Thursday, August 30, 2007

Riding in Style

I wanted to share a precious photo of one of my Zhengzhou foster babies that I just received. This is little Maya in her new stroller. Just last week, I sent the sponsor family the new report on Maya. In the report, the foster family had expressed a need for a stroller. The sponsor family immediately wrote back and said they wanted to provide the stroller, so Stephanie, our China facilitator, purchased one for the foster family. Doesn't she look like a little cherub asleep in her new ride? Thanks to all of our foster care sponsors who are giving these precious kids the gift of a home.

Margie Creel
Zhengzhou Foster Care Coordinator

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

My High Tech Buddy

Being involved in helping orphans for more than 4 years, I'd never pictured a 15-month old baby would actually try to talk to me with a headset and webcam over the internet!!

This happened! Chloe is this 15-month old baby girl who recently left Shanghai Children's Medical Center after receiving her anal atresia surgery. She has become such good friends with me. We entertained each other every day at the hospital, we toured the famous Shanghai bund together, she learned some new words from me, we actually had a girls' sleepover one night at my place too where she put her feet on my face the whole night while sleeping comfortably... Also at my home, I showed her my webcam and she got her first taste of high-tech. I had to laugh so hard when she picked up the remote without being taught and started to talk to the remote, like she knew it was a webcam conference call.. haha

It was very hard to say goodbye to my smart and funny buddy upon her discharge, but she brought me such a pleasant and surprising evening from her foster mom's home two days after she left. Some stranger added me on my internet messenger. After adding the contact, this familiar face popped up, the only thing I didn't quite recognize was the big headset on her head. I had to shed tears and yet laughing to realize that's my little silly buddy! Soon following the image, I heard a clear and familiar voice screaming out "ayi, mama", then all you saw was Chloe waving and throwing kisses on the cam, jumping on and off the foster mom's lap. I didn't know how to respond to that as this was a whole brand new way of communication, I'd never had it with any other orphaned child before. I laughed with tears, cried with laughter! But Chloe was so kind to me and didn't wonder why I behaved differently, she just went on and showed all the tricks she learned from the hospital *LOL*

I am so thankful to her Chinese foster mother who took such good care of her during her hospital stay and allowed her to "mess up" and tried out her son's high-tech gears. And I can't be prouder of my high-tech baby buddy!!


PS. Sorry picture quality is not very good as the webcam bandwidth is not great.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Back to School

As summer draws to a close, many of us are busy preparing to send our little ones off to school, some of them for the first time. We take our supply list provided by the school and fill our carts with notebooks and pencils, backpacks and lunch boxes, glue and scissors, and a wide variety of other supplies. Then, on another day, once we’ve had time to recover, we schlep back out to mall for the back-to-school sales and spend hours waiting outside dressing rooms for our kids to choose the perfect wardrobe. This year my oldest daughter and I were debating over one of the clothing choices she made and I was so proud of her when she told me, “I have my own fashion sense, and that’s good enough for me.” Brava! She got the outfit she was wanting, even though the colors clashed.

Unfortunately, there are far too many children in this world who have no one to shop with them before school. Many can’t even go to school, either because they have a medical condition which prevents them from attending public school, or because their families cannot afford school fees.

Right now on our website we have lots of children who need your help so that they can go to school in September. We have preschoolers who have never attended school before, older children with special needs that prevent them from attending public school, high school students who hope to return for their third year of high school, and college students whose educations may be interrupted if sponsors cannot be found for them.

Please take the time to visit the education page on our website. Maybe you will be drawn to one of our littlest scholars, or perhaps to an older child with a medical condition, or even to a college student who wants to become a teacher one day. And remember that a donation in ANY amount will be such a blessing to the children. A college student can attend school if they receive one $1300 scholarship, or 13 $100 scholarships, or 130 $10 scholarships!

Thank you to all of our incredible donors who helped to educate almost 300 children in China last year. Let’s see if we can educate even more this year!

Angela Taylor,
on behalf of the education team

Happy Anniversary!

