Adam and Hannah

Adam has worked at New Day Foster Home since 2008. He has a wife and a son who is in high school. His wife is a nanny at New Day Foster Home. Adam loves animals and enjoys reading and fixing machines. The story of how Adam came to work at New Day Foster Home is quite touching.

It started with hiring a new nanny. During the interview process, the woman happened to mention her husband’s situation. Adam (Wu Jinzhu) was 40 years old and used to be a driver and work in construction. But then he was in a serious car accident and suffered horrible burns over his face and the upper half of his body. He lived, but healing burns left behind terrible scar tissue, and he was marked for life.

After he recovered, tried to go back to normal life. At first he looked for work, but no one would hire him because his disfigured face would “scare their customers away.” He eventually gave up looking for a job, and for 2 years was left to stay at home while his wife worked hard to support their family, making him feeling very bad. He would go out into the village and into the city occasionally, running errands and looking for odd jobs, but he became increasingly broken by the stares. Then one day he was on an elevator with his wife in the city, and two women got on. One of them looked at him, and she started screaming.

He couldn’t get off the elevator.

He had to stay there while she stared at him in horror, screaming in fear and revolt.

It was the last day he ever left his house.

After hearing the story from the woman interviewing for the nanny’s position, we suggested that she have her husband come in for an interview for an open gardener’s position. The woman looked up with surprise, shocked that after hearing the story, someone would actually want to face her husband. He came a few hours later. During the first interview, he never made eye contact and kept his head lowered. Clearly very nervous, he wore a large hat to shield his face. When he was called back for a second interview, he couldn’t hide his surprise. When he was offered the job, he nearly broke down with thankfulness and shock. He started immediately… turning our sometimes overgrown backyard into a place of beauty and peace. The garden is the perfect place for him; he is mostly by himself, so he doesn’t have to face the unwelcome stares of strangers. His task all day long is to prune, plant, and create beauty; a job given to a man who many treat as though he takes away beauty. All of the staff at our organization where instructed never to stare or treat him any differently than anyone else; those who did so would face consequences.

While the backyard is lovely, the restoration in his life is what is most beautiful. says that he noticed people at New Day treat him differently, and it has helped him gain confidence and hope for a bright future. He enjoys his work here, and feels comfortable around the staff and children. One day, when the kids were in the backyard playing, Luke ran up to to see what he was doing. At first Luke squatted next to him, watching as he weeded the flowers. When the gardener stood up, Luke did as well, and then reached his hands up to be picked up. Surprised by Luke’s desire, the gardener tentatively picked Luke up. Luke smiled broadly, looked him directly in the eyes, and lovingly patted the man’s cheeks with his little hands.

We don’t believe it was pure chance that brought this man to a job where generally the only people he sees are little children – little children who think it is completely normal to have only one leg or to have a twisted arm or to have a large birthmark in a visible place. Children who point and wonder where your scar for your heart surgery is… They aren’t terrified of him, because they don’t notice anything wrong.

This is what it is all about. Restoring the broken; bringing hope to the hopeless; lifting up the downtrodden.

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