Sunday, November 13, 2022

Autumn Days in the Parks

In a big city like Beijing, public parks are a popular gathering place. Parks are filled with people exercising, practicing tai chi, flying kites, playing badminton, dancing, and the laughter of children. This month, we have been taking the children at our Beijing Medical Home to different local parks. 

These children are in Beijing short-term for medical care - some are waiting for a bed to open up at the hospital to have surgery; and others have recently had surgery and are waiting for a follow-up appointment before heading back to one of our long-term homes in Northern China. 

With so much outdoor space, the children had a lot of fun running around and exploring. They quickly noticed the leaves that had fallen and started to collect them. 



We then found the the children's play area. Slides, swings, jungle gym, all the favorites were there. 



This park even had a small petting zoo. The children enjoyed feeding the animals. 


We sat by the lake for a little break and watched the geese swim by. 

Afterwards, we showed the children how to use a vending machine. This was a first time experience for the boys. They were so thrilled to use one.

After all the exploring, we rode back to the main gate. We had two excellent drivers! 


What a fun and memorable day spent at the park! Thanks for joining us! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The True Impact of Family

  We believe that family based care is the very best option for all children.  Unfortunately, for many children living in institutions this dream remains out of reach.  This is especially so when the child has unique medical, therapy and educational needs that are not easily supported in the average foster family and local school system.    After much research and consideration of the resources available to us, we decided to launch our own family based care project that would fill the gap for the special needs children living in orphanages around China.

 Max arrived just a few months after we launched this new project in 2005.  He was an active, inquisitive ten-year-old much like any other, except he didn’t have a mom and dad.  It didn’t take long for him to settle in to his new family and start the big job of learning, exploring and building relationships with his foster parents and siblings. 

 When we started this project, we already knew in our hearts that a family is the irreplaceable link needed to truly nurture the growth and development of a child.   But to see it unfolding in real life was truly miraculous to behold!  Each of the children in our group foster homes has had physical, emotional and psychological hurdles to overcome, yet each has made progress that wildly exceeded our expectations.  Max was no exception, and over the years he has grown into a smart, capable, hardworking young adult.  To say that we are proud of him would be an understatement!

A number of children in our group foster homes have been adopted by families outside of China.  Many of them have not, and Max is one of those who remain in China.  With the support of his foster parents, he transitioned to an independent lifestyle and began working in the tourism industry.   And just this year Max met a beautiful young woman and asked her to be his wife.  Sadly, his foster mother passed away two years ago so she was not present for that joyful occasion.  

Max says to his Little Flower family now: “I’m a child who was helped by Little Flower.  I came to Beijing in 2005 and joined a family.  Since then, I have had parents, brothers and sisters.  It has truly changed the course of my life.  I was so very blessed, and now even more so because I am getting married!  You have watched me grow up… I sincerely hope you can witness my happiness.”  

We are grateful to you for your prayers and support.  You are making it possible for children just like Max to receive the love and nurturing of a family.  We hope and pray that each of them can grow to be strong, confident, resilient adults who don’t let their difficult beginnings define who they will become.  Thank you for helping make this a reality for each of our little ones!

Sunday, October 9, 2022


At our Classroom of Smiles, we love using all of our senses when we learn. There is a Chinese proverb that states,

“When I hear, I forget.

When I see, I remember.

When I do, I understand.”

Below, we walk you through a typical morning session in one of our Classroom of Smiles in a city in Northern China. 

First up, we looked at the sunflowers and made observations. What color are the petals? Are all the sunflowers the same size? Our teacher, Nana, led the students in a small discussion. 

Then, we used our ears to listen to the sounds of the petals moving and the seeds shaking. Each child held a sunflower and made observations on what they heard. 

Third, we smelled the sunflowers. 

Fourth, we touched the flowers. Teacher Nana led the children in a song with hand motions (see the video below).

And finally, we used our mouths to taste the seeds. 

The toddlers in this classroom loved using all five senses to learn about sunflowers! 

