Friday, August 15, 2008

New Blog Address

Don't miss any news about the kids you help support.

Our new blog is located at You will need to RE-REGISTER if you wish to have LWB news arrive directly into your inbox each day. Simply enter your email address into the right hand box and then confirm your subscription. It is that easy! Then every day any updates on our programs and children will simply arrive via email. We have combined all of our blogs into one, so one subscription will give you all of our news. Our new blog gives you the ability to search for stories by program area, and it also will highlight our cleft healing home.

Thanks for taking the step to register! We have also placed a banner on our page that says "LWB BLOG" that you are more than welcome to copy and post on your own blog and website to get even more people interested in helping children in China. We will soon have one for our main website as well.

Thanks everyone! Happy reading!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

A weight-lifter in the making

Are you talking about me??

Jack is getting stronger, and heavier each week--which is a great thing! But it seems that he's only putting on weight horizontally, as he hasn't gotten any taller! He "takes much nutrition, but it only builds him up horizontally, not vertically!"

Jack showing us just how WIDE he has gotten!

He is apparently shorter than many of the younger babies, and the nannies say that "He will be a good weight-lifting player when he grows up"

Practicing barbells in his sleep?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Out of the Woods

Last week we introduced little 8 month old Tyler who traveled 14 hours by bus with his nanny to come to the Cleft Home for the nurturing, individualized care that he needed to be able to survive with his cleft. When he arrived, he was immediately admitted to the ICU at Anhui Children's to get treatment for dehydration, failure to thrive, and pneumonia.

We received wonderful news that Tyler has been discharged from the hospital yesterday and is now back at the Cleft Home. He is still very weak and can only be fed 80 ml of formula every 3 hours. The nannies say that Tyler can easily get a swollen belly if he is fed more than 80 ml one time. He will still need to take the medicine to control possible infection.

Thank you to everyone who have remembered these children in your thoughts. As you can see, Tyler is swimming in his clothing. We put the word out that we could use some tiny premie clothing for him and you overwhelmed us with your generosity. Thank you!
Look at those big feet. I predict he will be the next Yao Ming basketball star some day.

Heidi Reitz
Foster Care Director

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Unwelcome visitors...

Usually the babies at the cleft home are excited when visitors come to visit. After all, it generally means more hands to hold them, and more mouths to speak to them! But...recently they had some unwelcome visitors: nurses from the hospitals to vaccinate them!

Little Dawn doesn't know quite what to expect...

...but she quickly decides she doesn't like this one bit!

We know children are never happy to receive their shots, but we also know that this little bit of discomfort now will be very valuable to their health later! (We also know, thankfully, that babies have very short memories!)

A sixth sense

It seems one of our little ones has a kind of "sixth sense."

Millie, a one-month-old baby girl, loves being around people, whether she's awake or asleep. Her nannies say that she can sense when they enter or leave the room, and she does not like it when they leave! Even if she's soundly asleep, if they try to leave the room for a few minutes, she immediately starts crying for her "mum."

If you look carefully at the above pictures, you may recognize the living room rug. Because she likes being around people (and noise!) so much, the nannies often let her nap in the living room, instead of her bed, where she may become lonely!

When she's awake, the presence of other babies or adults around her lulls her to sleep! The nannies say that she just has a sense of comfort when surrounded by others and is afraid of being by herself. Luckily, at the cleft home, there are usually plenty of babies and adults around to keep her company.

As long as I'm with people, I'm a happy baby!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Newborn baby boys

When we first opened the home in March, many of our babies were already a few months old, and Becca and Kyle were almost six months old! We were happy to welcome any and all babies into the home at that point, but lately we are welcoming younger and younger babies. This is a wonderful shift for us, because we really do want the babies as young as we can get them. The earlier that cleft-affected children can begin to feed with a cleft bottle, received adequate nutrition, and gain weight, the better!

Please join me in welcoming the newest members of the cleft home family--Hunter and Lance, newborn baby boys!

Hunter sleeping soundly in his new home

Lance doesn't seem so sure about this...

...but after seeking comfort in his fingers,
he looks a little happier!

More baby boys!!

The cleft home recently welcomed three new baby boys--Tyler, Matthew, and Louis. These boys all came from the same province and traveled many, many hours to get here! The bus left their home town at 7 am, and didn't arrive in Anhui until 9 pm! It's always a long journey, but this trip was made especially grueling because the bus broke down at one point and took over two hours to repair! We want to especially thank the nannies who brought these boys all that way. We believe that their willingness to undergo such a long trip speaks to the acknowledged value and need for the services and care we are able to provide to these children.

Like most cleft babies, Tyler, Matthew, and Louis have a very hard time feeding and struggled to gain weight at the orphanage. All three boys arrived at the cleft home weak and sick. Matthew and Louis are recovering from their colds and long journey at the cleft home, but Tyler needed to be admitted to the hospital. The state of all of these babies upon their arrival, especially the oldest two, illustrates how important it is for cleft-affected babies to have access to adequate nutrition.

Matthew is about two months old,
which makes him the youngest of the three.

But we are happy to say that he is one alert little baby!

Louis is almost six months old...and greatly enjoys sucking his thumb!
(That will be a hard habit to break when it's time for surgery!)

Tyler is eight months old. He is being treated at Anhui Children's Hospital for dehydration, malnutrition, and pneumonia, but we are happy to report that he has now moved from ICU to regular care. At the time of his admission to the hospital, he weighed just over 7 lbs.

We thank you for your continued support, which enables us to provide babies like Tyler, Matthew, and Louis with the specialized, individualized, care they need to survive. Please keep these babies, especially Tyler, in your thoughts and prayers.