the incubator project

I’m not even sure where to start on this post. Those of you that are regular readers know we are anxiously awaiting an approval letter to adopt our second daughter. The wait is horrible.  While we tromp around here welcoming spring, she is in the only home she has ever known – an orphanage. Every orphanage is different. Some are full of bright colors, toys, and lots of community involvement. Some are quite the opposite. Our daughter is from a rural area (by local standards). Her orphanage is not elaborate or full of color. We had thought of sending her gifts, books with our voices recorded reading, blankets that smell like we do, photo albums….things we had seen other adoptive families do to help with transition. However, she quite simply is not in a place where we can do those things. I wish she could fall asleep with a photo of our family nearby. I wish someone could prepare her for our arrival. I wish I could send her gifts that she’d receive.

The wait is hard.

The distance is horrible.

The lack of communication is killer.

We are here:

family

She is here:

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Yes, those are wood planks. I’ve been told they are for sanitary reasons (helps prevent lice, scabies, etc.). There are around 24+ babies for every 2 nannies from what I understand. Needless to say, my daughter has spent the majority of her life in one of those cribs. She isn’t outside playing in the grass. She doesn’t get the individual attention babies crave & need. She is one among many. I am a wreck at the thought of it all.

Hard stuff.

Reality.

Some have emailed and asked me if there was something they could do for the babies living there. Some have had ideas of cute blankets or toys, but the reality is that is not what her orphanage needs. And even if sent, those items most likely would provide more work for caretakers who are already very busy with little ones. It needs essentials. Recently Love Without Boundaries, along with parents who had adopted from this orphanage, sent much needed diapers and formula. LWB has a great reputation for their work all over the area.

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Over the past month I’ve been thinking about my daughter’s orphanage, about all of you sweet readers that have asked for ways to help, and about how I want to not waste this time of waiting. I’ve always wanted to use my blog for good, you’ve heard me talk about social justice issues in the past. Well, this time I’m not talking about a social justice issue. I’m talking about my daughter and her current home. I contacted LWB and asked if they could find out if the orphanage had any large needs. They were so kind to do a little research for me and let me know there is a great need for an incubator for tiny newborns in their care. One incubator costs $1,400.00.

$1,400.00.  A lot of money, but it sounds manageable.

LWB has an established relationship with the orphanage and in the country. I asked if they would partner with me on a project to raise the funds for the incubator. Thankfully, they were more than willing to help me. They will handle all the money, ordering the incubator and delivering it. They will also send me pictures and updates so I can share those here with you! And, more importantly, I can share this story and the photos with my daughter one day.

So, in honor of my daughter, I want do a little project here – provide the gift of new incubator to other newborns in her orphanage. I know many of you come to this blog just for crafts and photography, this type of post is so far from anything that interests you. I get that. But, I also know so many of you that are just as giddy as I am to get to do this for newborns. It is going to be a really fun day when Love  Without Boundaries sends me the pictures of the incubator at the orphanage and we can celebrate together!

Since 2007 every child in her orphanage has been given the surname “Song”. Hundreds of orphans before her and after her share the same surname, or what we call ‘family’ name. We have chosen to keep “Song” as her middle name. It is part of her story, part of her history and it means “praise”.

With “Song” in mind, I wanted to be able to thank those that help me raise the funds for the incubator. I’ve been blessed to know some pretty incredible women who are both talented and have big hearts. So, I asked a few if they would create an 8×10 print with the theme “song” that I could give as a gift. I am blown away by their kindness, charity, and creativity. I’m grateful for blogging and the friends I have met through it.

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Created by Julie of Joy’s Hope

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Created by Heather of Life Made Lovely
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Created by Heather of Life Made Lovely
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Created by Lesley (my sister) of Recipe for Crazy

(it says, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a Song”)
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Created by Lesley (my sister) of Recipe for Crazy
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Created by Megan of Contented Sparrow
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Created by Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios

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So here’s the details:

Donate to Love Without Boundaries, by clicking here…in the notes be sure to choose “Other Projects Fund‘ in the top box and in the special notes box type, “Guangdong Orphanage assistance Ashley Campbell

LWB will update me on the status of the project, but if donations come in faster than we are able to track them, all donations above $1,400.00 will go towards the general work of LWB. As soon as I hear that the incubator is funded, I will announce that here.

If you’d like to receive a pdf of one of the “Song” prints as a thank you from me, here are the details:

  • 1 print choice for every $20.00 donation (logistically if 1400 people each donated $1.00, I’d never get through all those emails, so I needed to set a minimum donation amount for the prints so I’ll actually be able to email them all out. Thank you for your understanding on that.)
  • After you make your donation email me at incubatorproject2012 @ yahoo (dot) com with your choice of print and the name your donation was made under. I will email you an 8×10 pdf version of the print you choose. You can then print and frame it at your convenience. I printed mine at FedEx Kinkos on Glossy cardstock…they all looked great!

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Obviously, I am excited to do this in honor of my daughter. I am excited for at risk newborns to have a safe and sterile place to lie. And I am grateful to have a blog that makes a project like this even possible. My hope is that for those of you that do donate, that when you look at the print hanging on your wall….your mind will drift to a little orphanage in a rural area of Asia and to those sweet babies in the cribs. And that as your mind drifts there your life would be impacted by Song’s…that you will advocate, pray, give thanks, hug a little one a bit tighter….that a song in your heart will rise up.

UPDATE 4.17.12: The incubator was fully funded on 4.16.12. The donations that came in exceeded the amount needed and I will soon announce the LWB projects that those funds will go towards. If you would still like to donate, I will continue to send out prints as a “thank you” until the end of this week. LWB does incredible work for vulnerable babies and children, especially among those with serious health concerns. I am excited that what started as a project for an incubator will impact so many more children. Thank you.

UPDATE 4.17.12: All funds that are continued to be given will go towards sponsoring children with cleft lips & cleft palates. The sponsorships will allow them to get the necessary care before and after surgery. You can read more details about the kids we’ve sponsored together so far by clicking here. The more donations that come in means more kids will be added to this list. I will post updates on the kids throughout the next year.

 

 

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