Saturday, August 18, 2012


August 18th, 2012, at 8:30 in the morning, Lydia went in for surgery.

It was a last ditch effort to save her struggling life, to grab at the window of opportunity and give her one last chance to live.

Since we began fighting for Lydia, she has been through so much. If you haven't yet, read her Amazing Story. This little one has fought more than any baby girl should ever have to fight.

But today, TODAY, Lydia lays on a bed in ICU recovering. Recovering. Finally, for the first time in her life, Lydia is in ICU not fighting, but recovering.

Her fingers will no longer be blue. Her body will no longer deteriorate. Her life will no longer be a fight.

Today, Lydia has had her heart surgery.

Let's celebrate!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Amazed, and Overwhelmingly Thankful.

It was just three months ago that Hannah and I first began searching, dreaming, and praying for a way to honor Liu Yi and Paige's lives. Their sweet lives touched ours, and because of it, we were never the same. 

We wanted to remember Liu Yi and Paige by helping Tabitha and Lydia, two little girls who also had severe heart problems, and were in desperate need of surgery. So we told their stories, shared their pictures, and then asked for your help. I think it's safe to say we could have never dreamed of this......

  • Tabitha was miraculously healed.
  • Lydia's live saving surgery is fully covered, thanks to your donations, prayers, love and dedication to helping the fatherless all over the world. 
  • Lydia's acute medical costs are also covered from the remaining donations (she has been in the hospital for over a month with pneumonia) Wow. 

To say thank you just doesn't seem adequate. We are overwhelmingly grateful for your support throughout these three months, and absolutely amazed at how God has worked through you

Because of you, two little girls lives are forever changed. 

Thank you, for being a part of the miracle.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Something's Happening

Lydia has been in the hospital for nearly a month. She's been in PICU for nearly two weeks. Now, it looks like she may be released back to a regular ward. Heal, baby, heal!

And other things are happening too. Just check out that chipin! 77% is quite marvelous and I'm amazed. Can we do 33% in three days? Honestly, it's okay if we can't... I don't want to pressure anybody! But, if your spare change is adding up into something rather substantial, you're trying to avoid caffeine this summer and suddenly your coffee budget has a surplus, or maybe you are stocked in summer clothes already and don't need to go shopping...consider putting that extra cash to help save the life of a baby girl who has no mommy or daddy.

A little girl who is fighting for her life.

A little girl who needs us - you.

Something is happening, and you can be apart of it.

Why not?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Five More Days

Five more days until the chipin ends and our fundraiser is over.

Five more days, and this little "honoring" of Liu Yi and Paige will be over.

Here, though not in our hearts.

Lindsay and I are so grateful to those who have come along side of us and helped raise the amazing $10,400 that has come in so far. Thank you. We have raised enough for Lydia's heart surgery, and quite a bit to go towards her other acute medical costs... like this current hospital stay due to pneumonia.

If the fundraiser ended today, we'd be happy. Satisfied. Our darling angel's lives have been honored and honestly, that's all that we set out to do.

So, five more days. Who knows, maybe more money will come in? Maybe it won't... but either way we're excited at what has happened through this fundraiser. Lives are already changing...

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Fundraiser Update

According to the ChipIn we have raised $4,507. This is a lot of money.

But guess what? We just received a check, which means that instead of our total so far being $4,507, it's...


Yup. You read that right. So what does this mean? It means that we have only have $4,493 to raise in the next 18 days. To meet our goal, we need to raise $250 per day starting tomorrow.

Any suggestions on how to do this?

We could tell you that your car will last another month without that tweaking and polishing, but that Lydia is still in the hospital fighting an infection and until she gets better, surgery for her sick little heart is still far off.

We could tell you that your coffee will only last a few hours before it's either cold or forgotten. Lydia does not deserve to be forgotten.

We could remind you gently that caring for orphans is a command for believers, and that in order to cultivate a just society those who have nothing and are totally incapable of getting anything for themselves should be given too.

We could get down on our knees and tearfully beg you to remember and honor the memories of Paige and Liu Yi, and give Lydia a chance.

Or we could just leave you with this picture. Lydia being LOVED by her nanny.

So how about it? Will you think and pray about what you might do to change the life of this little girl?

And more importantly, will you SHARE this blog, this message and this mission, with those around you? Excite them. Involve them.

Change her life.

Ni Hao Yall

Monday, April 23, 2012

And the Winners Are...

