Thursday, July 31, 2008
The goal of the Unity Fund is to provide medical care for children whose families are unable to provide that care, enabling families to stay together and preventing children from being orphaned. Please share with your friends the opportunity to donate $1 to our new Unity Fund and to make a difference in the lives of impoverished families in China in need of medical care for their children. More information can be found on our website at:
Don't forget our contest going through August 15th. There is a great LWB gift pack and $50 gas card just waiting to be won. You can read about the contest at the above link. We have received lots of entries but would like to receive lots more. We're looking forward to seeing some great videos about why families are so wonderful.
We consider each of you part of our LWB family, and we know exactly why you're wonderful--it is your concern and support for children and families in China needing help. Thank you for joining us in "living with hope and loving without boundaries." Thank you for being a part of our family!
I've noticed that there are many different reactions to having a stranger like Cindy tag along on the monthly nutrition visits.
This little fellow was not at all happy to see a new face, however Cindy discovered that his affections could be bought for the price of one pretty flower.
Some kids practically burst with happiness when the meet somebody new. In my mind, I can see this little guy jumping up and down and yelling with excitement!
"I don't trust you. I will make you disappear with my incredible mind powers!"
Looks like somebody is getting ratted out here: "Honest, mister, she's the one who took that cookie!"
And then there are some who will do their very best fashion model pose for the camera. Isn't she adorable?
I can't wait to hear all about the children and see if I have accurately guessed their personalities. For now, I am thrilled to see these babies looking so engaged and healthy, thriving with their foster families, and getting the best possible start in life.
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I don’t really celebrate birthdays anymore. In fact, unless the number of years I have lived ends in a zero, I give my birthdays to my kids. They get to go to Dollar Tree and “pick out something for mom” that they wrap and play with as we grab a soft serve cone from our favorite place. Recently, I became age that could be measured in decades— the number of years ended in a zero. My husband knew to take me out for dinner, which was very nice. My parents couldn’t think of anything that would mean more to me than making a difference in the lives of children and young people that LWB serves. So they surprised me by tucking a check made out to Love Without Boundaries into a birthday card in an amount that I never would have dreamed of as a kid.
I was blown away by their generosity and ability to get this birthday gift spot on perfect! They know of my love for the children of LWB. They know that when I see any of the children served by medical, foster care, nutrition or education that I’m seeing my own children...and they wanted to be grandparents in a way to those kids in the only way that they could.
After consulting my parents, we requested that the check money be used to help partially sponsor a Mama’s Wish student, Nan. Nan is a third year university student from Qinghai studying English and Tibetan. Almost a year later, Nan’s US “auntie and uncle" (me and my husband) and "grandma and grandpa” were thrilled to receive, "ooooh," and "ahhhh" over her final grades for the year—which were ALL A's and B's. Her teachers wrote that Nan is a very diligent student and active in lots of activities. She has helped translate documents for LWB Mama’s Wish students, volunteers, and sponsors. We can’t WAIT to see this young woman graduate continue her studies next year and graduate. It will be a very happy day for all of us...and we will dream of a very beautiful tree that shades lots and lots of friends and family members that have been touched by Nan, enriched so very dearly by a college education.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Starting TODAY, you have a chance to win a FABULOUSLY INCREDIBLE LWB PRIZE PACK in celebration of our Unity Fund launch. What is the Unity Fund, you ask? It is our new medical fund for impoverished families in China who cannot afford the life-saving medical procedures that their children need, in the hopes of keeping their families UNITED (hence the name) and actually preventing orphaned children. Yes, it is a big dream, but if we help even one more child stay with their family, that is beyond happiness for us. We are often approached by rural families who are desperate to help their children but who believe their only chance of healing them is to leave their child at an orphanage. We want to have a separate fund that we can use to bring HOPE to their lives, so that we can tell them immediately, “We know you love her, and yes we can help.” So in celebration of keeping families together, we are copying the contest held by the Old Red Barn Co and because we are busy people (ha ha) and want to save time, we are even copying their rules! Shameless we are!
First prize in this contest is an LWB prize pack, which includes:
A copy of our coffee table book, “Love’s Journey 2: The Red Thread”—a beautiful, hard cover book of over 250 pages with beautiful photos and stories about adoption.