Four years ago today, I typed up an application to begin a new charity with four of my friends and hand carried it to our state capitol to turn it in. I can remember standing in the Secretary of State’s office thinking how unreal it all seemed that we were going to form a foundation. Would anyone believe in what we were doing? Would orphanages accept our help? Could a foundation really be run by all volunteers? What has happened in the last four years is beyond any of our wildest dreams. We truly thought we would give it our all to help "a few children" each month, and now there are over 2000 children who receive services from LWB each year.

None of it would be possible without YOU. Each and every time we open an envelope with a check and an encouraging note, we give thanks that people are so committed to helping children they might not ever meet themselves in person. Whether it is for $5 or $5000....we look at every donation that comes into our office as a gift of love and support, and we do everything in our power to forward that love on to China.

It has been an absolutely amazing four years, growing from $28,000 in services to orphaned children that first year, to $350,000 to $700,000 to one million dollars last year of help for the kids. So many children received surgeries, high quality baby formula, the love of a foster family, and the gift of education....all because of YOU.

Our volunteer team has grown as well over the years. We now have over 80 people working each day to keep you up to date on the children and projects you sponsor. We all still work from our homes, and switch off who gets to answer the LWB phone line. We most definitely all still celebrate and cheer every time a child is healed or adopted. The number of children in our programs might have changed substantially, but the feeling we have for each one of them as individual and priceless people has not. We still believe that each and every child is a gift to this world.

Happy anniversary LWB...and thank you to everyone who has become part of our friendship team over the last four years. We couldn't do it without you! We give thanks every single day for your support.

Off to break out the cookies and milk! I hope everyone who reads this today will celebrate with us as well. Here's to FORTY more years of touching children's lives.

Amy Eldridge

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Making the Hospital Stay Fun

I have to say we again had another one of these crazy fun hospital days. As most kids are nowadays the only child in the family, when they are sick, the whole family, including the grandparents are all around comforting and spoiling their child and yet the little ones can be still crying. We know it is impossible for our orphaned children to have the whole family around them, but interestingly, our group has the most laughters and fun time together, everyone's helping each other like one family. What's more interesting, we drew so many other people's attention, like we are the happiest group in the hospital and we brought the happy atmosphere into this supposed-to-be boring place.

We had a fashion show in the hallway today. Guess who's the model - Chloe! Chloe had a really big and painful surgery. After laying in bed for over 10 days, she is finally allowed to stand up. We can't wait to dress her up and she definitely enjoys cute dresses, including this one from today. She enjoyed showing off and "yelling" for attention from audience. So we took her out to the hallway while she still has the urine bag. Her caregiver was carrying it for her but she looked at it and baby talked the caregiver to give her the bag instead. Once she got the bag, she carried it like it's her little purse, happily she was ready to pose for pics! You can imagine all the audience she drew in the hallway and everyone gave her applause. Some other little crying babies even started to laugh in their parents' arms.

Jie is finally feeling better after going through the most painful first few days. Her parents already put him on the pillow while he's laying on his tummy. They took him around for little tour here and there. We also had a good time blowing bubbles, even tho Jie had to lay on his tummy, his eyes followed the bubbles and from time to time he was cracking up and had this loud and clear baby laugh. The parents are so kind that they even tried to help out our orphaned patients, such as feeding or holding, the father even volunteered to go out to buy food for the caregivers who couldn't go out. The whole group is absolutely one great team, helping each other out.

We love to see children being happy during their hospital stay because hospital stay is supposed to be painful and boring, but we can always try to dig out so much fun to make it easy & fun for their stay. I really hope each hospital stay can turn into a happy experience instead in these kids' memories.



People always say"Life is fragile", but to me sometines it is not true. I have met many special need babies, whose lives should be much weaker than the ordinary ones, but their strongness amazed me! This cute little baby Tao is a typical one. You might still remember him as the most joyous baby.

He was born with cleft, heart defect, and as he was too little , these conditions caused him pneumonia for about one month, and he stayed in ICU for about one month. Even in sickness in ICU, he didn't forget to give the doctors and nurses his beautiful smile.

