By Tamille Davis, Program Manager/Outreach Coordinator
We recently encountered a very unique experience involving two little visitors at the Nursery. Two little boys, ages 5 and 2, were admitted because their mother needed to move into a better place. The mother, a recent immigrant from Vietnam, needed to earn her certification to become a home health aide so that she could earn more money for her little family.
While she has some family here in the states, there was no one available to watch the boys. She first showed up on our doorstep last November because she had been referred by a coworker at CAL Works. Her English is very limited so communication was very difficult. However, one thing she kept repeating was that she was a “hard worker” and “very smart.” She insisted that she was a “good person” and just wanted help taking care of her babies so that she could go to school to earn more money. She wanted to earn more money to afford a babysitter so that she could work and have a place alone with her boys instead of all of them staying in one room at a relative’s home.
Over the course of three pre-admission visits she explained that she was a nurse in Vietnam and had helped “many, many people” in her country. While her English may not have been the strongest she understood the mission of the Nursery and was extremely grateful that we were able to help. Tears were shed and ribs were strained because of the big bear hug she gave in gratitude. With the help of an interpreter, she completed the admission paperwork and forms so that her children could stay at the Nursery on a crisis basis. She successfully enrolled in the home health aide course and is simultaneously learning English!
And the children? While they do not speak English, they understand enough to be able to play with the other kids and respond to simple questions. They are very bright and quick to pick up on the Nursery schedule. Eating is a highlight for them as every time they move from one part of the Nursery to another, they get sidetracked and try to wash their hands and sit down at the table for a meal — even if it isn’t time yet.
There is one word in English that the boys spoke that made us laugh out loud when we heard it: “AWESOME”! AWESOME has been heard in the playroom a lot during playtime. While I’m not sure if they know what it means, it does highlight their experience here at the Bay Area Crisis Nursery.
The Bay Area Crisis Nursery is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Concord, California. We are a short term residential care facility for young children of families in times of personal crisis. Our services are completely free, confidential and voluntary. We accept no government funding and rely solely on the generosity of our community. To make a financial contribution, you may do so online here.
If you need help now, call us at (925) 685-8052.