Friday, February 29, 2008

Anhui Cleft Healing Home Has Its Own Blog!

Sandy Glass, our Cleft Healing Home Coordinator, and her oldest daughter are on an airplane at this very moment, traveling to China for the Grand Opening of our new Cleft Healing Home! She has set up a blog and will be posting all about her progress while there!

We would love for you to follow along! Please follow the link below to read all about her trip:

Love Without Boundaries Cleft Healing Home Blog

If you would like to read more about the home, please visit our website:

Love Without Boundaries Cleft Healing Home

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Tuan Yuan Recipient Thrives!

The Tuan Yuan adoption assistance grants program was established in 2004 as a creative approach to helping children from China’s Waiting Child adoption program find their Forever Families. Rather than accepting grant applications from hopeful parents and then spending countless hours determining “eligibility,” we decided to offer the grants directly to the children! We know every child deserves a Forever Family and we make a special effort to find children who have waited the longest to be found by their family. Each time our fund reaches $3,000, we offer a Tuan Yuan Adoption Assistance Grant to a child who is at risk of having their file returned to the CCAA without a family.

All of our grant recipients have been success stories! Here is an update from the mother of one of our grant recipients that brought smiles to our faces last week:

Since joining our family, YuYu’s surgeries and medical care have brought the outcome that we were hoping for and YuYu is really quite pleased with the results. YuYu is doing great in school and has maintained a 3.6 gpa in spite of missing school for surgeries and hospital appointments. He meets every challenge with a smile on his face and puts forth his best effort!

YuYu’s teachers absolutely adore him. His reports cards always include comments about what a hard worker he is and what a joy he is to have in the classroom. He, likewise, loves his teachers and loves to go to school. He thrives on the structure there, and on all the attention his teachers lavish on him. He was recognized with an Award of Distinction of Excellence in the Study of English as a Second Language and a Circle of Courage Award from his school for demonstrating traits of belonging, independence, generosity, and mastery. YuYu has also been recognized by our community for reaching out to help others and was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for his volunteer work at our local hospice.

Like any other 8th grader, YuYu attends school dances, loves to bowl, is a member of his middle school’s homework club, enjoyed learning to kayak last summer, and is hoping to learn to swim without a lifejacket this summer. Although a bit shy, YuYu is willing to try new things. All in all, I am happy to report that YuYu is doing very well!

We are so proud of how well YuYu is doing and we are grateful to his Mom for sharing this glimpse into his new life. Our Tuan Yuan grant recipients remain a special part of the LWB family and we are always so pleased to receive follow-up information.

Debbie Smith
Tuan Yuan Adoption Assistance Coordinator
Love Without Boundaries Foundation
“Changing the world one child at a time”

Love Without Boundaries Tiniest Treasures

Most of the kids we help through the medical program are kids that need surgery. However, during the past few months we have had five premature babies to care for, four of those being two sets of twins. Even under the best of circumstances, babies born prematurely have a lot of obstacles to overcome. Preemie’s typically cannot eat all the calories they need from a bottle until they are close to 4 lbs and their tiny bodies can not retain enough heat to keep them warm. Specialized care and equipment is needed to sustain life at this delicate age.

Last October, the "Rainbow Twins" were born at just barely a pound each. Both were transferred to SCMC not long after birth where they received the specialized care until early January. It was such a day of celebration when they were finally large enough to leave the hospital. Currently they are now at Heartbridge and are a "chubby" 6 & 7 pounds.

Around the same time the Rainbow Twins were born, Ming and Liang made and early appearance into the world and were receiving specialized care at a local hospital where both weighed just over 2 pounds each. They received the medication, nutrition, and warmth they desperately needed and soon were strong enough to return to their orphanage. We hope to see their paperwork submitted to the CCAA soon.

And lastly, baby Hua was born and became our newest tiny treasure. SWI workers transported this tiny baby to the children's hospital in the midst of a snowstorm. Currently he has almost doubled his weight and will be discharged back to the orphanage soon.

I just love happy endings, no matter how small the story.

