An Asian television program that aired on Tuesday centered on disabled children in China who live in medical orphanages, specifically the story of a young Chinese boy who was born without ears, and who is waiting patiently for an adoptive family despite two years of watching others be chosen first.
Wu Keyuan, 7, had been abandoned outside an orphanage just a few days after birth. Another woman took him to raise him as her own, but when he was five, she brought him back to the orphanage.
Keyuan, a bubbly and animated boy, now lives with over 20 other children at Alenah’s Home, a medical foster care center in Beijing. He just learned to speak two years ago.
“Keyuan is a very sensible boy,” explained staff member Zhang Jing in the episode. “He is like a big brother. He is very smart. He’ll help you, and he will take care of you.”
Airplanes are Keyuan’s favorite, and Jing thinks it is likely because when the children are adopted, they leave with their forever families on airplanes.
“He will say, ‘My dad and mom will take me away on a plane,'” she said.
Fighting back tears, Jing shared how her heart breaks that Keyuan doesn’t have an adoptive family yet.
“I just think, ‘Please hurry up and come,'” she stated, wiping her eyes. “Because he’s so big now. All the children he grew up with have left. It’s just him now.”
“Sometimes when he goes out, people will ask, ‘Where are your ears?’ He will say, ‘Zhang Jing, they say I have no ears,'” Jing recounted. “I will tell him, ‘It’s okay. We are ill, that’s all. Once you get better, we’ll have ears again.’ I don’t know how else to explain it to him.”
According to the program, GetRea!, which produced the segment, Keyuan’s chances of being adopted are decreasing and under Chinese law, he will no longer be eligible once he reaches the age of 14.
“I must be patient,” he told the film crew. “I can’t rush it.”
“In China, orphanages were once filled with healthy baby girls, but these days, it is unwanted disabled children,” Channel News Asia reports. “In the last 20 years, the number of children with birth defects has jumped 70 per cent. These days some 900,000 children with disabilities are born in China each year.”
It says that many children are abandoned by their parents because they feel they can’t afford the medical costs associated with their care.
Information about other children waiting to be adopted may be found here.