Next on our trip was a visit with the children in our Zhang Village foster care
program, which is located in Hefei. When we first began this program many years ago, it was for children with more intense medical conditions who needed to be monitored closely by our Anhui Healing Home staff. At first, it was located in a small village of Hefei called “Zhang Village,” and all of the children lived in one community. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on how you feel about it, that village was demolished last year to make way for new high rise apartments, something which of course is happening more and more in China. Now the children are located throughout the city. So while it technically should be called “Hefei Foster Care,” we are sticking with the original name for nostalgia’s sake. Read more.
When I was a little girl, I remember seeing the passport of my friend’s father, and as I turned each page and saw the entry and exit stamps from different countries, I thought inside how wonderful it would be to someday have a little blue book of my own. I didn’t get that first passport until I was 35, when I adopted my first child from China, but I still remember the excitement I felt when the immigration officer firmly put his red stamp in it. I still feel that same excitement every time I land in China – and by the time you read this, I will probably be standing in the immigration line yet again.
Each time I make a trip to check on the children in our programs, I of course reflect back on previous journeys. I always have the same prayer leading up to departure: that any child who truly needs our help will somehow cross my path. Read more.
Recognize this sweet face? It’s Landon!
It’s hard to believe that we first posted about Landon almost a year ago when we wrote “Introducing Landon.” He has grown and changed over the year, as children do. Now at five years old he never forgets a polite greeting of “Ni Hao, Ayi” or “Ni hao, Shushu.” Playing with his friends brings much delight to Landon. He can often be found competing with his friends to see who can build the highest blocks or even who can keep the room the cleanest! Don’t we wish more children were competing to keep their rooms clean? Read more.
Wheelchairs and other adaptive equipment such as leg braces and walkers are vital to the mobility and development of children with handicaps. They can help a kid be a kid…as Chelsie is so willingly demonstrating below!
Chelsie has starred in several blogs lately (“Chelsie: Longing to Learn” and “The One and Only Chelsie”) because she is available for adoption on the shared list. Finding her forever family would be a dream come true for Chelsie because she desperately wants to attend school and is currently unable to do so in China due to her disability. She is smart as a whip and ready to learn.
Four-year-old Landon was introduced on our blog in May, and he continues to grow and develop new skills while he waits to be matched with a family.
As busy as always, Landon eats well to maintain his energy, gobbling up his vegetables and rice and finishing it off with milk and sometimes a treat. Landon has a twinkle in his eye and is described as being a bit mischievous! He likes to play with his friends at school, where he can run about during the day and build with blocks.
While many children in our families are getting ready to go back to school but wishing summer would not end, seven-year-old Chelsie’s dream of attending school has not yet been realized due to being wheelchair-bound.
Our reports indicate that Chelsie is an extremely bright girl who is eager to learn. Currently she lives with a foster family in a rural area outside of Hefei. Chelsie is learning to read and write at home with their help and can now read some simple children’s books. Chelsie draws beautifully and enjoys making pictures. This determined girl has a strong desire and ability to learn.
I seldom think about my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers. — Helen Keller
What a dedicated foster father Kai has! We love the adoration on his face and hope that he will instill a sense of security in nearly two-year-old Kai, who will certainly need every advantage that he can get as he begins his life. Little Kai was diagnosed with retinoblastoma (a cancerous tumor in the retina) and had surgery to remove his right eyeball in January.
Seven-year-old Liam has faced many challenges in his short life. Not only was he born with Down Syndrome and cerebral palsy, but he also has several heart conditions including VSD, PDA, PFO and PH. It appears that Liam has a severe case of bad luck, but that may be about to change. His orphanage in Hefei is willing to submit his file for adoption once he recovers from his heart surgery!
We are looking for donors to help fund Liam’s heart surgery which will ultimately give him a chance for a family. If you’d like to learn more about Liam and how you could help give him a chance, please visit his sponsor page. You could be Liam’s lucky charm!
This marks Landon’s first appearance on the LWB Community, so we want to make sure he is properly introduced. Landon is four and a half years old and lives in foster care in Hefei, Anhui province. His Chinese name means “outstanding.” Needless to say, we would agree! We chose “Landon” as his English name which can mean “long hill,” a name which seems fitting when you read about his energy and the long hill he has had to climb to be the healthy, lively boy he is today.