LWB Community Blog


Ripples to Rachael

Some of my favorite parts about doing this work for so long are the moments when we see the help given to one child go on to impact another. It’s like that beautiful analogy of a pebble being dropped in the water whose ripples go on to touch ever-widening circles. 

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A Visit to Oliver’s Home

It’s almost Chinese New Year, and it’s a wonderful time to visit some of the children in our programs. Today, LWB’s team in Anhui drove out to the rural countryside to pay a visit to baby Oliver and his family.  Oliver was born with Down Syndrome and a complex heart defect.  His family had been to multiple hospitals begging for help for their son, only to be turned away. Today our team got to deliver the wonderful news that our supporters had fully funded the heart surgery he needs to survive.

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LWB’s Unity Fund

LWB’s Unity Fund has been in place for over a decade now.  This special medical initiative was created in 2006 after rural families, distraught and hopeless over not being able to afford medical care for their often critically ill children, learned we were helping those who were orphaned. In their desperation, we had many families offer to give up their children if it meant they could finally receive the medical care they needed. Some of you might remember the photo which made us all realize just how essential family preservation efforts are in rural communities, as no mom or dad should ever have to believe that abandonment is the only choice when it comes to saving the life of their child.

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Violet and Malcolm from Gansu

Tiny Violet’s life has been a real struggle so far.

2015-11-30 Violet (19)

On November 10th, she joined us at our Heartbridge Healing Home at five months old, weighing just 2.2 kg or 4.8 pounds. Even with our nannies’ best efforts and special formula and bottles, Violet is not gaining as she should. We hope that she will turn a corner soon, grow stronger, and gain enough weight for her cleft lip repair surgery. Read more.

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Prayers for Luna

Last month we learned about a baby from southern China with complex heart issues. Her orphanage had arranged for her to be seen in Beijing, but the surgeons there felt the little girl was inoperable, and so with that very sad diagnosis, they sent her back home.

luna orphanage

LWB is fortunate to partner regularly with the Children’s Hospital of Fudan University in Shanghai, and so we offered to have Luna seen by the expert heart surgeons there. She arrived to the hospital extremely weak, struggling to feed because even that simple act would exhaust her. Read more.

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Gorgeous Guillem

Late last year, we added a new student to our Believe in Me school in Shanxi province. Guillem, as he came to be called, had just recently entered orphanage care, and his somber little face stole our hearts the moment we saw his first photo. The orphanage staff didn’t have any information on his background, but we hoped that joining our education program would give him the encouragement and stability he needed.

butterfly Read more.

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Helping Families Stay United: Love Starts Here

Tom is only a few months old and has undoubtedly had a rough start – but this little guy is a fighter!

UFTom12.14

At just ten days old, Tom ‘s family rushed him to the hospital because he was ill, and he had surgery for appendicitis. Then, the surgery site became infected, causing parts of his colon and small intestine to become damaged.  Another surgery removed the damaged areas and gave him a temporary colostomy so he could heal.  Little Tom been in the ICU since the surgery, which means that his family can’t visit him. Read more.

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Whispers

One of my wise friends posted the following on her Facebook page last week: “Some days it seems like bad news yells and good news only whispers.” Isn’t that the truth? Our society LOVES a good scandal, and bad news is the stuff of major headlines. For a topic like international adoption – trafficking, rehoming, and corruption will always make the New York Times. Parents trying their best, kids just being kids, and the thousands of successful families formed through adoption rarely get a mention.

Under my friend’s post, someone had left a wonderful comment. It said, “Remember to listen to the whispers.” I think we forget at times to stop and do just that. There are such terribly sad stories each day in the news, both in our backyard and overseas, and so it’s easy to think that everything about our world is going to heck in a hand basket. I’m grateful that I’m in a position with my work to see that there are countless small miracles and loving people out there that unfortunately the world just doesn’t ever hear about. Parents and children and volunteers and donors – going about their days as quiet heroes, trying to do the very best they can to lift each other up.

Many of you might remember when we posted about a wonderful boy named Ben who needed an adoptive home. He had been born with cerebral palsy, and he had watched almost all of his friends get chosen by families. Ben jumping He had reached the age of 13, just one year short of aging out of the adoption system forever, when a family in the US knew he was supposed to be their son. Ben was adopted just days before his 14th birthday. I recently got this photo from his mom now that he has been home for six months – and oh yes, I immediately burst into happy tears.  Read more.

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Stable in the ICU

Yesterday we told you about two babies from our healing homes who were having surgery on the same day for complex heart defects.  We are so happy to report that both Chandler and Dominic came through their operations beautifully. Both children received BT shunt surgery, which is used to increase pulmonary blood flow.  This is often called the “first stage” surgery, and so both children will need an additional operation in the future.

SONY DSCLittle Chandler Post-Op

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Heart Surgery Day

chandlerLove Without Boundaries of course began after we met one tiny baby in China who needed heart surgery, and for the last ten years we have continued helping children born with congenital heart disease.  We wanted to let you know that two of the babies from our Healing Homes program are having surgery on Wednesday in China.  We sure would appreciate every good thought for these two beautiful children.

Chandler came into our hands as a tiny infant, with a diagnosis of pulmonary atresia, ventricular septal defect, and patent ductus arteriosus.  That is a mouthful for one little baby girl, isn’t it?   She got stronger and stronger at the Anhui Healing Home.  We are so grateful to all of the wonderful people who stepped forward to fund her operation.  She was admitted to the hospital last week, but then her surgery was postponed when the head of cardiac surgery was called out of town.  We decided to wait until he returned, and now Chandler is scheduled for Wednesday morning. Read more.

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