I still remembered the first time I met him, that was during his IV, which was put on his head. Once he saw me, his eyes followed me everywhere. He was so tiny and so loveable! He is very open-minded too. Unlike other babies, he is fine with anybody holding him!

Thanks to our generous sponsors, he was sent to Hangzhou to have heart surgery so quickly and smoothly. Now he is back with 3 teeth newly grown. Didn't you notice that he smiled sweeter now? Hopefully, he can join in our cleft mission this year! I know more people would LOVE to hold him just like me!

Stephanie Wang
LWB Facilitator

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


There have been many moments in my life that I have had deep realizations of truth. I remember vividly the moment I realized that there was absolutely no difference between the love I felt for my biological kids and those who were adopted. My realization: that love has nothing to do with genetics but everything to do with your heart. What a wonderful truth to discover.

I remember just as well the moment I stood over a tiny baby’s crib in China and knew he needed heart surgery as quickly as possible and that I was one of the only people who knew that he did. My realization that day: that we can never allow our own fears of taking a risk and failing stop us from action. I was heart pounding scared to ask my friends to help him, but I learned the very real truth that we can accomplish amazing things when we step out in faith.

Not all truths bring joy, however. Some cause real sadness. But I believe all truths bring a clearer understanding of life. I have been struggling the last few months with the truth that my two youngest children lived as orphans. Of course I knew that….since that is the only way they can be in my family today. But recently, this truth has become much clearer to me, as recently I became a grandmother, and I have been able to see every day what a newborn baby wants and needs.

My grandson Asher is a total “tub of love”, and I would be happy holding him up to my cheek all day long if I could, just breathing in his babyness. We live to serve him, and to hear him cry even for a few minutes causes my heart pain. It seems like the second he makes noise, his mom moves into action. When he is hungry, he gets fed. When he is tired, he is rocked to sleep with a silk blankey and a lullaby. We spend hours gently talking to him, making eye contact, and letting him know that he is absolutely, 100% cherished.

In my great love for this child, however, I have had to face the deep realization of what my own two youngest children missed completely. My children never knew what it felt like to be an infant with a devoted mom. Even with the most loving of caregivers, I know my children knew hunger, knew loneliness, and knew bewilderment and frustration that their needs weren’t being met when they cried for help. They were orphans…in a room filled with babies and one lone woman trying to meet their most basic of needs. Of course I knew this somewhere inside of me because of my work, but the full knowledge of it didn't take root until the arrival of my grandson. This realization has caused me great pain, because I love my children so completely. How I wish no child had to be alone. Every baby deserves someone to come when they call.

I look at my grandson, who has never known a moment of pain since his birth, and give such thanks that he is with us. And I look at my own beautiful Chinese children and am amazed and awed by the strength they probably don’t even realize they have. They are such incredible kids, filled with joy and laughter and hope, even after living as orphans. My newfound truth is that children have an unbelievable capacity to trust us, even when adults have let them down in the past, and even when no one had time to come when they called. My latest realization is that all of our children who have faced a portion of their lives as babies without mothers, never being tenderly cradled or rocked to sleep with a song…..all of those children are heroes to me. Their ability to trust again humbles me, and the love they so purely give to us shows me every day the absolute strength of the human spirit.

Let us all keep working to help those who still wait. Truly, they deserve all we have to give.

Amy Eldridge

Executive Director

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cui's Dream

Sometimes, a young person touches our hearts in a way that changes the whole world. CuiCui is one such person. Many of you might remember her, as she was the oldest patient we had on our 2005 cleft mission in Henan. Even though she was 19, she had never stopped hoping that someday her cleft lip would be repaired. All of us who met her were touched by her gentle spirit and determination. We were also so touched by her family, peasant farmers who had adopted her as a baby and who were so proud of their oldest child. Her father is such a kind man, who told us over and over how important it was for him that his children went to college to break the cycle of poverty in their family.

