We participated in an Christmas ornament swap with Harrah's Make the Wait group. Thank you to Cyndi and Dean for the beautiful ornaments.
It was three years ago this month that we made the decision to adopt from China. Looking back we would never have imagined that our journey would take so long. But we continue to have faith and believe that God has a plan for us. Although sometimes it seems that so little has happened in the last three years, so much has. We have made friends and done things that we may not have if we already had our child. Most of all we have learned that what we do with our blessings is much more important than counting our blessing. This holiday season we hope you too are blessed and choose to do great things with those blessings.
If you shop on Amazon, we ask that you do so via the Love Without Boundaries link on the right. If you clink on the Amazon link at their bottom, a portion of your sale with benefit China's orphans. You may also consider making a donation or sponsoring a child. We are blessed for the work they do.
You are probably wondering what date China is on- February 19. We will update December's referrals (hopefully) this week.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
We have been continuing to keep busy here. After returning from a fabulous vacation with family and an in between trip to one of our favorite spots on earth, Destin, Florida, it was back to work for another school year. No complaining here, I thoroughly enjoyed my summer. I also enjoyed each and every minute I got to spend with my nephews. I just love this picture of Dave, and it would be even more perfect with a little hand reaching up to his. Once again, I pray that our next trip to the beach is with our little one. (Oh yeah- picture taken with my brand new camera). The latest update is...last week China matched children to their families through the date February 6, 2006 and they arrive sooner than expected. We are taking a Chinese Culture and Language class at our local university.
January 2006 Log In Dates are now complete. That leaves February, March, April and May. So, we are getting closer. I have linked some blogs for families who received an August referral (on the right). I wanted to share an inspirational thought for the week:
Patience produces character, and character produces hope. And this hope will never disappoint us. Romans 5:4-5
We hope you are enjoying the breaktaking moments of the Olympic games and the beauty of our child's birthcountry as much as we are.
A Message from Amy Eldridge, Executive Director of Love Without Boundaries
I know all of us are stunned and heartbroken by the tragedy of the earthquake in China, and I wanted to give you an update on what LWB is working on, specifically about our relief efforts.
First of all, we were not in any position to provide immediate assistance such as food or blankets because we do not have staff on the ground in Sichuan. When we have been contacted by people who want to give to the rescue efforts, we have been referring them to groups like Americares or Children's Hope International. These groups are right there trying to get food and water to the victims. Because many roads were damaged, it has been difficult to ship in supplies.
LWB is collecting funds and plans to use these donations for projects that will provide more long-term relief. 100% of donations received will be used for relief efforts. I am saddened to report that our directors in China have contacted many officials and have been told that a huge amount of children have now become orphaned. Our China medical director spoke with a doctor in Sichuan who said that in his hospital alone there were 163 newly orphaned children.
One of our board members is actually in Beijing right now and has met with the CCAA. We wish to pledge our support to a specific project that LWB can be closely involved with. We know that many charities are raising funds which will be used by the central government for relief efforts. We are recommending Half The Sky Foundation for these types of donations. Because many groups and foreign countries are already helping in that way, LWB has decided to work on a smaller project that we can be closely involved with so that we can report back to our donors on how their funds were used. Since we know that there are two very real needs in China involving this horrible earthquake--immediate assistance for food and water and also a long-term need of help for the children who have now become orphaned--LWB has decided to raise funds to help in both ways. One immediate need that we have been asked to help with is providing baby formula to the regions in need as many babies currently have no access to the formula they need. Through our nutrition program, we are able to get significant discounts on baby formula due to the amount we purchase. We are placing the first emergency order today, which will be shipped to Chongqing Civil Affairs and then distributed to babies in need.
One long-term project that we are working on is outside of Chengdu. We are working with a local physician there who has already met with provincial Civil Affairs about setting up a temporary children's shelter, for those children who have either become orphaned or have become displaced and are unable to locate their families. Of course we will pray that every child who enters this shelter will eventually be reunited with his or her family, but, if they are not, LWB would like to help them in the long-term by providing shelter and possible future foster homes. Civil Affairs asked us how many children we feel we can help and house. They are worried that if the project is announced that more children will be sent to us than we can handle. We are waiting on final details for this project as there are many logistical details to work out with helping more long-term. Our staff in China are in close contact with officials in the region to come up with the best plan for the children who are currently still in the hospitals there. As we receive more news on how we will be helping long-term, we will pass it on to you.
