Monday, February 25, 2008

More gifts for the babies!

We have been so touched by the outpouring of love for the babies we will be caring for at the Cleft Healing Home. The other day I went outside to find a stack of boxes in my garage. These boxes contain backpacks with many essentials for each baby to begin their stay at our home. In addition to providing many daily life essentials, the backpacks are CUTE! They are red with the Love Without Boundaries logo on them. The backpacks themselves will also be used by the nannies when our babies go for surgery at Anhui Children's Hospital.

This great gift was coordinated by a wonderful supporter of Love Without Boundaries and ELIM Christian Services. The backpacks were put together by disabled and special needs adults who love the opportunity to help others. I think it is SO special that these special adults are helping our special little people.

Thank you ELIM for sending your HOPE PACKS to offer hope to the babies at Anhui Cleft Healing Home! To read more about ELIM visit
If you happen to be traveling to Hefei in the near future and could take a box with you as an extra piece of luggage, please contact me, we would be happy to arrange pick up!
Sandi Glass
Cleft Healing Home Coordinator

Thursday, February 21, 2008

February Update on ACHH

We’ve come a long way, baby….The Anhui Cleft Healing Home is nearly complete! The next official update will not be about the home’s progress, but about the babies’ progress, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. In order to get us there, our Chinese staff has been working over time to get the home ready, even during Chinese New Year.

The kitchen cabinets are installed, don’t they look wonderful?

The rooms are all brightly painted. The flooring was somehow installed DURING the holiday; Zhang Ming must have real clout!

There is still a lot to be done in a few short weeks for our projected March 1 opening. But given the progress that I’ve witnessed, I feel confident that we can do it. This week some of the nannies will begin work to get the home ready for the babies. We will also begin their very important training so that the babies will get the best care available.

I would like you to meet our first babies!

Aren't they all precious?

If you would like to sponsor one of these children in our home, please visit

Aren’t they all precious?

Thank you so much, we could not help these babies without your help!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Baby Shower for the Cleft Healing Home

While our China staff is busy working on the home in China, we have volunteers who have been busy helping us prepare for our babies! The women of Abiding Presence Lutheran Church in Burke, VA held a baby shower for our home! They celebrated Chinese New Year with (what else?) Chinese food, and showered our babies with a ton of gifts. Not only did we receive many wonderful gifts, but $2000 was also donated to our home.

What baby shower would be complete without a cake?
Look at all these wonderful gifts for the babies! THANK YOU Abiding Presence for your generosity!
If you would be interested in hosting a baby shower for our home, please contact me for more information .

Anhui Cleft Healing Home Update January 2008

Our Cleft Healing Home is really beginning to look like a home now, albeit a home under construction. With each new addition, whether it’s a staircase or tile in the kitchen, we get more and more excited because that means we are one step closer to caring for the babies who need us. We haven’t even opened our doors yet and are already more than half way full with babies who have been identified as needing care from orphanages in Anhui.

The push is on now to complete as much as possible before the Chinese New Year (CNY) celebration, when everything stops for a week. The kitchen and baths have been tiled; the kitchen cabinets and appliances have been ordered and should be installed before CNY. Door and window trim has been added, as have lots and lots of shelves for storage. We have stairs now and the walls are ready for paint.

We have paint colors!! Soft shades of yellow, green and blue for the babies’ rooms.

Our house manager in China, Zhang Ming, has been very busy pulling all of these details together for us. He has also found a wonderful head nanny who we witnessed working magic with the babies on one of our cleft mission trips. He will begin interviewing possible nannies before CNY begins.

We are getting ready to order the baby equipment that our donors have provided for – the bouncy seats, crib mobiles, walkers, high chairs and strollers that will make this house a home for these babies. Our first shipment of cleft bottles is due to arrive soon, the real essential ingredient for these babies to thrive.

While a lot of hard work HAS gone into this home, I have to admit that it hasn’t been all work, no play. I must also admit that I’ve developed a little problem; I can’t seem to pass up a clearance rack of baby clothes! I will have to stop, or I won’t be able to carry our suitcases to China in March. But can’t you just see our little babies lined up for their photos with chubby cheeks at Halloween and Christmas time? I surely hope that we meet our deadlines so that I can cuddle with some of these babies when I am there in March!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Anhui Cleft Healing Home Update: December 2007

A lot has happened in a few short months in our Cleft Healing Home, in fact some days a lot happens in an hour! In October it became clear that renovating the older apartment we had in mind would be too costly and perhaps not provide the result we wanted; a safe homelike environment to nurture very frail babies. So, we changed gears from renovating an older apartment to finishing a new apartment. The new apartment is located in the same area as the older one and still close to Anhui Children’s Hospital. It will allow us to build to the specifications we need and things are moving along!

Our apartment is two stories, with a large storage area on a lower floor that will enable us to store the supplies we need. The first floor has a playroom/sitting area, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms and two baths. The babies will all live on the first floor for now. One of the bathrooms is being built out as a changing/wash area exclusively for the babies, with a nice large sink and attached counter for drying and changing.

The second floor will house LWB’s office in China. There is another bathroom, bedroom, storage area and sitting room upstairs as well. These will allow us to expand in the future to take in more babies if necessary. Missy Ridley, our Education Director was able to visit the site in November and reports that it’s a bright, cheerful apartment with lots of potential.

Custom construction began soon after we procured the use of the apartment. A new floor has been added upstairs to allow us to have 2 playrooms. The plumbing for the heating system has been installed. The electrical wires and extra plumbing required for the outside laundry room should be finished this week. We have chosen tile for the bathrooms and flooring for the rest of the house. The tile in the kitchen is supposed to be laid this weekend. Lisa Raymond, an interior designer living in Shanghai, is helping us choose paint colors. Hopefully painting will be complete by the end of December. Once the rooms are painted, the radiators will be installed. We had hoped to be open in January, but it looks like the apartment won’t be done until February. Of course we wish it was done yesterday, but we all know you can’t rush construction.

In the meantime we have been busy finding sponsors for our rooms and soon to be occupants. We have 4 rooms sponsored already – 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms. The first baby is sponsored for 6 months. We have had a generous donor give diapers for 10 babies for a month as well as all the highchairs, bouncy seats, mobiles and strollers we need. We still have lots ways to become involved, besides the above mentioned room and baby sponsorship, we have bed sponsorship and many needs listed on our general donation page to help us outfit the apartment. How about sponsoring a baby shower in the New Year? .
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