Monday, September 25, 2006

The Love of a Family.... Xinjiang is a remote province in the far North West of China. Love Without Boundaries partners with a UK charity, The Good Rock Foundation, to offer foster care to 30 children. We are currently seeking sponsors for 10 of the children. For just $25 a month you can sponsor one of these children and give them the chance to know the love of a family of their own. In return you will receive 3 reports a year of your sponsored child. That is not quite as many reports as for our other programs due to the remoteness of this province. Because of this, the foster care sponsorship price is lower. These children desperately need their own Mama and Baba so that they can reach their full potential.

So far we have seen wonderful results with the Xinjiang program. Children who were struggling to even hold a toy are sitting, walking, and bonding to their caregivers. One such little girl, called Qi, was born blind. When she was placed in foster care, she was clearly depressed and displayed signs of attachment disorders. Now she is happy, playing, navigating the house with ease and has clearly grown very attached to her foster family. She is being loved, nurtured and is thriving in her new home. This is just one example of the beauty of foster care and we thank all our sponsors for their part in this. Several of the children recently received cleft surgeries funded by the Chinese government's Tommorrow Plan and one child had spinal surgery to remove a meningocele. Additionally, seven children from our program have been adopted in the last year to families, and we are happy to report that two of them were adopted by their local foster families!

All of us at LWB realize so completely that well monitored foster care is an absolute blessing to these children, as they get to experience the feeling of belonging. Thank you to all of our sponsors who are giving these kids the gift of family. Please visit our foster care sponsorship page at to learn how you, too, can help a child in this wonderful way. The Xinjiang children are the ones where foster care costs $25 a month.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Brynna's Eyes Those eyes. Those beautiful brown eyes. Never has a child spoken so much with just her eyes.

What I saw in those eyes was the soul of my child. My daughter. A child who had been passed over by many others…waiting for me to find her. Like many others this child had not had an easy path in life. Born with a severe bilateral cleft lip and palate and having huge difficulties feeding it seemed this child survived by will alone.

Others saw those eyes and were drawn to her too. And so her healing journey began, first with surgery to mend her lip followed by the incomparable care of Hope Foster Home. Our family watched in gratitude as she made her appearance on the LWB Cleft Trip blog. There she was, our beautiful pony-tailed daughter waiting her turn for healing surgery. There she was, after surgery, being rocked and cuddled by the team volunteers, always surrounded by love.

Finally it was my turn to hold her, my turn to gaze into those soulful eyes. I cried.

Now those eyes are still as brown, still as full of promise. This child, once thought developmentally delayed, is anything but. She is life itself at full throttle. She knows what she wants. She knows nothing will hold her back.

She does have one more hurdle.

Soon Brynna will have surgery to remove a tumor in her middle ear. She is too young to worry about it but I do. Once again she will face surgery. Once again she will face pain. Once she had a whole team of folks caring for her. Now she will have her family.

But I still worry about what lies ahead.

For now I think I’ll smooch my sweet daughter’s face and bask in the glow of the love of life shining in Brynna’s beautiful eyes.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Straight Feet for Bang and Juan

Back in April, Love Without Boundaries was sent the files on
two beautiful children -- a little boy and a little girl. Previously, both children had club feet surgery, but both of their feet still were curved. Now at age two, both children had a hard time walking. We were asked if we could help fix their feet.

Right away, we thought that we needed to find a hospital that would perform surgery on their feet given their age and previous surgeries. Even though we had been sending our infants with club feet to a foster home in Beijing for casting, we didn't think that casting could help these children at age two. These two children were added to the website, hoping we could find them a sponsor and send them for their surgeries.

By chance, a foster home in Guilin happened to be looking at our website. Out of the blue they emailed us and told us that they could do club feet casting too! How amazing that someone else in China knew how to use the Ponseti casting method. Better yet, they had success with children who had previously had a surgery. After emailing them close-ups of our children's feet, they emailed excitedly saying that they thought they could help!!

Next the process of arranging a temporary foster home and making the arrangements for the transfer between the orphanage and the foster home began. Finally, by the beginning of June, the children were moved and settled into their new homes.

Soon after they were settled, casting was started. Every few weeks, old casts were cut off, new casts were put on, and their feet were slowly straightened. With
these active toddlers, the casts were made of fiberglass. Without the fiberglass, their cast wouldn't even last a week.

Because of their previous surgery, neither child required a tendon lengthening or tendon transfer surgery that is required in many older children.

Three months later, these two adorable children have totally straight feet!! All they will need now is bracing and their feet will be straight forever. That is not all, we have heard from the orphanage that both of these children are soon to be adopted.

Look at their feet!!! Soon they will be running and playing.

Waiting, are four more children with club feet. Arrangements are being made and soon they will have their turn too.

Thank you for helping us to make a difference!
Karen Maunu
Medical Director