Shannon Sieberg
General Surgery coordinator

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Shangrao Ling Receives Urgent Supplies

In early February we heard from the director of the Shangrao Ling SWI that they had been without electricity and water for two weeks and were in desperate need of warm winter clothing and quilts for the children. Through many generous donations, we were able to send 100 winter coats, 60 quilts, and 200 bags of formula!

This little girl and her auntie are very happy to receive warm winter coats.

This little one seems to be enjoying a cozy night’s sleep under a new quilt.

Thank you for your quick response to the needs of the children in the areas hit by incredibly harsh winter weather.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Dear Dad

One of the great joys of my job at LWB is reading the letters from the students in the Mama's Wish Program to their sponsors. Below is a letter written by one of our brightest students just before Chinese New Year. You will note that she refers to her sponsor as "Dad." This is because sponsors of this program are allowed to forge personal relationships with their students through letters, and over the past couple of years many of the students have begun referring to their sponsors as "Aunt and Uncle" or "American Mom" or "Mom and Dad." I know that Lhachen's sponsors must be so proud of her, and it must make them feel good to know that their investment in her education has the effect of impacting not just her, but also the children from her village.

Fifty-six our high school students will be graduating this year, and it is our hope that each of them will be able to attend college in the fall. We can't do it without your help, though. If you would like to contribute to the Mama's Wish college fund or would like more information, please let me know. It could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship!

Angela Taylor
Associate Director of Education
Minority Schools Program

Dear Dad,

Hope all is well. The Chinese New Year is just around the corner. At this special moment, I would like to wish you good health and happiness in 2008.

My college entrance exam is approaching and I will study hard to get good score. I made big improvement for my semester and I will continue to pursue a better result in my academic performance.

My family and I are very grateful for your help. I would not be in school if I did not get help from you. I cannot thank you enough for your kindness and help. I will not let you down. I believe the best presents for you is to study hard and achieve academic excellence.

As you know, my hometown is an underdeveloped area in terms of education and economy. Few people can afford to go to school to get education. We never heard of this foreign language: English. And the teacher shortage is very severe in my village. Therefore, I decided to dedicate my semester break time to teach them English voluntarily. Although my English is not perfect, I am happy to share with them what I learned in school.

Everybody has his or her dreams. Mine is to raise enough funds to open a school to help those children just like me who cannot afford to go to school and get an education. I am going to work hard to achieve my dream and be a noble person like you to reach out to people in need. I wish I could go to college and make my dream come true.

Once again, I am so thankful for your help.

Your daughter,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The "Stuff" of Real Life

A friend recently sent me an email about the philosophy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the Peanuts comic. This email had a quiz at the top. It asked me to name the five wealthiest people in the world, ten people who had won the Nobel prize, the last five Heisman trophy winners, and the last ten Academy Award winners for best actor. I failed miserably. The quiz went on, however. It then asked me to name my favorite teacher, to name three friends who have helped me through a difficult time, and to name five people who have made me feel special. Now these were questions I could answer easily. The point of the email was this:

The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. Quite simply, they are the ones that care.

As always, it made me think of our LWB friends and how each and every one of you care so deeply for those children who live as orphans. You are the ones truly making a difference in the lives of these kids. People who give their hard earned funding to charities aren’t often profiled as heroes, but you should be. So much of our media coverage concentrates on Hollywood celebrities or all that is “wrong” with the world, while every single day we get to see the amazing things that happen when people make the decision to help children in need.

We learned this week that a little girl we have been helping medically has had her file sent for adoption to the CCAA. This little girl was from a rural orphanage that doesn’t do adoptions, and so her future was uncertain. Thanks to a woman who happened to meet her while in China, we were able to arrange the medical care she needed. It never would have happened without a generous group of people who donated to her care. Following her treatment, we were able to work with her orphanage to make sure her adoption file was completed. Thanks to people who cared, her entire future has now been changed. That might not be the “stuff” of headline news, but it certainly is the stuff of real life to this child.

Thank you all for caring so deeply. Together we can make a difference, one child at a time.

Amy Eldridge

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Chinese New Year in Ireland

Chinese New Year in Ireland is a very active time for all families connected to China. For our family it is an amazing time for celebration and dedicated work to help make it the best for them, the sharing of cultural diversity, and actively promoting LWB. : - )
My girls’ dance with the Chinese Irish Cultural Academy and this is show week – more about that in another blog!!