Is this for me? Why, thank you!

 It looks sort of yummy...

Hey, why won't they let me eat these?

I'm sure that it's delicious...

Finally... oh scrumptious paper!

 Congratulations, Valerie, Jason and Emily! You will be e-mailed about shipping soon!

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Mother (and a reminder)

From March 18, 2012…

There is a woman out there somewhere who is still grieving.

She is grieving because one year ago she gave birth to a tiny, beautiful little girl. A little girl she didn’t keep.

Did this woman give her daughter a name?

Did she trace the delicate, fair skin of her daughter’s face, and does she still dream of her daughter’s round cheeks and button nose?

How many days did it take to sleep through the night without waking up to feed her little one, the one who wasn’t there anymore?

Does she know that her daughter was loved? That her daughter found a home and arms and comfort?

And does she know that her daughter is in heaven?

Read the rest here...


Just a reminder to let you all know that our t-shirt raffle will end Tuesday night at 9pm EST. Get your enteriest in before then!

How do you get an entry into the raffle? There are multiple ways!
  • Add our button to your blog: 1 Entry.
  • Write about us on your blog: 1 Entry
  • Post a link to our blog on Facebook/Twitter: 1 Entry
  • For every $15 donated: 1 Entry
If you post about us on a social network, please leave a comment on THIS post with a link, so we can add you to the raffle! Then, Tabitha will be picking out three lucky winners!
We've decided, and the money raised above Lydia's surgery costs will go toward medical expenses... like paying for Lydia's most recent hospital stay. She was admitted yesterday with a nasty case of pneumonia and is not doing well. She needs to get strong so that she can have her heart surgery so that she won't keep getting sick... a vicious cycle indeed.
Thanks for standing with us in this!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Paige's Bio

 Name: Paige
Birthdate: March 18, 2011

Paige was born on March 18, 2011 and abandoned at the local park one month later. When her parents could not be found, she was taken to the local orphanage. Paige was born with a severe heart disease (single ventricle, single atrium, pulmonary artery artesia, and dextrocardia). When she is being held, Paige loves to look and smile into the face of whoever is holding her. Paige is an active little girl during tummy time and can wiggle her hands and feet. She can recognize her name and turns her head when called. Paige is a lovely and smart little girl and we hope that she will feel loved here. We long for the day when her heart is whole and she is completely healthy.

That was it. Those were the words that the world knew Paige by.

And I had written them.

One of my tasks here is to edit the bios of the new babies, and update the bios of the little ones who have graduated from their initial descriptions. I remember one day having to edit a dozen bios, each beginning with those words, “…when her/his parents could not be found…” Each and every one of the baby’s stories began with the word, “abandoned”. Each and every one of the bios described missing parents, and diagnosis’s. It’s hard.

But I like to end each bio with something bright. With some words of hope. Sometimes, when the child is in desperate need of surgery, their bios end with something like, “we cannot wait to see the transformation that surgery makes in her life…” I try to say something that gives supporters a picture of the hope we have for each child, and the transformation that we anticipate.

Finding the bio I wrote for Paige back then, when I hardly knew her, was a relief. I thought that it was lost, replaced on the website with her memorial card. It was, but I was able to find it again.

I read it, and the last two sentences sent a pang to my heart.

Paige is a lovely and smart little girl and we hope that she will feel loved here. We long for the day when her heart is whole and she is completely healthy.

Nothing about surgery healing her heart. Nothing. 

It says, "we hope that she will feel loved..." and she did! That hope was fulfilled and Paige was so loved.

It says, "we long for the day when her heart is whole and she is completely healthy..." and it is. Paige's heart is whole. Paige, as I type these words, is completely healthy.

Ni Hao Yall

Friday, April 13, 2012

{Re-Post} She Was Worth It

This was posted September 14, 2011 on the NDFH blog:
She was so loved.

With a physical heart that most had given up on, when Paige arrived all we wanted to do was give her a chance. And even though she never experienced a whole and healthy heart, Paige knew what it was to be loved.

She was a favorite of so many. Her little tuft of hair… those dimples that grew sweeter and sweeter… that grin…

Paige was spunky; she wiggled all of the time. She never contented herself with being a fragile, delicate heart baby. Paige was strong.

Watching her roll over amazed us. Her smile delighted us, and the way she babbled when first beginning to express herself out loud melted our hearts. Paige was not afraid of growing up, even though it must have been tough on her damaged and broken heart.

