our kids…an update on “The Incubator Project”

Are you sitting down? You should be.

Do you have a tissue handy? You should.

Are you ready for some incredible news? Get ready.

Today I get to give you all the most recent update on the “Incubator Project”. I had hoped to raise $1,400 to go towards purchasing an incubator for my daughter’s orphanage. You can click here to read that original post. In a day that amount was raised. And then more donations kept coming. Two days later we had sponsored 9 kids together and raised $13,000. Unbelievable.

Well…the final total raised….
Can you believe that? So many of you donated $20.00 and sent me a note saying you wished it could be more. It is a beautiful thing to see hundreds of people come together to give to these children. When so many give a little, it becomes a huge amount. You all have been a voice to those without a voice. You have stood up, advocated and helped children who don’t have a parent present in their lives. These kids have endured so much heartbreak. For numerous reasons, they are considered “orphans”. They don’t have someone of their very own fighting for them…but now they have you and other sponsors. Thank you. Thank you Love Without Boundaries for making it possible for us to join together to support these amazing kids. I am forever changed by experiencing this with all of you.

So, now I get the honor of breaking down this project to share with you the details of where all those donations will go. I will get monthly updates over the next year on these kids, so I’ll keep the updates coming.
The following children are sponsored to receive care in various LWB Healing Homes. The Healing Homes help the children get proper nutrition to prepare for a surgery and incredible care after a surgery. Amy Eldridge, the Executive Director of LWB, wrote the following to me in an email:

“We have seen absolute transformations happen in our healing homes, when babies with cleft become failure to thrive in their home orphanages.  I am so thankful that we have these facilities in place to take the smallest babies in.  I know it is hard to believe on a lot of them, because they look SO healthy after a few weeks in our hands, but so many of them would not have survived without assistance – and now you are part of their life story forever.”

(all quotes below are taken from the LWB website, blog or facebook page)




“All of the surgeries went beautifully today, although sweet little Abby from our healing home was having some post op issues. Many of you will remember that she is the baby who came into our hands so weak and failure to thrive, and even though she has gained much needed weight, she still wasn’t clearing the anesthesia well. Our head RN Maureen sat with her for over an hour while she recovered, and when they left tonight Abby was doing much better.” – day of the surgery

“Tiny Abby had her lip repaired during the Cleft Exchange last week. All the while, she had her loving nanny from Henan Healing Home by her side. The healing homes allow children with special care needs to be loved by nannies who are trained to care for them. We are so grateful she did not go through the surgery or her recovery alone!”

Amy needed to weigh 5lbs for the cleft repair surgeries that happened last week. She only weighs 4lbs now. With the care she will receive at the Healing Home she’ll be chubby and healthy in no time.


“Asher arrived at AHH in February. Asher was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate and weighed 2.85 kg as a newborn arrival.  He struggles with feeding but with the help of our nannies he will hopefully gain the needed weight to prepare him for cleft surgery. We are grateful that his orphanage reached out to us to help Asher receive individual care at every feeding. Once Asher has gained significant weight and strength, we will help him receive life-saving cleft lip surgery.” – early quote, Asher has now gained his weight and had his surgery last week!

“Bennett from Shanxi Province came to HHH in February. Such a tiny little one, we sure can’t wait to see him gain those much needed pounds. In fact we will celebrate EVERY ounce he puts on! Bennett’s cleft lip/palate has led him to his failure to thrive; obviously feeding is a huge struggle for him. We just know now that he is in with our loving aunties, he has the best chance possible to reach out and love life!”

Blaise was too small in 201o to have his surgery. He later had a repair done and the sutures came out. Last week Blaise had his second repair and came through surgery wonderfully. The team did everything possible to make sure the sutures would stay in this time, but I found out early this week that his sutures did come out again. Right now those caring for Blaise are doing everything they can to help him heal. From what I can tell, he is a bit of a favorite in his Healing Home.


“Christopher is an adorable baby boy born in late November who has recently come to the Henan Healing Home (HHH) to live.  He is recovering from pneumonia and needs all the love and formula that the nannies can give.” Christopher had a successful repair last week and is currently healing.


