Advocate & Pray: Huo

HuoHuo is a ten year old in China, waiting for his new family.  He has cerebral palsy and epilepsy, but he’s a happy child and a fast learner.  One line in his profile really touched my heart: “When asked if he likes English, he said yes because he wants to go to US to find a mom and dad.”  Pray with me that Huo will find his mom and dad soon!

Huo is listed with Families Thru International Adoption
China

Huo was born in June 2004.  He is very sweet and friendly. His left side is weaker than his right side. He uses his right hand much more than his left hand. He is diagnosed with CP and Epilepsy, though he rarely has seizures. He is a very well-behaved child. He has good manners, frequently smiling. He is very attached to his caregiver. He can communicate well. He speaks clearly and is very organized when he expresses opinions. He can read. He has large vocabulary. He is doing very well in school. He enjoys learning. He is a fast learner. When asked if he likes English, he said yes because he wants to go to US to find a mom and dad. He longs for a family.

See Huo’s profile (scroll down–he is the fourth child on this page)

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Kang’s Heart of Hope

Kang's Heart of HopeLast month, a post on my friend Marli’s blog caught my attention. She shared a post about Timothy, a little boy in China who has both Downs Syndrome and a heart defect. Marli’s post linked through to the original post, written by Hannah “Jiejie,” a young woman who knows and loves Timothy. After reading the post, I contacted Hannah to see if she’d like to post about Timothy here on TIO. She replied that Timothy had received the full funding for his heart surgery, but she would love to post about another little boy. Here’s that post.

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I was chatting with my parents via Skype when my mom told me, “There’s a new little boy at the orphanage. He seems to have a heart defect.”

When you think of orphans and orphanages, maybe the first thing that pops into your mind is a row of cribs filled with babies. This is an accurate picture. But when I think of orphans I see another image; the two, three and four year-olds who are abandoned. These are the children who have known a family, and who have been loved and treasured by their parents, but when the medical needs became too much, or when the heart defect was diagnosed and a life-saving surgery quoted at way more than the family could ever expect to borrow from relatives, hope was abandoned and the children left alone at the orphanage gate.

This is Kang’s story. I know nothing of his birth parents. I know little about why he was abandoned, but I can guess.

Kang is almost three. His lips are blue, his fingertips are blue, he is weak and he is small. He has little strength to do anything. Kang has a very complicated heart defect. I can only image that his parents took him to many doctors and most of them probably said that there was nothing that they could do – only big hospitals in the city have the expertise to do a surgery that would repair Kang’s heart. Maybe they took him to one of the bigger hospitals in the city? Maybe the hospital gave them an estimation of what the surgery would cost. They must have cried-ugly that night as they watched their little boy sleep peacefully without a clue that his parents were about to make a decision that would change his life and his story forever.

Kang_1 Kang was abandoned just a few months ago. He is almost three, y’all, almost three. Think about your own two year-olds. Are they aware that they have a mommy and a daddy? Do they understand that you are there to take care of them and meet their needs? They do! And so imagine what Kang’s little heart must have done when he woke up and found himself away from the family he had known and surrounded by the chaos that is a toddler room in an orphanage. Busy nannies scrambling to meet the needs of dozens of children… crying children who just want to be held… fighting children who have learned how to get their own way… quiet children who know that no one will come.

And so Kang’s broken heart that couldn’t provide his body with the oxygen it needed, broke again.

We worked with the orphanage and they were able to get him taken in to the local hospital for some tests. The doctor said that surgery was necessary, but impossible. We took the results to some of the excellent cardiology hospitals in Beijing, and the surgeons said that surgery could be done. They suggested that they could repair his heart with one major operation, and that it would cost $20,000.

Taking a deep breath we stepped back… wow. That’s a lot of money. We looked at some other hospitals and applied for a government grant. The government rejected Kang’s application, saying that it was too late, he should have had surgery years ago and that there was no hope.

I don’t know about you, but the thing that gets me riled up the most is when somebody says that there is no hope. I think that the hairs on the back of my neck visibly stand on end. And so when the government rejected Kang’s application and refused to fund his surgery because they said he, “has no hope,” I decided that we have to do something.

Yes, it’s true, Kang’s surgery is complex and there is a chance that he will not survive. But do we have the right to make this decision? Do we have the right to choose not to give Kang his only hope of survival? Where do we place our trust?

