April was an extraordinarily wonderful and busy month for Little Flower. It was extraordinarily wonderful because we saw our projects expand and many of our children adopted. It was extraordinarily busy because we had a record number (49!) of intakes in just one month – more than three times as many in a normal month.
Intakes of new children to our Baby Homes, transfers to Group Homes, and adoptions always happen throughout the year. But in April, it was a kind of perfect storm, in which all of these factors came together and led to our current record capacity across all of our projects (we currently have 199 children across our Infant Care, Foster Care, and Long-Term Care projects in two locations).
The main trigger that led to April’s record intake number was the opening of 10 new Group Educational Foster Care homes in our second location in Shanxi Province, where we also have our our second Baby Home and our Long-Term-Care home. These new foster parents all started with 2 children in their families, which allowed us to place 20 children in these new homes. Being a big change not only for the children but also for the foster parents, it was best to give them the time they needed to adjust to their new environment. Steadily, we plan to enlarge these Group Homes until they reach a similar size as our Group Homes in Beijing (4-6 children per family).
Some of the children we could place in our new Group Homes were transferred from our Infant Care Home. Moving children from the Baby Home to the Group Homes resulted in unoccupied spaces in the Little Flower Shanxi Baby Home.
Would free beds mean time to relax for our nannies and caregivers? Nope. One inquiry after another dropped in, and within no time, the Baby Home’s capacity reached its capacity once more. However, many of the new intakes in Shanxi happened to be very fragile babies who needed more advanced care and were therefore transferred to our Beijing Baby Home shortly after their arrival.
Of course, transfers to Beijing meant free spots in that second location and intakes.
On top of all that, we had three of our foster children picked up this month to head off to their forever families in America. It was a bittersweet moment for their Little Flower foster parents, but we were so happy to see their adoptive parents finally able to see their boys after months of waiting. April was definitely a crazy month! By the end of the month we had 61 children at the Beijing Baby Home (our highest number up until then had been 59), and a total of 199 children in all our projects. We're so proud of all of the caregivers and staff that step up to care for all of these children 24 hours every day.