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.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Another baby enters foster care...

Jenna left this week for foster care in her home province. Like always, her departure brings a mix of emotions. Together with her nannies, we are sad to see her leave the home, as we have greatly enjoyed getting to "know" her these past few months...but we are very excited that she is healthy enough to enter foster care!

"I'm not so sure about this..."

We know that her new foster family will take wonderful care of her, and trust that she will continue to grow and thrive in her new environment. We know how important a family environment is for a child's growth and development, and are very happy that Jenna can now experience this as well. (Many thanks to all of our supporters whose sponsorship of the LWB foster care program make these family-like experiences possible!).

Jenna is actually joining the same family as Shannon (who left the home a few weeks ago) we hope this familiar face will make her transition even smoother!

Goodbye, Jenna! We'll miss you!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


A newborn baby girl moved into the cleft home today, her name is Daisy. She's just a few weeks old, and seems to have no problems adjusting to her new home!

Welcome, Daisy! We're so glad you're here!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Life Philosophies

According to our house manager, Zhang Ming, some of the babies have already developed particular "life philosophies".

For example, Nick's life philosophy is to cry. You remember the post a while back, showing mouth open so wide you could see his tonsils? Well, he still likes to cry...but we're happy to report that he seems to be settling down a little bit. He has replaced some of his screaming with babbling, and that's a welcome change. He's not smiling in these pictures, but at least he's not crying!


Jack's life philosophy is eating...and that's one about which we are very happy! As long as the nannies strictly adhere to his eating schedule (every two hours!) he's a happy camper...but if his bottle is late, he let's everyone know about it!

Jack...taking a rare break from eating!

Dawn's life philosophy is smiling! And boy, do we have the pictures to prove it!

Dimply Dawn

Regardless of what their philosophy is, we are so pleased that each of our children has the opportunity to be unique in his or her own way, and so grateful that our nannies take the time to get to know each of them. It's such a gift to share in the development of each of these babies, as they continue to establish who they are. And we can't wait to see who they will be in the years to come!

Jenna's new smile

I thought you'd like to see some pictures of Jenna a few weeks post-op. She looks much more comfortable, and happy, wouldn't you say?

Now that's a happy child!

My how they grow!

Kyle and Becca still reside at the cleft home while we search for some more foster families. While they were never tiny by any means, they still have grown so much! Both physically and developmentally.

Even though neither could support their head when they first arrived, they are now both standing (though Kyle's a bit wobbly), and Becca seems to be helping Simba (the house manager's son) with his homework already ready!

Thank you for your continued support, which enables us to provide these children the physical, medical, emotional, and developmental support and care they deserve.

More babies!

The doors are certainly revolving at the cleft home!
There are two new ones you haven't yet met, so I would like to introduce....


and Phillip!

(From left to right)
Kyle...Jack...and Dawn...all in the hands of our
wonderful nannies, and one visitor!

Showing some love

One of the greatest benefits our children in the cleft home receive is individual care and attention. We know that the best nutrition and medical care is important, but without love, these babies would still lack what they need in order to thrive. I love all of the pictures we receive from the home of nannies interacting with the babies, because the care and love they feel for these babies is so evident. And they always look so happy to be with the children--we really couldn't ask for better caregivers.

Priceless picutres of Kyle learning to recieve...and give...kisses

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wren moves to ACH for surgery!

I cannot believe that little Wren
now has some chipmunk cheeks!

Wren went to Anhui Children's Hospital this week for cleft surgery! Wren is the last of the "founding" babies (babies who were in the home when it opened in March) to receive surgery, and we are very excited for her. She was one of the youngest and smallest babies brought to the home in March. She steadily gained weight and is now ready for surgery. We look forward to seeing her new smile!

There she is, bright-eyed, and beautiful, ready for a grand adventure...

...or maybe a nap

Friday, July 4, 2008

Jenna returns home after surgery

Jenna came home from the hospital this week after receiving surgery to repair her cleft lip. We're happy to report that everything went very well, and she's now peacefully resting and recovering back at the cleft home.

"What's going on?"

Jenna resting back at the cleft home

We're very thankful to the wonderful surgeons at Anhui Children's Hospital who have so dutifully cared for each of our children, and thankful to our many sponsors who make the surgeries financially possible.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Our twigs are budding!

As a long-time subscriber to LWB publications and newsletters, I have read over and over again how lucky we are to have such wonderful caregivers, directors, teachers, and doctors in China for the children under our care. Now that I have spent so much time working with the cleft home, I can see just how true that really is. Our house manager, Zhang Ming, really is a gift--he is ready and willing to do anything our children need, and you can tell he really cares about the children in the process. I'm happy to report that I think he likes his job too! The weekly reports about the children often put things so eloquently, I'd like to just share an excerpt with you:

[The Chinese name of one of our little girls means flower] "So every time I see her, I feel that I am in a garden of early summer. Here we have fresh air, comfortable temperature. The little twigs are growing into branches, and are budding. They’re enjoying the nurturing of summer sun and rain. Dawn is just like a beautiful flower in this garden. She grows quietly. Only two months, we can see and feel her various emotions, happy, blue.."

Pretty beautiful (and happy!) flower, wouldn't you agree?

Many thanks for your support, which helps us help our "twigs" grow into

beautiful "budding branches"!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

It's a girl!

We have a brand new resident at the cleft home!

Meet Millie, a baby girl born on June 20th, 2008. We are happy to report that she is quite comfortable in her new home. We know the nannies look forward to getting to know her in the months to come.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Eagle Scout Visits Home

Last week, an Eagle Scout named Alex visited the cleft home with his family, played with the babies, and brought many bottles and vitamins! Alex was on an adoption trip with his family to pick up his new brother. We are so glad he was able to visit the home and so thankful that he chose to partner with Love Without Boundaries!

Alex with his family and a few babies!

For his Eagle Scout project, Alex went door-to-door raising money to buy cleft bottles. He raised enough money to buy 17 cases of bottles, and brought five of these boxes to the cleft home!

Look at all those wonderful supplies! Five cases of bottles,
and 30 bottles of vitamins (Thanks to Tanner!)

Alex also brought over vitamins that were collected by another Eagle Scout, Tanner. He brought enough vitamins to last the cleft home for the entire year. We are very thankful for Tanner's hard work and generous donation, and know that these vitamins will be very important for our babies in the year to come


Alex smiles with satisfaction--as he should!
The babies (and LWB) say THANK YOU!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Becca's Standing!

You may remember that Becca was scheduled to leave the home and enter foster care a few weeks ago--she and Kyle were supposed to leave the same week that John and Ben left. Her perspective foster family is not yet ready to welcome her into their home, so she's still at the cleft home for a little longer. I was looking through the most recent pictures from the home, and came across these incredible pictures of her STANDING UP!

Becca with Paddy's daughter

"Hello, and Good-bye!"

Looks like she's ready to walk on off the couch!
Here comes trouble!

It's amazing to look back on how far she has come in just four months. When she first arrived at the home, she could barely hold up her head. It has been a joy to watch her grow stronger, learn to sit up, and then learn to stand!

We are so thankful for the generosity of all of our sponsors whose donations help make these milestones happen. We look forward to the day when all children will know the love and support of a forever family, but until that day comes, we are so grateful for your support which enables us to provide these children with the care and attention they so desperately need, and deserve.