Kang’s surgery will cost between $16,000 and $20,000 USD. This is a lot of money, but not if we stand together, a little here and a little there. It will add up. Are you willing to take the risk, to give Kang hope? His life is worth it.

Kang_2 (1)

Kang is currently being cared for by Little Flower Project’s baby home in Beijing. His fundraising page is here.

Will you stand with me?

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I hope you didn’t mind the slightly-longer-than-usual post today! If you have time an inclination, I’d really recommend checking out Hannah’s blog, Loving Dangerously. It’s a lot of fun to read through.

If you have any questions for Hannah (or me, of course!) please leave a comment. Comments are always awesome! 😉

Advocate & Pray: Quinn

QuinnThis four-year-old boy has such a cute smile!  Quinn is listed as having a “sensitive special need,” but his learning is on track–he is even getting some one-on-one English lessons.  He is curious and polite, and he loves playing outside, as you can see from his picture!

Quinn is listed with No Hands But Ours
China

Quinn, born May 2010, is adored by everyone because of his sweet smile, chubby face, and polite manners. When he sees a caretaker who has been gone for a few days, he will tell them how he missed them.

A curious child, he wants to learn and explore new things, and asks lots of “Why” questions. He often surprises adults by saying something more mature than his age, such as “How come my teacher is not here yet? Maybe she’s sick? Or is visiting her mother?” Whatever he does, he is completely focused, whether it’s a craft, playing with a toy, or listening to a story.

Read more on Quinn’s profile

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Advocate & Pray: Dexter

DexterDexter is a precious little boy who has gone through some significant changes during his time in care.  He has lost weight, and his lips are dry and cracked.  He has some limb problems, but is said to be a cheerful, friendly little boy.  Dexter desperately needs a family who can provide him with the care and love that he needs to regain his health and his smile!

Dexter is listed with No Hands But Ours
China

Dexter came into care as an infant, at just two months old. His medical need was determined to be limb differences affecting both his wrists/hands and his weight was a healthy 9.7 lbs.

He was described as baby who was adored by his ayis, had a good appetite, and loved to play while lying on the floor soaking in the sun light. A little man with a ready smile, quick reaction but wee bit shy.

The sparkle in his eyes is fading. He looks tired and frail. He is too weak to keep us with his friends.

The last line of one of his developmental report reads “We hope he can quickly find a home and have a loving father and mother as well as an even healthier and happier childhood.”

View Dexter’s profile

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Advocate & Pray: Pamela

PamelaPamela caught my eye because she is about to age out of her program.  According to her profile, she plays piano and loves to be outside, and she says that she wants a warm family who will help her grow.  I’m praying for her to find that family soon, as she gets close to aging out!

Pamela is listed with No Hands But Ours
China

Pamela is 13 years old, listed as special focus with postoperative cleft lip and cleft palate repair, blood WBC slightly elevated; and otherwise healthy. Pamela is said to be a clever, active, and outgoing child, who likes outdoor activity, games, and watching TV. She is helpful to others; she respects older people and is very polite. She is stated to have average grades but her teachers feel she could do much better if she tried harder as she has won several awards at school.

View Pamela’s profile

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Join the prayer chain for Pamela

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Join me in praying for Pamela to find a forever family.  Click to tweet

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Adoption: An Insiders Look

Adoption An Insider's View

Today’s feature is a guest post from Spencer Rothfuss. Hope you enjoy! 😉

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Adoption. When Leah first asked me to do a guest post on TIO about adoption I wasn’t sure what I’d write about. There are many facets to adoption that would each take volumes to cover; everything from the legal requirements of adoption to attachment and bonding with the child you adopt. I guess I’ll start by telling about my experiences with adoption. My family first got involved in adoption in October of 2009. We submitted our application to a local adoption agency for a domestic infant adoption program that was predicted to take 9-12 months; similar to a normal biological pregnancy.

