Thursday, January 31, 2008

Let's do it for the CHILDREN

My message is a bit long today but I hope you will read it to the end. We have just 24 hours left in the Giving Challenge contest on Facebook. 24 hours to try and stay in the lead. And we can’t do it without you.

As I type this, I am staring at the photos of 12 babies who are hurting because they were born with heart disease. Their eyes truly haunt me, first because they are orphaned and as a mother it is hard to accept that any child has to be sick without a mom or dad to comfort them….but second because I know that without surgery, the pictures I have of these children might be their last. Do you know how small a baby’s heart is? And how fragile an orphan’s life is when that tiny heart has a defect? These pictures are of children who are blue, children who are tired, children who NEED OUR HELP.

I also have on my desk the photos of children whose hearts we have healed. They stare out at me with pink cheeks and smiles, and in many…with their new adoptive families. THIS is what it is all about. Saving lives, giving a second chance, and allowing a child to find their family and know complete love.

In the next 24 hours we have a chance to give the GIFT OF LIFE to 10 more children in need. The charity with the most unique $10 donors at 12 noon PST on February 1st will win $50,000. Heart surgery in China averages just $5000 per child, so with that prize….ten children can have a second chance at life.

I am not going to ask you today to find 10 more donors, or even 5 more donors to help us. I am asking you to find just ONE person in your life that hasn’t donated and to ask that person to please help you save a life. For just $10. If all of us do this, we could have over a thousand new donors in just one day.

How often do we spend $10 on things that last just a moment?

$10 for two fancy coffees, $10 for a movie and popcorn, $10 for a dinner out. How about for today, for the next 24 hours, we all find $10 for something that will last a LIFETIME. $10 to save a baby’s life and allow a priceless child (who is orphaned and totally innocent) to get a second chance at finding a family to love them.

Find just one friend in the next 24 hours, and encourage them to join our cause and donate. $10 for the life of a child. Of all the money you have spent this week….this might be the most important.

Thank you EVERYONE for keeping LWB in the running for the top prize. We love our supporters and give thanks everyday for the amazing generosity, compassion, and kindness you show to those who live as orphans each and every day. We truly are a family, bound together by the belief that every child born on this earth matters.

Here’s the link! Let’s do it for the kids.


New doctor for Fuyang

Ever since we first learned of the Fuyang orphanage in Anhui, we have had a very special place in our heart for the children there. We are so grateful to our donors who stepped forward to provide them with a coal heating system, a bathroom and shower for the kids to use, new cribs, blankets, formula, and more.

One of the things that they told us about in October was a true need to have a doctor on staff, as so many of the babies who enter the orphanage are very sick. We are so happy to announce that a doctor has now been hired, and so simple medical care can now be provided, such as providing antibiotics and care to babies who spike high fevers or get pneumonia.

We are funding this doctor at the moment out of general funds but hope to have a place on our website soon where we can list projects like this in case anyone wants to get involved.
We are so happy that the babies in Fuyang will now have a doctor on site to help watch over them.

Final 24 hours for Facebook Challenge

Do you know even one more person that you could call and ask to sign up on Facebook and donate $10? We are in the final 24 hours...and it is going to be a nail biter to the end! The $50,000 first prize would allow us to heal the hearts of 10 beautiful children. I know we can win if we can each find just one friend to sign up. Here's the link if you want to be a part of helping:

Thanks everyone! We can do it for the kids!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Medical Photoshow

Karen Maunu, our medical director, has put together a photo show of some of the beautiful children healed through LWB in 2007. You can watch it here:

If the direct link doesn't work, you can also click this link:

If LWB wins the Facebook Charity Challenge on February 1st, we will be able to use the prize money to heal even more wonderful kids like those in this video. If you haven't yet joined up to donate $10, we are hoping you will as we are still in first place, but only by a handful of people. We need as many new donors as possible within the next 2 days. The next 48 hours will decide whether 10 beautiful babies with heart disease can have the operations they need for a healthy life.