On the cleft mission in Luoyang, Cui Cui experienced the joy of healing through the generous support of LWB volunteers and donors. The picture above was taken a few months after that trip, when we were able to meet once again with CuiCui and her father, to celebrate her beautiful new look. On that trip, Cui told us how very hard she was studying, in order to be accepted to university. She also thanked us over and over for the help that LWB friends gave to her when they funded her surgery. Cui Cui is in need a little more that will make a positive impact for generations. Cui Cui's own words tell her story better than we can. Her need is posted at the conclusion of her note.


My name is Cui Cui. I was born in 1987. I live in Henan province. In my family there are my father, my mother, my brother ,my sister and I. My parents are almost sixty years old this year. They are illiterate but they are very kind-hearted, simple and honest. They have no jobs. They used to work on the farm. My father has to go outside to do some odd jobs to support my family with the salary of 30 yuan each day. My mother cook the meals for my father and my sister at home each day, sometimes she also picks up the waste to sell to get some money. Last year my brother left off his study from his middle school and works in JiaoZuo city. So far he just can supports himself. My sister is attending the fifth grade of elementary school.

I had lip and palate cleft when I was born and was abandoned by my biological parents. It is my present parents (adoptive parents) who picked me up and gave me the second life. When I was two or three years old my parents and my grandma took me to KaiFeng affiliated hospital to see a doctor. Knowing so much money for the surgery, they chose leaving the hospital. I attended the first grade while I was eight. At the age of 14, I entered our county experiment middle school with high marks. At the age of 17, I couldn't go to the top high school in our county because of several marks. So chose FengQiu high school to continue my study. In 2005 I read the news from the newspaper that LWB would come to LuoYang to do lip & palate cleft surgeries for people without charge. So I went to LuoYang to try my luck I was not sure. I was lucky and the doctors did the surgery for me. And I met and knew some kind people, especially Angela and Amy. They are very very nice. I don't know how to express my thanks to them in words.

If possible I will try my best to pay back the love and sponsor. After the surgery I took part in the entrance examination of 2006. But I didn't get the high marks so I chose to a high school to study another year. 2007 this year I had a good marks and enrolled by Kunming Institute.

I like talking with friends, exchanging what we think about and enjoy the joys and pains in life. I like reading as well. I can find the answers from the books and enjoy the soul inspiration. I also like listening to the songs that encourage you to challenge difficulties because they give me the encouragement to life so that I am confident to life.

Since 2005 I always get the concern and help from LWB, I am so moved by their love I have a dream that I can speak a fluent English so that I can communicate with them fluently and say "Thank You!" to them especially Angela and Amy. I have another dream that when I have the ability in the future I will try best to help those who need help.

Finally please on behalf of my family thank those who are willing to help me and show concern and love to me including LWB. Wish you happy and best regards. Hope LWB is getting better and better.

Cui Cui


Cui Cui will study accounting for three years. Her tuition is 4,200 yuan per year Residence fee: 400 yuan/per year Books fee: 300 yuan.
Total expense per year = 4,900 yuan = $653

Those interested in sponsoring Cui Cui's dream of an education should

Sponsors will receive quarterly updates on Cui Cui's progress.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Big Family Weekend

"Raise your sail one foot and you get ten feet of wind. "

--Chinese Proverb

Love Without Boundaries' volunteers are the best! One in particular, Nicole, has opened her coastal city home to Joey for the summer. Joey is a very bright young woman who grew up in one of the Guangdong SWI’s that Love Without Boundaries serves with education assistance. Joey has done exceptionally well for herself in school and is about to begin her second year of college in Guangzhou. This summer Nicole has provided Joey with English lessons, job opportunities, and most importantly, the love of a home. I had the great pleasure to talk with Joey on the phone a few weeks ago and I was blessed to be the recipient of her first attempt to say “I love you” in English.
Joey is very fortunate to have a biological sister who also resides at the orphanage. Nicole surprised Joey by bringing her little sister down for the weekend. Nicole took the girls to the beach and as you can see by the photos helped them to experience life in new and exciting ways.

