Over the next few days, we will be bringing you stories from a medical mission underway in Shanghai, done in partnership with LWB and the Shepherd's Crook Ministries. Dr. Jorge Lazareff is leading a neurosurgical team from UCLA. Working in partnership with Dr. Bao and Shanghai Children's Medical Center, 18 orphaned children from provinces throughout China are going to receive life changing surgery.
We are so grateful to an amazing group of volunteers in Shanghai who have worked for weeks to make sure all goes smoothly. These kind people have decorated the hospital ward with balloons and posters, shuttled aunties and babies from the airport to the hospital, brought snacks for the caregivers, hugged and loved on the children, and are even taking laundry home daily for the aunties and foster moms.
There is a beautiful little girl nicknamed "Wendy" awaiting surgery. She is confined to a wheelchair right now but everyone is hoping that following surgery she will have more strength in her legs. She thought our facilitator Tingting was a doctor, and so she came up to her and said "I am very nervous about having surgery". Tingting explained that she had been through surgery herself, and she tried to calm her by saying that Wendy would be asleep and then she will just wake up in her bed and it will all be over. Wendy loved to heard that and had a big grin. And then all of the aunties from Hope Healing Home in Beijing told her "by the time you wake up and open your eyes, you will see all of us around you just wishing you to be healthy".
We are so grateful to the aunties who are loving the kids so far from home. For one caregiver, it was her very first time away from her town, and she so had many tears over being so homesick. But she just tried to focus on the baby she had brought and everyone said she was taking wonderful care of him.
There is another baby here also named "Wendy" who is currently on a waiting child list but no one has picked her yet. We asked Tingting to spend some time with her so she could tell us more about her personality, and she wrote the following:
This child is going to be a comedian. She's full of character - everything's written on her face expression in each picture. She's so goofy and cracking everyone up.. look at how she tried to roll her eyes to the middle.. how she pretended to be serious.. how she showed happiness.. how she showed curiosity.. she can have so many difference faces in one minute, and she talks too!! Every time I took a pic she would be like "bao bao kan kan" (baby wants to look).. then she pointed at the photos and said "baobao" (baby). She can call her foster mom "mama".. she can tell when she wants to go to the bathroom.. she does have bladder and bowel control and she's not even in diapers because she can tell when she needs to go.. she's in split pants.. she can even stand up.. when i asked if she has strength on her legs.. she picked up her feet and tried to show me. she's very outgoing.. i was talking to the director and she was clapping hands but saw no one following her.. she grabbed my hands and put my hands together and tried to show me how to clap hands.. when i followed her.. she said "yay yay yay" and waved her hands above her head as she's so excited! She's absolutely adorable.. i think anyone who spent time with her will fall in love with her right away!
Another little girl who came for surgery is older and we have learned that she loves to do artwork. Here is another note from Tingting:
"She is definitely going to be an artist in the future.. she could sit there and draw for hours.. she got some colors and stickers today and enjoyed so much working on flowers, letters, little animals.. she gave her last piece of work to me as a gift - the one in the pic! She considered that's the best one she had done today.. How thrilled I was when she gave that to me!"
How wonderful to know that all of these kids are going to have the surgery they need this next week. Today five surgeries will take place. Please keep all of these wonderful children in your prayers.