And we were not afraid of falling head over heels in love with her, even though, right now, it hurts like crazy. When we said “Yes” to Paige, we knew that we were putting our hearts at risk. But if we had not put our hearts at risk, Paige would have missed out on three months of unconditional, nurturing love. And it was worth it. Those three months of getting to love on Paige and watch her blossom was more than worth it.

It’s easy to ask “why her?” because we miss her so much. It’s hard to say goodbye to little Paige, precious Ping Ping, but we know that she now knows no limits to her strength and ability, no bounds to her love. The love that she is experiencing right now, at this very moment, is far greater than we can ever imagine. And we take comfort that her heart is now whole, and overflowing.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Best Kind of Problem

Today I am still praising God, because Tabitha is healed. (And sitting up by herself!) He is so good.

And because of His incredible healing power, we have a problem. The absolute best kind of problem. Since Tabitha no longer needs surgery, we now have to figure out what the goal amount of our fundraiser should be. We have two options.

Sweet Lydia still needs her life-saving surgery.

So we can either change the goal amount to the cost of Lydia's surgery, or we can keep the goal amount at $14,000, and use it for the many medical expenses and hospital stays for the other precious children.

We want to know what you think. Leave a comment on the blog and tell us your thoughts!

Also, check back this weekend for the winners of the raffle!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Of Healing, Of Life

 The sanctity of a little girl breathing,
The preciousness of her little beating heart...
Held in His arms,
Healed by His touch.
Working miracles. Giving Life.

Something has changed. In an amazing, beautiful, miraculous way.

Tabitha is no longer on the "surgeries needed" page. Because she will very likely NOT need surgery.

From the baby who scared us, she is now the little girl who amazes us.

We didn't think that she would make it, she was so sick, but HE knew the truth. He knew her and loved her and created the perfect plan for her. Liu Yi and Paige didn't get a chance to experience a full and healthy life on earth, but Tabitha will.

I believe that God had a plan for all four of these little girls. He knew that Liu Yi and Paige needed to go to be with him sooner than Lindsay and I would have liked. He took the opportunity of welcoming His precious children into His arms to teach us some valuable lessons about love. He also knew that Tabitha would be a very sick little baby, and that through prayer His healing power would be manifested. In order to show us that He is in control.

So, today, Easter Sunday, we rejoice that which life is. A miracle.

Ni Hao Yall

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Starbucks: Carmel Frappuccino

I'll admit it. I really like Starbuck's Carmel Frappuccinos. Okay... I might even love them.

Every so often on Sunday after church I would treat myself to one. I mean really, they are just so good. Just looking at that picture makes my mouth water! I think everyone has their "thing". Maybe it's a sonic drink, or donuts after church, or going to a movie with the family.

But this Sunday after church, I am skipping my Starbucks Carmel Frappuccino. Because as much as I just love it , I love this little girl even more.....
....and I want her to have that heart surgery she so desperately needs. So I'm donating money to Tabitha's heart surgery that I would have spent on one afternoon treat, so that Tabitha can have a million more afternoons of running, laughing, and playing, full of life.

And I started thinking, what if we all did that? What if we all took our "thing" this Sunday, and gave it up so that Tabitha can one day have her very own treat she loves? Every little bit adds up.... and if we all pitched in a little, it could lead to something big.

So here's my challenge to you: This week, take the money you would have spent on your favorite "thing" and donate it to Tabitha's heart surgery. I can't wait to see what God does!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

{Guest Post} The Name Paige

As a new intern at New Day, I was taken back a bit and honored when Karen approached me and asked me to name the newest arrival at New Day.

This was something I had not even considered before, and I felt the weight of the responsibility on me as I anticipated seeing this little one for the first time. Any names I had considered before as possibilities for my own children did not seem to fit or were already given to children at New Day. My mind went blank like when you take a test and forget all the answers and by the time it came for me to meet her for the first time, I had not made much progress.

Then the moment that I was waiting for, and I was brought to see her for the first time. The name Paige, one that I had thought of before, just seemed to suit her sweet little face.

When I looked into her eyes, I had great hope for her in the future to be a wonderful servant of God who loved the Lord as much as He has first loved her. I praised God for bringing this beautiful child of God to the Foster Home, and I was still in awe that God had chosen me to give her a new name. This name change to me was a symbol of her new identity as a member of the New Day family where she was loved and cherished.

