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World Down Syndrome Day 2018

Did you ever wonder why March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day?  March 21, or 3/21, signifies the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down Syndrome. Around the world, people are proudly wearing crazy socks and celebrating the joy that people with Down Syndrome bring to the world. Today we would like to shine the spotlight on ten children with Down Syndrome in our programs who are waiting to be chosen for adoption.  Here they are from oldest to youngest:

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A Visit to Tongren Foster Care

The visually stunning and culturally diverse province of Guizhou was the next destination for me and Cindy, our China director. Situated to the west of Hunan, it is mountainous; little wonder that bicycles are not the most popular mode of transport here. Travel from Loudi was through countless tunnels, and I drank in glimpses of terraced fields and forested mountain peaks, some with exposed rock and others without; and of villages nestled in valleys.

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A Visit to Loudi Foster Care

Having farewelled the children, families, and staff in Xinzhou, our Foster Care Director Cindy and I were soon speeding towards Loudi, central Hunan, on another fast train. With a short stop in the capital Changsha, I had four hours to enjoy the changing winter landscape and blue skies outside my window, the latter a rarity in most Chinese cities. Flat plains of fallow fields changed to mountains and tunnels as our train approached Changsha. As the city outskirts came into view, I recalled my much-loved book, Doctors East Doctors West, that sits on a bookshelf at home, and marveled at how much China has changed since its author Dr. Edward H. Hume opened the Yale-in-China Hospital in Changsha 101 years ago. I thought about the medical exchanges LWB has had over the years and the medical exchanges and sharing of knowledge that will happen in the future.

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A Visit to Xinzhou Foster Care

As my flight from Australia descended into Beijing, I looked through my notes that I had written about the more than 50 children I was intending to visit over the next eight days. I wondered if I was being a little overly ambitious: five cities in four provinces. The schedule that Cindy, our foster care director, had put together was a tight one, and I hoped for good weather. Much of the time would be spent traveling from one city to another, but once there, nearly all our time would be spent visiting the foster families and children in our programs: Xinzhou, Loudi, Tongren, Qiandongnan, and Lanzhou. It was with excitement and optimism that I stepped off my flight, negotiated Beijing International airport and eventually laid my head on a pillow

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An Adoption Grant for Lilah

Hooray for adoption grants! Starting this month, LWB will be offering a $3,000 Adoption Assistance Grant for a family that chooses to move forward with Lilah’s adoption.

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Our Newest Foster Care Program: Datong, China

It is with great excitement that we announce the opening of our newest foster care program in Datong, China. Located in northern Shanxi province, Datong borders Inner Mongolia and is very cold in these winter months. The Datong orphanage has one of the oldest foster care programs in China. So why is LWB now getting involved?  Under their current model, children are often moved multiple times as babies, frequently returning to orphanage care around age 2.  Under the agreement that we have signed, the babies placed in LWB foster care will remain with their foster families until adoption. The importance of infant bonding with a primary caregiver cannot be overstated, and we are excited to work with the Datong orphanage on a program to encourage uninterrupted family care.

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Waiting Children of 2017: Ages 5-12

Every year, we do a blog that features all of the children in LWB programs who have been waiting for adoption for a period of several months or more.  Every year, this blog gets more difficult to do put together. Why?  Because so many of the same children wait, year after year after year. Of the 28 children we featured in last year’s Waiting Children blogs, only two boys and two girls were chosen for adoption in 2017. In this blog, we are featuring fourteen children ages 5-12 who are ready for adoption and waiting to be matched with a family. We understand that as children grow older, their chances to find a permanent family grow slimmer. Yet, we hold out hope that there may be a permanent family out there for each and every one of these twelve precious children.

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Isaac, Filled With Joy

This month we’re continuing to highlight some of the children whose lives you’re changing when you give to LWB. Today we want you to meet two-year-old Isaac, who was born with Down Syndrome and a congenital heart defect. Isaac was just a tiny baby when he came into LWB foster care. It’s sadly very common for babies with Down Syndrome to become failure-to-thrive in orphanage settings, so we were grateful that Isaac was able to have his very own mom, dad, and grandma to surround him with love. It’s pretty clear from the early photos of his care with LWB just how happy he was to have so much attention.

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A $3,000 Adoption Grant for Beatrice

You might remember beautiful Beatrice from our blog post in November. She is a playful 17-month-old girl living in LWB foster care.. Love Without Boundaries has had the privilege of knowing Beatrice since she was five months old. Born with spina bifida, she does not currently have feeling in her lower limbs. However, Beatrice’s smile and personality are evident, and at a year and a half old, her abilities are shining through.

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Safe Haven Foster Care in Cambodia

Earlier this year we introduced our newest foster care program for children in Cambodia who had been trafficked or abused. Our Safe Haven program quickly filled with children who had lived through the unthinkable, ranging in age from babies to pre-teen. Each intake form we received had a child’s story that broke our hearts, and we’ve all been so grateful to the compassionate people who’ve stepped forward to sponsor a child into a secure foster care placement. One of the first issues we faced, however, is that psychologists and counselors are few and far between in Cambodia, and the limited ones in practice are all located far from the rural region where we are working.

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