I remember the first time I stood at the edge of the ocean; I was about 14 and even though I had been told that the ocean is as far as the eye can see I really couldn’t have comprehend it before that moment. I found the Chinese proverb above, and it reminded me of a kite who just needs a little bit of wind beneath it to fly high. Thank you to all of our education sponsors who are that wind so that kids like Joey can have the chance to fly high above all the obstacles life has placed before them.

Wendy Petersen,
Education Coordinator


Every email that we have received from our facilitators when they have gone to check on a little boy named Feng have said what a naughty boy he is. In China, a child who is very spirited is called naughty and this is often seen as a really good characteristic in a child.

Feng has an arachnoid cyst and Dr. Bao at SCMC put a shunt in to drain the fluid from the cyst. He has had high pressure in his brain and so often had severe headaches. With his surgery done, Feng has been feeling SO much better. So much better in fact, that he has been up to all kinds of tricks.

The last update on him said that he was busy running around the ward. They can't keep him in his bed or keep him still. Last week, he started pulling out his IV. By the end of the week, he was not only pulling out his own IV, but he was also pulling out the IV from the child in the bed next to him!

They have also said that he loves making his surroundings quite messy.

We are sure that his caregiver must be beside herself trying to keep up with him, but we are all smiling on this end over the spirit in this child. What a naughty little boy he is, and how wonderful that he finally feels well enough to get into mischief.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A Little Attention

Chloe is a little girl who has anal atresia. She has had two stages of her anal atresia surgery and has just had some additional reconstruction. This child charms everyone she meets and just LOVES attention.

She has learned how to get attention by doing all kinds of tricks. Dr Yan, the chief surgeon’s assistant, came in to check on the babies. The group, including Dr. Yan, our facilitator Tingting, and other volunteers, went over to check on the baby in the bed next to Chloe, leaving Chloe alone. She decided she didn't like that one little bit, so she started a loud scream while moving her head up and down with a "mean" smile. She certainly managed to get everyone’s attention, including Dr Yan's. This reminded Dr Yan that he had not examined her yet, so the whole group moved to her instead. When Dr. Yan began to lift up her blanket, Chloe started to realize that she had probably done the wrong thing in bringing attention to herself. She then started to fake cry. When she realized Dr Yan was seriously going to examine her surgical area, she cried with real tears and began talking up a storm in "baby talk", which sounded like she was saying she didn't REALLY mean to get Dr. Yan's attention.

Dr. Wu, the chief surgeon, came in an hour later. The group was all still there playing with the babies. They all started crowding around the baby in the bed next to Chloe’s again and once again, Chloe decided SHE wanted the attention so she began to yell again. When Dr. Wu looked back at her, she suddenly remembered that perhaps she didn't want to come to the attention of any doctor in a white coat and she got quiet REALLy quickly. Everyone got a good laugh over how smart she was, and they have reported that she has now moved on to tearing up cartoon books instead of trying to get attention from any doctor.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

"Her Dreams Were Bigger"

The subject line of the email caught my attention immediately “Mo Xiao Mei Will go to college!” Tears filled my eyes and I rushed to open the email. I laughed and cried when I read the news:

"Hi Maureen,
Good news! The student from Cenxi Mo XiaoMei is admitted to Xinan
(South-west China) Medical College, which is in Chengdu, Sichuan
Province. All the orphanage staff and directors are happy with that. Her
success also encourages other children to study hard.

I do feel the Director is very caring of these children. He seeks help for each child
to get them a chance to get education. He also mentioned that if we can't help her, please let him know early so that he will seek any other way he can think of. He said with their own ability, they could never have this money to afford her to go medical school. "

It has been exactly one year since I met Xiao Mei (Little Plum) in my adopted daughter’s home city of Cenxi in Southern China.

We had returned to China to adopt out second daughter, also from Guangxi Province, and decided to go to the city where Heather had spent the first year of her life. We had dinner the first night there with former caregivers, Orphanage Officials and the former Director of the Orphanage. We had a wonderful meal and my daughter loved hearing stories about herself as a baby.

