For many of the kids in our programs, we have a wealth of information. We take so many pictures of the kids in our care – logging in over 15,000 photos of the kids we serve every year! We keep reports on their health status and their activities in school or foster care. The question, of course, is what do we do with this information as a child leaves our programs. Well, right now we keep it all until a family contacts us post-adoption and we can send them everything we have. I know I personally have hard drive after hard drive of information, and our volunteer teams store massive amounts of information from each individual program as well. We love when we can send information to a family of their new child’s earlier days. The reality, though, is that we never hear from over 50% of adoptive families when the kids we help find permanent homes. We understand that not every family will contact us — because kids are adopted around the world, and, despite us wishing it was so, not every adoptive family has heard of LWB. Of course that isn’t the case, and so the information we have is never passed on in many cases. As I organize my files occasionally, I am always so sad thinking that I have information that I know an adopted child would love to have for their history someday.
This is just a reminder to everyone who supports LWB that if you ever hear of someone adopting a baby or child we have helped, please let the family know we will gladly send all of the photos and information to them for free. Occasionally I will post to online groups looking for the parents of some of the kids that we have a wealth of information on. I have tried for several years to find the family who adopted the Rainbow Twins, seen in the above photo, who came into our hands when they weighed just a little more than 1 kg. each. We cheered when they were adopted but have never heard from their family. Or children like Eoin in the photo below, who definitely would have passed away without the care at our Henan Cleft Healing Home. We are thrilled that he is with a permanent family now, but oh how we wish we could pass on all of his reports and photos of him as a baby as there is just so much information to share!
Every so often the issue of data storage will come up for us again, as we wonder if there are things that can be deleted. We know, however, that for many children, we hold their early life histories. We believe that information is priceless and ultimately belongs to the child. When we think of these kids grown up as adults, searching for any link possible to their past, we know the information we hold is really theirs – not ours – and so we buy another hard drive!
Amy Eldridge, Executive Director
If you would like to request information on a child you have adopted who may have been in a Love Without Boundaries’ program, please complete our Request for Child Information form.