“Dolores arrived at AHH in March. Dolores was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate as well as some fused or missing fingers and toes. On admission she weighed 3.3kg and she came to the home as a newborn. She struggles with feeding but with the help of our nannies she will hopefully gain the needed weight to prepare her for cleft surgery. We are grateful that her orphanage reached out to us to help Dolores receive individual care at every feeding. Once Dolores has gained significant weight and strength, we will help her receive life-saving cleft lip surgery. Your donations will provide individual care for Dolores from our trained nannies so that she can get the most nutrition from quality formula in special cleft bottles.”


“Emerson is the most recent arrival at our Anhui Healing Home (AHH). Born in February with a cleft lip and palate, this poor little fellow also developed a severe hernia and had to have surgery in March, before ever coming to AHH. Now he is healing nicely, and once he reaches a safe weight for surgery, Emerson will have his lip repaired. Our loving AHH nannies will make sure this little sweetheart gains quickly and has the chance to heal fully before transitioning into LWB foster care.”

“Jacob has been really growing since he joined us at the Henan Healing Home. He is a big boy and his favorite activity is drinking his formula and hanging out with the nannies and other babies.” Jacob’s repair was also done last week and he is receiving lots of care as he heals.



“Marieli is a lovely girl from Henan Province. She was born with a cleft palate and was struggling to feed in her home orphanage. She has improved dramatically since coming to live at HHH. ”

“Based on the belief that every child deserves a family of his or her own, LWB’s Foster Care Program began in 2004. This program provides orphaned children the opportunity of receiving love and care from foster care families. We currently have 18 foster care programs in eight provinces throughout China.Approximately 250 children are currently placed with foster families. We work collaboratively with social welfare institutions to transition these children from orphanages into loving and supportive foster homes, offering these children the individual care needed to reach their full potential.” click here for more info

We were able to sponsor the following kids for the next year to remain in foster care as they wait to hopefully join a family through adoption.


“Sweet Alan is nine months old and just joined our Zhaotong foster care program. We cannot wait to see how he adjusts to his new foster family and surroundings! “


“Bailin is adjusting to his new Foster family and is learning what it is like being around with kiddos his own size. He is doing quite well in the “grab a toy and scoot away as fast as you can”  challenge. His cleft lip was repaired and his asthma is under control. “


Becca has been in our foster care program since July 2008.  Before that time she was at the Anhui Cleft Healing Home.  She was one of the very first children into the home if not THE first child there. She is a very sweet little girl – very clever.  She loves it when people visit and she is very friendly and talkative.  She absolutely loves the singer Adele.  Her older sister had Adele on her mobile phone and Becca kept taking her phone and playing the song and singing at the top of her voice – it was very funny becuase she had no idea what the english words were.  She keeps a good tune though!


“James is 2 years old and a graduate from LWB’s Anhui Cleft Healing Home, where he had his cleft lip repaired. We are told that James and his foster sister are the center of attention in his foster family. He is a friendly little boy and loves playing with other children. He also is becoming very curious and likes to explore.”


“Luke is a sweet 4 ½ year old boy who has been in our XiaoXian program since he was a few months old. He has had his cleft lip and palate repaired and is now enrolled in kindergarten. We were told last month that after his photos are taken, Luke will review them on the manager’s camera and make her delete the ones that don’t meet his approval.”


“LWB was founded after a group of parents helped a young boy receive heart surgery. Since then LWB’s Medical Program has provided surgeries and other medical care for thousands of orphaned and impoverished children from provinces throughout China. Our medical program’s goal is to provide the highest quality care for the children entrusted to us. Our decisions are based, first and foremost, on what is in the best interest of the child, as well as balancing the constraints of location, ability, finances, and long-term care options available.” click here for more info

Part of the donations went towards funding two other surgeries…wow.


“Pete is just one year old and needs a surgery to correct a urological defect.  The orphanage is hopeful that this will increase his chances for adoption…He will be able to live a better quality of life and hopefully find his forever family as well!”  Our donations provided the remaining funds for Pete’s needed surgery!