After dinner I met Xiao Mei, She had been driven back from Guilin where she is working for the summer. She was very red eyed and tired but wanted to meet us.

She was working to save money for her care at the orphanage for next year as she had decided to repeat the 12th grade and take her college boards again in an attempt to get into medical school. She had been accepted into a college for Teachers but her dream and goal was to be a Doctor.

The orphanage would no longer get funding for her care but they want to give her this chance to improve her scores and achieve her goals. They were allowing her to stay by paying for her room and board.

The Orphanage staff told us that she was a good girl and example to hold up to the younger school aged children. They hoped she could receive help to fund her education if she is admitted to a medical college. It was clear that they cared deeply for her and were hoping that I could find a way to help.

Xiao Mei was very sweet and spoke English well. She had grown up in the orphanage and I was impressed by her determination to achieve the goals she had set for herself. It would have been easy for her to accept the position at the teacher’s college but her dreams were bigger and she was willing to work hard to achieve them. I vowed I would do my best to find a way to help her if she was accepted to Medical School.

Older children in the orphanages have taken my heart since I first started working with Love Without Boundaries on the Cleft Mission in 2005. Each child I was able to meet will remain in my heart forever.

I sponsor a teenaged boy in High School through the Mama’s Wish Program with Love Without Boundaries. I immediately wondered if they would help me raise the money to send Xiao Mei to Medical School. I sent off excited emails announcing Xiao Mei’s successful college board results and happily I received excited emails back!

Xiao Mei will be added to the education sponsorship page on the website at Love Without Boundaries. Donations can be made by going to the website and clicking on her picture. Sponsors will receive quarterly reports on her progress and the knowledge that they have truly changed a life.
Thank you sincerely for helping this young lady achieve her dreams,
Maureen Brogan

A letter from Hunan

Our Believe in Me school teachers are all such wonderful ladies. This summer we sent several of them to Beijing to go to an advanced Montessori training. Afterwards, we received this letter which we wanted to share. The last line goes to everyone who supports our education programs!


The teachers want me to tell you and all sponsors something about their training.

We gained a lot from this training and felt it is very very meaningful to work with the special kids. The most important is we knew how to get along well with children, how to become their friend, how to get into their wonderful world and how to teach them through playing.

We think there were some teaching methods need to be improved. Aftering reopening the school, we will try to make them practice more. The kids are the key of our work, but we cann't let them do whatever they wanna do. We should make them know right and wrong, they should say sorry if they made mistake. We could encourage them to do some self-care activities as possible as they can, and give them reward\prize when they finish the task. If some of them couldn't finish, we can help them but just when they really need help. But first, they should know it is necessary to say:" Please lend me a hand or Please help me."

We are sure all the teaching materials will be definitely used. Because they are too useful for our work and very significant for the kids' develop!

Thank you for loving these special kids. Their lives are totally different because of your love.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Smile smile smile

“I’ve never seen a smile that was not beautiful.” ~author unknown

I ran across this quote last week, and of course it made me think of all the gorgeous cleft-affected children we help each year at Love Without Boundaries.

Even with the difficulties they might face, they still have such beautiful smiles…beautiful faces…and personalities that will make you just plain forget about their special need.

That brought my mind back to my first trip to China, and my first encounter with a cleft-affected child. So I did a little reminiscing, played with a few pictures, and put together a few of my favorite little faces on our website. I hope you will enjoy them too, and maybe they will give YOU a little smile too!

Jan Champoux
Nutrition Director

Friday, August 03, 2007

High Styling Hairdos

We just love foster care. Our monitors visit the families each month to check on the children and to make sure that things are going well. It is so wonderful to watch each child blossom in care and to see the progress they make each month.
We just got in new reports on the beautiful babies of XiaoXian and were all smiling at the cute ponytails that the foster moms were giving the little girls in their care. Here are some of our favorite photos from today. Hope they bring a smile to your face as well!