However, my family’s process was unusually, well, dramatic. Our adoption agency went bankrupt and we were moved to a new one a short time after we began and the process stretched on. Finally, in December of 2011, two years later, we received the call; we were matched. The baby we were matched with was a boy and was scheduled to be born by C-Section in about a month; mid-January. Mom and Dad met the birth parents. We were talking about details like his name, his room in our house, and then God decided that the time was now. Just two weeks after we had heard of this precious little boy, and four days after Mom and Dad had met the birth parents, we were at the hospital and Michael Joseph was born on New Year’s Eve, 2011. We spent four days in the hospital and were visited by an average of five grandparents from both families each day. God miraculously provided for us in many ways. That’s not to say it wasn’t hard, truly it was. But if God wants something to happen, and Oh does he want adoption to happen, it will happen and he will be able to accomplish it.

Adoption is truly the full realization and ultimate end result of a pro-life mentality. And just as Jesus came to give life and life in all its fullness, so our enemy is bent on bringing death and removing the beautiful symbol of our adoption into Christ’s family. As Russell D. Moore says in Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches:

“But adoption is contested… The Scriptures tell us there are unseen beings in the air around us who would rather we not think about what it means to be who we are in Christ. These rulers of the age would rather we ignore both the eternal reality and the earthly icon of it. They would rather we find our identity, our inheritance, and our mission according…to what the Bible calls “the flesh” – rather than according to the veiled rhythms of the Spirit of life. That’s why adoption isn’t charity it’s war.”

When we set out to adopt we defy the powers ruling over our fallen world. We roll back the clock to before the fall and bring a little slice of that intimate perfection with God back into our day.

Michael lived and grew with us for about a year and half before we decided we wanted more. We wanted more of this picture of God’s love in our lives, more children in our family. In August of 2013 we started our second adoption process. This time through Lifeline, based out of Alabama, to do an international adoption from China. We were matched with Lucy Joy Haiyan “Sparrow” Rothfuss in January (for those who know about this process, we are now LID and are hoping to get our LOA by the end of September). Lord willing we (or at least some of our family) will travel around October and spend two weeks in country. We are absolutely ecstatic. To stay up to date on our process, please visit our family blog.

Adoption is really a marvelous thing. It has been a great experience for our whole family. Adoption has really changed me. In a good way. It has really given me an appreciation and awareness of something I had only passing knowledge of before. And I got a new brother out of the deal so it was a double win. One of the greatest ways you can contribute to the cause of adoption if you can’t adopt yourself is by doing awareness like this blog. Spreading the word about children who need to be adopted really can make a difference.

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A Note From Leah: Learn how you can support the Ruthfuss’ adoption of Lucy Joy Haiyan by visiting their Puzzle Project.

Advocate & Pray: Zack

ZachZach is a little boy being advocated for on the same site as Olive. He’s described as a brave boy who is smart and insists on caring for himself despite his special needs. Please help him find his family by joining us in advocating for him.

Zach is listed with No Hands But Ours
China

Zack is a very charismatic and outgoing boy who is usually very happy. He is a clear favorite of the nannies at his institute. He has a big personality and had the nannies laughing during one of his visits with us. He is described as being very smart by his caregivers. He recently received an award recently for creativity as well as one for his inventions. When asked what he wants to be when he grows up he said an historian. Zack is very friendly and outgoing and he has a lot of friends at school and the orphanage.

Zack is very short for his age and his caregivers believe he has either mucopolysacchardosis IV or spondyloepiphysealdysplasia (both are forms of dwarfism). Zack’s legs are in an X-shape with his knees together. He is able to climb stairs on his own and walk and run. Although his legs are shaped differently and he is short, he insists on doing things himself and is able to take care of his own needs.

Visit Zack’s Profile

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Advocate & Pray: Olive

OliveOlive is an eight year old girl from China diagnosed with hydrocephalus, or excess fluid in the brain.  This has caused her to have seizures and learning problems, and it is unknown if Olive will require any treatment when she is placed with her family. Despite her health issues, Olive is cheerful and loves playing with her friends.

Olive is listed with No Hands But Ours
China

Olive is a very pretty little girl who is 8 years old. She came into care as an infant, and was diagnosed with hydrocephalus. She, to our knowledge, has not received surgery. Olive’s development has been a bit delayed, but she is an active and happy girl. She loves school, where she is very careful when doing her work. Olive is a social little girl, who always lets her friends go first when they play. Olive likes to sing and dance, and enjoys performing for others. 