Your donations provided $2,437 to be set aside for Valerie’s cleft surgery. She is currently waiting surgery for two heart defects. Once she is strong and healthy, the team will begin make preparations for her cleft repair.


Adequate nutrition is so important to a child’s growth and development. When children go without necessary nutrients, the body lacks immunity and cannot repair itself. Good nutrition is also essential for a child’s cognitive development. LWB supplies boxes of quality cereal to foster care children under the age of 24 months, ensuring that they receive the best nutrition available. The cereal is delivered monthly by our local China foster care managers.

We were able to provide $1,000 towards nutrition programs.


And where it all began…we provided 1 incubator that is equipped to help newborns with jaundice. We also provided 100 bags of cloth diapers and 100 towels (which have already been delivered). Pictures to come 🙂

I can’t decide to laugh or cry over all of this. I guess I’ve been doing a bit of both. It is crazy to me…one little idea turning into something far bigger and more amazing than I could have dreamed. I was hoping for an incubator…God had much bigger plans. The lives of these children have been changed, but you know what is just as beautiful to me? Our lives have been changed. I’ve been changed by these beautiful children and I know many of you have too. I’m humbled to even get to be a part of this story. And I am thanking God that though this wait to bring my daughter home is so difficult, He is doing amazing things in the waiting.

I also want to thank my sweet friends who helped make this whole project possible….thank you.

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  • Steph - Oh my gosh, this is fantastic! God is so good! I love that they’ve given faces to the change that’s happening.

  • Sharon - I’m bawling!

  • Sarah Schilling - *Tears* I love what you said about how God is using this time of waiting to do amazing things. I can’t even imagine how hard it must be for you, but it is so beautiful to see what He inspired you to accomplish because of the difficulty of the wait!

  • Alisa - WOW.. amazing.. I cannot wait to read all the updates to come.

  • stephanie - <3 <3 <3
    thank you for sharing this wonderful wonderful news. what an absolutely inspiration to see how a little really adds up, and just how far that little bit goes to help these sweet little babies.

    you are an inspiration

  • Carmen - So beautiful to know that we can make a difference to the life of such vunerable children. Thanks so much for encouraging us to give and be a part of changing their world. x

  • Ann Voskamp - Weeping pure joy!

    Giving thanks to our Jesus for you, friend!

  • Kimberlee Jost - I am overwhelmed with thankfulness this morning. God and his people rock!

  • Andy - overwhelming and amazing!

  • Anna - Thank you for your passion, love, and obedience. Without it, none of this would’ve been possible! Praise Jesus!

  • Ko - This is incredible! What an opportunity to truly become His hands and feet! Such a story to tell!

  • KatieM - So, so grateful for the opportunity to see Him work. And thank you for your action in the midst of your waiting!

  • Amber - WOW. God really does work miracles! I am so happy that I got to be a part of this project! It feels so good knowing that a little bit of our income, even if it wasn’t much, was put toward such amazing things! I wish I could help even more… and look forward to doing so!

  • sarah - Wonderful. just wonderful.

  • Brandi - Tears. It is very overwhelming how good our God is and the way he blesses us so that we can bless others!

  • Kassondra - I was sitting here reading this post when my almost two year old daughter walks in. she saw the pictures of the little ones and shouted “Baby!” I admit when I see their before pictures I see the cleft lip first but My daughter see’s the child before any deformities! it’s amazing the wonderful blessings they have been given through your help and the others that donated. In many ways everyone will now see them all the way my daughter saw them as people not deformities!

  • Natalie - Wow wow wow! Thanks for the update- this was meant to be.

  • kari signe - Just so wonderful and inspiring.

  • Jeannette - In awe – for sure tearing up here! God is awesome and deserves the glory! Ashley – you are an amazing example of being a willing servant and letting God work through you! I love you and your heart!

  • amanda torres - How amazing!

  • Courtney Connelly - Amen! So wonderful. Grateful to have been able to be a small part of something so big. Amazing.

  • Jane - Absolutely fantastic!

  • Alice H - This is such wonderful news. Look at what God is doing through YOU! Thanks for letting me be a very small part of this.

