LWB Community Blog

In Memory and In Hope

This has been one of the hardest winters I can remember in all of the years I have worked with orphaned children. As the temperatures drop, we know that pneumonia and other illnesses will spread quickly through orphanages, and we always pray for an early spring. I don’t think many people even stop to think about how fast a sickness can spread in an institution when 20-30 babies live in just one room. And for babies struggling with medical issues already, such as heart defects or cleft lip, they are very vulnerable indeed.

I always try to put a smile on my face each day, and be cheerful and optimistic when I talk about our work. But if you’ve ever lost someone whom you cared about, I am sure you will understand when I say that sometimes you can just be going along and then suddenly the weight that they are no longer here causes you to crumble. Today was one of those days. I was watching a young mom with her tiny baby as he grabbed tightly onto her finger in that wonderful way newborns do. I think it was when I saw her smile down at him as if he was her sun and moon combined that it hit me so strongly that little Riley and Gabe and Wren and so many more precious babies this winter left this world before they had a chance to be fully loved in a parent’s arms. Their lives ended too soon. And I cried tonight for a good long time as I asked again why so many babies around the world are orphaned. Babies aren’t supposed to be alone.

As I tucked in my son, and kissed him for probably the ten millionth time since his adoption, he asked me why I had been crying. I told him I was sad that every child didn’t get to be in a family and that I was sad that so many babies were sick. He said without missing a beat, ‘Why don’t you tell your friends? Just let them know the babies need help.”

Thank goodness for the wisdom of seven year olds. We just need to let people know the babies need help.

This week, we have been the featured charity for Sevenly, and I have been so humbled to see how many people who had never heard of LWB bought a tshirt to help babies in our healing homes. Tonight as I looked at the number of shirts sold so far this week, it suddenly hit me that almost 2000 people will be wearing a shirt that will call attention to the fact that millions of children each day go to sleep without parents. Who knows how many conversations that might start with people who just don’t know. How many tiny ripples will join together to become a wave? I think my little boy has it right – that in every way possible – we need to ask our friends to spread the word that the babies need help.

So to everyone who takes the time to pray for those who are orphaned, to those who give what they can to heal those who are hurting, to those who sponsor children and promote adoption and who volunteer their time to make a difference for the kids who wait — I say thank you. Collectively we can be a powerful voice – for those who often can’t speak for themselves. Together we can remind the world that as long as children are hurting and alone, we as adults must do better.

~Amy Eldridge, Executive Director

In loving memory tonight of

Baby Gabe

Baby Wren

Baby Riley

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  • Leslie says:

    Amy, Don’t ever give up! I rocked our baby girl to sleep tonight and cried too … because she made it.

    What if you all hadn’t gone to her SWI last year? It has been almost a year and I know you are going back.

    I hope you know that it all matters. For Riley. And Wren. And Gabe. And it is so unfair that they didn’t get to know the love of a forever Mommy. But because of LWB, we all can know they were here. Yes, it was too short.

    And I sometimes do more than cry. I am angry about it. And that does no good. I don’t think we’ll ever know the answers other than our world became broken and imperfect a long time ago, and some babies are born with broken heart, cleft lips and palates and many more needs and even worse, they are abandoned.

    I left China this last time so conflicted. Each time I go, my feelings grow deeper. On the one hand, so very thankful. And on the other, so very upset at the unfairness of it all.

    The Unity Fund is so very important to me. And it does not go by me that so many of the children helped by it have special hearts.


    Have a good cry. Question. Share. And keep on going on because they all matter and because of LWB, many of them have a second chance at life. And Gabe and Riley and Wren, they were given a chance to be KNOWN and NEVER forgotten. And that is big stuff too.

  • Monika says:

    Dear Amy,

    Would like to say thank you, but I think for what you are doing it’s not enough. I’m following LWB steps since not that long and I have to say that, what you are doing is AMAZING!!!! and PRICELESS!!! After seeing so many video’s about orphans in China I couldn’t stop crying, couldn’t sleep and felt helpless. Still have all those poor faces in front of my eyes and it hurts even more when you have your own kids. I know it’s getting better day by day, and that more people have harts full of love and can help your foundation and many others. We have to raise awareness about orphans as much as we can, and again your “job” is amazing and priceless. Big kiss and hug for your little one. Already thinks about helping others. I will be supporting your charity till end of my day, knowing that you are saving those precious lives. We can’t save all of them but those who where with you for their short live, have died surrounded by people who care and love.
    God bless you and all who helping you run this charity !!! My deepest regards to all. Monika

  • Becky says:

    I’ll wear my tee proudly! Riley was one of “our” kids in General Surgery. I thought of him as I bought it. For every Riley, there are five more children that grow up healthy and find their family because LWB Sponsors help them get their surgery. It’s always the Rileys that we remember though, and we should. Thank you to all of his sponsors who made Riley’s time here on Earth so much more comfortable! You were such a blessing to him! The General Surgery Team thinks you’re amazing!!!

  • marion says:

    Dear Amy, my heart cries to as a think about al this little abandoned babies, and babies who,s fighting for his life, but sometimes is life so unfair!!
    i be happy that i can sponsor little Heath and can help him to a healthty life!!

    with love for all the children
    Marion Sieben.