Philip Hayden Foundation

From the Founder

As we reach the end of our 25th year of serving China‘s orphaned and vulnerable children, we continue to wait for the next chapter to begin. Like most of the rest of the world, the coronavirus continues to affect our plans to move forward. None of us would have expected a year like 2020 and the challenges it has brought. It’s not to say that over the past 25 years we haven’t faced our fair share of challenging times, though. There have been many ups and downs. But looking back, we can see a beautiful collage of the lives that have been transformed by this mission of love and care. So many children have found their Forever Families around the world.

Care for Orphans

Children’s physical disabilities and conditions have been changed through medical care provided by our Medical Team and partner hospitals. Our mission remains the same – to care for orphans and vulnerable children wherever they are. Anyone who has been to our campus knows that James 1:27, “pure religion is to care for orphans and widows in their distress” is the driving value behind what we are here for. We look for more opportunities to serve many kids in the new year. We thank you for standing with us.

word cloud philip hayden foundation, transforming lives


Leonard Is Seen

occupational therapist helping leonard a small bite

It’s a sad fact that more than 98% of the orphans in China have disabilities, and most never receive the therapy they need to enrich and expand their lives. Philip Hayden Foundation and the Bright Stars Therapy program have been forerunners in the country by helping more than 100 kids on our campus, as well as training scores of caregivers at orphanages throughout China in giving specialized care. One boy helped by Bright Stars Therapy is Leonard. Leonard has cerebral palsy, and has difficulty eating. Our Occupational Therapist patiently taught Leonard and his caregivers how to improve his ability to chew and swallow. Leonard was very excited to finally be able to eat something other than thin liquids or soup, and is thankful for this small change that has vastly improved his daily life. This is just one example of how we show love in a tangible way.


Preschool Boys Are Known and Loved

seven preschool boys and teacher

This particular preschool class was all boys all the time – full of energy and fun! Their teacher, Carm, noticed, and celebrated the quirks that make each child unique and valued. At Philip Hayden Foundation, these boys were seen, known and loved. In our safe, secure environment, each boy began to trust adults and started to thrive. Some, like Levi, needed long-term medical care. Others, like Anthony, needed therapy after medical care, just to participate in daily activities. And each one needed security and love, because transitions will always be hard for these kids.

Three years later, this energetic group of boys live all over world. Anthony and Levi still reside in China, waiting for their Forever Families. Three of the boys, Rocco, Shawn and Isaac are now with families in the United States. And two – Morris and Axel – were adopted by loving families in Europe.

Transition to Forever Family

Transitioning from PHF to a Forever Family in Europe was challenging for Morris, so his adoptive mom reached out to our staff, who gave her the encouragement and help she needed. His mom shared that with help, Morris has adapted to his new family and way of life, and learned to express his feelings in a healthy way. “He is kind to others, likes to help, and cuddles and talks all day.” Well done, Morris and family!

PHF has been blessed through 25 years of helping orphans, and getting a front row seat to so many changed lives – like Anthony, Levi and Morris. Never forget that You have made this help possible, and with your continued support, we look forward to helping a new group of orphans and vulnerable children as we move forward.

Known, Valued, Loved

Because there are orphans in need, our work is not done. Perhaps they’ve grown up in an institution, and need help with life and vocational skills that will help them to live independently and hold a job. Maybe they reside in an orphanage without access to skilled therapists. Or perhaps they need medical care. Wherever they are, we know that they need to be seen and known before they can be valued and loved.


What Love Looks Like

intern and chinese boy making silly faces

“The storage on my cell phone has been full for years now. Normal people would have taken the time to empty the needless things that fill it, but I can’t do that. That space is filled with an instant source of joy for me – thousands of images from time spent in a foreign land, that are sure to brighten any hazy day. Seeing the infectious smiles of kids that are so loved, reminiscing on relationships built over exceptionally American 4th of July celebrations, reminders of how far God’s beauty stretches around the globe. How could those things not cause one to overflow with happiness?

physical therapy intern makes therapy fun for young boy

“That’s what Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV) provides. I had the pleasure of assisting Naomi and the therapy staff in the summers of 2017 and 2018, along with my fellow physical therapy students. I wouldn’t trade the weeks I spent in that therapy gym with those kids for anything. Shepherd’s Field doesn’t just produce love with words, they produce love with action. That’s an example that I continue to follow as my PT journey around the country progresses. Thank you, SFCV for showing me what love looks like.”   – Tyler Webb


Local Volunteers Are Valued

The staff of the Hong Kong Shanghai Bank Corporation (HSBC) have been very kind to us through the years. HSBC bankers and executives have partnered with us on many projects, and have personally volunteered to help make life better for our children. For instance, they built our amazing Aquaponics Greenhouse. They also redid all of our on-campus sidewalks – which made them smoother and wider for our children using wheelchairs and walkers. The children enjoy fresh organic grapes from the grapevines planted along the south and west sides of the greenhouse . These gifts just keep on giving! We offer heartfelt thanks and gratitude to HSBC, and to all of the volunteers who have given time, money and talents to the children here. We love you!

The Faces of Orphans in China

In the decade since 2010, more than 160 children from Shepherd’s Field have joined their Forever Families. The busiest year was 2012, when 32 children were adopted by families in China, the U.S. and throughout the world.

Do you recognize any of these faces? While most of the children pictured here were adopted, some still live in institutions in China, and a few did not survive. All have disabilities, and your donations and support profoundly changed the lives of each child pictured here – as well as countless others not shown.

The faces of orphans in China are changing, as are their most pressing needs. Our decades-long commitment to orphans and vulnerable children is only increasing – and thanks to you, we’ll be able to change many more lives now and in the future. Thank you!

collage of faces of chinese orphans
Faces of Orphans at SFCV from 2010 to 2015

From the Founder

Our 25 years of serving China’s orphan community have been incredible – filled with ups and downs, highs and lows, successes and failures (a few!) – but this year may be the most challenging of all. Amidst the countless setbacks and challenges all of us have faced in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, we’re extremely blessed to be a step closer to our new residents arriving on campus. After successful discussions with our orphanage partner, we’re welcoming approximately 30 teens and young adults as the first group to enter the 7Acres Vocational Training Program. One thing we’ve learned this year is that every good thing to help the disadvantaged is worth patiently waiting for.

Tianjin orphanage team meets with PHF

7Acres Hosts Partners

We hosted extensive meetings with the leaders of the Tianjin Children’s Social Welfare Institute and their various department heads, to discuss disability employment and social integration projects for our young people. Director Jiang and her team explained that this is what the welfare home really needs right now. It’s a blessing for us to have the opportunity to cooperate with them, to help improve the lives of orphans with disabilities by training and preparing them for life outside of an institution.

Thank you for sticking with us and believing together that we can make a huge difference in the lives of these teens and young adults. Keep praying – there are more good things to come!


Winter Heat

It’s that time of the year again when we raise funds for our winter heat. Every year, we have to pay our annual heating bill for Philip Hayden Foundation in advance – or the steam doesn’t get turned on. Well, the cold weather is just around the corner and we need your help once again. 

Many of you have donated already, but we still need to raise $31,000 more to keep the kids warm this winter. Anything you can give is greatly appreciated! To help keep our kids and staff warm this winter, go here and choose Winter Heat 2020 or text SFCV to 77977. It’s that easy to help bring warmth to our campus!

Charley Moon Brings Joy

Kayla with Infant Charley Moon
Kayla with Charley Moon

A month hadn’t passed in my new role as the Lead Therapist at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV), when I picked up this tiny, very fragile baby girl. From that moment, I knew our lives were changed forever. I immediately went to Tim Baker to discuss how and where to begin the adoption process – and as a single woman, it was scary. This November, Charley Moon (Zhu Yingmi) and I will celebrate our sixth Gotcha Day anniversary since coming home together, and we couldn’t be happier.

Charley Moon brings overflowing joy and laughter to our lives. She’s almost always happy, and delights in the simple things like family birthdays, going out to eat together, and warm family gatherings. She’s amazing at puzzles, loves to dance, enjoys all kinds of music, jogging in the neighborhood – and especially concerts!

Thriving in School

She’s currently in the second grade, loves to do homework, and has a great group of teachers, including special education teachers and a wonderful speech therapist. They’re very patient with Charley Moon, and help to increase her speech and guide her through school.

