LWB Community Blog


Helping Others, One Smile At A Time

Julia Decker is on a mission — a mission to help others like her. Born in China with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, Julia lived in an orphanage for the first three and a half years of her life. An anonymous donor sponsored her lip surgery, which she feels was a catalyst to her getting adopted. “If I had not received this amazing gift, I might still be living in an orphanage and not with my amazing family.” Julia is now dedicated to helping other children born into the same circumstances.

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Standing with Mothers: Cleft Surgeries

Every year from 2004 to 2019, LWB sent a team of doctors overseas to help provide surgery for children born with cleft lip and palate. We’ve always been passionate about helping children born with this medical condition, and so we were of course disappointed when our 2020 cleft surgery trip to India had to be canceled due to COVID.

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Jeremiah: 5 Hearts, 7 Days

Jeremiah was Joselyn’s first baby.  While pregnant, she spent her days dreaming about her baby’s future, praying over life, and wondering whether she’d be blessed with a boy or girl. As it turned out, though, her birth story was nothing like she had dreamed. Jeremiah’s father abandoned Joselyn at the hospital. She has not seen him again, and he has never seen his son. Those first days with her child marked a difficult turning point in her life. She left the hospital as a single mom — a single mom of a baby with medical needs.

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Four New Babies

It’s been a busy few weeks for babies! We recently welcomed four new little ones to our LWB program in China. Baby Hayes was the first to arrive. He was born with Down Syndrome this summer and found himself living at an orphanage not long after his birth. His orphanage asked if we could step in to give him extra nurturing to reach key milestones, so he joined our Xiaoxian On-Site Family Care program in mid-December.

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Benjamin: Grumpy No More!

Born in the late fall of 2014 in northern Anhui, Benjamin soon joined our Heartbridge Healing Home for extra love and care to prepare for cleft surgery. He was a beautiful baby with the crabbiest set of eyebrows, and LWB volunteers loved to see new pictures of “Grumpy Benjamin” in our email inboxes each week.

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The Boys From Henan Have Arrived

Several weeks ago, we told you about three little boys from an orphanage in Henan. Their orphanage director was hoping that all three boys could get cleft repair surgeries before they got much older, and he asked if LWB could help. We reached out to our supporters, and in just a few days all THREE surgeries were completely funded! We couldn’t wait to welcome the boys to Anhui.

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Cleft Surgeries for Three Orphaned Boys From Henan

This summer, we were contacted by an orphanage in Henan about three little boys in need of cleft repair: Finn, Ben, and Keaton. Precious Keaton was born with a cleft lip and palate. Already six months old, he is struggling to put on weight, which is unfortunately common for children born with cleft lip as they can be difficult to feed.

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LWB’s 2019 Cleft Exchange – Day Five

Today was the last full day of surgeries for our team in Lanzhou, and the hospital ward was brimming with children all recovering from their cleft operations this week. Handsome Peyton It was time to say goodbye to some of the wonderful kids who had their surgeries at the start of the trip, such as […]

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LWB’s 2019 Cleft Exchange – Day Three

Happy Day Three everyone!  Our team had another wonderful day in Lanzhou, with 9 children receiving surgery.  First up, of course, was morning rounds, to make sure every child who had surgery the day before was doing well post-op.  Two-second summary – they are! Kamryn’s lip repair looks absolutely beautiful, as you can see below.  […]

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The 2019 Cleft Medical Exchange: Meet Our Team!

This year’s Cleft Medical Exchange in Lanzhou, Gansu, China is a blending of previous and new team members. We are so thankful to have both those who are returning and those who are joining us for the first time as they each bring their unique skills, experiences, and passion for helping children to this exchange. Some of you might remember that Dr. Lisa Buckmiller adopted a little girl named Gong Lu from China whom LWB helped bring to the US for medical care in 2006. (The remarkable story of Gong Lu is told in the LWB book, The Heart of an Orphan.)

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