  • erin c. - Amazing! We can do great things in the name of Christ!

  • emmybrown - *speechless* Thank YOU for providing this outlet…..can’t wait to do it again!!!!

  • charity - Wow, I don’t even know where to begin with all of this! It’s simply AMAZING that God used you, your blog, and so many blog readers to impact so many lives in so many ways! Awesome! I’m usually a “silent” blog reader of yours…but this was too much to pass up. Thank you for your sweet heart…and for using your blog to glorify God and help to make a difference in so many lil children’s lives. Again…SO awesome!

  • Trae Kendrick - Ashley, you are a beautiful living testimony of 1 Peter 4:10. You used the talents and gifts God has given you to faithfully administer grace to others. Without you, this would have never happened. Keep shining for Him!

  • Trinity - And THIS is the reason, in my opinion, why God has you waiting…because in that waiting, you are doing so much. Good job!!!

  • Carrie Holt - Such great news!!! Crying a river as I read through this post. Thank you Ashley for allowing me to be a small part of something so amazing!

  • tracy a - grab the tissues is right! oh my…so glad to be a part of this!!

  • Jacci in Ohio - Oh, Ashley. Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!

  • Rachael - What a beautiful update. Glory to God for all of this 🙂

  • McLain - WOW! The Lord is SO SO GOOD!! My heart is so happy right now. What beautiful news.

  • Incubator Project and Amazing Inspiration | Midwest Magnolia - […] Well…the final total raised….    {Full Story} […]

  • Seriously Sassy Mama - What beautiful children.

  • Liz Phillips - We serve an awesome God!

  • Deb Leluga - awesome! =)

  • Ryan - This is the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen a blog used for. You can never stop blogging now. 🙂

  • Emily - This quote comes to mind after reading today: “Never underestimate the power of a small group of people to change the world. In fact, it is the only way it ever has.” — Margaret Mead

  • Lauren - I am so amazed at the blessings your blog has given these kids! I wish with all my heart that I could love those babies… I hold my own month old and can’t imagine having to give him up or have him laying in an orphanage. He knows exactly how to cry for us to pick him up… his cries stop immediately once we do. These precious little ones just long for love. I pray they all are quickly given new forever homes.

  • heather - I am so humbled by the awesomeness that is our God!!
    His plans are so much better than any we can ever imagine and that gives me so much hope. xoxo

  • Paige - praise the Lord! thank you for the updates and pictures!

  • Beth Saukas - Wow! It’s amazing to see God’s love operating through the small love acts. Always reasons to be thankful to Him////1

  • Moriah - Tears of joy! What a great feeling to make a difference for these little guys and gals. So sweet, each and every one of them! Thank you

  • Vénusia - Is it still possible to give through your blog. Cause I wanted and shamefully never took the time to give. So if you say yes I’ll do it right away !

  • Amy - I cried my way through this post! What a precious gift you’ve given these children! My heart is full…overflowing….for what God can do! 🙂

  • meg duerksen - god is so good.
    my heart is aching.
    it seems SO WRONG on every level that any baby has to start out life like that.
    love your big heart ashley.

  • Sarah W. - Tears of joy!
    My heart breaks for these sweet babies, but I’m also hopeful and joyful, cause so much was given and so much will be done with it for those precious little ones.
    God is so amazing!

  • Julie B - Tears everywhere. It was an honor to donate and be a part of their healing. Thank you so much for updating. I am so glad you planted this seed!!

  • Deanna - So, so, so very incredible! The generosity of people will never cease to amaze me. So much joy in this post!

  • Moodkids - Maike - you’re an amazing person Ashley!

  • Kristin S - Beautiful!

  • jess - Such beautiful evidence of His grace, mercy and provision for His dear children. What a blessing that we all got to join in on His plan. Question: can we still donate? and receive prints?


  • tara - amazing!!! God is so good.

  • Suzanne - Oh my goodness! What joyful news of beautiful babies and God’s love and provision. Thank you for sharing, Ashley!