PLUS a Red Thread Jewelry Set, valued at $125, which is SO BEAUTIFUL that you know you want it! Sterling silver, pearls, red silk cording…..did I mention BEAUTIFUL?!
PLUS one adult LWB t-shirt and one child’s LWB t-shirt.
PLUS (drum roll please because this is a biggie these days!) you will also win a FIFTY DOLLAR gas card to 7-Eleven donated by a friend of LWB!!! WOOHOO!! Free gas!!! Gas card! Gas card! Gas card!!! Okay, we admit that doesn’t exactly go with an LWB prize pack, but hey….we told you we were shameless and we want you to enter!
Total prize pack is worth over $250! Now that’s a fun contest, right?
Second prize will receive a Love’s Journey book, and third prize gets their choice of an adult or child’s LWB logo t-shirt.
You earn FIVE extra entries into the drawing if you post an entry about our contest in your blog and let us know.
You get FIFTY ENTRIES (yes 5-0) if you make a video on why families are wonderful (to go along with our Unity theme) and mention the words “Live With Hope, Love Without Boundaries” at least once. Post it on Youtube with the header “Love Without Boundaries Unity Fund.” Send us your name and the link so we can credit you 50 chances! Since we are having fun with this celebration, we are going to follow the same rules and say we need your video to make us smile at least once. We know kids always make us smile, so we know this won’t be any problem!
International supporters are also welcome to enter. The contest will end Friday, August 15th at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Get your comments in before then. We’ll announce the winner on Saturday, August 16th! The winner will be selected by random drawing.
We are also having a $1 challenge to kick off this fund, where we are challenging EVERYONE we know to pop $1 in the mail (LWB, 306 S. Bryant, Ste. C-145, Edmond, OK 73034) to help a rural child in need. Who needs an extra diet Coke today when you could put those four quarters in an envelope to save a life? Can we get 5,000 people to send in $1? We won’t know until we try. Spread the word! And enter our contest!
Let’s celebrate the joy of families as we launch this new fund to help those families in China truly in need.
Back home, the young foster parents, who had no formal medical training but a heart full of love for Claire, did all they could to help her. They took turns staying up all night to care for her, rocking her gently and stroking her face. They patiently fed her small amounts of milk throughout the day and night. They talked to her and encouraged her to keep fighting. When the warmer weather came, they took her outside for fresh air and sunshine.
Most importantly, they loved her! Every day I checked my inbox for news about Claire. Three months after being sent home from the hospital, I received this picture of Claire. Just look at her now!
Her picture is a true testament to the healing love of a family. When I saw this picture, it summed up for me the Love Without Boundaries motto of "Every Child Counts." I want to thank every one of our foster care and other sponsors for believing in this motto too.
Zhaotong Foster Care Coordinator
Friday, July 25, 2008
Last year, several members decided to create a digital scrapbook kit and enlisted some of the best designers out there to contribute to the project. The result was the Journey of the Heart collaboration kit. See http://www.digital-scrapbook-kits.com/store/JOTH-Charity-Kit.aspx. All proceeds from the sale of the kit go to Love Without Boundaries and Half the Sky.
Once the JOTH kit was released, one of the members decided to enlist the help of others to create quick pages using the kit. Quick pages (QPs) are already assembled pages with room for pictures and journaling. It makes it much easier for the novice digital scrapbooker to complete projects. Even seasoned scrapbookers often choose to use QPs when they want to create scrapped pages quickly. Again, 100% of the profit from sales of the QPs go to Love Without Boundaries and Half The Sky.
The project grew exponentially: There were more than 30 contributors, and a lot of thought went into the creation of each page. Many digiscrappers print their finished books at http://shutterfly.com; so special consideration was given to the margin requirements for the digital scrapbook option on Shutterfly. Of course there are other printing options out there, but adjusting for Shutterfly's margin requirements took a lot of burden off the end user.
The project team also considered different digital scrapbooking programs out on the market and wrote tutorials for them. The quick pages have been tested out and will work with the following programs and most likely any others that allow you to put a picture behind another image. The project team went to great lengths to create simple QP assembly instructions for users of these programs too:
Adobe Photoshop (7, CS2 and CS3)
Adobe Photoshop Elements (free 30 day trial available)
Microsoft Picture It!
