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Spitting in the Sun

Three years ago, we adopted our third child – a precious boy from China.  He came to us at age two, a small bundle who was rarely taken out of his crib.  He could not crawl or walk, did not make eye contact, could not play with a toy, and was still on a bottle.  Because Aiden was deaf, we assumed his issues were deafness and neglect related, so for a number of years we worked with many different therapists trying to find the right fit.

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Wisdom Wednesday: Autism Awareness

April is Autism Awareness month, so at this time of year I always think about how my life has changed since we received my son’s diagnosis several years ago. Jacob was five when we received the official word, and although we knew already that he would likely be diagnosed with autism, it was still a blow. But you know what? My life hasn’t really changed that much since then. Sure, I had to get over the initial shock of hearing it “officially” from the doctor…but after that, I realized my son was still the same little boy he’d always been. Read more.

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New Challenges

I ended Friday’s blog by saying that the shift in orphanage populations has significantly changed the responsibilities of nannies over the years. A decade ago, the nannies were caring for 10-15 children at a time in the main baby rooms….but on the whole, these were primarily “healthy” babies. Now they are often caring for the same number of children, but ones who have medical needs. Their jobs can be difficult indeed. I will never forget walking into a rural orphanage in a western province and seeing a nanny thread a worn looking rubber tube down the throat of a baby with cleft. She then proceeded to pour milk drop by drop into the tube. She explained that the child was unable to suck from a regular bottle, and so she had come up with this homemade NG tube on her own to save his life. Read more.

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A Visit to Shantou Is Like Coming Home

Returning to the Shantou orphanage is always like coming home to me. I have been visiting this orphanage for over nine years, and two of my children spent the beginning of their lives in this facility. This trip was especially poignant to me as the word “changes” kept swirling through my head. There are so many changes in China each year, both wonderful and somber, and my heart felt split in two as it soared with joy at moments but then also crumbled at the increasingly complex needs. Everyone with a heart for the orphaned has to face the reality that almost every child abandoned now has a medical need, and so the issues the nannies face are often immense. The days of orphanages being filled with healthy baby girls due to the one child policy are over, and yet that myth is still perpetuated in news articles and blogs. Read more.

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Joy: LWB’s Featured Child of the Week

Joy, this beautiful 14-year-old young lady, has autism and attends our Believe in Me Jingzhou School. For the first two years that Joy was in school, she refused to write, work on math or reading, and participate with arts and crafts. Then one year ago Joy had an amazing breakthrough. We all rejoiced when we received the update that told how this precious young girl had started to participate in class!

It wasn’t long before Joy was doing much more than coloring and crafts; this sweet girl was soaring in her school work… learning math and practicing writing! We are so proud of Joy’s success and how she has overcome so much in her young life. Without our Believe in Me schools, many of our children would never have the experiences or opportunities to attend any type of school. Read more.

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