Today I’ll tell you a little about our weekend away in Limerick where our ICCG - Irish-Chinese Contact Group (FCC) held this year's all Ireland celebrations. The ICCG have LWB as their official charity and always keep a table for us to set out our wares. (Thank you ICCG!)

Our table this year was placed directly after all the fun activities arranged for the children. I had loaded it up with Love’s Journey 2 and the colouring books that ICCG produce with Chinese/English named items – toys, clothes and animals. All proceeds from these books go directly to LWB!!! (Thanks again ICCG!)

They even supplied me with a store helper Emily! I of course had further help (or hindrance) from my daughters. We sold over $800 worth of books – funds going DIRECTLY to the children in China. Whoopee!!!

I got to talk to and thank so many people who throughout the year have been helping the children through LWB. I was approached with offers of new fundraisers too ;-)
On the last morning as I was eating breakfast, a Mom and daughter came towards us with big smiles on their faces. Mom handed me an envelope, which contained the savings her daughter had given her as a birthday present – the present was to help a child through LWB. It took all my power to choke back a tear – what an inspiring end to a wonderful week!

Julie in Dublin, Ireland

Boys will be boys!

In June 2007 we established a new foster care program in Zhaotong, Yunnan province in south-west China. When I tell people that I am a coordinator for a foster care program for orphans in China they always assume that all of the children are baby girls. However, in Zhaotong our program currently has 14 girls and 14 boys and very few of the children are babies.
Although I love reading the reports about the babies and their first words, first steps and first teeth, I always read the older boys' reports first to see how they are developing into young men and how the love of a family is changing them. The Zhaotong boys joined the program as shy, quiet boys and they often had difficulties with their school grades. Over time I have seen a lot of changes with the Zhaotong boys and being part of a loving family has really made a big difference in their lives. Their personalties are blossoming and their characters are really showing through in the regular reports. Recently I read that Marty's foster parents had resorted to buying an alarm clock because he hates waking up early for school! Kevin is a little mischief-maker and has discovered a great new game - locking the doors and hiding the keys! Michael used to spend all of his time alone and found it difficult to make friends. Now he has a new bicycle and rides around with other children from the neighborhood on the back. He also likes to play basketball with other local children. His grades have improved and he has started to smile! David is a very studious boy and loves his books. He did so well in recent school tests that he was rewarded with some pocket money from his foster parents. The said 'We wanted to teach him the value of money. We gave him 20 RMB and he bought a toy. Then he had no money left. So he has learned the value of money!' Peter used to run and hide whenever visitors called at the foster family home. Now he rushes to greet visitors and they all remark upon how polite he is to visitors.

Recently the local foster care manager sent some photos of the children in their new outfits. I noticed that Michael, a boy who 8 months ago wouldn't smile and was very withdrawn, was helping the manager by holding the babies while she photographed them. There was also a wonderful photo of Michael and Marty together - they have become the best of friends. I am delighted to say that Michael's paperwork is being prepared for adoption - what wonderful news!

I am so proud of the Zhaotong boys and how they have progressed so far. But boys will be boys and I love the fact that despite being on the other side of the world and in a totally different environment to boys we might know or have in our families, they are still just as mischievous and adventurous as any other boys.

Jennifer Drake
Zhaotong Foster Care Coordinator
Love Without Boundaries Foundation

"Every Child Counts"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Love Doing Laundry

What? You don’t like doing laundry?

Every new parent getting ready for their first child buys clothing and then washes it all to prepare for the big event. Some of the outfits look so tiny and one knows their child will outgrow them far too quickly. The clothes always smell so good coming out of the dryer, and parents look at the outfits and just imagine holding their new child.

Well, that’s what I got to do today – four loads of new clothes for our babies at the Anhui Cleft Healing Home. We are down to the final stages of preparation, and very soon seven tiny babies with cleft will be moved to our home in Hefei.