And from that moment that I first met Paige, I started praying for her and looking for how God would work in her life. We knew that hers was a difficult case, but seeing so many miracles at New Day, I wasn’t too concerned. I knew that she was in God’s hands, and so I watched her grow and develop at New Day. As I watched her, I wondered how her life would affect those around her. The thing is, she was already touching everyone around her.

And from that first encounter with beautiful little Paige, I felt a connection to her that I had never felt before. Through the process of naming her, I felt almost as though I had been granted godmother status in her life. And what a blessing this was to me! I daily prayed for Paige and checked up on her, always asking the nannies for updates on her progress. Through Paige, God was opening my heart up more than I knew.

And then that morning came; I was in utter disbelief and shock when I was informed of her passing. Even though I was well aware of the seriousness of her heart condition, her passing had never crossed my mind before. In fact, I know that it took me several days before the weight of her passing was fully realized.

I read her memorial over and over, and God spoke to me tenderly. He told me that he loved Paige more than any of us could. He told me that she was safe, secure and at rest in his arms. He told me that her life had a purpose. And he showed me the other children at the Foster Home in need of the same loving attention that I had given to Paige.

Paige’s life spurred me toward deeper love and compassion for the rest of God’s precious children. It is my prayer that Paige’s life will be an inspiration to you as well.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: So Real

p.s. don't forget about the raffle going on! It's SO easy to get involved. Don't be shy, we know that you're out there and want to help!

Saturday, March 31, 2012


In two weeks, we will be raffling off three of the Never Alone t-shirts!

How do you get an entry into the raffle? There are multiple ways!

Add our button to your blog: 1 Entry.
Write about us on your blog: 1 Entry
Post a link to our blog on Facebook/Twitter: 1 Entry
For every $15 donated: 1 Entry

If you post about us on a social network, please leave a comment below with a link, so we can add you to the raffle! Then in two weeks, Tabitha will be picking out three lucky winners!

Good luck!

{Guest Post} Tiny Life

My name is Brittany and I interned at NDFH from August through November of 2011. I didn’t know Paige well, but I did have the privilege of seeing her sweet face in passing, here and there, as she was swaddled and held protectively close by her nannies. She was a princess--delicate, beautiful, fragile, and very loved. The news of her death was hard to comprehend. It was shocking; surreal. I didn’t know what to do, but I started writing and His words calmed my heart:

Tiny life--
so fragile, yet so strong.
Those little hands--
not holding much, but our hearts.
Those tiny lips--
not saying much, but, “I love you,”
showed through those dark eyes.
Only here for Spring, Summer—
Fall had just begun.
And the Winter of our hearts is bitter--
the blustering of death hits the face like icicles.
There is no choice but for Spring to come again,
and it does,
in the warm tears that show the value of a few days lived.
For just as our Savior came lowly and forgotten,
so you came.
Just as He loved and inspired love,
so you did.
Just as He was embraced by His Father,
so you are now,
whole and healed,
and perfected in love.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Tears and Defibrillators

I sat in a Defibrillator training today and almost cried.

You see, a company donated this fantastic equipment recently, and just this week we have a pediatric cardiac nurse here volunteering, so she did a training. It was quite informative, and while I hope that I'm never ever in the position to have to shock a child's heart, I'm thankful that I at least know how to do it now.

So, what made me cry you may be wondering?

It was as she talked about a child's heart stopping. The days of fussiness... the quick heart rate... the loss of consciousness...

Of course I thought of Paige. Of how she was fussy for a week, with a fast heart-rate, until her heart ultimately stopped. And they couldn't start it again.

I started to ask myself, what if. What if we had the defibrillator that fateful Monday morning? What if she had been taken to the hospital when those subtle but serious signs of heart failure occurred.  What if she was still alive and waiting for me in the playroom today?

And asking the "what if's" filled my eyes with tears. Because asking the "what if's" hurts. And it's not healthy.

Asking "why?" is natural, but what if... that's doubting; doubting God's goodness, His power and His LOVE for my Paige.

So what should I be asking? I think that the answer is simple. I should be asking, "What now."

What should I do, now that my heart's been broken from loving Paige?
What should I do, now that she's gone? How should I react? How do I heal and what does that look like?
What do I do, now that I've seen the Father's love in this way - bittersweet. Beauty from the ashes.

