Monday, December 20, 2010

Baby Na Grows Up

We introduced you to Baby Na back in July when she had just arrived. At that time she was not only very tiny, but also extremely ill with pneumonia. We weren't even sure we could save her. You can see that post here.

Well, we are happy to tell you now that she has grown into a lively, healthy and charming little baby girl. She's got an irresistible little face and smiles for everyone. Na has more than tripled her weight, from just 4 lbs to over 13 lbs now. Check out the photos below to see how she's changed:

Thanks to your prayers and support, little Na is now ready for a family of her own.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A New Little Face - Baby Xia

We've had quite a number of new arrivals this month. One of these is baby Xia. She's a tiny little peanut, but you can tell already she's got a great personality!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A Little Flower Christmas Party

We are doing something new this year with our group home families. Each group home family has been matched with a local expat family, who will "sponsor" them for Christmas. The sponsoring family is hosting the kids for some kind of a party, either a meal, or tree decorating, or just an afternoon of fun. They are also providing some Christmas gifts for the children as well as some needed household items for the family (such as laundry detergent, rice etc).

One of our group homes had their party a few days ago, and it was a big hit! The kids had so much fun with their gifts and their new friends. Pizza was had by all. Even the foster parents look relaxed! We are so grateful to our sponsors for doing this - it's a wonderful thing for the kids, but most important is that the foster parents feel supported in their job. It's hard work caring for 5 disabled children as if they were your own - they deserve it!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tiny Baby Fang

Have you ever seen such a perfect little princess? Baby Fang is just like a doll, and at only 4 lbs, about the same size. We rarely see such a small baby so alert and interested in her world. Please pray that she stays strong and healthy this winter season.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Baby Long

Long is a year old, but his foot is the length of my thumb. His smile seems to be even more entrancing because of his cleft palate, the very thing that has made his life such a struggle up until now. He was born with a cleft lip and palate, not an uncommon thing in China by any means, but a thing for which many babies are abandoned. Even with extra care and special attention when feeding, cleft palate babies often get fluid in their lungs accidentally, leading to pneumonia. This is mostly likely what happened with Long, and he ended up in a hospital where they struggled to get him off of his ventilator. Multiple sicknesses and hospitalizations have left his trachea scarred, causing him to sound almost like a purring cat when he breathes deeply in sleep or excitement.

Currently he has a fever and is on oxygen, though the fever does not seem to be too severe. It will be a long winter for this little guy, as he struggles to grow bigger and stay healthy. He has all of our hearts wrapped around his finger with that handsome smile, but more importantly he has our hopes and prayers. Join us in cheering for him and the other little ones who need to make it through the cold winter months in order to thrive.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Baby Huan is back from the hospital. The surgery went well, and the director of the baby home even says Huan looks prettier than before. Don't you think she looks healthier?

Baby Die's name means butterfly in Chinese (and don't worry--it's pronounced quite differently than it reads in English too). This little one, who arrived earlier this month, is headed to the hospital today to get a diagnosis for her orthopedic deformities.

We also had several new babies arrive just this week. Baby Meng was born with anal atresia, and Baby Chen, a cleft lip and palate baby, is stable but has jaundice.

In Loving Memory- Qiao

November 21-23, 2010

Baby Qiao arrived weighing just 3 pounds, very weak and dehydrated, and appeared to have a very serious heart defect. He passed away yesterday. Rest in peace, little one.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

In Loving Memory- Lei and Ping

Baby Lei passed away earlier this week after fighting a bad respiratory infection. On Thursday, Baby Ping also went to join Jesus, a particularly tough passing because she had held on for so long. We will miss both of them. Rest in peace, little ones.

Loyal readers may notice that we've recently had a higher number of babies pass away lately. As winter starts and little ones are abandoned in the cold, our window for saving them gets much smaller. The babies are also more vulnerable to sickness during this time, so it's a difficult time overall. Having more babies pass away is especially hard for those working closely with them. As we continue to save as many lives as we are able, please keep our workers in your thoughts and prayers when these little ones don't make it.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

New Arrivals - Die, Bing and Lei

Three new babies arrived this week. Bing and Lei are newborn boys with cleft lip and palate. Both are also very small (about 5 lbs each). They are quite fragile, but little Bing seems to be much less stable than his cribmate Lei. Baby Die is 4 months old and she has some serious orthopedic problems with her legs, but we are not sure of the exact diagnosis or treatment yet. We will keep you updated on how they are doing.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


When babies are admitted to our home for hospice care, it means that our goal is to make them as comfortable as possible for their last days. How exciting, then, when a baby here for hospice care doesn't fade but gets stronger! MeiMei was that way. Around the new year of 2009, she got very sick and we almost lost her. A staff member decided to start treating her sickness very aggressively since at that point it wasn't much more of a risk. She recovered, but we knew if she got sick again it would probably be it, but she simply never got sick again.

