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Friday, May 18, 2007

Want to make a big difference in the world? Give one small child the benefit of foster care.

Foster care gave our girls a leg up on life:
These two girls who are our daughters make me grin with their strong spirits, wicked senses of humor, captivating personalities, and boundless talents. From the very beginning Da-Shuang and Xiao-Shuang were strong, confident, charming little characters. So what made them into who they are? Obviously their genetic makeup from their birth parents, who I imagine are amazing people. But also, they were blessed to live with a foster family from the time they were tiny babes. I firmly believe that they would not be the same kids they are today without this loving foster family. The foster care program gave our girls a leg up on life and watched over them until we could. I will be grateful for the rest of my life.

Someone to hold them, hug them, and tuck them in:
We believe passionately in the benefits of foster care over orphanage care, and gave money in Ro and Ree's name so other abandoned children would have foster families to hold them, hug them, and tuck them in at night while they wait for their forever families. We also donated last year's profits from our Salsa in China Store to this same cause. My fervent hope is that readers of this blog will also choose to sponsor children in foster care.

Choose a charity that touches your heart: We sponsored through Grace and Hope for Children (GHC), a volunteer-based organization with almost zero overhead. Click here to see pictures of children waiting for sponsors and sign up today. Your money means that an abandoned child in an orphanage will instead get to live with a caring, devoted foster care family while waiting to be adopted. You can imagine how this literally changes a child's life. Give any amount you can, or donate a full year's sponsorship amount of $408. You'll receive regular photos and reports of your child until adoption by their forever family. When we received our first 2 reports I can't even describe how much they warmed my heart. Just think what a huge difference we could make if everyone reading this donated even a small amount to help children in need. Peace and love, From our family to yours

More Groups Helping Children If you're still looking for an organization that will touch your heart, perhaps one on this list of favorite Salsa Reader charities will speak to you.
A Child's Right (Clean drinking water for children around the world)
A Mother's Love (Surgeries, nanny programs, etc)
Angel Covers (Impacting angels in orphanages worldwide)
Bring Me Hope (Camps, mentor relationships, & pgms for orphans)
Blue Sky Healing Home (Special needs orphanage outside of Beijing)
Children's Bridge (Hohhot, Yan'an, Yangxin, Wanzai, & Xiushan)
Children's Hope (Sponsorships and other pgms around the world)
China Care Foundation (Sponsorship for the most at-risk children)
CCAI (Foster care, their own orphanages, & other excellent pgms)
FTIA (Foster programs in Hunan & Zhanjiang)
Fuling Kids Intl (Helping children in the Fuling SWI)
Fujian Kids (Helping children in Fujian Province orphanages)
Gift of Adoption (Gives grants to qualified adoptive parents)
Grace and Hope for Children (Foster care programs throughout China)
Half the Sky (Sponsorships, big sisters program, schools)
Holt International (Sponsorship in many countries)
Harmony Outreach (Foster care, surgery, adoption)
Love Without Boundaries (Education, foster care, surgeries, etc.)
Mission Trip to Kenya (My friend Jen is going to Kenya to help orphans)
New Day Foster Home (Foster programs, education, surgeries, Beijing)
New Hope Foundation (Surgeries for the sickest orphanage children)
The LOOK Project (Love and care for older children in orphanages)

36 comments:

  1. I love that you're using your very powerful voice in the adoption community to spread the word and encourage others to get involved.

    You, also, are truly blessed with your darling daughters. And someday, the child you are sponsoring will be blessed with a family as well.

    Have a GREAT weekend with those little darlings!

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  2. What goes around, comes around! God Bless and thanks for forefronting this promotion to make the world a smaller place.

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  3. I am so glad that you are putting this topic on your blog again. And I hope many people will read and consider to help.

    We are also sponsoring two children in foster care in China and reading the progress reports on them just brings tears in my eyes - it is so unbelievable.

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  4. Children's Hope International has several programs too. They have a center in Beijing for children who are going into surgery or had surgery to correct problems in order to be adopted. Plus my girly girl is on the web site-first photo up and on the blog.

    Beverly

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  5. This is something I will consider. Thanks for bringing it forward!

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  6. Sarah Mei5/18/2007

    I think it is so wonderful that you are using your powerful voice in this Adoption Community to promote and support such a worthy cause. I pray that many children are touched and that my daughter would be in foster care because of this.

