Tuesday, September 25, 2007


There is a beautiful seven year old boy in Guangdong province who is in need of his own mom and dad to love him. His medical need is that he was burned as a child, but he has not let that stop him from going to kindergarten, making lots of friends, and charming the socks off of everyone who meets him. Right in his adoption file it says that he can make a friend out of anyone in 30 minutes flat. This little boy only has a few days left before his file is due to go back to China.....unchosen. Isn't that a horrible word? Unchosen. It is hard to believe that any child would have to carry that label.
This particular little boy weighs heavy on my heart tonight for a reason I want to explain. You see....his orphanage first contacted us to see if we could help him medically with his burns. But as soon as we heard about how smart he was and how personable, we convinced the orphanage that his real hope was in being adopted. The orphanage wasn't sure. They didn't think anyone would want to adopt an older boy, and one with burns on his body. But we assured them that somewhere there was a family waiting for a little boy just like him. And so the orphanage agreed. But then the province was also unsure, and so we once again said, "we know there will be a family". Finally his file was sent up to Beijing and then on to a US adoption agency. And no family has yet been found.

I think it is important for me to interject a story here, and my apologies to my friend Lisa for not getting her permission first to tell it. I hope she will forgive me. When I was first getting started with my work in China, one of the orphanages we helped did not do many special needs adoptions. They didn't think that the kids would be chosen, and so many of the children were getting older and watching only the healthy babies leave for their new homes. They would hear the aunties say to the babies, "oh today is a lucky day....you will have a family to love you." And the preschoolers and older kids would think to themselves....'it must be wonderful to have a family pick you.'

Well, we were going to do a heart surgery for one little girl in this orphanage, and so I asked for a photo of her so that we could raise funds. This orphanage didn't have a lot of nice clothing, so for this special photograph they wanted the little girl to look nice. Another little girl in the orphanage, named Yan, who was just three years old, had been given a beautiful red coat by a volunteer, and she loved that red coat and wore it all the time. The aunties went and took off her red coat to put on the child with heart disease for her photo, and Yan burst into tears crying. The aunties scolded her and said, "Yan, you must share your red coat...don't be selfish", but Yan kept crying and crying and kept trying to climb over the gate to get out in the hallway where the photo was being taken. Finally one aunty had heard enough, and so she walked over to Yan to take her back into the room. As she got closer, she realized that Yan was NOT crying because the other little girl was wearing her coat. No, not at all. Yan was crying while saying over and over, "take MY picture...please take MY picture. I want a family....take my picture so I can have a family, too. "
You see, at the ripe old age of three, Yan had already learned that the only way a baby got a family was by having her picture taken first. And she wanted a family of her own so badly, that she was crying to her aunties to please take her photo, too.

I wanted to share this story because the reason I am so sad that Joey hasn't found a home yet doesn't have anything to do with the fact that we told his orphanage a family would be found, or that we told provincial that certainly there was a family for him. I am sad thinking about Joey because I know exactly what happened when they prepared his adoption file earlier this year. I have been in orphanages when they do the files, and each and every time the aunties try to make the kids look at cute as possible. They say things like, 'smile pretty so a family will pick you." I am sad when I think about Joey's file, because I know he had probably gotten used to the idea that there would not be a family coming for him because of his burns....and then we went and placed hope back into his heart. I am sure he knew exactly why the orphanage was taking his photos that day, and I am sure the staff told him to look as handsome and clever as possible so that a family would choose him. Tonight I am thinking about this handsome little boy who is probably wondering each day now if his photo was good enough for a family to choose him.

So far.....no one has.

If you know anyone who might be open to adding a little boy to their family, please let them know about Joey. More information about him can be found here: http://www.swa.net/children.php

I still want to believe that there is someone out there who is wanting a little boy to love and read stories to. Surely there is someone out there who would want to teach him to fish, show him how to hit a baseball, and who would let him ride on their shoulders feeling like he was the king of the world. Surely somewhere there is a family who can give Joey the unbelievable gift of knowing he is CHOSEN, so that he can finally be home where he belongs.

Monday, September 24, 2007


The picture to the left was one of my favorite ones during our cleft mission last year. I loved the ten little toes peeking out from the surgical drape, and I loved knowing that the child on the operating table was getting a brand new smile.

This week we got another photo of some precious "piggies" that I wanted to share. This one was of a tiny little girl who had surgery in Shanghai. This time when I looked at those tiny toes, it struck me that the children we provide surgeries for are too little to make any decisions on their own....and so it is essential that all of the medical decisions we help make for them are the right ones.