Forever Grateful

The inseparable bond I share with this little girl is unique in my life. She teaches me patience, unconditional love and especially how to slow down! She loves to pray about anything and everything, and is always thankful for China. She’s extremely close to her Lao Lao (grandmother) and her Auntie and Uncle, and fits perfectly into the rest of the family, just like the final piece of a puzzle.


Kick Off December on Giving Tuesday

banner giving tuesday is december 1, 2020

It’s safe to say that we’ll all remember 2020 – but not necessarily for good things! However, in the midst of record-breaking hurricanes, floods and fires – as well as a worldwide, deadly pandemic – there’s hope. Very few lives remain untouched, and we’ve all been forced to adapt to governmental restrictions and worse. It’s only now that many people appreciate the value of things we once took for granted – like family dinner, a warm home, family and friends close enough to touch, and technology that lets us see a face when we communicate, even when we can’t be there in person.

A grateful heart sees many blessings

Life will always be full of challenges, and each of us can choose gratitude or discontent as we face them. If you opt for gratitude, will you also consider PHF on Giving Tuesday? It falls on December 1 this year – the Tuesday after Thanksgiving. Facebook will again be donating matching funds for early givers, and charging no fees. Find us on Facebook!

The pandemic has also delayed our 7Acres Project, but we’re using this time to fine-tune our program. You can help us accomplish this on Giving Tuesday with your donations, which means we’ll be prepared when young adults can finally move to our campus. Many of the people we serve have lived in institutions as long as they can remember. Most of their daily lives being decided for them. Along with job tutoring and life skills, our young people will learn about making daily decisions, communicating well, and learning to trust others as well as themselves.

Facebook is not the only way to give on Giving Tuesday. You can also mail a check to our California office, text SFCV to 77977, or donate online. Thank you for continuing to help young orphans in China gain knowledge, confidence and life-changing independence.

You Can Advocate for Brody

Brody Hu Minpeng has Down syndrome, but enjoys overall good health and communicates well. He’s learned basic sign language, but his favorite way to communicate is with hugs. He loves to socialize on the playground, roll around in the hammock and just be around people. Honestly, he can find joy in any setting! We’re eager to see what the future holds for him. We pray it includes a Forever Family that’s looking for a wonderful, loving boy named Brody.

We’re working hard to help Brody find a family long before any worries about the adoption age limit arise. Please share his story on social media and elsewhere to help us advocate for him. For more information, contact us at info@chinaorphans.org or call us in the USA at 1-866-526-3712.

brody gives hug to tim baker

Brody gives the best hugs!


Sign Up for Some Amazon Smiles

banner bring joy with amazon smile

The coronavirus pandemic has forced many of us to drastically alter our buying habits, resulting in a significant increase in online shopping. Companies like Amazon benefit from this, but increased online sales can also help us. Through Amazon Smile, you can link your Amazon account to the Philip Hayden Foundation (PHF), and Amazon will donate 0.5% of your eligible total (nearly everything!) to PHF. Your total cost doesn’t change, but Chinese orphans will benefit. Your donation is anonymous, so we can’t thank you personally – but we’re very thankful for your participation and willingness to give.

It’s easy to sign up on the Amazon website or through the Amazon app. Here’s how. Simply go to Smile.Amazon.com and sign in. Then choose Philip Hayden Foundation as your charity of choice. If you use the Amazon shopping app, just open the app and tap Settings. Then tap AmazonSmile and follow the instructions. It’s that easy!

From the Founder

As there have been no new cases of coronavirus reported in China in the past month, things are getting somewhat back to normal. That’s a good thing, and fits our timeline to officially launch our new 7Acres Project, as we’re now more than ready to get started. During the past few weeks, our team has gone through a thorough evaluation by a third-party organization hired by the Civil Affairs Bureau. Everything went extremely well, and in their final evaluation they said that our project to help older teens is unquestionably necessary. They also promised to help make it even better going forward, by recruiting more volunteers and encouraging the citizens of China to help our kids eventually reenter society.

7Acres project unquestionably necessary

Discovering Potential Through Art

Most of our new residents will have spent anywhere from 10 to 20 years living in orphanages or institutions with few, if any, opportunities for real-life experience. What can we do to help them express themselves, and give them a voice to speak to the world even if they can’t physically speak? One idea is to use art as a way to communicate with the world. Some of the kids might have physical or mental challenges and limitations, but could easily have hidden gifts of creativity. Art Therapy is a valuable tool that can help unlock those kids’ true potential and give them something they’ve never had – a voice. We’ll tie this therapy – including things like a new screen-printing workshop – into our Vocational Program, to equip them for making their way independently in the world.

Lily greets Wendy after Wendy travels independently to Shanghai from Fuzhou

At the end of last month, our Operations Director, Lily Zhuang and one of our older graduates, Wendy (Su Ying), took a trip to Shanghai to visit an exhibition of young amateur artists. This place was amazing, and it really opened up Wendy’s eyes to see that she, too may have some untapped hidden talent. In talking with the participants there, she told Lily that she loves Winnie the Pooh and was interested in how those cartoon images were made. She clearly gravitated toward the woodblock printing, so we ordered a set of screen-printing tools for her. I have to admit that we’re very excited about this, and can’t wait to get started!

Wendy Demonstrates Independence

It’s really neat to see how Wendy has matured into an amazing, young independent woman. Last month, she returned to her hometown of Fuzhou in south China to apply for a disabled persons ID card. She completed everything all by herself, including buying her plane ticket, flying to Fuzhou, getting a place to stay, eating out and taking taxis. Right after that, she flew to Shanghai to meet Lily. She took the subway to get around the city using phone apps, went window shopping on Nanjing Lu – one of the busiest shopping streets in the world – and even went to Disney World, which was her very first time visiting an amusement park. To wrap up the trip, she took her first bullet train ride from Shanghai back to Beijing.

Wendy is a shining example of what we want to see for all the older kids who cannot graduate to independence without help and training from us, and support from people like you. Thank you for sticking with us and believing that we can make a difference in older orphans’ lives. If you’re interested in helping us fund and stock the exciting, new Art Workshop at 7Acres, please contact us at info@chinaorphans.org, or give online at www.chinaorphans.org/donate. Together, we can BE THE CHANGE.


Mid-Autumn Festival Celebrates Family

Luke and Richard make mooncakes

The Mid-Autumn Festival is the second-most celebrated holiday in China. More commonly known as the Moon Festival, it falls on the 15th day of the eighth lunar month – the middle day of autumn – and is often celebrated for a full week. It will take place on October 1 this year, which also happens to be China National Day.

Lunar Celebration

This lunar celebration is a time where families come together to eat mooncakes and enjoy poetry while watching the beautiful full moon. Mooncakes are seldom made at home, and boxes of them are traditionally sent as gifts to others. Mooncakes are filled with a heavy, sweet mixture such as lotus seed powder, and covered in a paper-thin wheat dough. The best ones also have an egg yolk in the center.

Every year, the Philip Hayden Foundation would be blessed with boxes of mooncakes for the staff and children. But I also have many memories of the children making moon cakes with ayis and interns. While it was always a messy process, that was their favorite part! This holiday has spread beyond China. It’s now enjoyed by many around the world, but it’s always important to recognize and respect the origin and culture behind this holiday – a day to remember and celebrate love and family.


Are You Ready for Winter?

It’s that time of the year again when we begin our winter heat fundraiser. Every year, we have to pay our annual heating bill for 7Acres in advance – or the steam doesn’t get turned on. Well, the cold weather is just around the corner and we need your help once again. This year we need to raise $45,656.72 for the whole winter’s heat. We’re blessed to have already raised $7,646.62 even before we asked.

We need your help to keep our staff and kids warm

While that’s a great start, we still need to raise $38,010.10 more to keep the kids warm this winter. Anything you can give is greatly appreciated. To help keep our kids and staff warm this winter, go here and choose Winter Heat 2020 or text SFCV to 77977. It’s that easy to help bring warmth to our campus.

Remember Levi?