Asking those questions opens old hurts, and it teaches new lessons.

What now? 

Paige and Liu Yi are of the past. It sounds wrong, almost dishonoring to them to say this, but their lives are over. (And yet they've just begun in a beautiful way, if you think of it...) But Lydia and Tabitha's lives are TODAY. They are the now of this moment.

Would you consider making a donation to help fund their heart surgeries; to help brighten their now? Even just $10... it can go a long way, here, and if everyone who read this today were to donate just $10 dollars.... imagine what could happen!

Thank you for dreaming and for doing the impossible with me!

p.s. I talked to the nurse who gave the presentation afterwards, and we talked about Paige's case. Because of the severity of Paige's heart defect, the defibrillator probably would not have helped, and if she had been in the hospital when her heart stopped, the only thing that could have been done would have been emergency surgery. I think that My Jesus was saving her from that painful, scary situation. Because maybe she wouldn't have made it through surgery... and that would have been even harder.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A Nanny to them All

Has anyone read this touching post on the NDFH blog? It's about Susan, one of the nannies, who fought like a mother for a little orphan's life.

There's something else that's special about Susan. She was the nanny who took care of Liu Yi in the hospital when Lindsay went to help transfer the little angel to the heart hospital.

She was also the nanny who picked Paige up from the train station, stayed with her in the hospital while she was battling pneumonia, and ultimately chose this little pixie as her "favorite."

Today she's one of the nannies who cares for Lydia. 

I work with Susan, and I can see into her heart. It's beautiful. She loves each and every one of the children here with her whole heart. She fights for them and she grieves for them. Susan must love dangerously, it's the only way she could continue doing her job the way she does.

She lost Liu Yi. She lost Paige. She fought for and has saved her Little Blessing, and our hope and prayer is that she will not loose Lydia.

Help our hope come true.

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Prayer That Changed Everything.

“Lord, break my heart for what breaks yours.”
I remember praying that prayer when I was on the plane, headed to China. Oh, I had no idea what I was really asking, and how big that prayer really was. I had no idea that God would do it.

Hannah talked about in this post that there was a decision she had to make when Paige died. Whether to turn a deaf ear to God & decide he didn’t care, or to love Him. I would be lying if I told you that after Liu Yi died, I chose to love, and to trust that He is good. The truth is that I was so angry. I didn’t want to listen to God or anyone else talk about His love and His promises and His heart. I can’t tell you the number of times I cried out to him “I LOVED her. WHY didn’t you save her?”

Just like I asked, He broke my heart. But then he took my broken heart, and pieced it back together in the most beautiful way imaginable.

The day I heard Liu Yi wasn’t going to make it was my last day at the foster home. I had to say goodbye to Julia, another orphan at New Day who I had also fallen deeply in love with. She was a dwarf, with severe scoliosis, and needed a family to call her own. I looked at her that day, and I knew God was calling me to find her a family, and bring her home. So I made her a promise I had no idea how to keep. I bent down, looked her in the eye, and with tears pouring down my face I said, “I will see you soon.”

But heartbroken and angry with God, I had decided I was going to find a way to bring Julia home by myself. I told God I didn’t need His help. When I got back to America “I” found Julia a beyond incredible family who couldn’t wait to call Julia their daughter. “I” found an adoption agency willing to look for Julia’s paperwork. (It was really all God) And while I fought for Julia, God fought for my heart.

Julia’s family was able to receive Julia’s paperwork, but was met with an unexpected deadline of needing eleven thousand dollars in two weeks in order to move forward with the adoption. My church agreed to let me speak at 5 different services to try and raise the money. All I had to do was tell Julia’s story.

I couldn’t do it. My broken, hardened heart just couldn’t find the words. For three days I sat staring at a piece of paper, trying to write my speech. For three days I shut God out. Then two days before I would stand up in front of 4,000 people, I finally relented. I was so tired of being angry, so tired of trying to do it by myself. I talked to Him for the first time since Liu Yi had died.

“God, give me the words.” And He did.

They flowed from my fingertips onto the page, detailing Julia’s joy, my journey to her, and her need for a family in a way only a Father who desperately loved His child could. As I read over the speech, knowing the words were not mine but God’s, the pieces to my heart slowly began to be put back together. Forever changed, but for the better.

I gave my speech on a Saturday and Sunday. Monday, I got the call from my church. Not only had we raised the $11,000, we had raised enough for Julia’s entire adoption. Julia was coming home. I sank to the ground in the parking lot of my school and wept.