Microsoft Digital Image Pro
Microsoft Digital Image Suite
Corel Paint Shop Pro
Creative Memories StoryBook Creator Plus
Creating Keepsakes (for home printing only)
FotoFusion (for 8x8 printing or 12x12 at an acceptable but lower resolution than required by some online print services)
Pages can even be scrapped using Microsoft Powerpoint!!
The final Lifebook Quick Page kits come in two color schemes: Spring Blossom and Bright Jade. Each set is available with and without page titles.
To view and purchase the page kits, check out the links below:
Spring Blossom with titles: http://www.digital-scrapbook-kits.com/store/Spring-Blossom.aspx
Spring Blossom without titles: http://www.digital-scrapbook-kits.com/store/Spring-Blossom-No-Titles.aspx
Bright Jade with titles: http://www.digital-scrapbook-kits.com/store/Bright-Jade.aspx
Bright Jade without titles: http://www.digital-scrapbook-kits.com/store/Bright-Jade-No-Titles.aspx
The kits have pages for both girl and boys, have several versions for many of the topics covered, and really do offer flexibility. Even if you don't scrap digitally, you can still download these kits and print them to use as traditional 12x12 pages that you can embellish with your own supplies. To make sure no one is overwhelmed, the people driving this project have created a Yahoo Group to provide users with support as they create their books.
This project was really a labor of love!!! Most digital designers produce no more than 12 quick pages from one kit, yet these charity kits, created from the huge original JOTH kit plus many specially-made add-ons comprise 70 different pages EACH! You really are getting some high quality pages at a bargain price.
If you are new to digital scrapbooking, you can download four free sample quick pages here: http://www.digital-scrapbook-kits.com/Freebies.aspx.
Now we, as adoptive parents, have some great kits to help us finish those all-important lifebooks to preserve our child’s history. And to think you can do this and help Love Without Boundaries and Half the Sky will make these projects using these pages even more special. LWB sends a special thank you to all who have contributed to these kits and to http://digital-scrapbook-kits.com/ for their generosity.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Written by their teacher Ms. Lacy:
How it all began....two students named Jalal and Cassie were taught by Ms. Jennifer Cassano during the semester I was still on parental leave with my daughter. After learning about attachment theory, what happens around the world with children in orphanages, and, of course, learning about my daughter who became part of my family on July 31, 2006, they decided they wanted to make a difference. When I returned to work in February, Ms. Cassano and I spoke and decided we would help them to make a group. I surveyed my classes to get volunteers and that was how we formed our group that we named after your association.
"Love Without Boundaries"...I think showing them a picture of my little sweetie also helped! We all got together to make a plan, and it was decided that they would sign up each week to sell cupcakes in the front foyer every week. Students rotated from week to week, sharing the tasks of baking and selling. From February to June they did this...making the $725 they donated. We made display boards that listed facts about China and the orphanages, as well as photos I had photocopied out of a book. Also, each week they made an announcement during homeroom to raise awareness about this important cause. They are really such a wonderful group of students!!!! We had a party to celebrate in June, and of course my daughter, Lienna Mei, who attended was a big hit! They really love her and all my stories about her that are so relevant to the course I teach called "Issues in Human Growth and Development."
The students who were part of this group are: Alana, Savannah, Jennifer, Sarah, Ally, Jalal, Cassie, Jodi, Kristin, Julia, Balynn, and Brittany. The teacher advisors were Ms. Jennifer Cassano and me, Ms. Jennifer Lacy.
Thank you, Ajax High Students, for giving of yourselves every week. Any amount given helps, but what you have raised is enough to fund bed 11 at Heartbridge Pediatric Rehabilitation Unit for three full months. You have much to be proud of! Currently in that bed is a sweet little girl who is truly in need of some tender loving care. Three months of the intense medical and physical attention she will receive at Heartbridge will make such a huge difference in her life. I am confident that by taking the time and the energy to think beyond the walls of your own home and your own school that you have not only impacted the life of one precious orphaned child, but what you have learned will forever impact your lives as well. Well done!
