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Final Day of the Hefei Cardiac Exchange

On their final day in Hefei, the doctors had a wonderful visit and discussion with the cardiac staff of Anhui Children’s Hospital (ACH). LWB has worked with ACH for over 13 years, and two of our cleft surgery exchanges were held here. Anhui Children’s Hospital cares for many of the babies from our Healing Home program, and we always know they will get excellent, compassionate care. Incredibly, this hospital sees over one million patients per year!

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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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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 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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From Helplessness to Hope

When I first started going overseas almost 20 years ago, I encountered an all-too-familiar sight of children begging for money. Like so many, my first inclination was to dig into my purse to help out, but a visit to one particular city opened my eyes to the horrific realities of many children on the street. I will never forget getting out of the taxi and having children who were painfully thin begin to crawl towards me, pulling themselves by their arms. Many of the children’s legs were bent in such completely unnatural ways, and I stupidly asked my guide why so many in this one location were severely disabled. She whispered to me that there wasn’t an orphanage in this region, and so it was secretly known that gangs would pick up any abandoned babies and children to use for begging. To make the children even more pitiful, she told me that “bad men” would break the children’s limbs repeatedly so they’d be more effective beggars.

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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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