It’s hard to believe this little bundle of joy will turn seven in November. Three words I’d use to describe Levi (Han Qiannan) would be: caring, funny and affectionate. He’s definitely the world’s best hugger! Levi’s also an energetic little guy who never fails to bring a smile to your face; and he loves dancing, songs, coloring and much more. Levi was successfully treated for a retinoblastoma while in our care at Philip Hayden Foundation and now has an artificial eye implantation. There has been no recurrence of eye disease and he’s adapted well to vision in only one eye.

While in preschool, Levi’s best buddy was Isaac. The two boys shared giggles and a good friendship, as well as a bit of mischief. It was hard for Levi as he watched Isaac join a Forever Family a few years ago, but he was happy for him. He’s content playing alone now, but definitely prefers playing with other children, especially if it means some monkey business! He still dreams of someday having his own family – it’s really the ultimate dream of most, if not all of these orphans.

Levi had many friends at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV) and is still quite social – he’s living in a foster home in China with several other children, and is doing very well. Nothing seems to stop him when it comes to achieving his goals, so we’re confident that we can help fulfill his dream to be adopted by a loving family. Will you help Levi make this a reality? 

His file is currently at Madison Adoption Associates as Jimi. Email info@chinaorphans.org for more information, or contact Madison Adoption directly at MadisionAdoption.org.


The Scent of God’s Grace

Caroline with Maggie

“I learned in my Neuroscience class that smell and memory are closely linked because of their proximity in the brain. It is no surprise, then, that lately I find myself saying, ‘today smells like Shepherd’s Field.’ This strange thought often baffles my family and friends, warranting head turns and inquisitive stares, but to me, the meaning of the phrase is clear as day.

“After taking a deep inhale of fresh air filled with a grassy and earthy scent, my brain immediately transports me to Shepherd’s Field. Memories of serving there come flooding back at a moment’s notice. The warm days of summers I spent at Shepherd’s Field were filled with the smell of freshly cut grass and a cleanness atypical of cities in China.

“Along with that calming smell, there were sounds of cicadas buzzing relentlessly and children laughing and yelling at play. I would be walking out of the Little Lambs School after my morning lesson, preparing for an afternoon of water balloon fights, or eating dinner outside with my fellow interns. These memories are abundant with moments of joy, feelings of abandon and assurance that comes with faith, and emotional burdens that the staff shared together.

“As Tim Baker once said, ‘Shepherd’s Field is truly a Holy Land.’ With its patient and enduring nature, it gradually transformed me through the Gospel, the children, and the fellowship. Who knew that I would first get to know God not in the U.S., but in the heart of my motherland? Who knew that after the brief two weeks I first spent there, I would return three more times? God’s Grace was at work every moment I spent there, and I will always think fondly about the memories I so cherish, every time I catch a scent of fresh, earthy summer air.” – Caroline Li


Saying ‘Yes’ Transformed our Family

In 2009 our eldest daughter, Emma had the opportunity to travel to Shepherd’s Field as a volunteer. She was only 14 years old at the time and yet, as parents, we had an overwhelming peace about letting her go. Little did we know what an amazing plan God had in store for her and our family. During her trip she met a precious, joyful three-year-old girl named Dang Xiaoye, known by many as Grace, but Emma would soon know her as her ‘sister.’

Grace lived at Shepherd’s Field from the time she was three days old. During her five years there she received more than 15 surgeries, which quickly earned her the nickname Amazing Grace, because of her ability to survive so many challenges and illnesses. If it were not for the medical care she received – thanks to generous sponsors – and the loving care the wonderful ayis provided, she would never have survived.

In 2011 (two years after deciding to adopt Grace), we finally received travel approval to go to China and meet our daughter, Mia ‘Grace’ Xiaoye who was now five years old and still living at Shepherd’s Field. We also, because of God’s timing and perfect plan, adopted a sweet three-year-old girl we named Teagan Yuanna (from another Province).

Since then, several members of our family have had many opportunities to learn more about China through interning, working and going to school there. These blessings continued to enlarge our family, and we had the privilege of adopting our daughter Lainey Mei in 2017, who was three years old at the time. We love China and hope to bring the girls back there soon to see what a beautiful country they come from.

Mia is now 14 years old and in Middle School. She still has the brightest smile and most contagious laugh. She loves school, drawing, basketball, cheerleading and dance. While Mia has undergone many surgeries here in the U.S. (and will have more in the future), she always has an amazing attitude. She is truly a survivor.

Sisters because we said yes

Mia, Teagan and Lainey have changed our lives. Adoption transformed our family’s trajectory and moved us to a place of holding loosely to our own plans, because God’s plans are so much better. If we had said ‘no’ to Emma’s trip to China and/or ‘no’ to adoption, we would have missed all of what these girls have brought us. We are much better people for knowing each of them, and I love that their stories include so many people who helped mold their lives into places of redeeming hope.

Shepherd’s Field/Philip Hayden Foundation will always have a very special place in our hearts, where each child is seen and truly loved.


In Other News

Bright Stars Therapy Partners with Olivia’s Place

• We’re very happy to announce that we signed a one-year agreement with LIH Olivia’s Place in Beijing to train 50 therapists. This amazing organization fills a huge need in China by providing high-quality, affordable pediatric therapy and developmental services for children of all ages and abilities, regardless if they’re local, expatriate, special-needs or typically developing. If you know our history, you might recall that through the years LIH Olivia’s Place has provided free therapy for our kids at Shepherd’s Field. With our new agreement, they’ll provide therapy training to our Bright Stars team and to our orphanage partners. Later, we’ll do online training with more orphanages, to spread this valuable knowledge throughout China.

New Signs on Campus

• It might seem like a small thing at first glance, but we made new plaques for all the buildings on campus as we finalize renovations for the new 7Acres Project. The bright, fresh Chinese/English signage not only looks good, it also gives clear direction to our kids and volunteers to find their way around campus. The new signs will also help instill trust in the public and the local government, as they become better acquainted with our new work and see the professionalism and care we’ve exercised at 7Acres.

From the Founder

As we prepare for a group of expectant teens to arrive on our beautifully renovated 7Acres Campus, I’m reminded of our humble beginnings of working with older kids. One of the first teens to arrive at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV) was Stacey (Huang Zhongyu) in March 2007 when she was 17. Soon after she arrived, we paired her with 16-year-old Wendy (Su Ying), and together they became our first older students to receive an education, as well as vocational and life skills training. This was quite a change for us, considering that up until then our campus was comprised of about 70 children, from infant to 12 years old. Stacey loved the younger kids and quickly became a big sister to them. She was also very excited to learn – she studied hard and was highly motivated to find independent work once she finished her program here.

Stacey Enjoys Success

Stacey works in bakery

After successfully completing her studies, we helped her find a job in Shenzhen at a factory making wooden crafts. A few years later, she moved back to SFCV, and began work at the nearby Bread of Life Bakery. All of Stacey’s training and experience came together as she learned the ins and outs of baking, and she has recently begun training other teens how to bake. We couldn’t be prouder of Stacey and how she has excelled beyond expectations.

In fact, she was married last year, and just welcomed a beautiful 7 lb. 8 oz. baby boy named Liu Yichen! Stacey is a shining role model to other overlooked and marginalized teens, of someone who has overcome the numerous obstacles that stand in their way of living independent lives. who has overcome the numerous obstacles that stand in their way of living independent lives.

Back at 7Acres

Back at 7Acres, we’re preparing to update our security by installing new cameras in three of the buildings on campus, replacing the old rusty front gate, and beefing up the perimeter wall with added safeguards. All of this is being done to make our little “village” as safe and secure as possible for the new kids, teachers and staff. We’re very grateful for your previous and continued support as part of our big family, and thank you for sticking with us through the recent transformation of the work here. The future looks bright, and Stacey’s example encourages us as we begin welcoming and working with the first group of new kids as soon as they arrive. More updates to follow!


We are Making it Official!

After a lively – and life-changing – last couple of years, we’re very excited to announce that we recently signed an agreement that makes it official – Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV), now known as 7Acres – will formally be working with orphaned teenagers to educate, train and prepare them for life outside of an institution! 7Acres has received the support of the local government, the area social welfare institute and the wider community. This is a huge milestone, which comes as we celebrate our 25th anniversary of serving China’s orphaned children. We’re looking forward to this new and exciting adventure.