The clothes I washed were gifts from a Baby Shower held by Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Burke VA. We HOPE the babies will outgrow the clothes quickly because that will mean we are doing our job. But we know they will get lots of use. All of the clothes are precious, but here are two of my favorites!

This should be our slogan! We know all of the babies coming to the home are fighters who think big.

Look for this shirt on a Christmas gift card next year!

Now if I only could get this excited from my own children’s dirty laundry…

Sandi Glass
Cleft Healing Home Coordinator

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Cute as Can Be

We just had to share this cute photo of little Fei and Chun from Anhui. They had their cleft lip surgeries recently done and both are doing so great! It looks like their foster moms are keeping them nice and warm this winter in their new coats.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Family Heirlooms

When I traveled to China for Love Without Boundaries last spring there was a wonderful and unexpected surprise for me. The surprise was that the person who was going to facilitate my trip had a family emergency and could not accompany me. However, Yvonne was a friend of the original facilitator and available to travel and translate. As my travel mates and I got to know Yvonne, we just loved her. We talked and talked, and everyone learned more about how Love Without Boundaries fits into the lives of the children we serve. As our small group of volunteers parted from Yvonne’s company, she gave me a small bag of five silk embroidery pieces made by her grandmother. Yvonne, from Hunan Province where embroidery is a very fine art, wanted to give Love Without Boundaries some family heirlooms for the “Born In My Heart” auction to raise funds for the children that LWB heals.

Yvonne became a personal friend on that trip and more recently, Love Without Boundaries China Director of Education. I asked Yvonne to tell me about her grandmother’s embroidery pieces, and this is what she wrote:

“My grandmother was born in 1927 and passed away in February last year (2007) at the age of 80.These works were given to me by her ten years ago as a great gift celebrating my family moving to a new apartment. My grandma told me that these were embroidered by her twenty years ago. At that time she had to wear glasses because of age. She learned to embroider when she was ten from an old woman in her village. By the way she was born in a small village named LangLi in Changsha county, more than 20 kms away to Changsha city, the capital of Hunan province.

Her parents were farmers of many generations, she studied for a few years of the classic Chinese in a private school and learned to embroider as well because in the countryside there is a tradition: Any girls have to embroider after she gets married so that she can embroider some items for her family like baby shoes, dresses, hats, bibs, pillow covers and quilt covers etc. Otherwise people will say you are not an able-bodied woman and cannot manage the family well. Her mother-in-law and father-in-law won't like her. It took 3 years to be an apprentice and she knew how to embroider the works by herself. Embroidery is just a spare time hobby for the girls in the countryside because their main job is to take care of their kids, do some housework and sometimes helps their husband’s farm work. My grandma told me that at that time her good friends got married she also sent the embroidery items as gifts. They never sold their products on the markets. Now people are more interested in this old art and want to buy some as collections. The government also encourages people to continue this art and there are some factories were built in Changsha county so that more products are produced. If you want to get more information of Hunan embroidery you can read the introduction booklets you got from Hunan Embroidery Research Institute.


As you can see, the embroidery is in the Hunan style and exquisite. The children that benefit from the sale of these works of art have a wonderful auntie and grandma looking over them.

Linda Mitchell, Associate Director of Education

There is still time to make a donation to our annual art auction to help fund heart surgeries. Suggestions for artwork include sketches, paintings, photographs, quilts, sculpture, clothing, heritage items, custom scrapbooks or videos, jewelry…something that reflects your own talents, passion and love...straight from your heart to that of a child in need.The deadline is April 1st, and you can email for more information.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Top of the Class

Xiao Yi is an amazing young woman who worked two part-time jobs through high school to earn money and get job experience. Both places of employment offered her jobs upon graduation from high school; however, she had a dream to attend college. Xiao Yi studied and passed her college entrance exams. She is currently an art major and continues to excel by achieving very high marks in her classes.

We recently learned that after her first semester exams, Xiao Yi had the highest scores in her class! Through sponsor donations we have made higher education possible, but it is Xiao Yi that is taking this opportunity and making the most of it. We are exceptionally proud of her!!

Karen McGinty

Education Coordinator

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Whole Care

One of our goals at LWB is to provide "whole care" services to the children in our foster care programs, which means that all of our program areas work together to make sure the kids have the best chance possible of becoming healthy and happy.