A year and a half ago, she couldn't even sit up. Now she's one of the older babies in the home and even tries to comfort others when they're crying in their cribs; she'll go over and pat them soothingly. She is still young and has a cleft palate, Down's Syndrome, and a heart defect to contend with, but isn't her smile precious? We are hoping to see her in a forever family soon.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baby Ye

We think Baby Ye was 10 days old when she got to Little Flower, and we know she was only 1.4 kilograms. The shaved part of her hair indicates that she spent time in a hospital in her short time before coming to us, but other than being a tiny preemie, she seems to be a normal baby girl. Her size is difficult to believe; Ye’s head is no bigger than my palm, though it is difficult to judge the exact size currently because she’s completely wrapped up in blankets. They are protecting her from her own body’s inability to regulate its own temperature; the bundled girl looks quite snug under her cap and layers of small blankets. Her body struggles to get itself the oxygen it needs, but she is hooked up to an oxygen tank that gently manages it for her. The game for her right now is to wait and survive. She recently went through a bout of pneumonia but is currently doing well. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers as we enter into the winter season.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

In Loving Memory - Baby Fei

Our cute little Baby Fei went home to Jesus today. He just couldn't hold on till he got big enough for surgery. We'll miss you, little guy!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Baby Ping

Baby Ping weighed in at 1.75 kilograms the day after she arrived at our baby home in April but appeared otherwise healthy. She went through a cycle of becoming sick then getting better before getting sick again. She arrived with the tiniest eyes, looking small even for such a tiny frame. The baby home director, Raphaela, laughingly remembers joking about Ping being an alien because her head was so oddly shaped. Ping's ankle also had an abnormal dip in it, as if something was missing, and her right hand had a slight deformity with the thumb. Overall, though, she was mostly battling the general difficulty of being born prematurely. Until about four months of age, she even slept curled up in a tiny ball, as if she was still in her mother's womb.

On August 6th, she died--no heartbeat or discernible oxygen level--before suddenly breathing in 10 minutes later. At that point, Raphaela redoubled her efforts to stabilize Ping. Miraculously, Ping's eyes were again filled with life, a moment Raphaela will not soon forget.

Since then, Ping has gained weight, though she still has an oxygen tube (which she tries to pull out often enough that it must be gently taped to her cheeks). She has difficulty feeding because she bites at the bottle nipple instead of sucking, though Raphaela has observed her sucking her thumb happily, indicating that she does at least have the ability. This difficulty has been cause for concern, though, and she was being feed via feeding tube until recently. We are hesitant to put her back on the feeding tube just yet as we hope she will still develop a normal feeding ability without it. We are hoping for a winter free from sickness, but she is currently fighting another bout. Join us in hoping and praying for a healthy next few months for Baby Ping!

Baby Huan

One of our newest arrivals is Baby Huan. She arrived at our Beijing home in October and was 5.5 pounds. Her tiny face and thin lips make her look a bit like a elf, an observation that makes us smile. This little one was born with anal atresia and was able to gain enough weight in her short time here to be reconsidered for surgery. She's now in the hospital and is expected to be there only 10 days, a quick turn around for a Chinese hospital. As a special blessing, she is going to be treated in the ICU during the whole stay, meaning that we don't need to provide a caretaker for her from our staff. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers as she recovers.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

In Loving Memory - Baby Le

February 1, 2010 - October 24, 2010

Sweet Baby Le passed away in Beijing today. We'll miss you, little guy. Rest in peace!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Ye and Yu

Here are some updates on babies who have been mentioned in the past on the blog

Baby Ye has gotten bigger since arriving, and now weighs in at 4.7 pounds (2.15 kilograms). That doesn't sound like very much until you remember that she was only about 3 pounds when she came to us. We continue to hope for growth and weight-gain for her tiny frame

Baby Yu, whose twin sister passed away earlier this month, has been eating well and maintaining a strong heartbeat. She is now sharing a crib with little Ye to continue giving her the assurance of another baby close by, even if it can no longer be her sister. She is now at 5 pounds and will hopefully continue growing stronger by the day.

Long is growing, visibly more plump than when he arrived, and has captured many hearts at the baby home. He flirts with all of the helpers, and they laughingly talk about how handsome he is. We warned you that he has a magnetic personality! Continue to pray for timely growth and a miraculously healthy winter to come

If there are little ones you are wondering about, ones we haven't mentioned in a while, please let us know in the comments; we are more than happy to tell you the latest on these darling little ones.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Miracle of Ponseti

Dr. Ponseti died about a year ago, but he's still one of our greatest heros. Who was he, you ask?

Ignacio Ponseti was an orthopedic doctor who developed a non-surgical method of treating club foot. So what does that mean? Maybe you've never met anyone with this condition, or even seen an untreated club foot.

About 100,000 babies are born with club foot around the world every year. Roughly 80% of these are in developing countries, without good access to high levels of medical care. Traditionally, infants with club foot deformities have been treated by surgery; which is well beyond the reach of many families who have a baby with this problem.

Ponseti's method of manipulation, stretching and carefully molded plaster casts gently correct the club foot without surgery. Even better, children treated with Ponseti's method do not suffer the same number of complications (relapses, scar tissue build up and painful joints) later in life as those treated surgically. It's cheap, it's easy (easy to learn and easy to use), and it works!

We started casting babies with the Ponseti method about 5 years ago, and are still totally amazed and astonished by the results. In just a couple of months, the foot is corrected to a normal position. The child then must wear a brace while sleeping until 3 or 4 years of age, and that's it! Most children do not require further surgery or other intervention.

Want to see how it works? Here a little boy who received treatment through China Little Flower. The photos show the progressive changes in his feet as the casts were changed week by week (click on the photo to see it larger):

Isn't that incredible? We sure think so.

Baby Le

As so many of the babies who come into our care, Baby Le has a severe heart defect which has weakened him significantly. Before making his way to Little Flower, Le was diagnosed with pneumonia and heart failure. A CT scan also shows a buildup of fluid inside his skull, which can be quite damaging if it is not dealt with quickly. The fluid buildup and heart problems require surgeries which would be too dangerous on his weak frame currently.

His small body is evidence that all of his strength goes toward surviving rather than growing, and he is in our care as a hospice case, meaning that we do not expect him to make it. Most recently, he has developed mysterious boils on his skin, a discouraging sign for such a fragile little one. We all fear that he is not strong enough to fight another sickness at this stage, but looking into his eyes, you cannot help but hope. We will keep you updated on his progress as we know more.