For some reason when I saw this latest photo, it reminded me of the word "trust". The orphanages and foster families have placed their trust in us that we will provide the absolute best medical care possible to the babies in their care. We take that very seriously and make every decision as if it was our own child on the OR table.

We want every child we help to become strong enough to have their own mom or dad someday...a mom or dad to play "this little piggy" on those oh so wonderful tiny toes.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Craft for China

We want to send out a HUGE thank you to Melissa Robertson, a college student majoring in art education, who really has a heart for orphaned children. Melissa really wanted to help in some way, but knew she had a limited budget since she is still in college. She came up with the great idea of getting the arts and crafts community to donate items they created to help the children. Melissa was able to recruit some truly talented artists for this great fundraiser, which runs now through September 29th.

Right now on eBay, there are some beautiful items up for auction, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the kids. There are handmade baby blankets, journals, paintings, jewelry and more. If you are looking for some truly unique items to give this holiday season, or else if you are looking for a fun way to help children in China, please check out the following link:

As they say...."bid early and often!" Especially since it is all for the kids!
Thanks Melissa!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

"Angel Wings"

LWB is so grateful to both Tom Russo and Paul Lombardo for allowing us to sell their beautiful song about adoption, "Angel Wings", on our website. A percentage of each sale goes to LWB's work in China.

Tom Russo and Paul Lombardo began their partnership in 1971. Right from the start they collaborated on writing and producing songs. Later in that decade they landed their first publishing contract with a NYC based company called Camerica. In 1998 Tom and his wife were blessed with the adoption of a beautiful daughter from China, Lian Tai-Zhi Russo. As with many adoptive parents, Tom was deeply moved by the experience. Inspired by the profound love he felt for his daughter, Tom was motivated to express those feelings in a way that he knew best, through his music. Very early on in the creative process, Tom brought his idea to his partner Paul, and not long after that they were able to complete the writing and production of "Angel Wings", a beautiful tribute to the gift of adoption.

You can hear a sample of this beautiful song on our webpage at http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/AdoptionSongs.php You can follow the instructions on the page if you wish to buy a copy.

More adoption songs will be coming soon! Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Tiny fighter

Born last December in Anhui Province, little Wan had a rough start to her life. Born with a serious heart defect, she actually had to be resuscitated twice while she was in the hospital awaiting corrective surgery. Thank goodness, Wan is a little fighter, and her surgery was a success. When she was released back to the orphanage in June, we began sending her a nutritious infant formula and rice cereal to help her grow stronger. Oh, but she was still SO TINY!

Imagine how thrilled we were to receive follow-up photos, taken in July . Is that a double-chin?!
We just received another photograph this week, and the orphanage tells us that little Wan is still a fighter, growing stronger and more active every day.

We are so grateful to Wan’s orphanage for providing such wonderful care, and we are also grateful to our amazing nutrition supporters. This gift to Wan was made possible by donations made to our General Nutrition fund.

Friday, September 14, 2007

National Teacher's Day

September 10th was Teacher Appreciation Day in China. Normally it is a day when students will take small treats to their teachers to thank them for their hard work. We knew that this would be impossible for the orphaned children in our school programs, so we asked our local monitors if they could help the children say thanks.

At Believe in Me III, our monitor chose to purchase chocolates for the teachers, and the children got to present their gifts for the first time. What a fun and tasty way to thank them for teaching these wonderful minds!

Thank you sponsors for making this possible!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Believe in Me III

In 2006, Believe in Me III was just a dream. Thankfully, the dream became a reality this week and currently 67 children ranging in age from 2 ½ to 17 years old are going to benefit from that dream! Over a year ago, a group of LWB volunteers and families who have adopted from the Anhui orphanage had this seed of an idea to start a school at the orphanage. There were so many potential obstacles, but thankfully everything fell into place and that seed grew!

Believe in Me III actually consists of three parts: Montessori-style preschool, kindergarten-prep, and tutoring.

When presented with the idea of providing educational classes, the orphanage generously provided three of the rooms to use for Believe in Me III. To prepare the rooms, a group from Shanghai came to the orphanage this summer and painted the most adorable murals on the classroom and hallway walls. What did the children think when they saw the wonderful art on what used to be very plain block wall? They loved it!