A year later, Julia walked through the airport doors onto American soil for the first time.
And this is what I learned: Through the good and the bad and tears and laughter and the things we can’t explain and the things we may never understand; He is good. Even through my anger and stubbornness, He pursued me. Even as I fought against Him, He held me in His arms. The same arms that are now holding Liu Yi. He keeps His promises and He loves and fights for His children until they come home to Him. He is Faithful. And if you allow Him to use you… through you, He will do the impossible.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Rough but Real

I almost don't want you to watch this video, after seeing Linday's. I know, I know... how selfish is that? Just because the video below is every definition of the words "rough" and "raw", doesn't mean that it isn't real

The sound may be muffled... the video blurred... the audio patchy at best, but that doesn't mean that what you're going to watch didn't come from my heart. It just means that I'm not a professional videographer and we couldn't find a quiet place to film and... yeah, I'll spare you the excuses.

But, and I'm biting my lip as I type this, please watch and share.

Loving Paige was hard. But I'd do it again.

Loving dangerously is painful, but it's so incredibly worth it.

This is a celebration. I'm celebrating Paige's life by fighting for Lydia's.

Will you celebrate with me?

Saturday, March 24, 2012


One week, $2,100

Lindsay and I are kind of amazed.

You see, we each had a burden to do something in honor of "our girls." I think that we each had the idea of providing another child's surgery in honor of the one that had changed our heart. But raising that kind of money is hard, if you're only one person.

So it was amazing that we each had the same idea, and now how that idea is coming to fruition. 

Initially we weren't going to try to raise the full amount. It just seem to large. Raising this kind of money is hard for even the two of us. Thankfully, and I think that I speak for both of us here, but I've learned that when God gives someone a task, no matter how impossible it is, He will complete it.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philippians 1:6

I've heard so many times that God does not call the equipped, He equips the called.

So, another week, another $2,000? I think yes!

Let's do it for Lydia, and the hope of a healthily beating heart. Daily I see her weak body struggle to thrive. She doesn't even have the strength to smile, it seems.

And let's do it for Tabitha, who's life is already a miracle as you will find out next week.

Thank you, so much.

Sunday Snapshot

In Memory {Guest Post}

When Hannah told me about this blog project and asked me to contribute, I immediately thought of the post I wrote on my blog following the news that we had lost precious Paige. I still remember the pain associated with that email and those two important but heart-wrenching words: "in memory". I carry with me probably until I die a dull ache that is brought to the forefront wheneverI hear the name Paige. I dread the words "in memory" but I also cherish them. They carry so much pain and loss but also the joy that she was loved, that she was considered precious, that she was valued, that she will be remembered. I try to shield myself from pain and loss so I somewhat skimmed the email from Hannah. But as I have considered the goal of this project, I realized she is both honoring the memory of two precious gifts from On High but she is also fighting to prevent another email with the subject line "in memory". This is why I am sharing my thoughts on Paige; because Paige deserves to be remembered and because I do not want an email telling me to remember Tabitha or Lydia

*I lived in China and worked at ND for a year. Paige went to be cradled in her Maker's arms barely a week
after I returned to the States.*


I received an email I had been dreading for the past year, an email with the subject line that read “In Memory.” I learned on Tuesday, that one of the baby girls at the Foster  Home where I had worked had died. I spent the rest of the day in pain induced numbness. I could barely think, much less function. You see this precious little gift from above was very sick; it was just that she didn’t look it. She looked healthy, she was happy, she was beautiful and then suddenly, without warning she was gone. I barely knew her, I never got to hold her, but I did see her almost every day, and she was one of the babies that we all loved because they are ours, they have been entrusted to us and that means loving them unconditionally and fully.

It means putting our hearts on the line, because these children, despite their spunk and joy and smiles, are sick and many are walking miracles. Yet, I knew the risks. Yes, there were unbelievable miracles that had taken place and will still, but there was also pain. There were reminders all around the home of the gifts who were only here on earth for a short time. There was pain in the eyes of the volunteers and staff who had known the gifts that had been taken home earlier than we all wanted to see. There was an underlying knowledge that at any given moment something could go wrong, things had gone wrong, but miracles happened. Children survived what conventional wisdom said should have killed them. Despite the abundance of miracles, the knowledge remained that HE does not promise to save all; there is no guarantee that pain will never again enter the home.