Visit to make a $10 donation and bring us one step closer to Facebook's $50,000 prize. Together we can do this! And let 10 precious children receive the gift of life.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Foster Care Visit

What a great day today! I got to meet all of the children in the Shantou Foster Care Program. At the first house we visited, we met the two children who live there plus two other Shantou Foster Care children who were visiting at the house. One of our little girls sang a song for us, and we were served candy to help celebrate Chinese New Year.

Next we went to another home where two little foster boys live. Several other foster moms and their children were also there to meet us. The orphanage took rice and oil to the families for Chinese New Year. What cute little chickens, I mean children, live in Shantou.

It was so fun to see these kids and their happy foster mamas. WHAT A WONDERFUL BLESSING it is to these children to be in a family! We saw Erik, who was featured a couple months ago on our blog and is blind, with his foster mama. He is so happy in his home.

One foster mother of a recently adopted little girl wanted me to know how much they loved her. I took a small photo album to one little girl who has recently been chosen by a family and I found out that two of the children in the program have families that I wasn't aware of yet. There are now seven children in the program who have families waiting to come get them. How wonderful that so many of our foster children will soon have permanent homes.

After lunch we returned to the orphanage and I met more children....babies, babies so cute and so sweet! Their nanny was so energetic, all smiles and so much fun. What a wonderful lady. Then we visited the room where the Angels Love program allows the small children who are still crawling or just learning to stand and walk to play and have fun and some interaction together. There are so many cute babies in Shantou!

I am thankful that these healthy babies are being so blessed through the hard work and dedication of the workers at Shantou SWI, and through the programs that many people help to support through Love Without Boundaries. Thank you everyone who helps with this incredible effort at changing children's lives.

Suzanne Damstedt
Shantou Foster Care Coordinator

Friday, January 25, 2008

Visit to Shantou

Suzanne is our foster care coordinator for the Shantou program in Guangdong. She is visiting the program this week in person. Her daughter is from this orphanage so she has a very special tie.


Today I arrived in Shantou and went to visit the orphanage. My daughter helped me package up Kix cereal for the children before our visit.

As soon as we arrived, we saw children that we knew. One of them was playing "parachute" with the other children. It is wonderful to know that there are activities in place through our school program to help bring fun and learning into their lives.

Tomorrow I will be visiting about 18 children who are currently in the Shantou Foster Care program. I will be visiting them in their foster homes. What a blessing for these children to have the gift of a family! Thank you to everyone who makes it possible for them and many others in Love Without Boundaries' foster care programs.

Suzanne Damstedt

New Coats

Earlier this winter, LWB purchased coats for the students in the Believe in Me Huainan, Anhui program. Well, it seems like the coats arrived just in time and they are getting lots of use! I am sure the children are thankful to have a coat to help keep them warm on a cold winter’s day. Their smiles sure can warm your heart.

Thanks to the LWB education program sponsors and donors. As you can see, you are making the difference in the lives of these children.

Believe in Me Huainan, Anhui Coordinator

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Happiness is....

Tonight someone sent me a cheerful message with a tune playing in the background that I knew I had heard before. It took me a moment to place it, but then I realized it is a song called "Happiness is...." It was in a Peanuts movie way back when I was kid (way back) and I remember one line said, "Happiness is two kinds of ice cream, knowing a secret, and climbing a tree."

As always, it made me think of a line I would love to add to that song:

Happiness is....seeing a child truly smile.

I of course ran right to my photo files, and just had to share some of my favorites. Thanks to everyone who helps put smiles on the children who wait. We couldn't do it without you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dedication (in heels, no less)

Everyone who follows our blog knows how much we love quality foster care. We absolutely love when a baby who has been lying in a crib most of the time is able to move into a family setting and get loved on all day. We are so excited by our newest program in Huainan, Anhui, because the orphanage staff agreed that we could move some tiny babies into foster care so that they can spend almost their entire time before adoption in a home environment.

Well, the contracts were signed, the families were selected, their health physicals were done, their homes were prepared, the babies were chosen, the day had arrived to meet their new mommas.....and WHAT'S THIS? A snowstorm? Oh my, oh my.

