Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Ci's Busy Schedule!

When you are 9 months old, there are only a few options of things you can do. Little Ci does a great job exploring her world and keeping busy.  Click on the pictures below to see what Ci is up to!

There you go.....a typical day at work for little Ci!

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 2015 Featured Child: Gong

For December, we are featuring one of our group home boys, Gong. Gong joined group home #2 in July 2009 as a 3 year old boy. Earlier this year in July, he turned 9 years old. Gong currently attends our learning center and enjoys spending time with his older brothers.

This year has been an eventful year for Gong. He has had the opportunity to participate in some fun activities and outings. In July he spent the day on the beach having a lot of fun!

Who doesn’t like to play with a water gun!

In October, Gong with the help of some volunteers created an amazing art project. Look at him showing off his great work! We are all proud! Do you think he is a fan of batman or just bats?!

Just last week, Gong returned home after being in the hospital for a 21 hour long surgery. Gong has had a few surgeries since he has been with us and this most recent surgery was to fix his bladder related issues. He is currently at home, recovering from his surgery. Here is a picture of him with his dad resting at home after his surgery.

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Look into what Qing is up to these days

When you enter room 4 at the Infant Care Home, you often see Qing sitting in a booster seat. At first glance, you will never guess that he cannot see. As soon as you come near him, he detects your presence and enjoys the extra attention.

Although Qing is a big boy, he doesn’t have too much strength or muscle control. So our staff and volunteers are helping him to learn to move around and use his hands and feet. His cataracts and developmental delays are serious obstacles, but we are seeing him make some progress.

Look at him! He is so happy to be cuddled.

With all the extra attention, Qing is slowly learning to turn over by himself! He is continuing to develop in his own way. We hope that he will soon be able to get a treatment plan in place for his eye problems. As the Chinese saying goes, Jia You (keep trying) sweet Qing!

Friday, November 6, 2015

It's all about the toy...

The Infant Care Home is usually peaceful and quiet after lunch. The toddlers, full from their meal, return to their room for nap-time. Last week, Hong and Qiu decided that they would like to play for a bit before taking their naps. So we took out some toys for them to play with. Obviously, they both go towards the exact same toy!

Hong and Qiu look around… anyone going to intervene and help us?!

We decided that this was the perfect opportunity for these two little ones to learn about sharing. So we waited to see what they would do. These two cuties continued to fight over the toy, although there was the exact same toy by their side!

So as you can imagine, there was some crying.  Precious Qiu uncertainly looked over at Hong, not sure how long she needed to cry for!

And then, they suddenly realized “Oh, there are two identical toys in front of us! We can both play with one!”

It’s no longer all about the toy! Hong and Qiu are happy playing together again!

In fact, they even shook hands and made up!

What a productive day it has been! Hong and Qiu learned the importance of sharing…or at least until the next toy shows up!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

November 2015 Featured Child: Juan

For the month of November, our featured child is joyful Juan. Juan came to our Infant Care Home in September of last year. She was five months old at that time.  Little Juan was born with a complex heart defect and needed surgery as soon as possible. Despite her medical condition, Juan was a joyful little girl when she arrived.  Doesn’t see look so happy?

Soon after her arrival, like we do with all of our new arrivals, we took Juan to the hospital for a checkup and to create a specialized treatment plan. The doctors suggested that since Juan’s condition was very complicated, she would need multiple surgeries to fix her heart problem. So, shortly after her arrival, she was admitted for her first heart surgery. Her surgery went smoothly, and she soon returned back home.  Over the next few months, we watched as little Juan continued to grow and become stronger. Doesn’t she have the cutest smile?

Towards the end of April, Juan was ready for her second heart surgery. We were able to raise enough funds for her to be admitted to the hospital. Unfortunately, there were some complications with her recovery and she ended up staying in the hospital for over a month.  In early June, when Juan finally returned home, we were all so happy to have her back! It took her a little while to warm up to all of us again, but within no time, she was back to her usual cheerful self!

In the middle of October, Juan transferred to our group home #4.  She loves her new foster parents and is enjoying all the extra attention from her foster family.  We hope that she will find her forever family soon! It’s a miracle to see her grow so much in a year!

Juan with her foster mama 

Friday, October 2, 2015

October 2015 Featured Child: Hua

Little Hua is our featured child for the month of October. She came to the Infant Care Home earlier this year in May. When we first met her, this little one only weighed 3 lbs. 9 oz. (1,620g).

Hua needed surgery as soon as possible for the treatment of her hydrocephalus, the abnormal buildup of fluid inside the brain. So, she was soon admitted to the hospital for the surgical placement of a shunt. This shunt helped the extra fluid drain, which then reduced the pressure and buildup. Little Hua’s surgery for her shunt went smoothly, and she came back to the baby home after 2 weeks of post-op care in the hospital.