Monday, September 12, 2022

Making Mooncakes!

What's a better way to celebrate this beautiful Mid-Autumn Festival than making our own mooncakes? We invite you into our Classroom of Smiles cooking class  - get ready for an extra load of cuteness with our little chefs! 

There are a few essential steps in making mooncakes that require special little hands. First, rolling out the dough. 

Second, getting the mold ready.

Third, using the mold to press out the mooncake. 


Fourth, coating the mooncake with egg yolk before baking. 

And finally, after the mooncakes are done, eating them! 

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival! 

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Growing Cucumbers!

Summer is in full bloom here in Northern China. With 141 children in our care, we have been spending these long hot days playing in the water, eating ice cream, and gardening. There is something magical about growing your own vegetables - getting your hands dirty planting seeds, watering day after day as you watch the sprouts grow, and finally plucking your first harvest.   

Gardening is not only fun, it's also a hands-on activity that engages a variety of senses and develops fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and confidence. Will you join us in our garden to see what we've planted?

We planted cucumbers! The children were amazed at how long the cucumbers grew! Some of them grew straight and some curvy. 

With the sun beaming down, little hands reached forward to gently pull the cucumber off its vine. 

And finally, the children carefully washed the cucumbers before they ate them!  

Gardening is a great way to explore the world! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

A Mother’s Love Bound Not by Blood

We often read of reports of mothers displaying extraordinary strength – for example, when a petite woman pushes away an oncoming vehicle before it runs over her child, or a mother carrying her child with a heavy bag on her back and arms laden with things. These images encapsulate the old saying- becoming a mother gives one extraordinary strength. Every child is an angel from heaven, but not every child has the privilege of growing up with a mother’s love. For various reasons, children could be abandoned at welfare institutions, left to grow up with caregivers or foster parents. This love that they receive has no blood ties, but is equally warm and beautiful. Today, through the story of Little Quan, we can witness the strength of a mother’s love.

Little Quan was born in June 2018, and abandoned just 3 days later at a “baby hatch”. A little note was attached detailing his birthdate and medical conditions- low birth weight of less than 2.5kg, esophagus atresia, 6 fingers and a heart condition. He required urgent surgery due to the obstruction in his esophagus and his welfare institution contacted us urgently to get our help to transfer him to a children’s hospital in Beijing for emergency surgery. By the time he turned one, Little Quan had already undergone three surgeries.



In 2021, after displaying symptoms of profuse sweating, Little Quan was diagnosed with a tumor in his abdomen which had a high risk of malignancy. Emergency surgery was once again necessary, and in December that same year, he underwent surgery to remove the tumor. Thereafter, it was confirmed that he had neuroblastoma and would require chemotherapy. From January to April 2022, Little Quan went through four cycles of chemotherapy. He is currently in remission, but will be due for another review in five years.

Little Quan’s life experiences may be summarized in a few short sentences, but he is not defined by his illness, as evidenced by his growth and the development of his unique personhood. He is a lively and intelligent little boy with an outgoing personality. He especially enjoys chatting with others and asking “Why?” Nourished by the care and companionship of his caregivers, Little Quan will continue to blossom regardless of any future medical challenges. In July 2021, Little Quan was placed within our Family Model of Care home, and began to experience family life with parents and siblings.

The Family Model of Care was designed to place orphans from the ages of 3 to 16 years old in families where a real couple will take on the roles of “Daddy and Mommy”, letting them grow up in a nurturing and love-filled family, while learning to understand the roles that various family members play. At the same time, the children will be coached in areas of self-care as well as emotional awareness, so as to prepare them for their future integration into society.

Even though these orphans lose the love and care of their birth mothers, the caregivers and foster mothers at our Dew Drops homes become their “mothers” and go through their illness and life’s storms with them. It is these women who accompany these sickly orphans through the days and nights, caring for them unconditionally, letting them receive the warmth of a mother’s love.

Happy Mother's Day!