Thursday, September 17, 2009

A Happy Transformation

Any time I need inspiration, all I need to do is think of the children we help in China. Any time I’m having a bad day and thinking that something in life “isn’t fair”, all I have to do is go to my computer and pull up any of the images I have saved of children who truly face a life that isn’t always fair. My attitude changes in the blink of an eye.

We just received some wonderful photos from one of our Believe in Me schools. These schools were originally set up for those children who are unable to attend public school due to having some sort of medical need. They have expanded over the years to include tutoring for orphaned children in public school, as these kids have no parents to push them each night to study harder. We’ve also added preschool classes so that children from age 2 up can have their lives filled with art and music and play, rather than sitting in a crib all day.

When I received the photos today I was flooded with emotions. I remember vividly going to this city’s orphanage two years ago. The director was so kind, but the orphanage had been built over 100 years ago. The rooms were tiny and crowded, with old metal cribs and not two inches of outdoor space for the children since it was right in the middle of the busy city. The children’s lives were completely spent inside the aging walls, and most of their faces that day were somber, as you can see below.

We were all thrilled to learn that the provincial and city government had released funding for a new orphanage to be built. As I toured the facility, I was filled with anticipation for the children, as the rooms were big and airy, and the walls had enormous windows so the sun could come flooding in. I stood in front of the building and looked at all of the land and listened as the director excitedly said that the children could finally play outside.

LWB was offered space inside the Jinjiang orphanage to open a Believe in Me school, and we were thrilled that our friends and supporters made this a reality. Now the children excitedly go to school each day and absolutely love their teachers. Instead of solemn expressions and quiet demeanors, the children are now filled with joy, and the classrooms are filled with laughter. This is a transformation that I want to celebrate today. Everyone in Jinjiang should be so proud of what they have accomplished for the GOOD of these children! Don’t you love when dreams become reality???


  1. PTL!...what GREAT news! God is faithful and I love hearing about all that He is doing for the orphans in China! Keep up the great work!! <><

  2. Jinjiang is the orphanage in which our Adelie spent 20 months of her life. She's now been home since January of 08 and is thriving. Adopted the months she turned 2 years old, she had only been in the older orphanage with the metal cribs and no outside time. She wasn't walking but one or two steps at a time. She wasn't feeding herself. She wasn't talking. However, we feel that the nannies took as good a care of her as they knew to do. She bonded well right away and has continued on that trend.

    Now the orphanage has Believe in Me School and can provide even better for the children there, as they know how to make that difference. Thanks LWB for seeing this need and working (with your contributors) to meet it.

    By the way, you can see Adelie's blog here:
    She's loving life!

  3. Nancy Ann, I just looked at your blog and now have a smile on my face a mile wide. Your daughter is SO beautiful....and boy did her hair grow! :-) When I saw her in the orphanage she was so solemn, so what a joy to log onto your site and see ALL of those beautiful smiles. Thank you for sharing that link today!

  4. My daughter Rachel was in the old Jinjiang CWI from the time she was a few months old in 2000 until 2003 when we adopted her. From the photos and video I've seen, it was a very plain place, with no outside play area and very little in the way of recreation inside. I think the lack of stimulation did affect her but she's doing well and thriving now. Thank you, Amy, for all you do for these children! Rachel is one of the stars of my photo-a-day blog:

  5. JoAnn, thanks for sharing Rachel's photo! What a great way to start my day. We have so many amazing volunteers who are working on the Jinjiang Believe in Me school. I am so blessed to get to work with such a great education team. Have to give a huge shout out of thanks to both Missy Ridley and Marilee Gilmore for working so hard to make the school such a success.

  6. I just noticed this post, and the photos of the "old" Jinjiang jumped right out at me! Our daughter Jade spent the first 26 months of her life there, and those "aging walls and cold metal cribs" are certainly familiar. Jade has been with us since July of '07 and is a wonderful happy-go-lucky kid! We were impressed also with the Jinjiang director when we met her, as she seemed very dedicated and concerned about the children there. It is wonderful to see the new place, looking so bright and full of joy! On a side note, LWB also helped our son Kai (Bingwen)...he spent two months at Heartbridge about a year ago for failure-to-thrive issues. He has been with us since Feb of this year and is doing well! Thank you so much LWB for all you do. We and our children are forever grateful!



  7. Chris, thanks for the link to your blog! WOW...I loved seeing an update on Kai! I was cheering as I looked at each photo! Thanks for letting me see how well he is doing. Your family is beautiful!