Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Made For Love - The Vital Role of Adults

 We believe that adults play a significant part in children’s development, and the relationship that trusted adults have with the child is the best tool that adults can use to work with the child.  This philosophy guides much of our work in our Made For Love programs.

Adults play a significant part in any child's development. They provide nutritious food, medical care, and a safe environment. They teach the child to observe social norms like turn taking and guide them to form health relationships with peers. The child depends on adults to learn language and everyday concepts, which paves the way for communication and future academic learning. Adults are also role models and facilitators for the child to know themselves, to recognize and regulate their emotions, and to cope with stressful events in life. 

The children we work with are often faced with emotional challenges because of the hardships early in life, such as illnesses, physical impairments, abandonment, and disadvantaged family situations.  This means the presence of caring and responsible staff members, such as caregivers and teachers, are of utmost importance for the children's development and overall well-being. 

It also means we need to work extra hard to bond with the children, to ensure consistency and reliability so that they get to experience and learn what it is like to form trusting relationships with important adults in their lives. This is especially true for the children with trust and behavior issues. What we emphasize is to look beyond their less-than-ideal behaviors, observe more, and wonder what the needs are and how they can be met appropriately. 

We believe that every child needs to feel seen and cherished. It is crucial for children with traumatic backgrounds to receive individualized attention and to form one-on-one bonds with loving caregivers and/or a teacher. To have a go-to person is an essential element in creating a nurturing, home-like environment, where each child feels safe, loved, and valued. Healthy and stable relationship with trusted adults help the children build a sense of security, confidence, and self-esteem. 

In everyday life situations, trusted adults are role models for children and demonstrate positive behaviors, social skills and self-regulation. Children observe and absorb how adults around them treat themselves and others, how they handle problems and challenges, and how they make friends and resolve conflicts.  

A loving and supportive relationship with important adults is not only healing during early childhood, but its impact extends all the way into adulthood. Young children who form strong, trusting relationships with adults are more likely to become resilient and acquire positive coping strategies, which is beneficial for them in the face of challenges in the future. Positive and meaningful relationships with adults can also lead to better educational achievements and healthy relationships with others later in life. They strengthen the children's sense of self-worth, inspire them to pursue their goals, and shape their overall life trajectories. 

The relationship between trusted adults and children in need is a powerful tool for their development and wellbeing. Together we strive to help these children build a strong foundation for healing, growth, and for reaching their full potential.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024

A Fun Day Out!

 After our visit to the farm last month, the children in our medical home have been looking for more opportunities to get out and learn more the world around them.  We found a wonderful park nearby that combined many fun adventures and some relaxing time exploring nature.

Riding the tram was a new experience:

Right away we were greeted by some friendly dogs.  Dogs can be scary if you have never been around them, but some of our little ones were brave enough to even pet them!

A fun day spent outside is never complete without bubble blowing, so that was next on the agenda:

Playing in sand aways fun:

But you might have to stop afterward to dump all the sand out of your shoes!

Of course, there was plenty of time to walk slowly and smell the flowers:

Who can pass up a chance to swing on the swings?  We had a bunch of different options to choose from!

And the slide:

Everyone worked up an appetite after all that!

And that universal childhood ritual: blowing a dandelion:

The highlight of the day was a mini roller-coaster:

It was a very enjoyable day, full of new excitement and learning.  We are so grateful to all who helped bring the outside world to our most medically fragile little ones.  It was an amazing experience!  

Thursday, May 9, 2024

From Preemie to Preschooler!

 Newborn KX was born prematurely and weighed only 2 lbs 10 oz (1200g) when she was found in a village by an elderly gentleman who lived nearby.  As soon as she arrived at the orphanage, they called us to ask if we could help her.  

Because she was hypothermic and had very low oxygen levels, we arranged ambulance transport to send her to Beijing.  Little KX spent about a month in the NICU being treated for infection and complications of prematurity.  

Once she was stable, she discharged back to our baby home, where she has been doing very well.  

KX is just celebrated her third birthday.  She has grown into a beautiful little girl who is a bit shy but loves music.  She attends our early learning center for classes every day; her favorite is cooking class, but she eagerly participates in all of the activities.   

Right now she is still being cared for by the nannies in our children’s home, but when space is available, we hope to move her to our family model of care project.  

We are very grateful to all who have chosen to support us in this work.  Your prayers, financial support and donations of supplies are making a difference every day for KX and all of the other children in our care.

Saturday, May 4, 2024

Made for Love - Different, not deficient!

 We believe that children with special needs can learn and develop. Just as every child is unique, so are their developmental trajectories. Children with special needs may follow a different path than their peers, but it does not mean they are incapable of learning and developing. Rather, they are developing in their own unique way, with their own strengths and challenges. Therefore, it is very important that we look at a child with special needs as different rather than deficient.


For children with special needs, we focus on what they can do, rather than paying too much attention to what they cannot do.

The human brain is incredibly adaptable, which allows children to learn and develop new skills, regardless of their challenges. We support children with special needs by recognizing and building on their strengths and interests. This is crucial for their development and it helps foster a sense of competence and identity.

In our early childhood classrooms, we offer educational activities that are designed to meet each child's specific strengths and challenges to enhance their learning. We do our best to address developmental delays and help each child reach their full potential by providing rich educational experiences and nurturing interpersonal relationships.

For example, children with Down Syndrome often exhibit great interest in music, and show wonderful social skills, empathy, and determination. In our everyday work with them, we try to tailor activities to their interests and strengths (a lot of singing, pretend play, and hands-on, experiential learning) , while providing support in areas where they may face challenges.


We also try and teach the children to follow their passion, rather than being defined by their disabilities. 

As individuals, children with special needs have dignity and worth just like everyone else. This means they need a supportive and inclusive environment in order to thrive. When they feel heard, accepted, and understood by the loving adults and peers around them, they are more likely to make progress and become who they truly are. 

We also try to celebrate their achievements, no matter how small, which helps boost their confidence and self-worth, and encourages further progress. 

We believe that children with special needs have great potential to learn and develop when provided with appropriate support, resources, and opportunities. With knowledge, patience, understanding, and a focus on their individual needs and strengths, we can create conditions for children with special needs to make significant strides in their development.