But did snow deter our great new moms and dads? Not one little bit. They showed up to meet their new children and pitched in to carry their new cribs home as well. We were particularly impressed with this photo of them moving a crib through the snow (in high heels.)

Now THAT'S dedication! We knew right then that these parents are excited about their new jobs as we are, and we can't wait to see the progress that each little baby makes in their new home.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Waiting Child Adoption

A friend on the Waiting Child list posted this quote by Martin Luther King, Jr today:

"The day our lives begin to end is the day we remain silent about things that matter."

It sure is easier to remain silent, isn't it? It sure is easier to live in our comfortable homes and think that the most important issue of the day is where we want to go out to eat that night or whether we can get our kids to soccer practice on time. It sure is easy to not think outside our own little space. Does it matter that millions of children around the world live every single day without a mother or father to care for them? Does it matter that so many orphaned children with medical needs don't have access to the healthcare that could improve their lives? Does it matter that many are unable to go to public school? Or that they go to bed each night feeling that their special need might define them for the rest of their lives? I think those who love children would say it matters greatly.

The woman who posted the quote went on to say: "Let's not keep silent about the things that matter..... all these precious children who need love. " I hope everyone whose life has been touched by the miracle of adoption chooses to be vocal and encourages those around them to consider building a family in this wonderful way. Those of us who track the waiting children lists often watch child after child have their adoption files returned without being chosen. I looked up the opposite of "chosen" online, and the word that I saw made me cringe. Did you know the opposite of chosen is "rejected?" What an awful word that is.

It is a sad reality that thousands of children around the world each year are abandoned. We all wish that wasn't the case. But for many... there is still hope. The staff in their orphanages who care for them prepare their files and send them forward with the hope of a new family. But for some, particularly the one ever comes forward. The time goes by and their files are returned without being chosen. The hope of a family is gone.

Right now on so many great agency lists....there are children who are waiting and who have not been chosen. It is hard to believe that with millions of potential parents in the United States, that there isn't a family for every child who shows up on an adoption list. We know adoption is expensive. We know it is most definitely a leap of faith. But all of us at LWB believe completely that every child born deserves to know what it really means to be loved. And when there is a will to become a parent, there is almost always a way....whether it is through domestic adoption or international.

Let's not keep silent about the fact that so many orphaned children are waiting for homes. Have you seen Winter on Small World's list? She DOES NOT DESERVE to be orphaned for the rest of her life. Her smile tells us all that she is child, who if just given the chance, will accomplish great things in this world. Have you seen Bumble Bee boy on CWA's list? What family wouldn't love to tuck him in at night? Or little Dallas with CHI, whose caregivers wrote: "We all love him and wish him to have a beautiful future." These precious children and so many more are waiting right now for a family to choose them for their own.

Help spread the news that so many kids are waiting for homes. You never know....the person you tell might have been praying that very day for a way to become a parent. The majority of people around us have absolutely no idea that so many children wait. Let's not be silent....because every child on this earth truly does matter.

Today's The Day!!

Today is our Facebook Challenge Day! Let's fund the rest of baby Yang's surgery and move back into first place for the kids waiting for heart surgery.

Be a part of something big! Your $10 donation can help save TEN LIVES. Visit by 12 noon PST on January 23rd and donate on Facebook to make a difference. Your support will help us win the $1000 daily challenge, and the charity with the most individual $10 donors on February 1st wins $50,000 more. We will use all of it to save orphaned children's lives.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Update on Baby Hua

Last week, we received a new preemie baby named Hua. The orphanage had this sweet baby in the incubator in the orphanage, because they learned how very expensive his formula and treatment would be in the hospital. Because we have received $1200 in donations, we asked if the orphanage would move him to Anhui Children's Hospital immediately, where we knew that he would get the best care.

On Saturday, during a heavy snowstorm, the orphanage transported this tiny baby from his rural town to Hefei. They are so grateful that this child will now be able to get the care that he needs. We believe that we will still need an additional $1800 for his intensive care treatment, but we are so very grateful that he was able to be moved so quickly.

The following pictures speak for themselves. What dedication on behalf of this orphanage staff!

