Earlier this month, we introduced you to another preemie who had been found in January and taken to an orphanage in central China. The staff of the orphanage called us right away, and baby Connie was immediately moved to the NICU of the provincial children’s hospital. This photo shows how tiny she was compared to the diapers on the bed with her!
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“Beginnings are often scary, and endings are often sad. But it is everything in between that makes it all worthwhile.”
Today was the final day of our first ever Life Skills camp, and we are giving thanks that it was an incredible week which all of us will remember forever. Before I write more about today, I want to give a deep and sincere thank you to all of our amazing mentors in China, who volunteered this week to invest into these wonderful teens. To Ruan Wei Chang, Liu Hui Ping, Zhuang Li Ying, Yang Ya Wen, Ma Yu Jia, Cai Yan Yue, Sun Li Ping, Chen Min, and Qi Rui – thank you for being a part of our team. And to our LWB China directors who led the camp (Cindy, Yvonne, and Susie) – your hearts are what make this foundation strong.
Over the last twelve years, LWB has been honored to invest ourselves into teens who grew up in orphanage care but were never matched with permanent families. These young adults will usually end up on their own sometime between the ages of 18 and 24, and we want to do whatever we can to help them prepare for that day. This week we are excited to be holding our first ever Life Skills Camp, with the theme “The World is Better With Me In It.”
Fifty-two campers from Anhui, Jiangxi, Fujian, Guizhou, Gansu, and Hunan provinces are now in Beijing attending class sessions on etiquette and social skills, alcohol and drug use, self-esteem, sex education, money management, online safety, self-defense, and more. All reports so far are that they are having the time of their lives, and it never would have happened without your incredible help!
Some of the most vulnerable children we help are babies who are born prematurely, many weighing just 1 kg. The standard of care for these tiny newborns usually includes being kept under a warmer or in an incubator, with constant monitoring of their breathing, temperature, and heart function. Many babies require oxygen supplementation and sometimes even the use of a ventilator. That is why it is so remarkable to us when orphanages call us to help preemies who were found abandoned outside and who often were not found for hours after delivery. They are the tiniest warriors, and their strength continually humbles us. Read more.
When our team arrived to the hospital on Wednesday morning, it was time to say goodbye to several of our young patients.
Ted, Robert Owen, and Paul were the first to be discharged. Our team is going to miss them so much! Their repairs look beautiful, and Dr. Ness’s mom had made little hats which we put on them before they left for the train station. Our warmest thoughts go with them as they travel back. Read more.
While on my recent trip to China, I was able to visit several of the foster care programs we run there. Currently LWB has foster care in 18 Chinese cities, and we are always looking to expand to new locations because we believe so strongly that children do best being raised in quality family care.
At every location, I would visit both the local orphanage and then children in home care. Again and again, I was struck by the developmental differences between the two groups of children. Babies need families – pure and simple. And now, with the vastly changing population of orphaned children who almost all have special needs, I believe it is more important than ever to get orphaned children out into the local communities so that everyone can come to understand how amazing these kids are. Read more.
Every child deserves to know the joy of learning. For many children born with special needs in China, this opportunity is not available to them. For many reasons, these children are often unable to attend public school and for them education is only a dream.
For 34 very special children, that dream is about to become a reality. Thanks to the incredible generosity of some very special LWB supporters, their education is about to begin. Read more.