Friday, June 30, 2023

From Fragility to Resilience

Baby Y was born prematurely and with a heart defect. Someone traveling a village road in Inner Mongolia province found him nestled under a stand of trees, tiny and in very fragile health. The orphanage immediately recognized that he needed skilled medical care, and after spending two weeks in a local hospital they asked if we could arrange for him to travel to see specialists in Beijing.

By the time we met baby Y he was in heart failure and needed oxygen, so it was a very nerve-racking trip to Beijing! He arrived safely, but the ICU specialists cautioned us that his surgery would be very risky, and he might not survive. They hoped to try and stabilize him first, but delaying his surgery was also a huge risk. After a short period of weighing the risks and benefits of immediate surgery vs. waiting they decided to go ahead and operate.

Travelling to Beijing

Arrived at ICU

On May 24th little Y had surgery, which went smoothly. His post-op recovery has been slow but steady – he has weaned off the ventilator, moved out of the ICU and it wasn’t long until he able to bottle feed all by himself! His dedicated nanny stayed with him 24/7 helping him to recover in the hospital, and we’re happy to announce that he discharged back to our medical home on June 12th. 

Post surgery
Post-op growing stronger

Leaving the hospital 

Baby Y is steadily recovering and growing. He is very content being held by his nanny and gazing into her eyes. He is a very attentive little boy, watching his nannies carefully. 

Back at our medical home

Wednesday, June 14, 2023

Zhang Qin: A Personal Calling, A Lasting Impact

In a bustling city filled with stories of compassion and resilience, one caregiver's journey stands out as a beacon of hope. Zhang Qin, known to the children as "Zhang Ma", has spent nearly two decades selflessly nurturing abandoned children. Her unwavering dedication and boundless love have touched the lives of countless children, making her an inspiration. In this blog post, Zhang Qin shares her personal motivations, the various roles she has undertaken, the challenges she has faced, and her hopes for the children she encounters. Join us as we delve into Zhang Qin's story and the profound impact she has made at Little Flower.


Getting Involved and Finding Inspiration:
Back in 2005, Zhang Qin's journey working with Little Flower began through the introduction of a close friend. Drawn by her innate love for working with children, she saw an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those born with medical needs. At the time, her own son had started school, creating a perfect moment for her to embark on this inspiring path.


Starting as an "ayi" (nanny), she devoted herself to nurturing newborns and little babies, fulfilling their basic needs while building strong bonds. Recognized for her dedication, a month after she started working, she was offered the chance to become a "shift manager", where she took on greater responsibilities and played a pivotal role in overseeing other nannies. Eventually, Zhang Qin's passion and hard work led her to become a "Duty Manager" and later the "Medical Coordinator," allowing her to touch the lives of even more children in need.

Singing with the children

On a typical day as the Medical Coordinator, Zhang Qin starts early in the morning accompanying children to medical appointments across the city. From arranging appointments to providing updates to the orphanage and meticulously maintaining records, her responsibilities require unwavering dedication and organization. Despite the challenges and the juggling act she performs, Zhang Qin finds immense fulfillment in her work, knowing she is making a meaningful impact on the lives of these children.

Transferring a baby to the hospital

Bringing a baby home after surgery

Thanking nurses at a local hospital

Confronting Challenges with Courage:
Zhang Qin acknowledges that her journey at Little Flower has not been without its difficulties. Bidding farewell to a child who returns to their orphanage can be heart-wrenching, as the strong bonds formed make separation a painful experience. She recounts one poignant memory of saying goodbye to a child with whom she had formed a deep connection. Taking him to the train station and handing him over to his new caregivers is a memory she will never forget. She cried on the subway ride back home. 

Additionally, Zhang Qin shares the profound impact of losing a child, recounting her first encounter with this painful reality and the strength it takes to provide solace and dignity in such moments.

A Testament of Unwavering Commitment:
When asked why she continues to dedicate herself after so many years, Zhang Qin's answer is resolute and heartfelt. Her love for her work is evident, and she cannot imagine pursuing any other path. Over the years, she has acquired valuable skills, ranging from nursing care for children to computer proficiency. Zhang Qin's unwavering dedication is bolstered by the unwavering support of her family, particularly her son, who has grown up witnessing the impact she has made in the lives of these children.
Working at her desk

Zhang Qin's ultimate hope is that every child she encounters will find a loving and nurturing family through adoption, where they can experience the profound love and support they deserve. She envisions a future where every child's physical and emotional needs are met.