An intro to our cleft healing home!
A lot has happened in a few short months in our Cleft Healing Home, in fact some days a lot happens in an hour! In October it became clear that renovating the older apartment we had in mind would be too costly and perhaps not provide the result we wanted; a safe homelike environment to nurture very frail babies. So, we changed gears from renovating an older apartment to finishing a new apartment. The new apartment is located in the same area as the older one and still close to Anhui Children’s Hospital. It will allow us to build to the specifications we need and things are moving along!
Our apartment is two stories, with a large storage area on a lower floor that will enable us to store the supplies we need. The first floor has a playroom/sitting area, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and two baths. The babies will all live on the first floor for now. One of the bathrooms is being built out as a changing/wash area exclusively for the babies, with a nice large sink and attached counter for drying and changing.
The second floor will house LWB’s office in China. There is another bathroom, bedroom, storage area and sitting room upstairs as well. These will allow us to expand in the future to take in more babies if necessary. Missy Ridley, our Education Director was able to visit the site in November and reports that it’s a bright, cheerful apartment with lots of potential.
Custom construction began soon after we procured the use of the apartment. A new floor has been added upstairs to allow us to have 2 playrooms. The plumbing for the heating system has been installed. The electrical wires and extra plumbing required for the outside laundry room should be finished this week. We have chosen tile for the bathrooms and flooring for the rest of the house. The tile in the kitchen is supposed to be laid this weekend. Lisa Raymond, an interior designer living in Shanghai, is helping us choose paint colors. Hopefully painting will be complete by the end of December. Once the rooms are painted, the radiators will be installed. We had hoped to be open in January, but it looks like the apartment won’t be done until February. Of course we wish it was done yesterday, but we all know you can’t rush construction.
In the meantime we have been busy finding sponsors for our rooms and soon to be occupants. We have 4 rooms sponsored already – 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The first baby is sponsored for 6 months. We have had a generous donor give diapers for 10 babies for a month as well as all the highchairs, bouncy seats, mobiles and strollers we need. We still have lots ways to become involved, besides the above mentioned room and baby sponsorship, we have bed sponsorship and many needs listed on our general donation page to help us outfit the apartment. How about sponsoring a baby shower in the New Year? .