We are so grateful that we are able to help this small baby!
Karen Maunu
Medical Director

Thursday, January 17, 2008

$10 can save 10 lives.

Next week, we have set Jan 22/23 as a one day Facebook fundraising day to help complete the funding for baby Yang's heart surgery. You can find our Facebook Cause through this link

With the Facebook challenge ending on Feb 1, o
ur Director of Operations, Sheri Russon, came up with the perfect way to encourage our friends and family to help with the Facebook Challenge:

$10 can save 10 lives.

It really is that simple. A $10 donation can in turn allow us to finish the Facebook Challenge in first place, and can allow us to use the $50,000 prize to SAVE THE LIVES of ten innocent babies born with heart disease who are struggling to survive.

Please tell your friends and family about this wonderful opportunity in front of us. I just can't even begin to tell you the deep sadness that each of us at LWB feels every time we are given the news that an orphaned child's heart has stopped beating for the last time. We have cried so many tears knowing we were too late, and even more knowing that a child died as an orphan. It is so horrible to know a child has died alone…...without having a mom or dad to hold them when they are hurting or afraid.

We really can do this....but we need everyone's help. Let's all be a part of something BIG! Let’s work as a united team to give life to ten children who will not survive without surgery.

Let’s show 10 tiny babies who have been abandoned that they ARE important and that they are not alone. Let's all step out of our comfort zones in the next week and ask at least 5 friends to donate $10 to save 10 children's lives.

It is NOT about “winning” or the money to us, even though we have to keep bringing it up to finish the challenge in first place. It is about the very real fact that there are orphaned children dying with medical needs right this very minute....and how wonderful it would be that through this unique challenge, we can change 10 of their lives forever.

Thank you everyone! Remember…..$10 can save 10 lives. Let’s do this together and know we were a part of something truly GREAT!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Cleft House Preview

Our Cleft Healing Home is really beginning to look like a home now, albeit a home under construction. With each new addition, whether it’s a staircase or tile in the kitchen, we get more and more excited because that means we are one step closer to caring for the babies who need us. We haven’t even opened our doors yet and are already more than half way full with babies who have been identified as needing care from orphanages in Anhui.

The push is on now to complete as much as possible before the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration, when everything stops for a week. The kitchen and baths have been tiled; the kitchen cabinets and appliances have been ordered and should be installed before CNY. Door and window trim has been added, as have lots and lots of shelves for storage. We have stairs now and the walls are ready for paint.

We have paint colors!! Soft shades of yellow, green and blue for the babies’ rooms.

We have rooms, beds and babies that need sponsors, as well as specific needs for the home that have not been met yet. Please email us if you would like to help ( Thank you for your patience as we get our website back online.

Sandi Glass

Cleft Healing Home Coordinator

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Tiny Baby

Last night we received word of an urgent premature baby boy in Anhui. Baby Hua is just a couple of days old and weighs only 1kg. This child needs medical treatment so that he can grow big enough to eat on his own. Currently he is in critical condition.

With donations for children on our website down, it is very hard for us to raise funds for a child like baby Hua. The initial treatment costs for this child are going to be around $600, but more than likely this child will need longer care and treatment. Our best estimates are that he will need about $3,000 for his care.

We have wonderful friends, like Angel Covers, who are helping us raise money for these urgent children. If you would like to help baby Hua, you can either make a donation through Angel Covers, mail a check to:

Love Without Boundaries Foundation
306 S. Bryant, Ste. C-145

Edmond, OK 73034

Or you can make a credit card donation on Facebook at

Please help us to continue to help the urgent babies like Hua.

Thank you so much!

Karen Maunu
Medical Director

Monday, January 14, 2008

Update on Baby Hercules!

It's time for another "Hercules" update! Many of you will remember baby Hercules from our cleft mission in the fall of 2005...a teeny-tiny boy with cleft lip and palate, who is responsible for starting our wonderful relationship with the Kaifeng orphanage in Henan. I had just started volunteering with LWB a month earlier, so Hercules was the first child that I got to "know" as an individual. It has been wonderful to follow his progress for over two years now, and to see what a group of total strangers can do for the life of one child...and then watch that spill over into the lives of so many others.