I opened that email and read that a sick, but seemingly improving, little baby girl was never going to smile on this earth again. I still hurt, more than I truly expected. I can’t imagine the pain of those who knew her better.  But the truth is she was worth it.This is the lesson that I learned while in China; pain from separations is an inevitable part of life on this planet the question is: are you willing to risk it for the joy of knowing true love?


I am still learning this lesson. Ever since my Grandma died while I was in high school, I go out of my way to shield myself from the pain that comes through loss. Even when preparing to go to China, I refused to read the “in memory” section of the New Day website, and I forbade myself from considering the pain that might come if such an event were to occur while I was there. When Hannah’s email came regarding Paige’s upcoming birthday, I subconsciously shied away from truly considering the implications of that date. I immediately agreed to help with the project but refused to dwell on Paige’s birthday. Until March 18th. Sunday morning, I broke down and cried, because with her birth date staring me in face every time I saw my phone or a calendar, I could no longer deny its significance. I cried over this precious one’s life, I felt the grief again in my heart, the grief that will never fully end. I know she is with her Father, that HE sings over her songs of love, adoration and peace, songs that she could never fully appreciate here, but I also know that I hurt over her too brief life. I loved her and still do.

I love Lydia and Tabitha and although we as humans cannot save everyone, one (or in this case two) lives can be saved. It might seem like a small number in such a vast sea of pain but to those lives, it is invaluable.

“I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters,  you were doing it to Me.”
*Matthew 25:40*

This post was written by Jazz, Intern at NDFH September 2010- September 2011

Thursday, March 22, 2012

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

The following post is excerpts from my journal in China. 
July 4th, 2008
“She slept, cuddled against my chest, when the car stopped. We were at a different hospital, this one more crowded than the last. It was packed- and the conditions shocked me. Poor Liu Yi just slept in my arms. Amy and the nurses talked, and then the nurse came up to me and motioned for me to put her in her arms. Time stood still. I wanted to run out the door. Leave her here?! No way. But then I looked down… her fingers, toes, nails and head are blue she is so sick. So I wrapped her blanket a little tighter around her, and then very, very slowly handed her over. The nurse came back a little later, and gave me the blanket.
I’m so worried about her. She’s so precious. One of the most beautiful children I’ve ever seen. If only her heart would get better. She has the 2nd most serious case at New Day- only a few doctors in the world can do the surgery required. I’m just praying she’s okay tonight & comes home soon….”

July 8th 2008
Liu Yi is having heart surgery THIS WEEK at the original hospital! The chief of staff talked with Grace on the phone and decided to expedite her surgery. Thank you God. What a miracle.

July 16th, 2008
Today I went to the hospital with Ben and Peter from 8:30-7. It was a long day, but I was updated on Liu Yi! Her surgery went long- but well. They haven’t closed up her chest yet, just to make sure everything is functioning okay. I don’t want to leave…

July 17th, 2008
"How sad I am now leaving just show’s how happy I was the past three weeks, and confirms in my heart that this kind of work is what I want to be doing for the rest of my life, so I can help all the Julia’s and Liu Yi’s around the world. No matter what their special need, they all have a joy in them that has completely changed my life. It’s like that verse, “So we do not fix our eyes on what is seen, but unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. “ Though they may have a special need now, their big personalities and strong will far outweigh it. And besides, it’s temporary. Their joy and light they bring to this world that touches so many lives around them is what I have had the privilege of seeing this week. And that is eternal."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Her Fingers

Asking Gan Lu to take these pictures of me holding Paige was the smartest thing I ever did. Paige was alternating between squeezing my finger, and playing with my necklace. She always did love playing with jewelry. I think that I wore it just for her, because I knew that she would be so pleasantly entertained...

Paige loved to squirm. She loved to hold on tight.

She was holding tight to my finger, and I could see the blueness of it so clearly next to my healthy-colored skin. “Will you take a close-up?” I asked.

Oh, I’m so, so glad. Because when I look again at this picture I can feel it.

I can feel her hand around my finger once again. Holding tight.

Wordless Wednesday: Their Faces Today

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Her Eyes

It was her eyes.
I saw her picture online, and something stirred deep within my soul. Those beautiful, almond eyes took me back four years and reminded me of the eyes of another little girl who captured my heart.

Do you see the resemblance?