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  7. I was a bit dissapointed that you didn't include Children's Hope Int. on your list as well. As Beverly said, they have a wonderful program that needs help too. I left a comment when you asked for reccomendations but I guess you didn't see it?

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  8. Eva was in foster care... it's actually quite common for children from her area (Guixi, Jiangxi) and we have supported foster care through Peggy Gurrand and the Altrusa network ever since...

    We are lucky, lucky women.

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  9. I agree, foster families give so much to our little ones before we can. I also believe Shayna would not be so much of who she is if she did not have her foster family. What a wonderful post.

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  10. Buttons had some fostering as well and I believe that has made a huge difference in her life. Thanks for sharing the information on the programs.

    Ok, my word verification for this comment is "yxxduo" and it makes me think of your girls...
    "Why it's the XX Duo!"

    (Yes, I'm a bit of a dork.)

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  11. As you know (but your readers might not), our Maddy was in foster sponsored through GHC. We've since learned who her sponsors were and we've contacted them and become friends!

    The value of foster care can't be understated. Because someone cared enough to send the money, our daughter wasn't in an ordphanage for the 17 months prior to coming into our home! 17 MONTHS! During that time, she was living with a family and had a mother, father, and older brother.

    The costs is also insignificant (by Western standards) but those few dollars make a huge difference in the life the child you sponsor. Of all the charities we support, we feel most good about sponsoring little "Gary" through GHC. We can't wait to learn that he's been adopted! He's such a beautiful little boy!

    We spoke about this a month ago on my blog and GHC told me that 11 families signed up to sponsor kids. So I'm excited to see what your message about this will yield!

    I hope everyone with the financial means to support this cause will consider it. The value is so incredible. You really are affecting the day to day life of a child who would, otherwise, have to live in an orphanage.

    Donna
    Our blog: Double Happiness!

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  12. Wonderful, wonderful. Right after we announced our adoption plans for Yong Hua, one of her China Care sponsors contacted me. Turns out we've known each other for "ages." Knowing that Yong Hua is loved by her foster family (the stories and photos prove it) truly helps ease this waiting mama's heart.

    And, our dearest Charlie would not be the man he is (described by a complete stranger today as "a leader"!) without his time in a foster family.

    Blessings, all.

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  13. Love Without Boundaries 4th Annual auction on e*Bay is going on right now today through March 23, since you're talking about helping the children still in China.

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  14. Anonymous5/18/2007

    Great post! Although our daughters both spent the first 6 months of their lives in (different) orphanages, they were (and still are) remarkably advanced (in all aspects) for their ages. They also bonded immediately and had an exceptionally easy (if any) adjustment. Perhaps because they both arrived home at barely 7 months old. I guess this is just another one of those times we realize just how incredibly blessed we are!

    God bless.
    Parents to 4 amazing children!

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  15. Already on it, M3...thanks for that post!

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  16. We have 2 little ones through Half The Sky. Also our local FCC group raises moeny once a year to sponsor a little group via the whole group which is another great way to do it.
    Lily was also on foster care in Hubei.
    What you are doing is so wonderful.

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  17. Wonderful topic! Although I think all the organizations are great, I have to put a plug in for China Care. Sydney was with a China Care foster home and, miraculously, so is our new baby, Claire! This small group has saved many lives, including my girls.

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  18. Anonymous5/19/2007

    Please don't forget to add the link for the Altrusa organization. Dr. Peggy Gurrad has done so much work in 24 orphanages in Jiangxi Province including formula programs, hugging grannies, medical surgeries and foster care sponsorship. Here is the homepage link:
    http://www.altrusa.ws/about_altrusa/about_altrusa_index.htm

    Mama to 2 daughters who were both placed with foster care families in Hubei and Jiangxi provinces

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  19. Fantastic post! I've been reading, but stupid blogger, throws me offline everytime I try to comment on your blog, these days. Anyhoo...I perserved, and actually get to comment today! (lets hope it publishes!)

    We sponsor children in Bali (surprise, surprise!), through a FANTASTIC organisation called BALI CARE - the sponsorship is for older children, for their education. At only AUS$70 a year! But you can also give a donation, as they do help local orphanages etc with formula and vitamins. They don't have a website, you just email the couple that organise the sponsorship (they don't take any commission or charge admin fees, they do it, because they love the kids).
    vrbaird@hotmail.com

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  20. Linda & Christer5/20/2007

    Hi!
    We are a couple from Sweden who were referred a girl from Daye this week. When "googling" for information on Daye we found your blog. We had visited the salsa blog before and was excited to read that your lovely twins some from the same town as our girl.

