Ginger (she is getting major heart surgery later this month. She needs lots of prayers because she has a missing diaphragm and her heart is in her abdomen .)
Tiffany/Mei Mei captured my heart in so many ways. She has an inoperable heart condition and has trouble walking. Yet her joy was evident in the few moments we saw her.
Philip Hayden Foundation, it is a Christian organization located just outside of Beijing, China. It has a family village type atmosphere/layout and houses around 100 special needs orphans of every age.
I apologize for the delay in posting these pictures. I know how special it is to receive new pictures of your children. I tried to email pictures out if I know of a family adopting a specific child, however, I know there are lots more families awaiting Philip Hayden kids.
I want to ASSURE anyone who has a child/sibling waiting at Philip Hayden, that they are waiting for you in the best possible place. There is no place like home, but if they cannot be home, I promise they are waiting for you in the next5 best place. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind about that.
We were able to receive Kate (Shia) at Philip Hayden, so our visit was not typical. We had to wait on someone to oversee the gotcha moment, so we only had a short amount of time to see the homes before receiving Kate. We were only able to see Samaritans House and the House of Blessings. We also saw the House of Love and the House of Peace (the two houses that Kate lived in), but all of the kids were napping when we saw those. I would've LOVED to spend all day there, but obviously, that was not an option :) Someday, I know I will be back there to spend a lot longer than a few hours at PHF.
We went to Shepherd's Field (The name of the PHF village) on October 25. It was about a 45 minute drive from our hotel in Beijing. We had a little bit of trouble finding it, but when it came into view, we all recognized it right away. We pulled up to the gate and faced the main building (office) which looked beautiful against the bright blue sky. To the left was the row of houses. To the right was another row of buildings being constructed into various houses for amazing things to begin. Directly behind the office is a very nice play ground.
We started down the sidewalk, which "connects" all the houses. First, we saw Sams House. This house is for children with the most major medical needs. Our family sponsors Katherine and I sponsor Emily, who both live in Sams House. (By the way, I was so excited to learn that Emily has a waiting family!!!) When we got there, it was lunch time. The older toddlers were in the kitchen sitting in chairs having their lunch. The babies were in their room. A few were being fed their lunch while others were playing on the floor. The nannies were down with them, holding them, feeding them, playing with them, etc. We spent a little bit of time in there and then headed to House of Blessings. Lots of activity was going on at the HOB! Another volunteer group whom we had "met" on a PHF yahoo group was there, so it was fun meeting them! All of the kids were on the floor playing with all kinds of toys. The nannies were on the floor playing with them. There was sooo much activity going on in there and all the kids seemed to be enjoying it. We stayed at HOB for awhile, just enjoying and loving on all the little ones. They were all so sweet and looked so happy! I wish I could've brought them ALL home with me. I am SO happy that two of the kids in particular, Elena and Drew, who really became near to my heart are being adopted very soon! After awhile of playing and loving on those precious kids, Leah told us that it was time to get Kate, so we hugged the little ones goodbye and headed back to the office to meet our precious girl! If you followed the website, you already know about that special moment... :)
After awhile of sitting in the office with Kate, we left Mom to have some time with her while the rest of us went to see the House of Peace and House of Love. The kids were napping, but we got to see Kate's crib at HOL and were able to see her room mates (Vira, Brent, and one other little girl.)
Every house is set up where you walk in to a little "mud room" with cubbies, strollers, shoes, etc. There is a bathroom and a bedroom and then a big play area. Attached to the play area is a kitchen with a highchairs, tables, little tables, etc. Upstairs is another little foyer and the kids rooms. There is a great kid to nanny ratio, which is awesome.
PHF is SOOOO well run. I cannot give enough praises about it. The kids get the best possible care and it is obvious that the nannies truly love their jobs. Every child is loved and cared for, that I can assure you of.
We are so blessed in that Kate lived at Philip Hayden for 15 months. We have pictures, info, and memories from those months that we missed. We have no doubt that she was loved, cared for, cherished, and provided for in those months. Not only that, but her medical needs have also been provided for- and we KNOW that she was not alone in getting her steroid injections to heal her hemangioma. We are forever grateful for the work Philip Hayden does, especially in bringing up our precious Kate. Words are not enough to describe the love and friendly atmosphere PHF provides for the kids and the thankfulness we have- and will always have- for what the did in our own sweet girl's life.
And so, if you are a waiting for your little one from PHF, I want you to know that they are LOVED. They are loved in a big way. They are also cared for, no doubt about it. If they can't be home, they are in the next best place.
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." James 1:27