The sequence of events for this has been amazing, and shows that love TRULY knows no boundaries between countries.
In September of 2005, Love Without Boundaries sent a cleft mission team to China to operate on 106 orphans and rural children with cleft lip. Dr. Lisa Buckmiller traveled with us on that trip to repair cleft lips and changed SO many lives. Dr. Buckmiller is also one of the world’s foremost experts on hemangiomas, and a mom who followed our online blog contacted Dr. Buckmiller to see if she could possibly help Gong Lu, a little girl she had met when she adopted her own daughter from Gong Lu’s orphanage. LWB then made arrangements for the little girl to have an MRI in China, and once Dr. Buckmiller said she was operable, we arranged for her to get a medical visa to come to the US. Arkansas Children’s generously agreed to waive all fees for her treatment. Without their kindness, none of this could happen.
To say that this child has been lifted up and surrounded with love is an understatement.
We have the families around the US who have adopted from Gong Lu’s orphanage. They are so excited she is coming and all of them want to see her and the director while she is here. Everyone who has met this child in China came home loving their new baby but remembering this little five year old who greeted them with such kindness in her orphanage in China. They ALL want to see her healed and then hopefully adopted.
We have the Little Rock FCC group (Families with Children from China). They are donating toys, clothing, arranging meals, and organizing donations for the orphanage. A family within this organization with no connection to this orphanage, but with three children from China agreed to open their home to the orphanage director and Ms. Xu. Having their whole life changed for this time. The foster family has been fabulous!
We have the Chinese American community of Little Rock, who are anticipating their arrival and who have agreed to provide Chinese meals and interpreters while they are here so they won’t miss the food they are used to and they will be able to communicate at all times. They have even bought the orphanage director a local cell phone and given her a list of phone numbers so she can always call someone at all times.
We have the orphanage director, who was in a car accident recently and who still doesn’t feel well, but who agreed to come to the US with Gong Lu for a month because she loves this child and wants her to be healed. This woman writes personal letters to the families who have adopted from her orphanage to keep in touch with them. She has been invited by the families to visit them in their homes around the country but she said she cannot leave to do that until she knows Gong Lu is doing well and only if Gong Lu is comfortable with the foster family and agrees that she can leave. Otherwise she said she must stay by Gong Lu’s side.
We have the employees of a company in San Francisco called Autodesk, who have donated frequent flier miles and funds to get Gong Lu to the states. The workers there have Gong Lu’s photo on their desks and everyone is counting down until she arrives.
We have Chinese adoptive families from all of ever the US sending donations, packages and cards to Gong Lu and the foster family. We even had a 12 year old girl adopted from Gong Lu’s province that raised almost $1000 from her birthday party.
The excitement and JOY surrounding the University of Arkansas’ invitation for this child to get medical treatment is palpable. The day Gong Lu was granted a medical visa in China to come to the US, our facilitator in China
took them out to celebrate. Before leaving to travel to the US, the local officials in Gong Lu’s town threw her a party and hung a huge banner outside the Social Welfare Institute wishing her well.
This is truly a story of the Chinese adoptive community rallying around one special little girl who watched baby after baby leave before her. And now it is HER TURN to have a chance at being healed and then adopted. We are so thankful to everyone who is making this possible.
I tell people all the time that I will never believe the world is “going downhill” as many say. Every day of my life I get to see the kindness of others. I get to see people rally around children who need surgery and raise the needed funds. I get to see doctors and nurses and volunteers sign up to pay their own way to China to heal kids (we are all volunteers and no one gets paid or get travel expenses). This world is filled with the kindest people ever….and Gong Lu’s story is the perfect example to me of people realizing that love is colorblind and that ALL children deserve a chance.