I just received a new photo of Hercules, along with a little information from the orphanage. Our teeny-tiny little lad is now in the 50th percentile for height, and the 97th percentile for weight. With a new smile, good food, and a loving foster family, he has turned into quite the little tank!

Hercules continues to drink formula three times each day, giving him all the extra calories and vitamins he needs to stay strong and healthy. He also eats breakfast, lunch and dinner with his foster parents, who describe him as "a very sweet, sensible child." Each night as his foster father moves his bicycle into the house, Hercules assumes the role of Little Helper and holds the door open. He also helps to care for his foster brother, bringing his shoes each morning as brother wakes up. Hercules also helps his foster mother, bringing chairs to the table for each meal. He has become more outgoing recently, smiling easily and chatting happily with his foster family. What a wonderfully normal life for a child!

Thank you for being a part of one child's story of HOPE!

Jan Champoux
Love Without Boundaries Foundation
"Touching lives, one child at a time"

New Foster Care Program Begins

Hi all,

I am so excited to share with all of you the opening of our brand new foster care program at the Huainan SWI in the Anhui province. Many of you may recognize the name of this orphanage as being the home to one of our Believe In Me schools. Since our earliest contact with this SWI, we have seen and felt the need for a nurturing foster care program to be in place here. A few months ago, at the urging of several LWB volunteers that were visiting the SWI, the director agreed to begin a program there.

We will be starting the program with 10 of the most adorable little ones you have ever seen! We have 8 girls and 2 boys ... all born in 2007 ... that will be entering foster care sometime this week. They will be placed with foster families that are eagerly awaiting the opportunity to hold and love them. Most of you know how important the role of foster care is in a child's life. This will greatly improve their physical and emotional lives and give them a better opportunity to find their forever families through adoption.

Please look at these beautiful faces and feel free to pass on the news that these little ones are ready to be moved into foster homes. We will be double sponsoring each baby so that we can completely fund their foster care and pay for a local foster care manager to monthly spend quality time with each family. The sponsorships are $35 per month or $70 for a double sponsorship. With your sponsorship, you will receive updated photos each month and an updated development report every other month. Most of all, you will know that your loving contribution is making a HUGE difference in this baby's life.

Because of the website difficulties, potential sponsors may contact our foster care program to get the information to begin their sponsorship. Please email if you are interested in sponsoring one of these beautiful babies.

Thank you,

Margie Creel
Huainan Foster Care Coordinator
Love Without Boundaries
"Every Child Counts"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

CNY Cards to Benefit our Programs

Hi everyone,

If you have been looking for Chinese New Year cards, we have the perfect one! These cute cards wish blessings in the Year of the Rat and are now available for immediate shipping in our online store.

You can wish all your family and friends a wonderful new year while helping LWB's programs in China at the same time.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Beautiful Yi

There is one of the most beautiful little baby boys from Henan at SCMC right now. His name is Yi and he is 9 months old. On Monday, he received surgery for spina bifida. I just LOVED the report we received from the hospital after surgery. It said that his surgery was “short and easy” and his surgery was a compete success. We are also happy to hear that he hardly cries at all is doing so well the last couple of days.

Every time we receive an update, we hear how chubby he is. How wonderful to hear this! This child is in one of our foster care programs and is loved by his foster mom. Because he is so healthy, he will heal quickly. In addition, his foster mother will be able to give him really good care post-surgery.

On one of his last foster care reports, our monitor reported how much he loved his glasses. He spent quite a bit of time staring at him. This little boy is very active, smart, and fond of laughing.

I always think about the children we are able to help from our foster care programs. The care these children get by their foster care mothers is outstanding. When we can heal a child and then give them the very best care, I know that they will have a great chance of finding a family in addition to successfully healing them.

Our goal in the coming year will be to try to help more and more children in this way, giving them the very best start on life.

Karen Maunu

Medical Director

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Foster care needs

Until our website is fully back up, we will list our current needs here. Thank you for your understanding!


Back in October, I was fortunate to be able to visit all of our foster families in the city of Kaifeng (Henan province). As you know from our blog during that time, we had such a wonderful time seeing all of the children, handing out new coats and shoes, and getting to meet the foster parents who were taking such great care of their kids.

