Since the founding of Silver Lining Family Village in Myanmar, I, as Father Yeung, suddenly gained a lot of children. Whether it was in our Myanmar Silver Lining Family Village or our Mainland China Silver Lining Caring Center, whenever we received new children, the first thing I need to do, was to really memorize their names because the kids would call me Father Yeung. It would be embarrassing if I could not call out their names. However, I am one of those people who was born with poor memory. I remembered one time at the Myanmar Silver Lining Family Village, a newly arrived adorable girl ran up to me and said, “Father Yeung, I want to give you this picture as a gift.” In my eyes, seeing her running to me was already the most beautiful picture. I hugged her happily and my brain started the “search” mode, searching for her name and answering her “Good child! Father Yeung loves you!” However, her innocent eyes saw right through my thoughts and said, “Father Yeung, do you remember my name?” “For sure, I remember.” Not wanting to disappoint her, my brain turned on the “turbo search” mode, hoping to remember her name before she found out, but finally in a happy but mischievous tone, she said “Father Yeung, I bet you don’t remember my name! My name is Lai Xue Xiao.” Oh no, my brain just went blank, I felt embarrassed, I honestly replied to her,“Oh child, I am so sorry! Father Yeung promises you I will remember your name from now on.” I knew, in the kid’s heart, they not only wish I could remember their names, they also desperately need to regain their lost caring and love, hoping someone could be like their father, who could love and protect them.
Others might not notice that I particularly enjoy weekends in Guangxi because our Silver Lining Caring Center is closed on the weekends and the children do not have to go to school, so I will choose this day to spend my time in the center. I have always enjoyed spending time with the children, like enjoying the sweetness from their hugs and kisses, and the moment of children having heart to heart talks with me. These feelings of content and happiness have left an especially strong impression on me since my three own children have left and returned to US for studying. These feelings brought me back to the times when my own children were very young and when I was a young father, enjoying the warm interaction with my children. The only difference is, behind these innocent children’s face, they all have an unfortunate story not known to everyone.
Last year’s summer, a new child arrived at our center. That weekend, I took the newly arrived child, Liu Er, and her family for an outing. Liu Er was about 13 years old when she arrived in the Center with her siblings. Their mother passed away when they were young, they were brought up by their father. Unfortunately, their father passed away a few months ago. The children must be terribly sad and hurt by losing their only family members. So I hope to cheer them up by bringing them out for an outing, not only can this improve our relationship, through the outing, I hope could elevate some of their sorrow and stress. I remember when I first brought the children for outings, we would go hiking and quickly I understand the human biological principal of “Children’s physical is much stronger than their mental; Adult’s mental is stronger than their physical.” After a few exhausting hiking, I start to take the kids to ice-skating and bouncy castle instead, and I would sit around to watch the kids run and jump around. Kids usually would not come out of the bouncy castle with satisfaction until after an hour of bouncing inside. But Liu Er came out after ten minutes and sat next to me. I gave her a bottle of water to hydrate herself, she took a sip, looked at me and start telling me her story. I can tell she really needed comforting, so I pat her on her shoulder and comfort her not to be scared any more as we are now a family and will be with her always. Liu Er looked up with query eyes and said “Mother Yeung said you are our Father Yeung, you will love us like our father, is it true?” I never thought Liu Er would ask me such a direct question but at that moment, deep down I could feel the pain and sorrow, this child in front of me is in dire need of protection and comfort. I pat her shoulder lightly and said in a firm tone “Father Yeung is willing and promise to treat you like my own children! And love all three of you like a father!” After hearing this, Liu Er hugged me tightly and said softly to me “Father Yeung, thank you!”