Sunday, December 31, 2023

Miracles in Motion

Just Arrived

This December, we would like to share a little about a baby girl named M, who was born prematurely with a cleft lip and palate.
With Nanny

M was born at about 31 weeks gestation and weighed a little over 3 lbs (1450 g) when she came to the orphanage. She spent a few weeks in the NICU while her lungs matured, and then she discharged back to our home. Little M is an excellent eater who adapted easily to the special cleft feeding bottle and began to gain weight quickly! Last month she was finally big and strong enough for her cleft lip repair surgery.
Before Surgery

Although she still exhibits some developmental delays, M is catching up quickly. Even as she recovers from her recent surgery, her nanny is working with her every day to help her develop the head control and the strength she will need to roll over and begin to sit. She loves to be held and cuddled and rewards everyone around her with frequent smiles. Her orphanage has begun to consider a domestic adoption placement for her, so we are hopeful that it will not be long until she has a family of her own! Thank you for being part of M's story.

After Surgery

Sunday, December 10, 2023

A Heartwarming Christmas Celebration

The spirit of Christmas arrived early at our Beijing Medical Home, bringing joy and smiles to the faces of its amazing children. The festivities began as a group of dedicated volunteers, brimming with enthusiasm, organized a delightful Christmas party. This home, nestled with love and care, is where five wonderful children, each with unique medical needs, find healing and support.

 

Amidst twinkling lights and festive d├ęcor, the children eagerly dove into the holiday spirit. With laughter echoing through the room, they decorated a Christmas tree, each ornament a testament to their creativity and joy.

 
 
Next, the joyous atmosphere intensified as presents were unwrapped, filling the room with excitement and gratitude. The volunteers had prepared unique gifts for each child. 

   

Lastly, the children relished treats, savoring every bite, their happiness illuminating the room.

  

 

For these children, the true magic of the season lay in the love and warmth shared among friends, nannies, and volunteers. Wishing you and your loved ones a Merry Christmas!



 

Thursday, November 30, 2023

A Story of Strength and Hope

This month, we would like to share a little about a girl named MZ who has been receiving treatment in our medical home recently. 

Just Arrived

Little MZ suffered serious burns on many parts of her body as an infant.  Over the past three years, her orphanage has worked very hard to help her recover. Despite repeated surgeries and extended hospitalizations, she still has areas that refuse to heal. Her orphanage contacted us to see if we could help her, and of course we said yes.

Hospital Days

MZ has a serious wound that is impacting her right knee, making it so she is unable to straighten out her leg. Despite the pain that she is in, MZ is a strong girl. She tries to stand up by her bed and stretch out her leg, doing the various therapy exercises she needs to do each day.  The burn hospital specialists have created a plan of surgeries to help heal her wounds and release the joint contractures. Both in the hospital and at home, MZ is accompanied by her special nanny 24/7 to make sure all of her needs are met.

Bedrest

Puzzle Time

We are both humbled and amazed by MZ’s strength and determination.  She is an incredibly capable child who meets each day’s challenges with courage and a cheerful attitude.  She’s a quick learner and loves engaging in games, puzzles and craft projects.  Your support allows us to provide healing and nurturing to children like MZ. 

Beautiful MZ

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

A Brighter Future for H

Meet H! This sweet little girl was transferred to our care in July 2023.
 

Her parents were unable to care for her, so she was being raised by her grandfather. Last year, H’s grandpa recognized that due to his advanced age and worsening health he couldn’t keep up with an active preschooler. So four year old Han was taken to the local orphanage. The orphanage staff noticed that she had a number of minor health issues and made plans to follow up on those. She seemed otherwise healthy, though perhaps a bit developmentally delayed.



Before H was able to consult with any specialists she suffered a gastrointestinal emergency and needed surgery immediately. The local hospital in her province was unable to help her, so she transferred to Beijing, where we assumed responsibility for her care. At the end of July, she had surgery.
 


Following her recovery form the emergency surgery, we arranged the ophthalmology and ENT consults that she needed. In September, she underwent another successful surgery for her ophthalmology needs and in October, she had another surgery for her ENT needs. We are grateful that we could provide her with treatment for all of her medical needs.