Blackberry Stains and Cleansing Rain

Intern with boy on trike

“One of the first things I noticed after arriving at Shepherd’s Field were the scores of luscious, ripe blackberries that had just fallen from the bushes and littered the walkways across campus. In the days that followed, I watched as children played, walked, ran and wheeled over the berries; workers crushed them underfoot; and visitors who arrived to see the inner workings of the organization inadvertently added to the concrete-staining carnage.

And Then the Rain Came…

“The colorful result resembled a sea of beautiful fireworks that had been frozen in mid-explosion – they left behind deep bluish-purple stains that I thought would never wash out of the winding paths. A few weeks later, however, the first rain arrived since the blackberries had fallen. After a day of steady showers, the deep discolorations were a few shades lighter, much less noticeable, and looked as if they would soon disappear with more rain.

Renewal

“That first day of rain also happened to be the day that Oscar, one of the children who previously lived at Shepherd’s Field met his Forever Family for the first time. Like countless orphans in China, his circumstances were certainly difficult – many would liken them to permanent stains on the fabric of his life. Thankfully, God doesn’t view Oscar as being stained or permanently marred, and brought him to a loving place where dozens of compassionate people treated him like the complete, worthy, beautiful and dignified person he is. Just as the purifying rains washed away the ‘indelible’ stains left behind by thousands of crushed blackberries, God used the people at SFCV and the loving acceptance of Oscar’s new family to begin washing away his past hurts, rejections and unfortunate circumstances.”     – Ireland Gibbs


Corey’s Enthusiasm is 100%

Corey (Song Yike) is an amazing youngster who joined our Shepherd’s Field family in 2016. He’s cheerful, kind and loves sports, and eagerly signed up for every event in our 2018 Shepherd’s Field Olympics – I had never seen anyone raise their hand so quickly or with such enthusiasm! When he first arrived on campus, our swimming pools were filled with water and kids, and Corey jumped right in without skipping a beat. His outgoing personality and his love and care for those around him inspired him to be an amazing older brother to the younger kids on campus, always going the extra mile. His Ayis are grateful for his generous heart, which he showcases on a daily basis in school and at home.

Corey is an excellent student and loves to dance, which he showcased at more than one of our many talent shows! His teachers report that he has a natural gift for reciting poetry, and is known for his neat handwriting and math skills. He’s brilliant, takes his studies quite seriously and is very independent in this area. He cares for himself with ease, and always lends a helping hand to those who need assistance. Corey is compassionate, respectful and intelligent, and deserving of the pride and admiration we have for him. He celebrated his 12th birthday in August, so we’re enthusiastically working to find him a Forever Family well before he turns 14. Will you help us by sharing his story? For more information or to help, email info@chinaorphans.org.


His Name has Changed, but Timothy Abides

Timothy

Kennedy, Yangyang or Ling XuYang (however you knew him) is still the same boy now that he goes by Timothy. If you spent any time working at or visiting Shepherd’s Field in recent years, you’ll always remember him. Life of the party, always smiling and singing, funny with a great laugh and lots of hugs, quick to help and full of compassion – those all describe the son we’ve come to know and love.

Timothy is the same boy that many of you knew and loved well before we ever met him. He came home to us in July of 2016, and his transition was seamless – mostly due to his loving nature and spirit of strength in adversity. We share countless laughs every day, no matter the occasion, even though we’ve spent most of this year homebound with COVID, like the rest of the world. But that doesn’t stop the fun.

During his four years at home, Timothy’s terrific English has only improved, and he’s also learned to read, write and spell. We’re a big family, so he never lacks for a playmate and loves to play soccer, racing the others in his wheelchair as they bike just to keep it fair. Our adoption story with him was full of twists and turns, but no doubt Providence was at work in our journey. Timothy misses his Shepherd’s Field friends and family, so feel free to reach out to us and say hi. Our family is forever grateful for the love and care he received prior to finding his way to our home, and we’re thankful many of you played a role in his young life.


Did You Know it’s so Easy to Help?

Facebook Birthday Fundraisers

You can change the life of a teen on our campus while celebrating your birthday! Facebook birthday fundraisers offer you the opportunity to Be the Change, and Facebook sends 100% of your funds to Philip Hayden Foundation (PHF), our parent organization. That’s right – no fees! Last year, PHF received over $1500 through these events.  Even better, scores of your friends learned how they can make a difference in the life of an orphan in China.  With your help, we’re hoping to introduce PHF to more friends this year! Check out Birthday Fundraisers on Facebook.

EBay Makes it Easy

Are you an eBay seller? Did you know that as you sell, you can designate a portion of your sales to help needy orphans in China? You can choose to donate between 10% and 100% of your proceeds to PHF. Your donations change lives. Just check the box for charitable giving and search for Philip Hayden Foundation. Your listing is marked as benefitting PHF – and the bonus is that anyone who looks at your listing is introduced to Philip Hayden Foundation, too. Join us today!

From the Founder

To say that our lives have been changed by this global pandemic would be an understatement. Wearing masks or not wearing masks, schools canceling classes while holding online classes, food and paper shortages, layoffs and closing businesses, our financial security disrupted. These, along with many other trials and tribulations have affected us all in one way or another.

Uncertain Times Requires Change

If there’s one thing we can learn during these uncertain times, it’s that the recent disruption and inconvenience to our lives may give us new eyes. We can glimpse what it must be like for these abandoned orphans, who have had to go through and experience trauma most of their lives. Think about it. Born with a special need in a place where resources to help the average family care for their special child are almost nonexistent, only to be abandoned by your family and placed into a crowded institution – forgotten along with hundreds of other kids. This kind of life is not exactly a recipe for developing a healthy, secure upbringing.

“How do I make it a better place for those who have been marginalized for far too long?”

Tim Baker

Time to Reflect

The coronavirus has given us time to do things that perhaps we were too busy to do seven months ago. Maybe you have more time to do that landscaping work you’ve been putting off, or that home DIY project (have you seen the parking lot at Home Depot lately?). Or you have time to finally read those books you’ve been dying to delve into, or work on your relationship or a favorite hobby. I think we can all say that this virus has given us more time to reflect on our own lives. For me it’s been, “What can I do to be the change not just for my family, but for my local community, and for the world? How do I make it a better place for those who have been marginalized for far too long?”

7Acres Will Show Love to Marginalized Teens

My family, all of our loyal team members, countless volunteers, and I have spent the past 25 years serving the needs of children who were abandoned in China. Now we’re on the precipice of beginning the next phase of our life’s work, to love, train and support those teenagers who have been institutionalized and forgotten for most of their lives. It was challenging enough to raise our own seven kids, who all went through some level of the so-called “challenging teenage years.”

What’s it going to be like for our teenage kids from the orphanage? Many of them have never been part of a family. They didn’t have loving parents to encourage them or support them, or comfort them when things were tough. This will certainly be a huge challenge, but one that we’re ready to take on. We don’t see it as a burden, but as a gift – really, a privilege, to serve them, teach them, mentor them and help show these teens that they’re loved.

Together We Can Change Lives

Over the past 25 years, we didn’t do this work alone. We value your partnership as we look ahead to some exciting days equipping teenagers! Together, we can help these kids become more independent, develop normal healthy relationships, and find jobs to support themselves. We’re honored with such a high calling. Thank you again for sticking with us during tumultuous times. We have a great opportunity to teach these young people that God has a plan and a purpose for their lives. While doing so they will be part of our BIG family.


It’s Not What I Thought

by Steve Allen

It’s not what I thought. In 2007 I wanted to take a group to serve at one of the three orphanages where my girls spent the first year of their lives – and received three consecutive “No’s.” I wanted to give back somehow and to expose others to the plight of the orphan in China. Then our liaison in China told me about a place called the Philip Hayden Foundation. After a phone call to Tim Baker and Leah Zimmer, our team of 25 was set to spend two weeks there. That trip turned into, I believe, 16 more trips, with about 300 different people and 300 different life-changing stories.

Stories

A lot of the stories were just fun – launching mega-fireworks from the front parking area on the 4th of July, hosting our own 2008 PHF Olympics, throwing Sara Zhou into pools of water, drenching Teacher Wang with our super soakers, camel fights with the kids and Gregg’s leg falling off, dance offs as Cody did Gangnam Style again and again, and sweating profusely in the Langfang sun as we chased kids with water balloons.

