Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The BIG news

I know you all have been eagerly anticipating the news. I can just see you sitting at your computer repeatedly hitting the "refresh" button. OK, maybe not. However, I am so excited to share this story with you! Warning: it is a bit long. The type of long where you might want to go grab a cup of coffee before reading. I could just skip the details and go directly to the main event, yet the remarkableness of the main event is found in the events leading up to it. It's just like the story in the Word: the climactic event is made more beautiful and glorious when all of the events leading up to it are examined.

Before we get to the story, I have a question for you. Have you ever doubted the Father's care of orphans and widows? Let me be perfectly honest; I have. Visiting an orphanage week after week tears at my heart. I have a deep longing to see these children placed in loving families, and to see weeks and months and years pass by is difficult. It is easy to look at them as forgotten. Yet the story I have to share with you is just one small testimony to the fact that the Father does intimately care for the orphans in this world. Beyond that, He is also intricately at work on their behalf.

Now unto our story. This story begins on February 6, 1983 when my mother headed to the hospital to give birth to her second daughter...ok, just kidding. We don't need to go that far back. The story doesn't necessarily have a definite beginning, but we'll pick it up two years ago when I was privileged to meet up with a family who were adopting their daughter from the orphanage in our city. It was a joy to meet this couple, and a friendship was formed. I began to regularly check their blog to see updates on their daughter Lily. It was through their blog that I found the blog of another adoptive family. I was immediately attracted by this adoptive mom's wit and expressive writing, not to mention the fact that she was in the process of adopting her third child from China (bringing, at the time, the total number of kids in her house to 7). This blog became one of my regular sites to visit.

From a distance I watched this family adopt their third and fourth child from China. I watched as both of these sons' clubfeet were treated by the serial casting method. This process corrects the feet without surgery through a series of casts. When Stefanie (the mom) opened a website for the purpose of informing and encouraging parents adopting waiting children with special needs from China, I had to email her. I sent her a quick note thanking her for all the work she was doing on behalf of the kids over here. I got a sweet email back from her and an acquaintance was formed.

Fast forward to about one month ago. For awhile, Stefanie's blog had been blocked in China. I could get there a backdoor way, but because of the added nuisance I wasn't checking it very frequently. But with an afternoon with a little free time, I decided to stop by the blog. I knew her family was in the process of adopting their fifth child from China, a precious little girl. I opened the blog, finding the most recent post to be an update on this girl. I was amazed to learn that she was currently being treated in China with the serial casting method.

There are two toddlers at our orphanage with spina bifida. The girl has two clubfeet, and the boy has one clubfoot. At the beginning of the semester, we were hoping to help with a surgery for the boy's back. We were planning a fundraiser at our university, where each teacher would offer a prize to be raffled off. Each teacher had selected a prize and we were just waiting to get the doctor's assessment of the cost of the surgery. But then we found out he was not treatable. The doctor was also asked about possible treatment for the children's feet; but once again, we were told there was no treatment.

Consequently, I was excited to see on Stefanie's blog that children in China were not only being treated for clubfoot, but treated with the most advanced method. I knew her daughter was way in the south of China, but I sent her a quick email asking if she knew of anywhere else in China that was using this method, or if this organization took kids from different areas. She emailed me back saying that was the only location, and that she thought they only treated kids in the area. However, if I wanted, she could give me the organization's email address. I was a little disappointed, but not surprised.

Within a day, though, Stefanie emailed me again. She had talked to the stateside leader of the organization, and had told her about our kids. The leader wanted me to email her. A glimmer of hope began to shine, and I sent an email right away explaining the situation. She told me to email the head of operations in China. I sent an email asking if they treated kids from other provinces, and if she knew of any other treatment places in China. I know the mound of hoops and red tape adoptive parents go through, so I could only imagine the hassle of trying to get a child transferred from an orphanage to another province (serial casting treatment lasts around 6 months, so the child would stay for a long time). To my surprise, the leader emailed me back saying that the logistics were quite simple and that they would be more than happy to treat children from other provinces. The glimmer of hope grew stronger. I sent along pictures of the children's legs for a final determination of whether they were treatable, and got an email back saying there were two beds reserved for the kids as soon as the center officially opens in June.

The last small mountain to be moved was getting the orphanage to agree to take the two children way down south and leave them for six months of treatment. After a few conversations, with a student along to translate, the orphanage director was willing, but doubtful about whether treatment was really possible. She wanted a doctor to look at them one more time. Yesterday, the doctor came to examine them. After discussing their condition with a Chinese worker at the organization, the director gave her final approval to have the kids sent for treatment.

Next week we'll be starting the fundraiser on campus to raise money for the travel costs of sending the kids down south. These two kids' lives are about to be radically changed!Whew, congratulations if you made it to the end of this! I hope you are encouraged by this testimony of the Father's care!

7 comments:

Kasey said...

Praise the Father! He is so good!

Anonymous said...

K, I will be happy to help some if I can.

Nan

Pru's Corner said...

hooray!

kirsten said...

that is so amazing! i will be lifting up your fundraiser, dear friend! how much do you need?

Christi and Abbey said...

Big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. This is awesome! Truly He is a father to the fatherless.

Kimberlie said...

I have been following your blog some time. I am an adoptive mom of three from Ch*na (2 boys, and 1 girl). I know how you can feel when you question what the Father's plan is for the orphans. Each time I leave Ch*na, I grieve for those left behind. What will happen to them.

Thank you for your persistence on behalf of these little ones!!! I wish I were in Ch*na to participate in your fundraiser. Email me privately if there is something I can do Stateside (like with the US operation of this organization).

May your efforts be abundantly blessed!

Karin said...

I found your blog from Kimberlie's. :) I am a mom to 10 kids--seven adopted from China. I wanted to let you know about another location that does casting. It's in Be*jing. Their website is: hopefosterhome.com

I am so blessed to know that you are advocating for the kids!! I work for lovewithoutboundaries.com and you could also contact them for help with any of the kids who need surgery.