H is an inquisitive, determined, resourceful little girl who has adapted well to our home. She loves to read books, play with play-doh and do arts and crafts. We look forward to witnessing how this sweet girl grows and thrives in the days ahead.

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

A glimpse into the future


It is our goal to provide each of the children in our care the best possible foundation for a brighter future. So it is not surprising that one of the questions we frequently hear from our supporters is "What will happen to these children when they grow up?"  Let us tell you about something that happened recently that gives us a little window into the possibilities.

Last month a group of young men and women who were formerly cared for in our projects gathered together in China for a “family” reunion.  Some of them now live and work in Beijing, some live in other provinces in China, and some came all the way from the US for this gathering.  Among the group, some are married or living alone in their own homes, a few are living with their adoptive families, and others live with foster parents or in group homes.  


Despite the separation of many miles and many time zones, the group had frequently been in touch  through messaging and video apps. Yet this was the first time in over ten years that they were able to be together in one place.  During this time, it was possible for them to reunite with some of their former caregivers, foster parents, teachers and other Little Flower staff.  




Many special meals and outings were planned; precious childhood memories were relived, and new ones were made. We were even able to celebrate a birthday!



Some from the group were able to travel to their home province and visit the orphanage where they had been before they came to Little Flower.  The buildings had changed, but they still recognized many familiar landmarks. 



   
Those of us who loved and cared for them when they were small were amazed to see how much they’ve grown and changed.  Each has tackled life’s challenges with grace and perseverance.  Most of them have found employment in various industries that suit their skills and abilities.  Some are still hoping to continue their education or vocational training.   Most of all, it was delightful to see how each has developed a unique personality and lively sense of humor.  We are so proud of the capable, independent and compassionate young adults they have become!



Your support allows us to provide medical care, education and nurturing family-based care to the 131 children currently in our care.  It is our greatest hope that twenty years from now we will be having another reunion, welcoming the children you are supporting today to share memories of the past and hopes for the future!

Monday, September 11, 2023

A Farewell to Summer

As the sun sets on another splendid summer, what better way to bid adieu to the balmy weather than with an enchanting end-of-the-season party? Thankfully, one of our volunteers organized just such a morning filled with laughter and joy.


Our first activity was a magical box full of dress-up costumes and masks. The air buzzed with anticipation as the children looked through the box and picked their favorite costumes. From capes that billowed in the wind to masks that hid mischievous grins, the playroom transformed into a realm of limitless imagination.
 








The next activity that awaited the young adventurers – a tower of cups standing tall, begging to be knocked down. Armed with colorful balls, the children took careful aim, sending the cups tumbling in a symphony of clinks and laughter. This simple yet captivating game showcased the power of teamwork and determination, as friends cheered each other on and celebrated each triumphant strike.






Next, we set up a small basin with water for the children to play with toy ducks. They quickly had the idea of giving the ducks a bath and then drying them with a "towel". The ducks were very dirty and needed a long, long bath!








The end of summer was celebrated in style – a day of imagination, camaraderie, and carefree play that will linger in their hearts long after the seasons change.





 

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Bringing Smiles

Meet M! M was abandoned this spring with a cleft lip and palate. Cleft lip and palate is a birth defect that forms very early in pregnancy, when the lip or palate fails to join completely, leaving a split, or cleft.
Just Arrived

M was just a week old and quite small when his orphanage asked if we might be able to accept him for care. He was wheezing a bit and needed supplemental tube feedings at first, but once he learned how to use a special cleft feeder he did really well. His nannies spent hours talking to him, holding him, singing songs, doing infant massage and responding to his emotional needs for comfort and nurturing. We know that these are as important as (often more so) making sure that a child’s physical needs are met.
With Nanny 

Before Surgery
 
In July, M was admitted for his cleft lip repair and the surgery went smoothly. He is now sporting a beautiful new smile! Little M loves to be held and bounced and he keeps up a steady stream of baby talk in response to his nanny telling him how handsome he is! 

After Surgery

So Much to Say!