This summer teachers were also hired and trained, and now classes have begun! Before BIM III, the children who could not attend public school did not have much to keep them occupied but that has changed! Can you just imagine the wheels turning in the preschoolers little heads as they learn through play? In kindergarten-prep, the children are getting prepared to attend public school next year or the year following so it has to be exciting for them as well. This is a more typical Chinese-style classroom for the children at the orphanage. This is a full-day for them so I bet they will be very tired after dinner! For the children who attend public school, the tutoring will help ensure that they can keep up with the curriculum like the other children attending from the city who have parents to encourage them. Our tutor is studying computer science at the nearby college so maybe we can even introduce computers to the older children…who knows!

There are still children waiting for a special sponsor to cover their educational costs. If you are interested in sponsoring a child or donating to a program, please let me know. Sponsorship for a child to participate in BIM III is only $20 USD a month.

I have to remember that every step will be a baby step with BIM III but I am just so overjoyed with the orphanage and Civil Affairs for allowing us to be a part of these children’s lives. Stay tuned as the project seed turned plant grows and bears lots of beautiful flowers!

Sandy Hartman
BIM III Coordinator

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dreaming of a Better World

Today is a somber day for most Americans, and I wasn't even sure if I was going to blog today because of it.

But then I opened up my email and started reading the reports that came in from last night, and two photos particularly touched me. They are both of little girls, on opposite sides of China (one in Yunnan and one in Shanghai)....but both of them are looking at the camera with complete sincerity. I looked at their beautiful faces and thought inside that every child is born into this world with a loving heart, without a single thought of hatred.

I know a world where every child is loved and cherished from birth and where there is no pain is only in fairy tales. But today is a good reminder that anything we can do to show kindness and love to innocent children is essential. Love is a blessing that the world can never have enough of.

Amy E

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Urgent heart needs

For the first time in LWB history, we have had to turn away a child in need of urgent heart surgery due to a lack of medical funding. I know what a very, very difficult moment this was for our medical team.

I know that so many orphanages are contacting us now each day for help that we most likely will never be able to keep up with the number of children who are waiting for life saving surgery....but to me that just means we have to work even harder to spread the word that it truly IS possible to save the life of a child by giving whatever one can.

I have put together a short video with some of the heart children we have been asked to help this year. A huge thank you to Lance Musgrave for allowing me to use his song, "Waiting", to help show that thousands of children do just that each day. In orphanages throughout China, children are waiting right now for their chance at life. You can view it on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/v/ceAmyu1FpBc

No donation to our medical program is too small. Every dollar given is used to help bring the gift of healing to some of the most vulnerable children in the world. You can visit our medical sponsorship page today at http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/SponsorMedical.php

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

School Begins!

What an exciting month it has been for our newest school, Believe In Me IV. Two teachers were hired and they were able to go to Beijing for Montessori training. They were very eager to come back to school and apply what they had learned in Beijing. They spent about a week preparing the classroom for the students, and last week they welcomed twenty-three nervous but excited children to the room. The students range in age from one to nineteen.

The first week, the children spent time familiarizing themselves with the school routine. They also learned some new songs and made some crafts. This fall, the teachers will work with the students to learn their names, talk about weather, and learn about some Chinese traditions. In November the teachers will travel to another Believe In Me school to observe how things operate there. They are both so willing to learn and try new things, and their enthusiasm is rubbing off on their students!

Love Without Boundaries is SO grateful to Hope's Heart Orphan Foundation for providing the needed funds to open the doors to this newest school. You can visit Hope's Heart at http://www.hopesheart.org/

Heather Hough

Believe In Me IV School Coordinator

Love Without Boundaries

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Jungle Boys

Recently a friend to LWB visited an orphanage in Henan for us, and took some truly spectacular pictures. This one is guaranteed to put a smile on your face today. The aunties here sew all the bedding and a lot of the clothing. We think Tarzan and his sidekick are looking particular dapper! Come on....you know this makes you want to adopt a BOY from China! Hundreds are waiting for a home right now and for some reason are far less likely to be chosen than girls. Visit http://www.waitingchild.org/ for a listing of agencies that place children with medical needs, many corrected. Maybe your newest son is waiting right now for you to find him!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Scrapbooking for a Cause

I am the mother of two beautiful little girls adopted from China. My husband and I are very interested in continuing to do what we can for the children in China with medical needs. We do what we can to sponsor surgeries and to encourage others to donate to LWB.

As an active member in the digital scrapbooking world, I came across a wonderful site called Songbird Avenue. The co-owners, Jan Crowley and Meredith Fenwick are accomplished digital designers that created this site for the purpose of benefiting charities. Each month a guest designer creates an exclusive digital kit which is sold for the period of one month. The guest designer gets to choose which charity benefits from the sale of the kit and 100% of the profits are donated to that charity. I've purchased several of their kits and they are very nice, created by some of the top names in the digital scrapbooking world. They are well worth the money.