However, Little Hua still had a lot going on. She needed to grow bigger and stronger to become healthy.  She was having a hard time feeding by herself, so gaining weight was extremely hard for her. She needed feeding tubes to eat, but slowly, over time, we started to see this little girl become bigger and stronger.

Earlier this month, little Hua finally started eating by herself. She is now completely off feeding tubes and now weighs 10 lbs. 65 oz. (4.83kg). She has changed so much in the past few months. She is now strong and healthy, and does not need any further special medical care. We can’t wait for her to find her forever family!  Hua in Mandarin means ‘flower.’  We are so happy that she has truly lived up to her name and blossomed this October!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Back to School!

September is the time to go back to school! At the beginning of September, the children in our Group Home Project started getting ready to head back to school after their summer holiday. We currently have 29 children in our 6 group homes. Just over half the children (17 currently) attend our Chunmiao Education Center, and the rest of them attend local schools.

Wei and Ya are working hard at the Chunmiao Education Center

Art class at the Chunmiao Education Center
Right before the new school year started, Cai, Duo and Liang shared some of their thoughts about school with me. They attend a local school called Century Experimental School.
Cai, as the second oldest boy in the group, took charge of our little chat. After giving his answers, he made sure that both of his friends also had a chance to speak. Cai joined group home #3 in 2012. He is in grade 5 this year and his favorite part of school is seeing his friends!  He enjoys Chinese calligraphy, music and reading class.

Duo is in grade 4. He joined group home #1 in 2009. Duo is a super curious boy. He loves learning and he asks a lot of questions! He is looking forward to meeting his new teachers once his school starts. His favorite subjects are painting and reading. He dreams of going to college one day.

Liang is also in grade 4 but in a different class to Duo. Liang joined group home #4 in 2011. This will be his second year at this primary school. He enjoys art class and loves building things. He also enjoys doing his homework after school. He is a very sweet boy.

These three boys enjoy being in the same school together and plan to keep up their tradition of meeting up each break time to chat.  They are very confident that this will be another great year for them at school.  And most of all, Cai, Duo and Liang are glad to share a glimpse into their lives with you.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September 2015 Featured Child: Ying

This month we are featuring beautiful Ying. Ying arrived at the Infant Care Home in December of last year as a 2 month old baby. Ying came to us with one eye being bigger than the other, and so, we suspected that she had retinoblastoma. Due to the severity of retinoblastoma, we rushed her to see an ophthalmologist and to do further diagnostic testing for an official diagnosis. The doctors confirmed the diagnosis of retinoblastoma.

In January, Ying was admitted to the hospital to start chemotherapy and underwent an enucleation surgery  on her right eye, which meant that they would remove her eye. The surgery was successful and after her second dose of chemotherapy, she returned back home.

Over the next months, Ying continued to receive chemotherapy. Each month, she was admitted to the hospital for about a week and then would return home for 3 weeks.  She also got fitted with a prosthetic eye. Little Ying is a sweet girl. She soon started to roll over and crawl.

In August, Ying completed the final of her 6 sessions of chemo! Look at how happy she is! At her retinal checkup, the doctors confirmed that the cancer had not spread to her brain or the other eye. She will continue to have regular checkups to make sure that the cancer does not come back and spread. This little girl has gone through so much already in her short life. We hope she finds her 'forever family' soon.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August 2015 Featured Child: Cai

For August, we have decided to feature little Cai as this is his birthday month! He will turn 1 year old later this month on the 20th. Cai came to the Beijing Infant Care Home earlier this year at the end of March from central China. He was 7 months old at that time.

Cai was born with a severe heart defect and Down Syndrome. He was very frail and week, when he came to us, weighing only 8 lbs (3.7 kg).  We decided to take him to a cardiologist for a full checkup and to see when he could have surgery for his heart defect. Unfortunately, he was too tiny for surgery at that time.

Little Cai had a hard time putting on weight. His breathing was also not good and he was in and out of the hospital with pneumonia. But Cai continued to push through each day. By the end of May, he finally reached 9.3 lbs (4.2 kg) and so was admitted to the hospital for his surgery. Cai’s open heart surgery was successful and his heart defect has been fully repaired now.

However, his post-operative care was quite complicated. He lost a lot of weight during this time. And was in the ICU for a long time on a ventilator. When he finally came home to us, he was still on oxygen and could not eat by himself. We continued to provide him with the special care he needed to become stronger and healthier.

Last month, in July, Cai was able to breathe without any extra help and he also started eating on his own! All of his caregivers are so proud of this milestone!  He has also gained weight and returned to his pre-surgery weight. We know he will continue to gain weight and become stronger in the next months!