The magnitude of this devastation and feeling of sorrow is so very deep, and I know all of us are wanting to do something to help out. We are fully committed to helping children who have been hurt in this tragedy, and we are so grateful for your support. Together we can work to touch the lives of children who have suffered such a loss in a very real way.
As I reported yesterday, HTS (Half the Sky) reports that they have had contact with the Chengdu, Chongqing and Yibin orphanages and that all is well. The children were all evacuated until the tremors passed, the buildings suffered no great damage, and no children were injured. This morning they note that the children have once again been removed from the Chengdu orphanage due to the aftershocks.
Half the Sky reports that they will be working with The Ministry of Civil Affairs to help the children impacted by the earthquake. They already have a working relationship with the MoCA, and it turns out that the MoCA is responsible for disaster relief as well as being over the CCAA.
Neither the MoCA nor HTS have been able to reach the orphanages in the most affected areas: Mianyang, Zitong, Deyang and Aba. They report that each of those four institutions house about 100 children.
Jenny Bowen at HTS notes that help for children may well be needed outside welfare institutions, and they have been given assurance by the MoCA that they will be able to deliver aid where it is most desperately needed. They intend to help provide temporary and long term care to the children affected, including emergency shelter, food, and medical care for children orphaned or separated from their families. They have set up an Earthquake Fund, if you’d like to help them then go to their website: http://www.halfthesky.org/
LWB (Love without Boundaries) is also involved and is posting updates about individual programs as they get the information. As of now they report that the children at the Deyang SWI are safe and that there was minor damage to the building. They say that the Mama’s Wish teachers and students have all been accounted for and are safe. Also, all of the children in the Zhaotong Foster Care program are safe. They have a disaster relief fund set up as well.
The Year of the Rat started on February 7.
Being the first sign of the Chinese zodiacs, rats are leaders, pioneers and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking. Rat people are endowed with great leadership skills and are the most highly organized, meticulous, and systematic of the twelve signs. Intelligent and cunning at the same time, rats are highly ambitious and strong-willed people who are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power. They are energetic and versatile and can usually find their way around obstacles, and adapt to various environments easily. A rat's natural charm and sharp demeanor make it an appealing friend for almost anyone, but rats are usually highly exclusive and selective when choosing friends and so often have only a few very close friends whom they trust.
Behind the smiles and charm, rats can be terribly obstinate and controlling, insisting on having things their way no matter what the cost. These people tend to have immense control of their emotions, which they may use as a tool to manipulate and exploit others, both emotionally and mentally. Rats are masters of mind games and can be very dangerous, calculative and downright cruel if the need arises. Quick-tempered and aggressive, they will not think twice about exacting revenge on those that hurt them in any way. Rats need to learn to relax sometimes, as they can be quite obsessed with detail, intolerant and strict, demanding order, obedience, and perfection.
Rats consider others before themselves, at least sometimes, and avoid forcing their ideas onto others. Rats are fair in their dealings and expect the same from others in return, and can be deeply affronted if they feel they have been deceived or that their trust has been abused. Sometimes they set their targets too high, whether in relation to their friends or in their career. But as the years pass, they will become more idealistic and tolerant. If they can develop their sense of self and realize it leaves room for others in their life as well, Rats can find true happiness.
Love Without Boundaries is a worldwide group of volunteers who have realized that people with a pure love for helping children can truly make a difference. Their daily mission is to brighten the lives of orphaned and impoverished children in China.
LWB is in the process of collecting donations that could ultimately win them $50,000. There is a contest on Facebook now that is supported by the Case Foundation.To register a donation, someone only has to give $10.
"We are going to do another one day heart surgery challenge on Tuesday, January 22nd (ending January 23rd at 12 noon PST). I know we can fund the rest of baby Yang's surgery that day. This will give us all time to contact all of our friends and family and get them signed up on Facebook so they can donate on that day. Thanks so much for your support! It will also give us one final week to get as many individual donors as possible so many more kids can receive the gift of life through the $50,000 prize. Let's all try to find an extra $10 by January 22nd and know we all came together to save baby Yang's life." LWB
If you can assist in this challenge, your $10 will make a difference in the world.
Thank you for all your love and support.
The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before December 19, 2005.