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Lincoln Prepares for Heart Surgery

Little Lincoln was born with Down Syndrome and an ASD heart defect (atrial septal defect). He entered our Anhui Healing Home last winter at five months old, and the nannies immediately fell for his quiet, gentle nature. He thrived in their care, and when he was a year old he graduated to foster care. In February, Lincoln became quite ill and was hospitalized with pneumonia. Doctors did repeat cardiac tests and let us know that Lincoln’s heart function was worsening. He would need to undergo open heart surgery to have a chance for a healthy life.

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Foster Care in Sanmenxia, Henan

LWB recently signed a new foster care agreement with the Sanmenxia orphanage in Henan province to provide quality foster care to orphaned children. We believe fully that every child deserves to grow up in family care, and we’d like to meet some of the wonderful children from this program.

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A Visit to Lanzhou Foster Care

Lanzhou, my final destination, was more than a hop, skip and a jump away from Guizhou where Cindy and I had visited our two foster care programs in Tongren and Qiandongnan. A long narrow city with the Yellow River running through it, Lanzhou is the capital of Gansu province in the northwest of China. To my surprise, the airport was more than 70 kilometers (40+miles) out of the city center where Cindy and I were staying. As we were driven along the relatively new highway I gazed out at a very different landscape flashing by – dry, brown, sparsely vegetated and hilly. I thought about the fact that we were very close to the Gobi desert, Mongolia, Tibet and Arunachal Pradesh. What would the next few days hold in store?

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Empowering the Children of Rangsei

Cambodia’s history under the Khmer Rouge was a brutal one, resulting in the deaths of almost two million people, decimating the country’s education system and throwing millions into abject poverty. After the regime was overturned, the school system in Cambodia had to be rebuilt almost from scratch, and countless people grew up illiterate. Life in the impoverished rural villages remains difficult. Many live without electricity or clean water, and a staggering 40% of children under the age of five are malnourished. Impoverished families, struggling to simply survive day by day, often felt education was a luxury they could not afford and had their children work rather than attend school.

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Adoption Grants for Four Children From Huainan

Four children who have been waiting for adoption may now be one step closer to finding permanent families of their own. Adoption grants in the amount of $3,000 are now available for each of these children shown in this blog.

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A Visit to Qiandongnan Foster Care

‘Pack light’. As I ascended the steep steps in my heeled boots to our first foster family home in Qiandongnan, I was beginning to regret my footwear decision. The concrete steps were of uneven height, and no sooner did we get to the top of one flight then there was a corner and another flight of similar steps ascending ever upwards. It was with a sigh of relief that we walked along the front of a small apartment building and I was told that this was where the two families fostering Lewis, Chandler, Hanna and Clyde lived — in fact, all on the same floor. Knowing that we were almost there, the last flights of internal stairs in the building were a breeze. I just wanted to meet the children.

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Renewal: Cambodia Foster Care

Spring is here in many parts of the world, and in this season, it’s common to think about new life, new beginnings, and renewing ourselves. I saw a quote for springtime by Bernie Siegel that says, “If you watch how nature deals with adversity, continually renewing itself, you can’t help but learn.” I sat and meditated on the word ‘renew’ and all that means to me, and I couldn’t help but think about LWB and the children in our foster care programs. Each one of them is being renewed or starting over again. The reasons they need a new start all vary, but the commonality is that they all now have a chance to grow and learn from their adversity. I am so glad we can play a part in their transformations by providing them safety, nutrition, education, and love.

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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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