So if a child isn't gaining weight the way we think they should, we will investigate if a special formula is needed, or if a child becomes school aged, we will arrange kindergarten. And definitely if a child needs surgery, we will work with the orphanage and foster family to get them quality medical care.

All of these adorable boys are in foster care in Anhui and were also part of our medical program. Don't they look great? We hope this is the year that they all find their forever families.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Update on Christmas Babies

Remember the two little boys born on Christmas Eve, in separate Chinese cities, both with large spinal tumors? We received so many emails from people who were praying for these sweet boys, so we wanted to update you and give the great news that both boys are doing so well following their surgeries!

Little Jin had such a huge tumor, but Dr. Bao at Shanghai Children's was able to remove it successfully. He is back in Anhui now and doing very well. Isn't this the cutest photo of him? Little Bei from Henan was the one whose spinal tumor had broken open, possibly during his birth. His surgery also went well, and he was discharged from the hospital before CNY. We are so grateful that he was able to have immediate surgery. THANK YOU to everyone who kept these tiny babies in their thoughts and prayers. We will continue to follow their recoveries and make sure they are doing well.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Honor Roll

Just like here in the US, grade cards come home at the end of a term. Three of the tutoring students at Believe in Me Huainan, Anhui received excellent marks! Zoe, Michelle, and Anna received 94 to100s in Chinese and two of the girls received the same scores in math. Personally, I find this an incredible testament to how children living in an institution can overcome significant obstacles. Following is a note on the three girls from our school manager:

"Twinkle, twinkle, little stars
Looking into the sky, a boy is wondering by the window
Moon in the sky
How far are you?
Twinkling stars
How can I count you all?
Floating clouds
How would you become rain?

Right now, Zoe is reading a poem entitled “I Want to be a Scientist”. With one hand supporting her chin, she is devoting all her attention to reading. She likes using her head and likes asking and answering questions.

Michelle is an outgoing girl and ready to smile. She likes all kinds of games and is good at telling interesting stories.

Anna is a very good girl. She is kind hearted. Once she was out with an Ayi on a bus, she saw an aged granny with a crutch trying to get on bus. Seeing this, Anna offered her seat to the granny.”

Zoe, Michelle, & Anna, GREAT JOB and KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK! We are so proud of you.

Education is so important and, because of our wonderful sponsors and donors, the gift of education is deeply appreciated.

Sandy Hartman
Believe in Me Huainan, Anhui Coordinator

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The CNY Bunny

Just a funny little blog today. We got a wonderful photo of all of the children in our foster care program in Zhaotong, Yunnan province, getting ready to celebrate Chinese New Year. We all smiled when we saw the little girl on the far right in her bunny hat. And then we began laughing when we noticed the little boy to her left trying to figure out why a bunny is sitting next to him.

Don't you love the "cool kids" in front? Happy New Year to everyone!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Happy Chinese New Year!

From all of us at LWB to all of you.....XIN NIAN HAO!!! May the Year of the Rat be one of great blessings for you and all the children in China.

In celebration, here are some of our favorite photos from this week, taken of some of our foster care children in their new clothing.

More Winter News

As we reported yesterday, all of the orphanages where we have our education and foster care programs have reported that they are doing surprisingly well during the storm. We are so happy to get this news. These include Changde, Loudi, Huainan, Dingyuan, LuAn, XiaoXian, Kaifeng, Xinxiang, Shantou, Jinjiang, Jingzhou, Zhengzhou and Zhaotong. All the Xiangtan foster families are doing well. Fuyang is reporting an urgent need for coal funding because of how much they had to use to keep the babies warm during the worst part of the storm.

The Guangdong orphanages which we help with medical have reported no snow (only rain) and all have said the children are doing fine.

Today we received a phone call from the Shangrao Ling orphanage director in Jiangxi province. We provide surgical care to many of their children, as well as nutrition for 20 babies there. They reported that their area is a real disaster, with no electricity or water supply. Another round of snow is expected on February 10th. The director has asked for warm winter clothing and quilts for the children.