Some stories were just needed – cleaning the houses at the original PHF as they moved to the new site, sorting clothes, moving boxes from one attic to another, sweeping the Vocational Center day after day, and painting … lots of painting.

Most of the stories brought tears – holding newborns that would not be alive on our next visit; feeding all of the nannies and staff at our dinner extravaganza, and seeing the joy in their eyes; witnessing adoptive families come to pick up their child, and then hearing the next morning that another child was left at the gate; and watching a child celebrate their 14th birthday, knowing that they just aged out of the adoption process.

Changed Life

But the greatest part was the life change I saw in the people I brought with me. Let me share a few of them with you:

“I don’t have anything to offer, but I know how to work hard and serve.”

Clay Floch
Clay covered in silly string

Clay and Jewel. They approached me one night in Spokane wondering if they could come along on a trip, having lost their two sons in a boating accident a few years prior. I’ll never forget Clay’s words, “I don’t have anything to offer, but I know how to work hard and serve.” After meeting one of the kids, Stacey, at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV) in 2008, they returned home and started the process of joining the team at SFCV. For several years they served faithfully before returning home, having adopted two girls with special needs. Apparently, Clay did have much to offer!

Joni and Family

Joni. As her team was about ready to go to Thailand, a political coup happened and they needed a new mission. Within a few days I had them connected with SFCV. As she was there with her two biological children, they met Philip, an older boy in a wheelchair. They knew in their heart this was to be their son and brother. A few months later – once dad got on board – Philip became part of their family, and today is a world-class wheelchair racer!

Kirsten. She brought seven of her friends on one of the teams. Though I barely knew any of them when this started, they quickly became my friends too. Upon returning home, Kirsten launched an adoption ministry through her church, which has introduced hundreds, if not thousands, of families to adoption and the foster care program. Story after story comes out of families who decided to say yes to a child.

Emma and PHF toddler

Emma. A friend of a friend who came along on an early trip, who was young and impressionable. And the trip sure made an impression! She not only convinced her parents to adopt one sweet SFCV kid, she ended up moving there to intern – and then her sisters followed suit. Then her family adopted two more beautiful kids from China! One young girl who said yes has greatly impacted not only her family, but also her future as she sets a new course for her life.

Jordan. She came with her mom and grandma on a trip. Upon returning, she decided to major in Chinese Language and Broadcasting and got a job in Beijing doing television.

Countless Stories

These are just five families and five stories. Who you don’t get to know are the students (and parents) who threw up on the airplane during their first international trip; a yelling match when one of our members drove his golf cart into a Chinese couple at the Langfang Amusement Park as they demanded an “inconvenience payment”; having to change buses in the middle of the highway (28 people and 56 suitcases) during rush hour on a blistering day; full searches at security check points getting into Tiananmen Square in 2009; singing “Living on a Prayer” at KTV; or the walks for fried bread in the village adjacent to Shepherd’s Field. But you also may have missed the hundreds of hugs, hours of laughter, tons of encouragement, smiles as we arrived, and tears as we said good-bye.

Good-byes Still Hard

The good-byes are just as hard today as they were in 2007, even though so much else has changed. When we started these trips, China was a leader in international adoptions, the One Child Policy was alive and well, people still traveled by foot and bike more than by car, and they were about 12 months away from introducing themselves to the world in the 2008 Olympics. The people were as incredible then as they are now – hospitable, caring and generous.

Shepherd’s Field has also changed quite a bit. When we first arrived, the kids were in houses in Langfang, a nearby neighborhood, and Shepherd’s Field consisted of only about five buildings. We were just the second group that got to sign the wall in the kitchen of the Inn. Each morning, the kids would be transported from Langfang to SFCV in overcrowded vans for the day’s activities, and taken back tired and worn out, but happy. Looking at 7Acres today boggles my mind, with the playground, the Vocational Center, all the children’s homes and the Community Center – all truly a work of the Lord and so many generous people. In the midst of that change, the kids are all the same: wanting love, wanting to play, and showing love that melts our hearts.

“If I had a thousand lives, I’d give them all to China.”

Hudson Taylor

Greatest Change

For me, the greatest changes are not the millions of cars in Beijing or the beautiful buildings at 7Acres – it’s the heart change in the 300 people represented above. To think that two weeks in Langfang – a town none of them had ever heard of – could change their hearts so profoundly. I remember my first time driving in – I was the leader of 24 people who looked to me to guide them, and I was a wide-eyed kid again seeing something magnificent in the middle of nowhere. I think of all of the tears in our nightly debrief, of people confessing selfishness, confessing pride, confessing entitlement. Teenagers and adults, men and women, all seeing God’s hand at work in a staff that loved well, and kids that just wanted to be loved.

I’ll always remember what I wrote on one of my trips. I got on a ladder and wrote Hudson Taylor’s words in the open space between the first and second floor: “If I had a thousand lives, I’d give them all to China.” I know I’ve personally seen 300 lives that were given to China, and they’ll never be the same.


Update on Maggie

maggie in her new bedroom

Maggie (Tian Xin Xin) has experienced a lot of trauma in her short life, more than any child of 14 should have to endure. She arrived at Shepherd’s Field in August 2007 as a one-year-old with a severe heart condition. Maggie received several surgeries over the years, and in the past few years developed another setback – renal failure. She miraculously received a kidney transplant last year and has been recovering and getting stronger every day. Her nannies, teachers and our team taught her many life skills, including how to cook, clean, wash clothes, balance her monthly allowance, and shop in the market and at Walmart. They also worked on her social skills – to respect others and be polite, using “please” and “thank you”; use proper table manners, and gain more overall confidence. You might say she’s been in training for the next phase of her life.

Maggie Prepares for Life

Maggie’s story is different than most of the kids. She came to us from a church-run orphanage in an underdeveloped rural area, and wasn’t eligible for international adoption. Her home orphanage did not have the ability to care for her challenging medical condition, because there were no hospitals nearby. But now our little Maggie’s health has improved. The good folks at her home orphanage are confident they can manage her health and continue to work with her to prepare her for life.

So Maggie has gone back home to her home province and village. She’s much stronger, much more confident, and such a beautiful girl. While she cannot be adopted internationally, she is able to be adopted domestically in China. Thanks to everyone who loved, supported and prayed for her over the past 13 years. She will be greatly missed, but we know she’s going to do well as she gets reconnected to the folks in the church. This may be Maggie’s greatest adventure!


Luke’s Big Dream

luke needs a family

Madison Adoption Associates is looking for a Forever Family for Luke (Tian Yi), where he’s listed as Ashton. And even better, the agency is raising funds for a grant to help defray the costs of his adoption! Head on over to Madison’s blog to read Vicky/Xinlu’s letter to Madison Adoption. Vicky was Luke’s friend at Shepherd’s Field and was adopted a few years ago. She knows how much Luke wants a family. If you’d like to adopt Luke, or help another family adopt him, contact LindseyG@madisonadoption.org or visit their website, MadisonAdoption.org.


 Keep the Smiles Coming

banner amazon smile available amazon app

Because of Covid-19, more and more of us are shopping from home online. If you’re using Amazon to make online purchases here’s a way to put your purchases to good use for a good cause. Simply by using AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know with the same products, same prices, same service. The only difference is Amazon’s contribution to support the cause you choose. 

Now, you can support 7Acres by choosing “The Philip Hayden Foundation” as your designated AmazonSmile charity. Just go to smile.amazon.com and search for and choose “The Philip Hayden Foundation” as your designated charity. You can do this in the Amazon Shopping app as well. Just open the app, and tap settings. Then tap AmazonSmile and follow the instructions. It’s that easy.


From the Founder

Things are progressing very well with the 7Acres Project. We recently received guests from the Civil Affairs Bureau, the older kids’ Social Welfare Institute, and our local Chinese NGO partners to inspect the 7Acres campus and ensure the safety of our future residents. All of our guests approved the numerous improvements we’ve made in preparation for the older kids, but added a few more changes to ensure a healthy, safe environment. We’ll install security cameras to the first two houses and to the Vocational Center and Therapy Center, and add the other three homes and buildings as our population increases. We’ll place additional security equipment on the 7Acres campus wall that surrounds our property.

