent and harder in exercise, but I still did not dare to walk on my own. I was just too afraid of falling down. Later the teacher came out an idea-to practice by holding on the railings. At first I was very unwilling to touch that cold thing, because it made me feel unsafe. But with the continuous encouragement of the teachers, I gradually started walking on for a long while and not even noticed that I was not holding her hand.

With my legs getting stronger and stronger, the favorite thing I would do was walking. I would just keep walking in the classroom without rest on the seat. The teachers and children were happy for me too. They would strive to be the one to take my hand to walk with me. Once I walked for a long time before I suddenly realized that I was not holding anyone’s hand. Everyone was looking at me, smiling. I felt so proud and so excited!

I will never stop walking. With my feet on the floor, I will not stop moving them forward step by step. The happiness and satisfactory that walking has brought me is more than just words…And I hope all the boys and girls that are not able to walk can accomplish their dream of walking one day!

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