Early one morning during our recent trip to China, we made a visit to our Henan Cleft Healing Home (HCHH), located in Kaifeng. It is SO lovely. It is completely like being in an extended family’s apartment, and all the aunties and babies are so happy. This home is run by Stephanie Wang, a lovely young woman who has poured her whole heart into making sure all the babies have their every need met.
Right now there are beds for eight children in the home. We had recently received three new babies from the Louhe orphanage, (Tadhg, Beto, and Alan) and all three of the boys are now doing quite well. We also got to meet Daphne, a little baby girl from Zhumadian – an orphanage that is brand new to international adoption. I was so happy to see that they are now able to send children’s files for adoption.
We got to meet the Healing Homes doctor – and I absolutely loved him. He was SO kind, and monitors the babies closely. We also got to meet all the aunties for the home, as the night shift aunties stayed until we arrived. Each of them was so sweet. They are all so attached to the babies, and in fact….on the day a baby “graduates” from the home, none of them want to work that shift as they cannot stand to be there when they have to say goodbye. It just hurts too much.
As we played with each baby, I quickly saw why the aunties were so attached. Eoin is obviously the king of the home. He is SO smart and followed us around like a little duck in his walker. He was into everything, and I know keeps the aunties on their toes. Wow is he cute. He still struggles with asthma at times, and so we are not discharging him just yet to foster care. We are going to find a good family near the healing home so that our doctor can keep a close eye on him.
Little Siobhan obviously has all the aunties wrapped around her finger. She smiles nonstop and is just the happiest baby. If we even glanced her way, her eyes would light up and she would grin from ear to ear.
Sam was one of the most active babies I have ever met. We were calling him Sam Sam the Jumping Man as he was scooting everywhere in his walker but was trying to jump out of it at the same time. He was PURE JOY and full of life. Sam knows how to turn on the music button on his walker, so every time it would stop he would push it again immediately.
Sawyer looked so healthy and beautiful, but boy was he serious! We never could get him to smile at us…but I give him credit for not crying even though I think we were scaring him to death. Obviously the strong, silent type. : -)
We loved the few hours we got to spend in this special home. I came away knowing that our Healing Home projects are each such a success. I hope everyone involved with them, from volunteers to donors to aunties and supporters, realizes what an enormous difference you are making! It is wonderful to see so many children who were once so tiny and vulnerable all looking so very happy and HEALTHY.
Amy Eldridge is the Executive Director for Love Without Boundaries.