Monday, March 10, 2014

Interview with Hannah Samuels


Hannah (second from the left) with the rest of her family.

1.     In what context are you involved with orphan care? 

Since 2009 I have had the privilege to work with an orphan-care facility in Beijing. New Day Foster Home provides life to orphans from all over China who otherwise wouldn't survive, and it's been an incredible experience. At first my role at the foster home was working one-on-one with children to help them develop and thrive, however in 2010 I was given the opportunity to run the foster home's social network and begin to work more with our sickest, most critical little ones. I would spend half of my day taking pictures, writing stories and responding to e-mails and the other half in our Critical Care Unit working with the nannies to keep the babies stable and comfortable. July, 2013, my family and I moved up North to Inner Mongolia where we are starting New Day North. My role in this stage is communication with orphanages, weekly trips to local orphanages, translating for trainings, assessments of the children's developmental and nutritional status and a whole lot of other small things.



2.     In your current context, what do you see as the biggest need? 

In one of my first orphanage visits a few years ago I was struck with the lack of "enough" in orphanages. I saw food, warmth, comfort, love and care... but not enough. This realization has stuck with me as I work with other orphanages, help to spread the word about orphans in China, and advocate for children's medical care or adoption need. There is just not "enough." Not enough people know about the little ones waiting over the ocean in cribs lined up against the wall. Not enough families are willing to take a leap of faith and begin the paperwork to bring an unknown child home. Not enough of us will sacrifice financially, with our time or our energy to really make The Fatherless a priority.



If each of us were to tell just one more person about orphans, adoption, the needs or the, often small and do-able, ways that we can be involved, so much more could happen and so many more children would know life and the love of a family.


3.     What is one thing that you wish other people would know about orphan care? 

Just one? In all of the orphanages that I have visited there were more boys than girls. This is a shock, because our history and experience with orphans in China is that they are all girls. Nope! Also, the effects of living in an orphanage are huge on most children. They have suffered many things that cannot completely be resolved in a few weeks of one-on-one love and care. I'm currently watching a few children in an orphanage that we visit regularly act more and more institutionalized each week. This shouldn't scare families from adopting, but should inspire them to get the kids out as soon as possible. Don't let a child wait one more day. They can heal. Their broken hearts can be stitched together, just don't be in ignorance that there will be a seam. 


4.     What is one resource you would recommend and why would you recommend it? 

I would hope that most churches have an adoption support group. If not, start one. If so, get involved.


5.     What advice would you have for Village to Village Intl. as we seek we seek to make a difference in the lives of children?

Don't just advocate for adoption and support parents through the process... be there AFTER the airport. Piles of paperwork and approvals and funds are overwhelming, but it's nothing compared to bringing home a sad and scared child who needs to learn

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

An Opportunity to Save a Life (Literally)

We have been involved with New Day Foster Home on many levels; we have taken two trips to this amazing place, bought 45 cases of formula for the babies, raised money for corrective surgeries to take place, and help buy a brace for a little boy in need.  Here is a copy of note sent out by New Day about a little boy named Albert and his need for a liver.

Meet Albert, a chubby-cheeked, one-year-old orphan with a big smile that just melts your heart. Albert celebrated his first birthday on December 19th, but unless we help him, Albert won't survive to celebrate his second birthday.  This sweet baby boy was abandoned on a village street in China when he was only three months old. He was born with severe GI defect called Biliary Atresia, which affects his liver. His little belly is distended, and his big, bright eyes are yellow with jaundice. If he doesn’t get a liver transplant soon, he won’t make it. Surgery is expensive, but without surgery, Albert will die.

Albert is an orphan. He has no family. He has no voice. Albert needs you to be his family, to be his voice. We want so badly for Albert to get this surgery, so he can be adopted by a loving family and live a long, happy life. We want him to experience the love of a family. We want him to celebrate not only his second birthday, but also his twenty-second, fifty-second, and ninety-second birthdays. But none of this will be possible without your love, support, prayers, donations, and a new liver for Albert.

We need to give this little guy a chance. His parents abandoned him, his orphanage didn’t have the resources to help him, and the local hospitals in his orphanage’s province were unable to give him the Kasai procedure (a treatment for newborns with Biliary Atresia that could delay the need for a liver transplant). As a last ditch effort to save Albert’s life, his orphanage sent him to New Day Foster Home in Qingyundian Township, China, which has a loving staff of volunteers and nannies and is close to the hospitals in Beijing with doctors who have the skills and equipment to perform the surgery that Albert needs to survive.

With your help, Albert has hope of a future. Albert needs you to advocate for him! Please give what you can, and please help spread the word! Every life is precious; little Albert’s life is no exception. Help us reach our goal of raising $40,000 to save Albert's life!
For more information about New Day Foster Home, please visit: http://www.newdaycreations.com/foster/index.html

Please help Village to Village Intl. help New Day Foster Home help Albert by giving a tax deductible donation here.  100% of all your donations will go to help Albert.

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