Staff Visits Current Home of Future Residents

Our team also had the opportunity to visit the welfare institute most of the future 7Acres participants will come from, and got to see their current living conditions. They discussed life skills training and the types of vocational guidance that will make an impact on these teens’ lives. Our training and therapy will maximize the kids’ abilities and help produce independent, fulfilling lives.

Covid-19 Delays Arrivals

After 56 days without any reported cases of Covid-19, Beijing is now experiencing a new outbreak, which some call a second wave. This hit the capital city just as its citizens were returning to pre-coronavirus life. On the day of the reported new cases, Beijing parents were preparing to send their children back to school for the first time since early January, but that was immediately put on hold. The Covid resurgence is affecting us as well, as it will further delay the arrival of our new residents.

We’re very hopeful that things will improve in the next month or so for us to get back on track, and to make sure that it’s safe to welcome new kids. The safety of the kids is always paramount. We’ll keep you updated in the coming weeks through our website, www.chinaorphans.org and on Facebook and Instagram. Thank you for hanging in there with us – we’re always very grateful for your love, prayers and support.


Andrew Handles it Like a Pro

As the Philip Hayden Foundation celebrates its 25th year in China, we’re sharing the stories of some of the kids who have come through our doors, and how much they’ve blessed our lives. They’re forever part of our big SFCV family, and this month we’re featuring Andrew (Zhang Yunfei).

Andrew was adopted from Shepherd’s Field in September 2015 by his Forever Family from the United States. Five years later at the age of 15, he’s doing well with the love and support they’ve given him. His mom said he’s come a long way in just a few years, and she’s very proud of him. Currently, he’s excitedly preparing for the 9th grade, but he’s not quite sure that his mom and dad are ready!

Family Knows Sign Language, Doors Open for Andrew

Andrew’s a smart boy – he was tested by his school last year, and his IQ results are higher than the children who can hear. However, his inability to hear and speak has frustrated him, and has prevented him from doing all the things he knows he can do. Joining a family with other hearing-impaired kids was the perfect match, because the entire family already knew sign language.

Andrew has flourished, and compared with his days at Shepherd’s Field, he’s a completely different young man. His mom said Andrew is very handy, too. Assembling ceiling fans, putting together shelving, fixing his mom’s sewing table – Andrew handles it all like a pro! These are the kinds of life skills we aim to incorporate into the lives of all the teens in the 7Acres Project. Our mission is to help them reach their true potential, and to enjoy independent, fulfilling lives.

Life Changing Story

Andrew is a light to the many who haven’t yet had a chance to show the world what they can do. His life-changing story is inspiring, and we’re excited to watch him as he continues to grow. We’re very blessed to be in Andrew’s life, and we’re prepared to welcome many more kids just like him.


Grab a Ray of Sunshine

happy brody considers his day as he eats lunch

If you want to experience unconditional love, here it is – say hello to Brody! This little ray of sunshine doesn’t have a shy bone in his body, and his contagious smile lights up every room he enters.

Brody has Down syndrome, but enjoys overall good health and communicates well. He’s learned basic sign language, but his favorite way to communicate is with hugs! Brody is the epitome of pure joy, and finds the light in every situation. He loves to socialize on the playground, roll around in the hammock and just be around people. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for him, and pray a Forever Family is looking for a wonderful, loving child like Brody. 

We’re working hard so we can help Brody find a family long before any worries about the adoption age-limit arise. Please share Brody’s story on social media and elsewhere, and help us advocate for him. For more information, contact us at info@chinaorphans.org or call us in the USA at 1-866-526-3712.

Did you know?

  • Approximately 1 in 700 babies will have Down Syndrome, making it the most common chromosomal condition. This is true for all races, nationalities, ethnic groups, and classes.
  • While there are many health conditions associated with Down Syndrome, health care providers are aware of them and are very proactive with care.
  •  Students with Down syndrome are now included in many classrooms across the country.
  • Down Syndrome comes with its own set of challenges, but the blessings far outweigh the challenges!

 Keep the Smiles Coming

banner amazon smile available amazon app

Because of Covid-19, more and more of us are shopping from home online. If you’re using Amazon to make online purchases here’s a way to put your purchases to good use for a good cause. Simply by using AmazonSmile, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your eligible AmazonSmile purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know with the same products, same prices, same service. The only difference is Amazon’s contribution to support the cause you choose. 

Now, you can support 7Acres by choosing “The Philip Hayden Foundation” as your designated AmazonSmile charity. Just go to smile.amazon.com and search for and choose “The Philip Hayden Foundation” as your designated charity. You can do this in the Amazon Shopping app as well. Just open the app, and tap settings. Then tap AmazonSmile and follow the instructions. It’s that easy.


Breaking News on Adoption

Last month Chinese President Xi Jinping signed into law the first Civil Code of the People’s Republic of China, which oversees all civil laws, including China’s Adoption Law. One major and positive modification to the Adoption Law will be to raise the adoptable children’s cut-off age from 14 to 18 years old! This is great news for older orphans age 14-18 who have aged out of the adoption program, as they’ll still be eligible for adoption after 2021. The Civil Code will become effective January 1, 2021. As the CCCWA (China’s central authority on international adoption) puts together updated regulations prior to the effective date, we’ll keep you informed.

From Our Founder

Dr. Olivia Li Joins PHF

Welcome! I’m very excited to announce that Dr. Olivia Wei Li is the new Secretary General of the Philip Hayden Foundation in China. Olivia will oversee all of our projects and programs in China, the centerpiece of which is 7Acres, located on the campus of Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village in Tianjin. 7Acres provides life skill and vocational training to orphans who have aged out of China’s adoption system at 14 years old. Our 7Acres team will provide therapy, education and training to those teens, with the goal of finding them jobs and guiding them to independent lives.

Experience in Nursing

Dr. Li comes to us with more than 20 years of international nursing, teaching and leadership experience in China, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States. Dr. Li gained her nursing and teaching experience through a wide variety of settings, including intensive care unit, acute surgical-medical, orthopedic/trauma, long-term care, occupational and community health in both public and private sectors. She obtained her Master’s degree in nursing in the United Kingdom and her Doctorate degree in Global Executive Education Leadership at the University of Southern California. She holds numerous qualifications and active licenses as a registered nurse in the U.S., Canada and the UK; an adult education certificate and certification as an Occupational Health Nurse.

Experience in Higher Education

Dr. Li’s contribution to higher education, teaching, nursing and the wider healthcare field are substantial. She is highly regarded for her work and regularly called upon for her expertise, and has established and maintained influential connections in multiple international nursing networks, education institutions, healthcare facilities and non-profit organizations. She is fluent in Mandarin and English, and has a passion to serve the teens and young adults at 7Acres.

Anticipating Arrival

Dr. Li was originally scheduled to arrive in China at our 7Acres campus on April 1, but due to the coronavirus, her starting date has been delayed. The Chinese government has restricted entry into the country for foreign travelers, including those holding a valid work visa. As a result, we’re now waiting for the doors to reopen and for the travel restriction to be lifted. Once that happens and it becomes safe again for air travel, we’ll reschedule Dr. Li’s arrival.

Offering 25 Years of Hope

By Tim Baker

This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Philip Hayden Foundation’s work in China. In our very humble beginnings in 1995, our team was made up of my wife Pam, our four daughters – Bekka, Sarah, Rachel and Esther – and me. We began with family projects at local government orphanages, mostly by purchasing things they needed. These included washing machines, baby formula, diapers, beds, blankets and toys for the children to play with. After four years of getting to know the people and kids at these orphanages, we felt we could do more.

25 years ago in Langfang

Langfang Children’s Village

We opened our first foster home in Langfang in partnership with the Tianjin Social Welfare Institute. That home would soon become five homes and the beginning of the Langfang Children’s Village (LCV) – with a school and a clinic – serving between 80 and 100 special-needs orphans daily. A few years later in 2002, the government in Dawanggu Village in Tianjin donated seven acres of land to us, and we began the construction of Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV), which opened in the spring of 2006. By 2008 we closed LCV, and all the kids from there moved to SFCV.

Over the past 25 years, we’ve seen lives changed and transformed. Not just the kids’ lives, but those of our staff, volunteers, interns, guests and adoptive families. I can testify that my own life has been forever changed by being a part of these amazing kids’ lives. Most of them were born with a disability – some minor and others life-threatening – and abandoned by their families.

