Thursday, September 23, 2010

Defining Success

How do you define success? Do your goals always line up with God's plan?

Sometimes we get discouraged when things don't go the way we'd hoped. That was certainly the case with little baby Hong, who was sent to our home last year. When she arrived she was not only tiny and weak due to her prematurity, but also suffering from extreme malnutrition and dehydration. In fact, we doubted that we could save her. But we did our best, and she began to improve. After several days we were heartened to see dramatic improvement. We no longer doubted that she would survive. We were gladdened and hopeful; things were going very well. See the series of photos below which were taken over a 7 day period, starting the day she arrived (click on the photo to see it larger):

And then very suddenly, just a week after she arrived, she died. Not only were we sad, we felt shocked and disappointed; she had been doing so well. What went wrong? We felt like we failed her.

Later, we were going through the photos and remembering her. Seeing the photos and comparing her day by day changes it suddenly became clear. Her death was not our failure, because we do not control life and death. Only God has that power. But our success is clearly written on her face. She arrived in a state of distress and discomfort; over the next few days, you can see peace and serenity washing over her tiny features.

It was not the outcome that we'd hoped and prayed for. But in God's plan for baby Hong we did succeed. She knew love and comfort before she went home to be with Him. Who could ask for more than that?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Another sweet little pair...

Premature twin girls Yu and Fang are very small but stable. Yu is 3 lbs 12 oz, and Fang is only 3 lbs 5 oz. Both are being treated for jaundice and dehydration. Other than that, they seem strong and healthy. We are grateful for a recent donation of special preemie nipples; they will get good use!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Baby Long

This charming little fellow just arrived for palliative care. In addition to his cleft lip/palate, he has other serious health issues. If he can gain weight and strength he might be able to have surgery, but for now he is pretty frail and weak so we don't know if this will be possible. He's almost 11 months old and weighs barely 10 lbs. Despite all of the hardships he's facing, he has a delightful personality and a winning smile.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What we do best...

... is comfort little ones who are sick or dying. Little ones who have no family to love them.

"Whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers, that you do unto me."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Teeny Tiny

This little preemie arrived today from Inner Mongolia province. Baby Ye weighs just over 3 lbs. She doesn't seem to have anything else wrong with her except a bit of jaundice, so we have hopes that she'll grow and thrive with a bit of love. And speaking of teeny tiny...

These two are Ke and Ai, the premature twins we received in July. They continue to do well, though we are worried about the approaching winter season as they are high risk for colds, bronchiolitis and pneumonia. The RSV prophylaxis that is commonly used for preemies in the US is not available here, so we'll just have to do our best and keep praying!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Half a dozen newcomers

Six new little ones have recently arrived at our baby homes. Three little boys (top photos) named Yuan, Kun and Tong and three little girls (bottom photos) named Xiao, Yun and Ning.

Of the six, four are here for post-op care for defects such as gastroschisis, anal atresia, bladder exstrophy and congenital spinal tumor. Yun and Ning have craniofacial deformities that will require surgery at a later date. To make room for these newcomers four of our bigger, stronger babies joined foster families today. We're sad to see them go, but happy to know they'll each thrive in a nurturing family.

Monday, September 6, 2010

New Hospice Arrivals

Well, our last case of chicken pox was over three weeks ago, so we are hopeful that this has run its course and we have seen the last of it. We stopped intakes during this time to prevent new cases from continuing to appear. Now that we are past that, we're ready for new babies!

Our first two new arrivals are Le and Fei. Both baby boys have severe heart defects and are very, very weak. Neither one is a candidate for surgery at this time. Baby Fei is 4 months old and still the size of a premature baby. Le is already 7 months old and has the most beautiful, alert eyes!