Last month I emailed Jan Crowley and asked her to consider LWB for a future charity. She explained that the designers choose their charity but she would definitely include LWB in the list of suggested charities and she even wrote about LWB on her blog. As luck would have it, September's designer, Carrie Stephens, read Jan's blog and chose LWB for September's Charity. She has put together a very nice kit called Faded Sapphire with colors and elements that can be used in many ways. I happen to own a few of Carrie Stephens' kits and have enjoyed working with them.

Starting today, you can download Faded Sapphire at http://www.songbirdavenue.com/ for just $8.00. All the profits made from the sale of this kit during the month of September will benefit LWB. Even if you do traditional scrapbooking, you can still purchase this kit and print off the papers and various elements and use them in traditional scrapbooks. Here is the preview of the kit. As you can see, the kit offers many possibilities. I do hope you will consider purchasing the kit and encourage others to do the same.

Elaine Mann
(All of us at LWB would like to send out a huge thank you to Elaine for thinking of such a creative way to help children in China, and we also wish to thank Songbird Avenue for this wonderful opportunity to raise needed funds for our programs! Xie Xie!)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Super Mama

I know we always write about the kids and hardly write about the people who are in these kids' lives and helping make such a difference in their lives. I really feel I need to introduce our Super Mama from Shanghai Children's Medical Center to you. She's the caregiver we hired locally to work as a backup ayi when a child arrives but the orphanage caregiver couldn't stay, etc..

I first knew her on June 1st - The Chinese Children's Day. I really consider her the best gift for that day. Baby Ji with the teratoma arrived at SCMC that day. It was raining hard and kind of chilly, her orphanage caregiver got sick and ran a high fever. We didn't want her to pass the flu to the baby as we wanted the baby to stay healthy before surgery. Also we learned that this orphanage was short of caregivers and she was supposed to get back to help soon. So I knew I needed to look for a new caregiver asap. Thanks to my friend Elfie, who quickly helped me find this kind "mama" and bring her in that evening. She quickly took on all the work and allowed the other caregiver to get good rest and go back to the orphanage the next day.

Baby Ji was in the hospital for one month, and Super Mama took such good care of her. Not to mention the weight she put on within such a short time, Baby Ji learned how to do eye contact and she smiled every time she eye contacted with super mama. Super mama spoiled her into pieces and considered her baby Ji was the most beautiful baby in the whole hospital. She loved to show off how beautiful Ji was.

After Ji left, I ran into situations again where orphanage caregivers couldn't stay. I even had to give Super mama two children at the same time once. It was two "naughty" boys who both wanted so much attention. They fought for attention and would even try to push each other out of the picture if I was trying to take a picture of both together. How funny was that! It became a bit overwhelming for super mama as she wanted so much to give full attention to both boys. She called her husband in while he has a part-time job as security guard at a school. Oh, he's definitely the super daddy - he and his wife worked as the best team ever to "spoil" these boys into heaven! You would see them carrying the boys around in the hallway all the time. The boys were so attached to them that they couldn't even put them down for one second, but this couple was so patient and so loving. They did anything to make the boys happy. And people in the hospital even noticed that the boys slowly turned to look like her and her husband. The couple were so pleased and proud when they heard that.

Little Anna came in right after the boys left. Anna was such a tiny baby who just got her surgery done for esophagial atresia. It was amazing to see how she grew from like a tiny bud to a fully opened beautiful flower every single day under Super mama's love and care. Super Daddy still came to check on the baby from time to time and deliver food/snacks. He would always pick up Anna and tell the baby how beautiful she was and how much she had grown every day.

Super Mama can't rest well when babies cry, but her babies only cry because they want to be held and that's because she loves to hold them all the time so they can't be put down. When she gets a new baby she would say "I wouldn't hold them as much now so that they won't cry when they are not held.", however, she still can't help it and she would be saying "what the heck, I will hold them anyway." I think of that as her most famous quote.

By the way, the name "Super Mama" was given by the head nurse at the general surgery department. All the nurses and doctors love her and know she's doing a great job. I love that name so much and can't think of a better name for this kind lady. Super Mama came back to the hospital today as we assigned another baby for her to take care of. When she was back with her backpack that's almost as big as her size, nurses threw out a warm welcome. Other patients' parents who knew her and are still in the hospital came out to the hallway to welcome Super Mama too. Everyone loves her and cheers her on!! She's the star of SCMC!