25 Years of Love and Acceptance

That would be enough trauma to sideline any of us, but witnessing their courage, strength and determination to overcome huge obstacles has always made me feel foolish whenever I’d complain about my own circumstances. The kids have opened my eyes and revealed a whole new world to me through their eyes. Like all of us, they just want to be loved and accepted – and that’s exactly what we’ve attempted every day for more than 20 years.

Now as we move to the next phase of our work and focus on those orphans who have aged out of the government system, we’re confident that they too will have their lives changed through our love and acceptance. Our mission is always to help them become who they’re destined to be, living fruitful independent lives.

Delayed, Not Stopped

Though the coronavirus has delayed most of the citizens of the world’s plans in 2020, we know that we will soon overcome, and our plans will get back on track. The virus restrictions in China are already beginning to lift as people try to get back to some level of normalcy.

Let’s endure these trying times and fight the virus together, then let’s get back to work! Thank you for hanging in there with us – we appreciate your continued love and support for China’s orphans.

Partners in Hope

Our mission is to provide compassionate medical care, therapy and education to orphans in China – and that’s unchanged. But the type of resources needed for these vulnerable children has changed – and so have the methods to effectively meet those needs. At this time, our Child Sponsorship Program is concluding. The children have lived in their respective provinces of origin for more than a year, and it has become much more challenging to stay individually connected with them, as the policies in China have continued to evolve.

To offer stability in the midst of ever-changing laws and situations, we’ve developed a new recurring giving program called Partners in Hope that will ensure that your generous donations are maximized in their effectiveness. You’ll now choose which fund(s) to support with your recurring donations: Bright Stars Therapy7Acres (vocational training), Medical or our General Fund. Visit our Partners In Hope page read more!

Saying Goodbye…

Sadly, we recently said “zai jian” to some of our key foreign staff members, who will certainly be missed. Naomi Preedin has been our Therapy Department Head for the past six years. She did an amazing job training our Therapy Staff and raising the level of care in a very challenging special-needs environment. She also expanded the scope of our work, by training many therapy workers at our partner orphanages across China, who can now serve children compassionately, with much better tools and skills. Naomi, who wore many hats at the Philip Hayden Foundation (PHF), was also part of our China Leadership Team and served as our Internship Coordinator.

Carm Hepworth joined our team four years ago and has been in charge of our In-kind Donations – overseeing the organization, inventorying and distribution of all our donated supplies. Last year, she took on more responsibility when she became our Facilities Manager, overseeing campus maintenance and cleaning. Thanks in part to her amazing Chinese language ability, she did a phenomenal job!

Heidi and John Bison joined our team a year ago. Heidi, a busy mother of four, became the Internship Coordinator, and John worked on our Maintenance Team. Having the Bison family at 7Acres was a great addition to our team, as everyone loved their four kids – Grace, Leo, Ariauna, and Jaden. They really brought an element of family to the other staff on campus, with weekly meals and cookouts together. Naomi, Carm, Heidi and John were key members of our 7Acres Team who will all be greatly missed. We wish them the best as they explore their next adventures in the USA and beyond.

PHF Team on steps of administration building at 7Acres

From Naomi

Leaving China was one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made, if not the hardest. PHF and China have been my home, my family and my life’s work for nearly six years, and a piece of me and my heart will always be there. My decision didn’t come lightly. While I miss China and PHF dearly, I’m excited for what adventures await for me, Zai and Henry in the USA. 

Getting from China back to the States was quite the roller coaster, with hours spent on the phone arranging logistics, paperwork, packing and a few tearful goodbyes – but we made it! Relocating from one country to another amidst a global pandemic wasn’t easy, but I’m grateful for the experience and the time that I’m now having with family and friends. The pups and I have relocated to the Chicagoland area where we will stay for the time being. When our next adventure begins, we hope to move to a new city. In October 2020, I’ll graduate with an MBA, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management. My goal is to work in the nonprofit sector and learn as much as I can, with the hope of one day starting a consulting company to help nonprofits around the world fulfill their missions, succeed in operations and help those in their communities of service. Zai, Henry and I are happy to be back – sad to have left China – but excited for the next right thing and our next adventure!

Naomi, Zai, and Henry

From Carm

The trip home was a stressful and long process, but after many, many hours on the phone, a missed flight, long layovers and a nervous puppy who had never spent much time in a crate, Riley and I made it to Michigan. However, my heart remains in China and my desire is to once again work with children there. That is why, once the current crisis is past and things begin to open, Riley and I will begin whatever training we can find to make us useful once again in Asia. I hope to become a certified emotional therapy team that can bring comfort to children like the ones with whom I’ve spent the last decade.

Carm and Riley

From John and Heidi

Oh, how we miss China and all of the beautiful people we’ve met and grown to love! The decision to move to Asia was much easier than the decision to leave. Not only is China the birthplace of two of our children, it’s also a land we love and a place where we’ve been honored to serve. So many people have poured love into our family of six while we lived in China and navigated some very difficult seasons. It’s hard to believe we first arrived almost three years ago – time has flown! Our season of serving in China was already coming to an end and it was time to come back to the U.S., but because of COVID-19 we moved up our departure date to mid-February.

Coming back to life in America was not an easy transition for our family. During our 14-day quarantine in an RV, we contracted Flu A and were very sick. We did get to give the local hospital and health department a chance to “practice” their protocols for potential COVID-19 patients, so maybe that’s the silver lining?! Before moving to China in 2017, we called North Carolina home, and that’s where we spent the first few weeks of our time back. However, we’ve just relocated to Colorado and will see what’s in store for our family next. Our hearts will always be in China. We’ll return when we can to visit all of our beloved friends and those who have become our family.

The Bison Family on the Move!

From the Founder

As the world has become more and more impacted by the effects of the coronavirus, things in China are settling down somewhat – but are not yet back to normal. Our staff at PHF have still not returned to work, as we wait for the official word from the government of when that will be allowed. Maggie continues to do well – her isolation on our campus has really protected her and her caregivers from any possible exposure to the virus. Luke is recovering successfully from heart surgery, and – like everyone else in China – he’s still under self-quarantine. He’s eating well, reading books and playing cards or chess with his roommates. You can Be The Change for this young man by sharing his information. Email info@chinaorphans.org for more information about Luke.

The year 2020 will always be remembered for the global coronavirus pandemic, causing sickness, death, self-isolation and huge economic loss worldwide. Our hearts go out to all those who have been affected by the virus, especially those who have lost loved ones, and the healthcare workers and first responders who sacrifice so much to fight the battle on the frontlines to keep us all healthy and safe. 

25 Years of Orphan Care

As we mark the Philip Hayden Foundation’s 25th anniversary of providing care to special-needs orphans in China, we can see a light at the end of the tunnel. We know that our work of helping these children isn’t finished, and there’s still much work to do to provide hope to the kids who have none. While the coronavirus has delayed projects and events worldwide – including our new 7Acres Project – it has not caused us to give up hope, but to continue to press on, plan and prepare to help those teens and young adults with disabilities.

Isolation

The weeks of self-isolation and social distancing that all of us are experiencing for probably the first time in our lives, is nothing new to our kids – who have experienced isolation most of their existence, living in institutions, unseen by the rest of the world. We have an opportunity to profoundly change the course of many of their lives by providing them with therapy, education, life skills and job training. The end goal is to help usher them into independent lives outside of an institution, but this goal can’t be achieved without help from people like you. Thank you for hanging in there with us. We really appreciate your love and support in these difficult and challenging times. Be safe, and please care for yourselves by taking all the proper precautions to wash your hands, self-isolate and practice social distancing.

Hope

Better days are coming! In the meantime, let’s hone our skills, knowledge and sense of mission to prepare ourselves for service after the world returns to normal. Above all, we have hope that our callings will grow through this time of crisis. Millions of people are certainly reflecting on their lives and reordering their priorities now. Let’s pray that the world will soon be a more compassionate, loving place where those who successfully faced the COVID-19 virus together will now put differences aside to tackle the real needs of the world with us.


Wedding Bells at 7Acres

In the midst of all the uneasiness that quarantine and self-isolation bring, there’s also great news to report! Two of our 7Acres Team members tied their lives together last month here in China. Warm congratulations to Zack Baker and Abi Wen on their new marriage!


