Stories of Hope

Meet Our Staff: Bai Xue (Summer)

Dec 25, 2019

Bai Xue is one of many wonderful nurses employed by New Hope Foundation, and today we shine our spotlight on her. Nurse Xue goes by the English name Summer, which is rather amusing as the literal translation of her Chinese name is “white snow.” She says there was a huge snowstorm the day she was born and that’s how her naming came about. Being at the same time called Summer makes her our “all-season” professional!

After her graduation, Summer began working as a nurse at a hospital in Nanyang, a large city in Henan province. Many years later, it became necessary for her family to move to Zhengzhou, the capital, and she moved with them. This obviously placed her out of work and looking for a new job. A friend of hers was employed by the local orphanage and told her about New Hope’s work of caring for medically fragile orphans. This was new and unfamiliar territory for Summer, and she had little confidence that her application would be considered due to her age and the fact that she didn’t speak English. Nonetheless, apply she did.

Soon after, Summer traveled to Luoyang to be interviewed by Robin Hill, our co-founder, and Linda Li, the Director of our Care Centers in Henan. To her amazement, they asked her if she would “give it a try” at our Care Center in Zhengzhou. She agreed, and in December of 2014, still reeling from the shock, she started out on a journey that would change her life forever.

Gentle and soft-spoken, Summer explained that it was quite difficult for her in the beginning because the work was very different from what she was used to in a traditional hospital setting. A bit downcast, she talked to Robin about quitting, but both he and Dr. Martin offered nothing but patience and support, encouraging her to keep pressing on and assuring her that she was able to do the job.

Finding an inner tenacity, she became determined to succeed and to overcome the language barrier. Learning a new language in adulthood can be quite daunting, but Summer diligently utilized translation software, made cheat-sheets for herself, and pulled on the knowledge of others more proficient in the language. One of her biggest helpers and allies was Dr. Zhai (look for him in a coming spotlight) who is conveniently stationed in Zhengzhou as well.

Using all the resources available to her, Summer has made great strides and today is an invaluable link in our chain of communication between English-speaking doctors and nurses and Chinese-speaking nannies, orphanage and hospital staff. We’re proud of her determination to excel and to find her own particular niche.

Without question, the children are what make every day worthwhile for Summer. She says they give her much happiness, and she is constantly inspired by the strength they display in the face of sometimes dire diagnoses and seemingly endless medical treatment. She noted that some adults will live an entire lifetime and will not have experienced what our precious kids have to go through. Despite their challenges, in her observation “they are strong and desire to live; they are pure and happy; and, as the name of our organization implies, they are full of hope.”

Nurse Bai Xue (Summer)

Additionally, Summer says that her job has allowed her to meet many kind people and to witness unselfish love. From medical professionals and highly skilled specialists to volunteer staff and families who adopt, she never ceases to be amazed by the love and kindness that is poured out to and for the children.

Of the organization, Summer says it’s a place that is fair, where everyone is treated equally and with respect, and where one has freedom to express one’s needs. Of special significance to her, she mentioned how Robin was willing to change her work schedule so she could be with her family on the weekends. She has been touched by the model of genuine care and concern—both for children and staff—that she has seen displayed since day one.

All this has changed our quiet “white snow” for the better. She told us that as a result of working here, she is more forgiving, respectful and tolerant of others. She has more patience for those who may be struggling to do their job correctly and is more willing to lend a helping hand. She is more confident and is no longer afraid of change.

As we closed the interview, Summer wished to express her gratitude to New Hope: “Now I would like to say thank you. I used to say thank you just to be polite, but now I feel that there are many things for which I am truly thankful from my heart. I’m thankful for those who are around me, thankful for all the beautiful things, thankful for knowing and being with kind and wonderful people. I hope that I will also become a kind and warm person.

“I feel very lucky to have this job. I have the best boss, great colleagues and beautiful children who are like angels to me!”