2020 June Heartbeat
From the Founder
We can’t wait to open! We recently held meetings via WeChat video (China’s version of Zoom) with our 7Acres Team, our local NGO partners and a representative from Civil Affairs to discuss the opening date for the 7Acres Project. It was our goal to launch the new effort on June 1, which is Children’s Day in China. While the spread of the coronavirus in mainland China is much improved, it’s still not eradicated, and safety precautions remain in effect.
Children’s Day is a much-anticipated annual celebration for our kids and the entire team, as well as scores of volunteers. Children display their natural gifts and talents through incredible performances and physical feats that surprise even their doctors and therapists.
However, due to the coronavirus restrictions, gatherings of more than 10 people are still prohibited. The 7Acres Opening Day – like so many events around the world – has been delayed. The bright side is that we have more time to prepare our staff and campus for the kids when they do arrive. I think it’s safe to say we’re very excited for children to fill our campus, ready to plan for the future and a new chance at life.
Your Faithful Support Matters
Thank you all for faithfully supporting us throughout the last 25 years! Your partnership and commitment to transforming children’s lives has enabled us to do this work. Your prayers, finances and physical labor have continually inspired our entire team, and given us all the strength to launch the next phase – take teens who have aged out of China’s adoption system and prepare them to live independent, fulfilling lives. Together, we’ll impact the lives of teenagers who would otherwise be institutionalized or put out on the street at 18, overlooked and forgotten. We’re prepared with modern facilities, instructors, doctors, therapists and staff to give these youngsters a plan and a purpose for their lives. Stay with us! There’s much more to come, but we need your partnership to bring the dream to fruition. For more information, email [email protected] or to our website at: www.chinaorphans.org.
Luke Needs Urgent Care
Last January, Luke (Tianyi) was recovering very well from his open-heart surgery, but has recently developed swelling in his face and blueness in his lips. He went to see his pediatric cardiologist in Beijing on May 20. He was diagnosed with something called pleural effusion, which is excess fluid that accumulates in the pleural cavity, the fluid-filled space that surrounds the lungs. This excess fluid can impair breathing by limiting the expansion of the lungs. His doctors will keep him in the hospital for treatment to bring it under control. This treatment is going well, and another checkup will happen soon. You can see the difference already, thanks to your prayers!
Please pray for Luke and also for his doctors, that they’ll find the cause of his symptoms and develop an effective long term treatment plan. We’ll update you via social media on Instagram, Facebook and our updated mobile app.
Will you also share Luke’s information? Luke still needs a forever family, maybe you can Be the Change for Luke!
Reflections on the Past 25 Years
As we celebrate our Silver Anniversary this year, we’re reminded of the countless incredible memories with our kids. One very special recollection is the story of Zoey. When she arrived on our campus as a tiny baby, doctors stated that her special needs were so debilitating she’d be non-responsive for the rest of her life. Shortly after Zoey’s arrival at Shepherd’s Field, however, a team from Memphis, Tennessee came to volunteer. One of the team leaders, Stan went to visit the kids in Samaritan House where Zoey lived. Stan was unusually drawn to Zoey every day, just to hold her in his arms and pray for her to live a life that the Father (God) wanted. He prayed that she’d be able to run and play and enjoy God’s creation. At the end of the team’s visit Stan went to Samaritan House to say a final goodbye to Zoey, but something very special happened instead – Stan’s prayers for Zoey were answered! As he petitioned the Father for this helpless infant, Stan heard God speak to his heart, “You’re the father.” The answer to Stan’s prayers for a “baba” – or father – was, in fact already there. That baba was Stan.
Stan returned to Memphis – beaming – and eagerly talked with his wife Stephanie. As it turned out, Stan and Stephanie were already in the process of preparing their paperwork to adopt from China, so it was a no-brainer. But as they were putting everything in order to adopt Zoey, she was suddenly matched with another family, and Stan questioned his desire and calling to be Zoey’s baba. However, the family who was matched with Zoey met her and admitted that they weren’t prepared for the incredible challenge of adopting a child with such severe disabilities. This was good news for Stan and Stephanie – Zoey would be their daughter! It took a while, but Stan and Stephanie finally brought Zoey home when she 2½ years old.
This happy little girl with a bright, engaging personality is now 12 years old and will start middle school next year. Her favorite thing in the world is putting puzzles together, and she’s completed five during the COVID-19 quarantine. Stephanie shared that Zoey is usually working on a puzzle, and so far the largest one she’s done is 2,500 pieces. Not bad for a girl who doctors said would never do anything, right? Zoey’s story is just one of many great accounts of healing, transformation and redemption that we’ve witnessed among the special-needs kids we’ve touched. Thank you for your partnership with us!
Children’s Day is Family Day
Every June 1 Children’s Day puts a focus on children, but also encourages people to spend time with family and friends. Most parents take the day off work to celebrate as a family, but if the kids are in school, classmates often play games or go on field trips. For us, it’s a day of grand performances, where our kids become superstars. Performances are filled with dancing, singing, poetry reading, games, fashion shows and a whole lot more.
One thing the kids love is that they get to eat as many sweets as they want. They’ll also stuff their mouths full of watermelon, KFC, and whatever’s in front of them – then for dessert they’ll eat cake! Of course, cake frosting will end up in someone’s hair or on their clothes as surely as someone will slather frosting on a buddy’s face. All bets are off at that point – almost everyone will enter “the amazing frosting food fight,” and create lasting, powerful memories.
After cleanup, the children go to Wardrobe, and pick out dresses and costumes, as well as traditional makeup. This is always quite the backstage event, and divas are quickly made! The highlight and biggest crowd-pleaser of the day is definitely the fashion show, where the kids dress up and strut their stuff with the confidence of a supermodel. Off to afternoon naptime, after which the children fill the campus courtyard for a swimming pool party and water fight. Anyone who dares enter the battlefield, though, is fair game for a super-soaking, water balloon or bucket tossed in their direction. Everyone – including spectators – gets wet eventually. Every year, this is the moment we all become kids again!
Some of the real stars of the day, though, are the generous volunteers who help make the day look so easy and fun. Nearly every year a team from the Greater Atlanta Christian School arrives to help set up events and make sure they run smoothly. They’ve been a huge part of our wonderful history of Children’s Day activities, and we’d like to say thank you to them and to all who have ever helped with this event. You know how involved it is, but also the true joy it creates in the children’s hearts.
We’ve Updated Our Mobile App
Are you looking for a new way to stay up-to-date on what’s happening at PHF? We now have an app, PHF – Philip Hayden Foundation, available to you. This allows you to stay connected via media, newsletters and updated announcements.
Connect with the Philip Hayden Foundation and keep up on the latest news and needs! Download our app to discover media content, meet the children or even give a donation. If you opt-in for push notifications, you will be the first to know when we have any updates. Search PHF or Philip Hayden Foundation on Google Play or in the App Store. Give it a try today!
Look at this Child
Meet Charlie (Shao Tiancheng)! He’s a cool kid – a 13-year-old boy who’ll age out of China’s adoption system in November, but is hopeful he’ll find a family before then. He’s kind-hearted, intelligent and strong, and one who never lets anything stop him from living life to the fullest. Charlie loves to play adapted baseball and participate in wheelchair races, and once you gain his trust you have a friend for life.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has affected not only current adoptions, but also potential ones. While things are held up, many children are quickly becoming ineligible for adoption. We encourage you to advocate for Charlie and others during these times. Will you help us find a Forever Family for Charlie?