Wendy Petersen, R.N.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Regarding the little girl in red and white, Cindy writes, “She is a curious girl. They were having dinner when we walked into the room. She stared at us even when she turned around to take food from the nanny. She looked at Daphne and me with eyes widely opened and her mouth still full with rice. When we were ready to leave, she waved bye-bye and even came over to the door to see us off.” It is wonderful to see this little angel looking so healthy!
This angelic-looking child is "a naughty girl with strong personality. Min was crying when I walked into the room. I held her up and asked her what make her cry so loud. The nanny told me that Min is very naughty, she likes to wear nanny’s shoes and walk around. The nanny told her not to do it because she didn’t want Min to fell down with the big shoes. That made her upset and she started to cry. You can see Min was happy again because she got the big shoes anyway!"
"Ya is a little beauty. She was a premature baby when she was sent to the orphanage. The nanny said actually she is very healthy now. She has very good personality and she always has a sweet smile on her face. She is the little princess of the nannies. They all love her!"
It is a great treat for our nutrition team to receive these reports. As we read about the children in our programs, we begin to feel a special connection to them. You should hear the cheering when we learn that one of "our babies" has come home to a family of their own!
(Note: The names of the children have been changed to protect their privacy.)
Monday, July 21, 2008
We decided to ask our manager in China and the teacher to choose a treat that all the kids could enjoy in honor of the birthday girl’s day. The treat turned out to be a new t-shirt for each child.
The kids loved getting an individually wrapped present and then modeling for the camera. What a fun celebration for the kids. It was indeed a happy birthday, and we hope you will enjoy the moment with us.
Believe In Me Jingzhou Coordinator
My name is Lyn Thomas. I am a mother of four and a runner. I have been running for four years and love it! I am very excited about running for Love Without Boundaries as it holds a special place in my heart. I have been blessed with two children from China.
My daughter is from Hubei Province and my son is from Guangdong Province. My little girl was in foster care and for that I am thankful. She was loved and cared for by her foster mother. I feel it helped her transition to our family with ease because she understood how a family works. Hugs and kisses were not a stranger to her.
My son spent fours years in an orphanage. He has had a hard time learning how to be a kid. I wish he would have had the chance to be in foster care to learn what family is all about. I am running for Jake and for all the little angels in China that need a mother's love. Go Team LWB!
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Imagine being ten years old and left at the gate of the local Civil Affairs office because your heart defect is so very severe. Jie is this child, and I can’t help but look at her photo and think of my own daughter. I can only imagine how very frightened she must be. Not only that, but she is SO weak from her diseased heart (she has a very serious TOF--Tetralogy of Fallot) that she can’t walk very fast and can’t climbs stairs. The good news is that the heart surgeon has reviewed her echo done locally and believes that she has a very good chance to have a healed heart.
This defect should be repaired at one year old, and she has waited ten years. I can only imagine the grief her parents felt as they left her, their child for 10 years, likely because they thought it was the only chance she had to be healthy. How torn they must have felt. My heart aches for them all.
Please keep this beautiful child in your thoughts and prayers. The cardiologist, Dr. Li in Hangzhou, has said that because her movement is so limited due to her poor heart condition, she needs surgery as soon as possible. We have her on our website to try to raise money for her surgery.
As my daughter thinks about all of the things a ten-year-old should think about, I will be thinking of Jie and hoping that she will have her dream of a healthy heart, so that she too can have a chance to think and dream of all of the things a ten-year-old should.
Inflation, of course, affects orphanages and foster families as well. Cribs cost twice as much as last year. The price of rice has doubled. Higher quality formula is more expensive . . . and out of reach for many orphanages. Love Without Boundaries feels the economic pinch too. Sometimes children wait to receive services. We hate when we have to say, "Sorry, we canʼt help you" or "Sorry, you will have to wait." Yet we are overjoyed about each and every child we are able to help--the lives we can save and the lives we can change.