We have already made arrangements to have 100 quilts sent immediately and new coats and clothing as well. Please keep all of the children from Shangrao in your thoughts and prayers.

Director Xu of Xiushan SWI reported that they had their power and water supply cut for two weeks, and it was a very difficult time as the snow did not allow for the delivery of supplies. The local government worked very hard to get everything restored to normal for the orphans as quickly as possible. The children are all doing fine now, and they notified several agencies which called in the last few days that there are no current needs. They expressed thanks to all adoptive families who were so concerned during the snow disaster.

Other orphanages which have said they are doing well include Shucheng in Anhui and Xinfeng in Jiangxi. Both of those directors thank the adoptive families for their concern and wish everyone a happy new year.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Winter Update

Hi everyone,
We have been asked by many people if the orphanages we work in have any major needs due to the storm last week in China, and I just wanted to thank everyone for their concern.

We checked on all of our programs right away, and we are happy to report that they are doing very well, and the kids are really looking forward to their new year celebrations.

We are so grateful to our sponsors who provided new coats to all the children in our foster care and school programs this fall, as well as the donors who provided new heaters as well. We know that made a huge difference when the snow started falling.

The Fuyang orphanage in Anhui has made a request for coal assistance if possible. They have a simple radiator type heating system that we installed last year, and it requires coal to boil the water that circulates through the rooms. They have used up so much more coal than budgeted due to the cold temperatures, but they are happy to report that the babies are staying nice and warm so far.

Thanks again for all of your concerns for the children. We are so happy that the kids are doing well.

Believe In Me (Shantou)

Yvonne, LWB’s in-China Director of Education, recently made a visit to the Shantou Believe in Me School in Guangdong Province. It certainly didn’t take the children long to begin enjoying the picture books and basketballs she brought with her.

While she was there, the school also received several boxes of supplies the teachers had requested last semester. The preschoolers were, of course, immediately drawn to the plastic crawl-through tunnel and new toys.

Yvonne and Bao, LWB’s Guangdong Province Manager, work so hard every day to ensure that each child is valued and cared for. Their love for the children is evident in every action they take.
We would like to thank all of our monthly Shantou sponsors as well as our education donors for making all of this possible. Your faithful giving allows these children to learn and grow every day. And now they are having even more fun while receiving the priceless gift of education.

Karen McGinty,

LWB Education Coordinator

With Deepest Thanks

All of us at LWB wish to send the deepest thanks to everyone who helped us with the Facebook Challenge. We could not have done it without you.

As we were thinking about the final 24 hours of the competition, "It's a Wonderful Life" came to mind. You know the scene…when George thinks he is going to jail and the police are there, but then his front door opens and the entire town has come to his home to donate all their dollars in order to help a friend. That is exactly what we saw in the last 24 hours for ten orphaned babies in China….the “whole town” coming out to tell them how important they are to this world. We were absolutely overwhelmed by the kindness of our friends.

We heard of a college student whose niece was adopted from China, going door to door in her dorm and convincing over 200 people to help our cause. We learned of an ICU night nurse who recruited hospital staff, of men who called meetings at work and then convinced their co-workers to join Facebook. We heard of sororities and fraternities signing up friends, of grandparents emailing everyone they knew, of moms driving to Starbucks to convince the people sipping coffee there that they needed to give. We had message after message from friends who said they had taken the day off of work so that they could man the phones for the kids and find new donors. And in our adoption community, truly the entire town was there helping the kids. Adoption agencies, bloggers, yahoogroups, and even other charities working with orphans…all sending notes and letters asking their supporters to donate, because we all share the same belief that orphaned children matter. It was so humbling to watch it unfold. The last 24 hours have shown that we are ONE COMMUNITY, tied together with love for the children.

And so from all of us at LWB, to all of our friends who helped make this possible….THANK YOU so sincerely. We all know who the real winners were…..the beautiful children who will now have a second chance at life. What a story they will someday be told, of how “the whole town” came out to change their futures. For us, the Facebook contest has ended, but for Cong, Ying, Shan, Yun, Yu, Xiang, Ya, Zi, Hua, Ling and more…..their story of HOPE has just begun.