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.
“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. “
“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.