Rejoice with us! Here are just a few of the children whose lives we are touching this year:
In these hard economic times, we are especially grateful for everyone who has made a commitment to the children in China. Thank you for your continued support.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
JD is one of LWB Education’s newest students. You may recall his story from our May 28th entry introducing him to LWB’s main blog readers. One of JD’s greatest needs is tutoring to help him catch up to peers in public school... which spells s-u-m-m-e-r s-c-h-o-o-l.
We had to smile at the expression on JD’s face when he posed next to all the new books and school supplies purchased for his summer tutoring sessions. "Yes, son, this is good for you," we can imagine his grandma and tutor saying. Hopefully, we will get big smiles from JD when he gets his exam papers back next school year. Stay tuned, and we will be sure to keep you posted. In the meantime, think good thoughts for JD as he plunges into some summer studies.
Associate Director of Education
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
A recent event had me savour just such a simple instance—my daughter learning to knit. Her Nana’s watchful eye, both encouraging and guiding as the generations easily share a moment in time...and a skill in the making.
Gosh, I do remember the tangle of wool and, yes, the doll clothes, poodle bottle covers and assorted filigree that I managed to complete before the said yarn and motion action like a vice turned tighter and tighter in my chest, snapping any continuation of this particular gift of family heritage for my generation.
The first piece: a "unique" scarf—a combination of wool, time, love, and generations. It seems that even my generation gets blended into this masterpiece as my daughter wants it to go to one of the Love Without Boundaries babies :-)
Family love and memories....what a gift we have...one we cherish and can spread the word about through the LWB Foster Care Program. To learn more about our Foster Care Program, please visit: http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/foster.cfm
Julie Flynn Coleman
Loudi Foster Care Coordinator
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Sixty-eight days ago their world turned upside down.
As we have watched this situation unfold, we have been witness to a tremendous, and humbling, outpouring of support from our donors. We have received donations from groups, corporations, individuals, and churches, as well as donations from children who gave their allowance to help the children in China. Each and every donation given for this cause is very important to us, as is each and every donor.
We have been working diligently to use the funds that have been entrusted to us in a way that will honor our donors' intentions. The first thing we did was send a large shipment of formula to Chongqing Civil Affairs for distribution to any baby who needed it. At that time we started working on our long-term relief plan. We have investigated many, many options but have not yet found the right project. Are we being picky? Perhaps, but here is why:
- We want to make sure that any project we begin we are able to follow through to the end. The children we will help deserve that.
- We want to be sure we know where every dollar of every donation is going and that it is making a real and tangible difference. Our donors deserve that.
The effects of this earthquake will be felt for years to come. Some of the effects have been seen already but others won’t be seen for quite some time. Please be patient as we continue to work with those on the ground investigating our options for us. We have wonderful, compassionate people in place working with us, and we are confident that together we will be able to provide true, long-term relief to the children in need.
Friday, July 11, 2008
There were actually two girls from this orphanage who came out on the shared agency list at the same time. We were so grateful for the outpouring of support for Fen that we hope the same blessing can be given to her friend Meigan. Here is a photo of them together from Children's Day. Fen is on the left in white and Meigan is in red.
Some of you might remember my post from many years ago that talked about us sending a beautiful scrapbook back to one orphanage, with photos of all of the children who had been adopted. We had worked so hard on the book, and we thought that the aunties would love to see each child, now home in a loving family. I was making a visit to this orphanage at one point, and the staff finally shared with me that they were concerned about me coming because of this book. You see, they had put the book away and hidden it from sight because of the deep pain that it caused to all of the older children in the orphanage who had NEVER BEEN CHOSEN. They knew we had worked so hard on it, but they just didn't want to cause any more pain to the older children who had opened the book and saw the friends they once knew in the orphanage now riding on merry-go-rounds, being hugged by their new siblings, and being dressed in princess gowns with bows and barrettes in their hair. Oh my heart. I couldn't believe that I had not thought of that, and I was so sad to know that I had caused any of them pain. Lesson learned in a very hard way.
