Stories of Hope

Meet Our Staff: Millie

Nov 20, 2019

Well over a decade-and-a-half ago, a young lady in Beijing was asked to assist in finding nannies for an organization dedicated to helping medically fragile orphaned infants. The organization was, of course, New Hope Foundation, and in July of 2003, after helping to find a team of nannies to come on staff, Li Guo Rong found herself employed here as well. Millie, the English name she goes by, always had a special love for children, so much so that she would voluntarily help her friend take care of her kids before she had any of her own.

Millie started out as a nanny, and then in 2007, when her supervisor, Linda, was transferred to our Special Care Center in Luoyang, she became the supervisor of all the nannies in Beijing. As with any work, there were good times and bad, times of ease and other times of hardship, but through it all, her primary thought was always for the children and the love and care they all so desperately needed. Nothing gave her more satisfaction than caring for them.

As one might expect, the hardest of times usually have to do with the loss of a child. Losses often come in the form of terminally ill children passing away, but for our nannies, adoption can also bring with it a sense of loss and grief. Millie has experienced both sides of this two-headed coin. As we talked, she thought of a little boy called Ming Ming. She was assigned to his care and remembers fondly what a precious smile he had. Sadly, Ming Ming also had a brain tumor and in spite of efforts to save him, which even included surgery in Hong Kong, the tiny tot passed away. He was the very first child to pass at the Beijing Care Center and it was truly heartbreaking.

Millie and Xiao Juan

Millie today

Another child who holds a special place in her heart was called Lu Lu. She came to us when she was about six months old and was placed in Millie’s home as a foster child. For four years, she treated her as if she were her own daughter, and her mother-in-law helped to take care of her during the day while Millie was working. She took her everywhere, including holidays and vacations. At one point, Lu Lu had surgery on her leg, which went very well, but she had a lot of pain immediately following the operation. Millie would hold her and try to console her—all the while crying inconsolably herself! She chuckles now when she tells how Dr. Joyce finally had to insist that she leave the room as her tears and running nose were not helping the situation at all.

Finally, in 2008, Lu Lu was adopted to the United States. There were many more tears and running noses—not just hers, but her mother-in-law’s as well—as their precious little one left to start her new life in America. Even as she told us the story, now more than a decade in the past, fresh tears fell from her eyes.

As with all the team members we’ve featured so far in this series, the conversation inevitably turned to Robin and Dr. Joyce Hill, to the sacrifices they’ve made for the children and the way they have treated their staff and those around them.

Most outstanding to Millie was the time, many years ago, when she was to take a child to Hong Kong for a medical checkup. It was her first time ever doing something of this nature, and she vividly remembers Robin’s kindness in taking her to the airport, carrying her bag and escorting her all the way to the security checkpoint. As she carried the child and followed Robin, she was overwhelmed by an amazing sense of love. Robin was not at all acting like a “boss,” but rather like a loving father who was seeing his own child off at the airport. In fact, in the sixteen years she has worked here, she said she’s always felt like she was a friend instead of an employee.

Millie took note of how Robin and Joyce would start working at 5:00 in the morning—much earlier than anyone else would. Many times, she also recounted, a child would suddenly become very ill and there would be no driver available, so Robin would jump in the car and drive the little one to the hospital himself. “Unselfish love,” says Millie, “is obvious here at New Hope.”

This unselfish love has had a great impact on her life and on how she has raised her own daughter, her only child. She remarked how she used to be very strict about education, placing the utmost emphasis on it, but after working here and taking care of our precious kids, she realized that education is not the most important thing. She now believes that good health, and the love and tender care that children receive when they are young are the most important things. She’s very thankful to have learned this lesson and advises other parents to follow suit.

We greatly appreciate Millie and the many years of “loving labor” she has given to our children.