An update was received at the beginning of April on Olive. She had 3 seizures in 2012, was put on Depakote, and has not had another seizure since. Her balance can be an issue when she runs. She has a learning disability; it takes her longer to retain new information than other kids her age.

Visit Olive’s profile

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Join the prayer chain for Olive

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Join me in praying for Olive to find a forever family.  Click to tweet

Olive is waiting for a family to care for her needs.  Click to tweet

Interview with Kay Bratt

Kay BrattKay Bratt, author of Silent Tears, graciously agreed to do an interview for TIO. It’s always exciting to feature someone who is active in helping orphans. I hope you enjoy reading her answers as much as I did!

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What’s the first thing someone with little or no knowledge of China’s orphans know about them?
Many of China’s orphans aren’t technically orphans. Because of the countries lack of medical care assistance to the lower classes, many parents abandon their child out of love and hope. Because the majority of abandoned children have some sort of illness or special need, the parents have left them hoping that when their child is placed in the orphanage; the government will step up and care for whatever special need they may have, to give them a chance at life.

How can teenagers help orphans in china besides donating money?
Raising awareness about children’s needs in China is as important as donating money. If no one knows about these children in need, how can they receive the assistance they deserve? Find an organization to follow and tweet the stories, share on Facebook, explore the subject as a homework assignment, or even start a support group.

Silent TearsWhat are some of the basic rules and regulations surrounding orphans and adoption in China?
The rules and regulations surrounding orphans and adoption in China are many and complicated. The important thing to know is that domestic adoption (adoption by the Chinese people of their country’s children) is becoming more prevalent. In small steps, the government is trying to raise awareness about these children as well as squash the age old stigma of adoption. In past times, many Chinese felt that to take in a person not of your blood was to bring bad luck upon your family. With the newer generations, these taboos are starting to disappear.

What do you feel needs to change in the orphan care and adoption procedures?
I feel that China needs to place orphan care at the top of their priority list. When I travel within China and see the millions of dollars spent on beautifying cities with landscaping, buildings, and the many lights everywhere, it is disappointing because I know there are cold and hungry children scattered throughout their cities in dilapidated orphanages. Feed and warm the children first! Decorate the cities next!

Do you have any other comments, suggestions, or insights concerning this topic?
It is important to remember that the people of China are not to be blamed for the epidemic of abandoned children in their country. It is the government’s responsibility to step up with support that can enable parents to keep their children. Support including food, medical care, and education for all status levels. The people love and want to keep their children, but so many have a difficult time just feeding and medically caring for themselves.

Many thanks to Kay for taking the time to answer these questions! What do you guys think about this information?

The winner of the Silent Tears giveaway is Spencer R. I think most of you will agree he has the biggest reason to want to learn about Chinese orphans! Stay tuned for future giveaways.

Borrow A Kindle Book: Silent Tears

Silent Tears Step through the doors of a Chinese orphanage. When Kay Bratt’s husband accepted a promotion that required him and his family to relocate to China, Kay took the opportunity to fulfill her dream of living a meaningful life. She had no idea of the ways her life would change. Her volunteer work in the orphanage opened her eyes to the desperate need and horrifying neglect suffered by China’s abandoned children. It became her mission to brighten the lives of these little ones and give them hope.

I just finished reading this last night, and found myself processing and digesting a whole new batch of realities. It’s a powerful book.

Here’s the deal on borrowing the book. Amazon allows some Kindle books to be lent out. It’s a one time thing and the loan lasts for fourteen days. So, if you’ll have time to read a 333 page book in the next fourteen days, please enter! You don’t have to own a Kindle in order to read the book. Amazon offers a free “app” you can download to your computer. I have it on my computer and it works fine. Follow the links to get the kindle reader for Windows 7, XP, & Vista, Windows 8, or Mac.

Most giveaways are done by random draw, but I’m going to mix it up a bit. I want this book to go to someone who cares about reading it and will learn from it. So, leave a comment telling me why you want to read Silent Tears, and I’ll loan the book to whoever gives the most convincing reason (or at least the reason I find most convincing). I apologize I can’t lend the book to all of you, but don’t give up if I don’t lend you this one. I hope to do this again!

The opportunity to enter this giveaway ends on March 25th.

Don’t forget to leave a comment explaining why you want to read this book. Please tell your friends about this giveaway!