One of the children that I loved meeting was a little boy named Luke who has Down Syndrome. He was just so adorable, and his foster mom was completely in love with him. She told us how curious he was, and how much he loves music. I stood and listened to her talk about Luke, and looked at the walls behind her while she did. This foster mom had recently had another little boy to care for in her home, who had recently been adopted overseas. On the wall behind her, there were so many photos of that first little boy, all taped to the wall in a line like a border. Even though he had left her home, he certainly had not left her heart. As I listened to her now talk about how smart and happy little Luke was, I could only smile knowing that he was in the exact environment he deserved...loved and cared for by his very own "mama".

Luke is in need of a foster care sponsor at $35 per month (just a little more than $1 per day) so that he can continue to be shown each day what a special little boy he is. If anyone would like to be Luke's sponsor, please email Sponsors get photos and updates every other month.


TODAY is a "targeted day" for the LWB Facebook Challenge. If you want to help us try and win the $1000 daily prize to help fund baby Yang's heart surgery, visit and donate $10 by 12 noon PST.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Heart Children Update

Today we heard that Ying is operable! He has been diagnosed with tricuspid atresia with pulmonary stenosis. After he recovers for a few days from his heart cath, he will be scheduled for his heart surgery. Please continue to keep him in your prayers.


A Family for Chen

Every so often, there is a child that comes along that I wonder if we can make a difference and help. Baby Chen was one of these children. I first received her information in May 2006. When we received her information, she was diagnosed with club feet and a heart defect. We decided to start with her heart defect first. Her funds were raised and she was sent to Hangzhou Children’s Hospital in June. Unfortunately, when she arrived, she had a severe infection. The doctors started treating her infection with antibiotics and started running tests. They found that she had sapremia, a kind of blood poisoning, and we were told that she would need antibiotic treatment for nearly two months. In addition to her sapremia, they found that she had an immune deficiency syndrome, which made it hard to control her infection. The doctors told us that they had tried the very best antibiotics and they had all failed. Because there was little chance of helping her, she was discharged and sent back to her orphanage.

I have a very hard time when we can’t help a child and because this child had touched my heart, I continued to get updates on her, to see how she was doing. Often I heard that she was running a low-grade fever. I so wished that there would be something that we could do.

In March 2007, I visited this child’s orphanage and got to meet her. Seeing her in person and knowing that she was doing fairly well, gave me the push to try again. We decided to use Art Auction funds and send her to Hangzhou as soon as she could be scheduled. She arrived in Hangzhou on May 4. We were saddened to learn that when she arrived, she was still running a fever. Her blood tests that were run were still abnormal. We knew that her only chance was to try to get her heart defect fixed, but we knew with her constant infection, she was at a higher risk. On May 16, 2007, her surgery to fix her TOF was performed. Although her surgery was a success, we were all concerned about her ability to recover. After a little over a week in ICU and another week of recovery in the normal ward, she was discharged. How exciting that she had made it through.

We knew that we couldn’t stop with just fixing her heart. She still had clubbed feet and we knew that to have the very best chance of finding a family, we should try to fix her feet. Within a week of being discharged, we transferred her to Guilin for club foot casting. Kirsten and Brian Trower, two incredible people, not only run a foster home, but also outreach foster care. They placed Chen into a foster home and began to cast her feet. It was amazing watching this child. She began to blossom. Not only was she getting stronger because her heart was healed, but she was also learning the love of a family and getting her feet straightened all at the same time. Not only that, but her fevers went away and she became strong and healthy. I loved reading the reports with her smiling, laughing, and talking. She even had her first experience swimming and she LOVED it! In November, her casting was completed and she was now in fulltime bracing for 3 months.

Soon after her casting was completed, we heard that an agency had her file and they began to find her a family. Today we heard the very best news of all…..Chen has a family. What glorious and wonderful news that touch so many of us who have followed this little girl for so long. Many of us have tears of joy for this beautiful child.

Chen has a family!

Karen Maunu
Medical Director