  • amber - This is SO amazing…thank you, thank you for the opportunity to see these beautiful babies. Sweet & heartbreaking all at the same time. Can’t wait to see more updates on them & your sweet girl!

  • Alyssa Gill - Ashley,

    I have so enjoyed following these posts and the amazing way your are helping to support this orphanage, I have such heart for missions such as they one you’re on. If you haven’t heard about this story yet, I think you will really cherish this family.



  • cinback - Ashley,

    May you be blessed over and over for “loving your neighbour” and doing something amazing for “the least of these”.

  • Jenn - Your blog always inspires me. I am so happy to hear all of the amazing things that were done with the donations. Even though your little one is not with you yet, you are making a difference in her world and that is wonderful.

  • Maria - Amazing.

  • Rachael - Hi Ashley,
    That was such a great post – and although I did not give to this, because I had just given to Love 146 (my kids and I are involved in their treading on trafficking campaign) it really touched my heart. It was awesome to show the pics to my 2 boys (3&6) and explain to them what had been done for these kids.
    I read a quote this morning that I loved:
    “it is easy to sit up and take notice, the hard part is getting up and taking action”
    You are doing that, and including others as you do – just awesome!

  • Debbie C - God is doing some amazing things through this blog…first the $40,000 for the 2 adoptions…now this amazing outpouring for all of these children! He is truly (obviously) using you to minister to “orphans in their distress”. I am so excited to watch it all unfold!

  • Raeanne - This is stunning and amazing. I’m blessed everytime I read your blog and usually end up crying. It’s awesome to see a woman living out the love of Jesus in such a tangible way. I’m encouraged and challenged by you. Thank you

  • Jessica Cudzilo - My heart feels like its about to burst into a million pieces. Thank you for making us all aware of this amazing organization. I look forward to partnering with them.

  • Fliss - Laugh and cry…. This is so awesome it gave me the chills… I too was hoping you reach the goal but this WOW!!! Think I will go cry now 😉 happy tears of course.

  • kaley - This is such an amazing thing you have done for those children!!

  • TMB - Amazing.

  • Shana - LOVED reading this! You should be so proud, the power of your blog is amazing and inspiring – just think of the great stories you will be able to tell Song when she arrives. She will be so proud of her mommy!!

  • Dawn - Ashley, you’ve done incredible work through this blog. God is so good!

  • Molly - This is just so amazing….it blows me away! What has been given to those babies…is simply life changing. I was up in the night thinking about those children. Definitely felt a stirring in my heart. I do have a question….is there a reason there are so many children with clef issues? Or are the numbers normal, they just end up as orphans because of it? Just curious.

  • Windie D - God is so amazing! What a wonderful way to help so many of His little ones that many people would never know about 🙂 Thank you Lord for using an small idea to do great things 🙂

  • Christina - I just want to tell you that you’re amazing. You make me want to be a better person and a better mother. I cried reading this post. Big fat crocodile tears that ran down my cheeks and made it hard to see the pictures of those poor, beautiful babies. I just went and made my donation, almost embarrassed that I hadn’t done it before now. Thank you. Thank you for making me want to be a better person, and thank you for giving a voice to these babies that have no one and nothing…

  • Tina - Well done Ashley! Wishing I could wrap up every one of those babies in a big hug. Amazing!

  • Missy - praise the lord!!

  • weekly favorites « brown eyed quail - […] *this update on Ashley’s incubator project. she is so inspirational. […]

  • Mish - Beautiful!

  • Laura@Ms Smartie Pants - God is certainly good! I have said it once and I will say it again, we are at our best when we come together. Blessings to you and your “little” idea, many have ideas, you put yours in action!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - God is good ALL THE TIME!!

  • Selina - Amazing!
    So happy to see those babies thriving!

  • NanaDoll - God is SO GOOD! Praising the Lord with you over the tremendous response. And thanks so much for sharing the stories about the little ones. Truly precious.

  • Emily - I’m sitting here looking at my perfect little boy that blessed us just 6 weeks ago. Perspective…. My heart breaks for these sweet babies, these precious hearts made by our Father, and going through such pain. Thank you for doing what you have done!

  • Amie - Miracles =)