    Reading your post today about foster care makes us feel so great (almost crying) and even more confident that this girl is taken good care of until we can bring her home. Our girl is in foster care since October last year when she was about 5 months old and reading the papers about her she seem to be doing so great.

    Thank you for sharing your life so generously with us readers. We will soon be back to read all about your trip to Hubei.

    Kind regards.
    /Linda & Christer

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  21. Our son was in foster care for the first 4 weeks of his life - I will be forever grateful to his foster mother for all the love and affection she showered on him during this time.

    Thanks for raising this topic and for urging us to help.

    All the best to you and your family.

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  22. Good reminder for all of us! :)
    Are you guys involved w/ your local FCC chapter? Our chapter donates any/all proceeds to Love w/out Boundaries and Half the Sky :)

    Cheers,
    Kim

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  23. I am currently waiting for TA to get my daughter in Hubei Province. Dave Kawada told me you also stayed in Wuhan when you went to get your girls. Do you have any recommendation for places to stay and things to do? Or things to avoid. Thank You, Koren Martinelli

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  24. M3 thank you for posting this. I can't say enough what a blessing it was for Miya to be in foster care. It made a huge difference.

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  25. Great Idea! I think all of our pennies are going toward bringing Meili home right now, but we plan to sponsor a child once she is home! An idea that I had was to give donation cards as thankyou gifts for my kids' teachers this year. Through www.angelcovers.org (and probably other organizations as well) you can send an orphan in China to Kindergarten for a month for $10. As a former teacher, I'd rather have $10 donated in my name than add to my coffee mug collection...

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  26. I found your blog via another China moms blog (who is now joining me and adopting from Taiwan!). The biggest problem I had looking at the foster care support link was...I don't want to foster them - I want to adopt those gorgeous babies - all of them! It's wonderful to see these kinds of posts. One person can make a difference.

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  27. What a great idea...I will look into it through one of the organizations you listed.

    I enjoy your blog.

    Maureen

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  28. Thank you so much for not only sponsoring with Grace & Hope but also sharing the news! You did a wonderful job with this post!!

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  29. Anonymous11/16/2007

    You may want to consider adding "Chinese Starfish" to the list of organizations. It is an incredible foster home that was started by a woman from South Africa. Her home is providing a great foundation for special needs children waiting to be adopted. Google "chinese starfish". You will be amazed at this story.

    Signed,

    a longtime salsa fan. :)

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  30. I sponsor a little girl through Grace and Hope and she was just adopted! We are now sponsoring a new liitle girl. It's a good feeling.

    Keri

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  31. Anonymous3/03/2008

    Not foster-related, but you might be interested.

    A hospice for dying orphans in China:

    http://www.chinalittleflower.org/

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  32. Just today I put a similar message on my blog, trying to encourage people to ACT. Such a small amount can go a long way. Love the pics of the twins and their happy mom... I didn't scroll down far enough to see any of TubaDad. :) To think it was only 9 months ago that I was sitting in the dining room of the White Swan and somebody came up to me and said "M3 got TWINS!" That was such a funny moment.

    Ruth in Alaska

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  33. You know everyday I thank my lucky stars for how well developed and smart my little angel is. I feel very blessed that Olivia came from one of the more developed orphanages in China.

    Thanks for sharing

    Deb
    (Olivia's lucky mom)

    BTW: Is that Ro and Ree holding hands in the pic? You take the best pics of those little darlings.

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  34. Hi,
    I sponsor a child from my older daughter's orphanage and will be doing the same from my youngest as well. We just got home on Saturday and I appreciate your links. I used Amity International for the sponsorship from PingXiang.

    I have enjoyed following along in Ro and Ree's lives and thank you for letting me do so.

    Joan.

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  35. Thanks so much for including Gift of Adoption in your listing. Much appreciated.

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  36. I never saw this post, and here New Hope Foundation is listed...the home and people that literally saved my daughter's life.

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Please use the nicknames TubaDad, M3, Ro, and Ree instead of our full names in your comments. Cheers!