Behind the Scenes: New Arrivals at the Healing Homes
Have you ever read about a new arrival to one of our healing homes and wondered about how that little one ended up there? We know our volunteers make it look fairly effortless, but the reality is that a whole lot of communication and travel are usually involved before a new baby is safely tucked into her new home.
LWB has now worked with over 200 orphanages across China. When we begin a relationship with any new orphanage, we give them materials on our healing homes programs and explain that they can call us when they have a child who they feel might not survive due to medical issues. Calls from orphanages come into to almost every director we have in China, and then LWB’s medical and healing homes teams quickly go to work. Blood and medical tests are ordered, echocardiograms are done, and admission forms are completed. Once we have confirmed that there is a waiting bed available and that we can put a medical plan into place, it is time for make arrangements for the little one to travel. Some babies are too tiny to even have the necessary papers in place to allow them to fly on an airplane, and so the majority of the children we take into our homes arrive by train.
Anyone who has been in a busy train station in China before can only think admiringly of the caregivers who often manage countless flights of stairs, carrying both a suitcase and a sick baby, to travel often a very long distance to a city where he or she has never been before. Often the babies coming into our homes arrive straight from the hospital where they have had emergency surgery, and so the nannies are traveling with babies who have just been discharged post-op. The challenges of Chinese train travel just multiplied for that nanny!
Once the baby arrives to our healing home, there is of course more paperwork, and then an overall admission assessment is done. During this time, emails and calls fly back and forth as our medical advisors and volunteers determine what the child needs most urgently in order to begin healing. The baby’s profile is loaded onto our website for sponsorship and often introduced on Facebook. It is then that a child who once had great odds stacked against her gains a worldwide community of supporters and friends, all of whom are cheering her on to get better. Together we get to watch the amazing transformation, all of which begin with a single phone call from an orphanage asking, “Do you think you can help?”
Thank you to everyone for partnering with us to help some of the most vulnerable babies of all. You are changing lives every single day and giving children like Bennett (seen below) in our Henan Healing Home an entirely different outcome for his life. Isn’t that such a beautiful thing?