China Travel Update

Foreign Nationals’ Visas Temporarily Suspended –The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China National Immigration Administration announced on March 28 the temporary suspension of entry by foreign nationals holding valid Chinese visas or residence permits. This was done in view of the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the world. China has decided to temporarily suspend the entry into China by foreign nationals holding visas or residence permits.

7Acres Welcomes Year of the Rat

Chinese New Year was a joyous celebration on our 7Acres Campus, as the Rat made its appearance. The older teens, Trudy and Sunny made a delectable feast of Chinese treats for the staff, volunteers and others who stayed on campus during the holiday. Earlier in the day, Maggie (Tian Xin Xin) and two of the nannies made jiaozi (handmade dumplings stuffed with meat and veggies) from scratch, one of the most traditional New Year’s foods there is. If you’ve ever tried to make them yourself, you know just how challenging it is to fold them correctly, so we’re super proud of Maggie for her ability to learn this traditional skill! Normally, Chinese children learn how to do this from their older family members during the holiday. At the meal, the kids received their traditional Chinese Hongbao, a lucky red envelope with money inside. They all giggled with glee as they opened the little ruby-colored treasure packets.

Evening Celebration

After the feast, we went outside to continue celebrating the Year of the Rat. Usually we shoot off fireworks, but this year – because of a ban on fireworks in our Development Zone – we weren’t able to do so. However, our neighbors in the surrounding villages illuminated the skies for us, with plenty of fireworks and sonic booms! The kids lit some sparklers and made beautiful displays by waving their arms in a variety of circular motions, while we all enjoyed the patterns they made. While the kids played, the adults gathered around the campfire and sipped our favorite beverages – talking, listening to music and enjoying each other’s company. Despite all the scary news about the coronavirus, we thoroughly enjoyed the most important holiday on the Chinese calendar. The Chinese say “Gong Xi Fa Cai” or “Xin Nian Kuai Le” during the holiday – but no matter how you say it, we wish you all a very Happy Chinese New Year!

Mystery Virus Scuttles Chinese New Year

Countless Chinese New Year festivities evaporated as a mysterious, previously unknown virus emerged in the city of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei Province. The first location of what’s called the COVID-19 Coronavirus was reported at a seafood market that also sold exotic animals. The virus quickly became a national health emergency, as hundreds of millions of people across China embarked on annual pilgrimages to home provinces to celebrate the New Year with their families.

As the virus began to spread outside of Hubei, emergency measures were put into effect, causing tens of millions of people to be quarantined in Wuhan and its surrounding areas. Other cities, towns and villages also restricted people’s movement, and the government virtually locked down the entire nation in an effort to control the spread of the virus. Restaurants, malls, schools, offices and factories all closed. Only hospitals and a few grocery stores remained open, with limited amounts of inventory. Citizens are told daily to stay in their homes and wear a mask, to frequently wash their hands with soap and hot water, stay put, and if experiencing any symptoms, go to the hospital fever centers and be checked.

Health restrictions impact daily life

After the weeklong holiday ended, work and schools remained closed. No deliveries, no public transportation, and no large gatherings of people have been allowed. Fever checkpoints have been set up going in and out of just about everything imaginable, including cities, towns, villages, housing complexes and development zones. Anyone showing signs of a fever are taken to quarantine facilities to be further checked.

While we see and feel the effects of the coronavirus all around us – from closed restaurants, the inability to go out anywhere or the heavy presence of police and public health safety officers – we’re all very aware of what a gift the 7Acres Campus is to us. Though ready-made, take-out food is not accessible due to the restrictions for all restaurants to remain closed at this time, just across the street we have a fresh vegetable market that’s open, and two small grocery stores where we buy snack foods like chips and soda, as well as frozen chicken nuggets and ice cream. In villages around us, residents are only allowed to leave their homes once every other day to buy essential goods – but no such guideline has been given to us. Not only are we able to head down to the market whenever needed, a greater blessing has been the ability to be outside, weather permitting. Cabin fever sets in very quickly, but the chance to get some sunlight and air and walk around the campus has kept spirits up in these uncertain times.

Coping with restrictions

Humans are not the only ones to feel the weight of cabin fever and stress of the coronavirus restrictions. The dogs of 7Acres have also been forced to adjust, but have not had any outdoor restrictions. On days when the sun is out, the pups have all enjoyed running around in the grass and snow. However, a new, daily “puppy playtime” event has emerged in the long, downstairs hallway of our staff housing, and it tuckers out even the most playful dog (and human). Other ways we’re coping with the pressing health restrictions are weekly cornhole beanbag tournaments, as well as near-nightly card games and bonfires. Besides playing, the extended indoor time off work has given everyone a chance to do spring cleaning and decluttering.

While we remain safe, let’s not forget about those who are less fortunate. Our hearts go out to all those families affected by the coronavirus, as well as the doctors, nurses and technicians who have sacrificed so much to help those in need. Pray for China, especially the city of Wuhan and for all those who have been affected by the virus.


Luke Starts His New Life

Doctors at Huaxin Hospital have discharged Luke (Tian Yi), and he’s returned to his home orphanage. His surgeon, Doctor Wu told us that Luke’s surgery was a complete success, and that the boy’s future is now very bright – he’ll be able to live a normal life. This is a miraculous story! Back home, he’s eating well and getting stronger every day. Luke now spends his days with his housemates, and enjoys reading books, playing cards and just hanging out with his friends. His color, oxygen level and blood pressure are all excellent. (See last month’s related story for details.)

Unfortunately, Luke turns 13 years old this month, which gives him just one more year to find a Forever Family before he ages out of China’s adoption system. Let’s all help Luke find a family by sharing his story with our friends, families, coworkers, and across our social media platforms. With God’s help we can see his dreams become a reality. Contact us at: info@chinaorphans.org to learn more.

luke and nurse rejoice as luke  leaves hospital after successful heart surgery

Maggie Fights On!

Maggie (Tian Xin Xin) is a strong, smart and funny girl. This past year she’s absorbed every lesson from her teachers, and has really grown up and come out of her shell – she’s much more engaging and polite than her younger self. Maggie turns 14 this spring, and has happily put the life skills she’s learned into practice at home, while recuperating. Just six months after her kidney transplant, however, she showed elevated blood sugar levels, and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. As a result, she began taking hypoglycemic drugs and eating a strictly controlled diet.

Maggie is now 15 months post-op from her kidney transplant, but must take anti-rejection drugs, liver protection medication, bilirubin drugs and a small quantity of hormones every day. Her blood sugar fluctuates significantly, which affects the concentration of the anti-rejection drugs on her body. Her liver function and bilirubin values are often abnormal, so she goes to the hospital every week to test her liver and kidney functions, as well as her blood, urine, electrolytes and anti-rejection drug levels. The ongoing cost of this treatment averages US$1,000 (¥7,029 RMB) each month.

Her weakened immune system leaves Maggie susceptible to colds and coughs, and she suffers from heart palpitations, fatigue and sweating due to abnormal heart function when she has a cold. Maggie has congenital heart disease, so her doctor closely monitors her heart function by regularly taking a sonogram. When you consider what Maggie’s been through in her short life, she too is a miracle. Any one of her medical issues could have ended her life, but she’s a fighter – and still going strong! To learn more about Maggie, or to offset her ongoing medical costs, go here.


Lydia Looking for Love Before May

Sweet-hearted Lydia (Yangxi Zinan) has been part of our big PHF family since she first came to live on our campus in early 2013. She has significant speech and learning disabilities, as well as recurrent ear infections with discharge. Her eyes are farther apart than typical (hypertelorism), and she was born with a coloboma, which is a gap or hole in or near the eye. In September 2009 she underwent successful coloboma surgery, which corrected this defect.

Lydia’s sweet and lively spirit is infectious. She loves to play games, especially tag – and is a pro at kicking the soccer ball. While Lydia has a limited vocabulary, she has learned to be an effective communicator. She uses some American Sign Language (ASL), picture cards and verbal cues. In spite of her learning challenges, Lydia is a quick learner and is eager to help others. We are hoping and praying that she’ll find her Forever Family before she ages out in May. To inquire about Lydia, please contact us.