I just learned something else that has made my heart sad, and it involves Meigan. I made the mistake of asking if she really wanted to be adopted, since she is now 10. And I was told that she wants it more than anything. In fact, since this orphanage now has done adoptions for many years, several families have returned on homeland tours with their older daughters. Meigan's eyes have followed them the whole time, with a longing that the whole staff could see that she wished SHE could be the one holding onto a mama's hand, and that she could be the one who someone had chosen as their own. Each time an adoptive family has returned, there is a deep sadness in Meigan's eyes and a feeling that she just isn't good enough to be chosen. During normal days, she is a happy girl with a smile to melt any heart, but close to the surface is a feeling of, "Why did no one want ME?"
Meigan is ten years old and has the sweetest personality. She is a loving and gentle little girl, who loves her baby doll and who has the voice of an angel when she sings. She loves music and playing with her friends. Meigan was born with a spinal tumor, which was repaired as a baby. She has full range of motion with her legs and is a beautiful dancer. However, due to a complication with the surgery, she has one health issue that might make her adoption more difficult. However, many parents have helped their children successfully overcome this issue with treatment by a specialist such as Dr. Pena at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. It absolutely does not have to stop her from having a full and productive life.
LWB has decided to offer a Tuan Yuan adoption grant for Meigan, in the hope that it will help allow someone to bring her home. Please help spread the news that this beautiful young girl is waiting, as we know that somewhere out there is the perfect family just waiting for such a sweet daughter. Meigan has so much to offer this world with her loving and sweet spirit, and we are all praying that her family will soon be found. Thank you so much for your help!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
The LWB Orphanage Assistance program is a really neat program that allows families and groups to work with orphanages to meet their needs. All purchases are made in China by an LWB employee to stretch funds as far as possible. Some of the projects that other orphanage groups are undertaking include clothing, cloth diapers, cribs and beds, medical equipment, toys, indoor and outdoor play equipment, winter coats, quilts, shoes, incubators, and more.
Donations are also always welcome (and needed!) by LWB’s Orphanage Assistance General Fund. This general fund allows help to be provided to orphanages that may not have completed a lot of international adoptions and have as much parent support. This fund is also used to help with emergency needs.
Learn more about LWB’s Orphanage Assistance Program here: http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/projects_orphange_assistance.cfm
Tuan Yuan Adoption Assistance Coordinator
Wednesday, July 09, 2008
Please allow me to introduce you to Alaina. She is fourteen years old and deaf. For some time, Alaina spent her days at the Jingzhou Social Welfare Institute in Hubei Province because the local public school did not have an education program that fit her needs. When Love Without Boundaries opened a Believe In Me School in Alaina’s orphanage, her potential as a student was like a giant blinking neon sign: THIS YOUNG WOMAN IS INTELLIGENT AND TALENTED!
Through the generosity of two monthly sponsors, Alaina is able to attend a school for the deaf in Jingzhou. She has simply blossomed as a student and an artist. Every time our school manager reports on Alaina’s progress, he tells us how wonderful she is doing in school. It seems Alaina’s greatest challenge is that she is shy about raising her hand and letting her teachers know what she knows. However, her intelligence is clear on her test papers and academic reports.
What is amazing to see from Alaina is her prolific artwork. This is a young woman who finds happiness in creating! Her delightful, sensitive personality comes through in the subjects that she captures with pencils, crayons, and markers. We receive so many beautiful pieces of art from her that it would be a shame to keep these to ourselves.
Enjoy the efforts of this amazing young woman. She is lovely and receiving such an incredible opportunity to learn and grow toward a bright future through the love and generosity of LWB sponsors. Thank you! For more information about this program or students in need of sponsored learning opportunities please visit: http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/education_jingzhou.cfm
Believe In Me Jingzhou Coordinator
Monday, July 07, 2008
To learn more about our Foster Care program, please visit: http://www.lovewithoutboundaries.com/foster.cfmNancy Delpha
Associate Foster Care Director
Thursday, July 03, 2008
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
“The whole art of teaching is only the art of awakening the natural curiosity of young minds for the purpose of satisfying it afterwards.”
Teacher Den's: When classes begin, she comes to the key point of what the kids will learn immediately. Most of the time she used the Montessori teaching equipments to teach the kids. She used body language and focused on the explanation of the teaching aids. She used body language again and again together with teaching aids and let the kids do it themselves independently.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to the sponsors and donors that have made these opportunities to teach, learn and grow toward a bright future possible.