Her name was Tabitha, her bio said. I read on. “Tabitha was diagnosed with heart disease (VSD, PDA, PAH).” And that’s when my heart sank.

You see, the little girl Tabitha reminded me of was Liu Yi, who also had a serious heart condition. She had been diagnosed with congenital heart disease-- PDA, PFO, enlarged heart and narrow pulmonary arteries, to be exact. And four years ago, I handed Liu Yi to a nurse at a hospital in China, not knowing that would be the last time I would feel the weight of her in my arms.

“God, please….” Was all I could manage to pray. I already assumed the worst. Then I got an email.

It’s kind of a miracle…”, It said, “Tabitha no longer has PDA or PAH. We think she was healed on the way here.” Two of Tabitha's three heart conditions had been healed.

Oh, how little faith I have. How quickly I forget the lessons God has taught me, the blessings He’s poured out, and the miracles He performs.

Because Liu Yi’s four months here on earth were a miracle. In those four months, her every smile, every coo, every cry were all the sweetest blessings. Liu Yi’s physical heart may have been weak, but during those four months, her emotional heart knew what it meant to love before she went to rest in the arms of her Father, healed. And that is a miracle.

And now, even when I can’t find the words to form the prayer deep in my soul, God answers. He has already begun the miracles in Tabitha’s precious life.

But Tabitha is still in need of a miracle. She still needs life-saving heart surgery. She needs you.

So her blue fingers can turn pink, A miracle.

So she can learn to roll, then crawl, then walk, without having to stop to catch her breath. A miracle.

So one day, she can be placed into the loving arms of her own forever family, no longer an orphan. A miracle.

That day four years ago, I let go of Liu Yi, and ultimately placed her in the arms of Jesus.
And today, I am placing Tabitha in your arms, and asking you to help fight for her miracle.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Paige's Story

She was bundled up, and all I saw was that adorable tuft of hair as she was carried upstairs.

 “Welcome to your new home” I thought. I didn’t know how much her life would impact mine, and if I had known… I wonder if I would have loved her differently, held her differently, or prayed for her differently.

I know that I would have taken more pictures. Sung more songs. Taken more walks with her around the backyard.

If I had known, I would never have left.

I was in the US, visiting relatives, when I heard that Paige’s heart had failed her. It pierced something inside of me that had never before been hurt. Because I knew Paige. For three precious months she had been my little “pixie." And I loved her. Of course I knew that she was sick, that she had a heart condition, but it never sunk in just how fragile her life was.

So Paige died, and the short life that she lived, from hindsight, looked all the more beautiful. She had been given the chance to be loved, and she soaked that up; giggles, wiggles and cuddles were apart of her life. She was just learning how to roll over, I remember, and she loved to suck her finger.

But despite the beautiful shear that being loved can envelop a life in, Paige's life can still look a whole lot like a tragedy. Only nine days in her mother's arms, and then left in a local park. Alone. Orphaned, probably because of her congenital heart disease. I wish that I could understand why.

Paige touched me. I fell in love with this little girl. I had no idea when I first started loving her that she would not live to see this day, her birthday. Knowing what I do know now, I would do it all over again.

She is in heaven now, and that part of me that had been pierced -my heart - was hurt for the better. It was hurt for the cause of the fatherless, the helpless and the hopeless.

I thought that I knew how to love, to love people and to love God, but when Paige died something happened. I was forced to the decision of either turning a deaf ear to His lullabies of healing and believe the lie that He didn't care, or to love Him. I was forced to choose between a God who stood by as death stole the lives of the loved, or the God who was holding the one I loved as she took her last breath, and who then cried ten thousand more tears that I.

And when I chose to love the God who is good, He did something to my heart. Healed it? Transformed it? Whatever it was, He gave me a burden to love and fight for the broken.  

To love dangerously.

It's been the hardest, the most heartbreaking and the most fulfilling and God-filled thing that I've ever done.

So you see, loving Paige was worth it.

To be honest, celebrating Paige's life is hard. I want her to be here with me to celebrate. I want to cradle her in my arms and tell you all about how her life changed mine, and about how His love for the little ones is nothing like you could ever imagine.

But because Paige cannot be here today, I will hold and cuddle and sing and fight for and love Lydia, my angel. She has the I've-been-battling-pneumonia-my-whole-life hair cut just like Paige did. That same fair skin... and she sucks her fingers too.

Will you be a part of the miracle?