Philip Hayden Foundation

From the Heart

The last two years have been challenging (to say the least) for all of us! In fact, it’s probably been the most difficult time we’ve experienced in 25 very demanding years of operating the Philip Hayden Foundation (PHF). In spite of this, our primary focus has remained on orphans, whose needs have changed but haven’t disappeared. Thankfully, China’s official policies regarding the care of orphans have steadily improved through the years, bringing many more resources to orphanages – especially access to good medical care.

Funding through the Chinese government’s Tomorrow Plan helps orphans with treatable medical conditions get the care they need. However, some policies limit the kind of help that’s offered to children in crisis, and that’s when kids really need an advocate. PHF continues to meet the many requirements of a registered charity in China, so we can be that advocate for orphans with no voice. We must continue to abide by these policies to maintain good favor and be a blessing to those we serve.

Most Orphans in China have Disabilities

Nearly all the orphans in the Child Welfare system have disabilities, so primary caregivers are routinely asked to do more with less. Consider the daily care of a special-needs child – just bathing, getting dressed and eating breakfast are complex activities that can take the entire morning. A child with certain disorders – like CP or spina bifida – requires much more time from a caregiver than a healthy child does, and that expense of time doesn’t decrease with age. By law, the number of children that a caregiver can supervise has decreased, so more caregivers are needed for the same number of children.

The core mission of the Philip Hayden Foundation is “Providing medical care, therapy and education for at-risk children with disabilities, transforming hopelessness into lives of dignity, fulfillment and value.” PHF is committed to helping improve the lives of orphans wherever they are, and in the past two years our team has continued to search for new opportunities to serve.

Help for Orphans Continues

PHF has hosted groups like Angel Babies (a Chinese NGO that provides resources for severely burned children) for weeklong camps, and also increased our outreach to disabled adults, teaching them critical life and vocational skills. We don’t do this alone. Your donations make it all possible – like providing the resources for creating a remote learning class for therapists through our partnership with LIH Olivia’s Place; allowing the 7Acres Campus to be used for a Field Day for orphans with World Vision; and hosting a weeklong camp for Angel Baby families.

Thank you for your continued support as we follow every opportunity to help orphans be seen, known and loved. You’ll be the first to know as we commit to new paths and partnerships to improve the lives of orphans in China.


Awake to Sensory Awareness Month

Did you know that you actually have seven senses? We’ve all learned about the five senses: sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch – which help us understand the world around us. In the 1970s, Dr. Ayres introduced the idea of two more senses, vestibular and proprioceptive.

Vestibular Sense and Proprioceptive Sense

Aubrey works on balance with Bright Stars Therapy team

Vestibular receptors, located in the inner ear, help with balance and movement. They enable us to ride a bicycle, spin in a circle without falling over, and even walk in a straight line. The proprioceptive sense, also known as the body sense, tells the brain where the body parts are in space. It’s how we can take a bite of an apple without looking at it, or keep from bumping into other people in a crowded room.

The Brain and SPD

The brain routinely gathers, organizes and responds to all of the sensory information around us. This is an incredibly complex task, but we barely notice it happening. Most of us have senses we rely on more than others, and that’s normal. Some people have much sharper senses of taste or smell, while others enjoy 20/20 vision. However, when the brain is malfunctioning to the point of affecting our daily living, it’s called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD).

SPD can affect just one sense – like hearing – or several simultaneously. A person might have overactive senses, underactive senses or both. SPD can also cause a child to seek certain sensory experiences – or avoid those experiences – and can sometimes show up with other disorders like ADHD or autism. The great news is that SPD is treatable.

Overactive Senses

When a child has overactive senses, it’s difficult to interpret all the stimuli of the world. For example, have you noticed a child covering her ears because ‘it’s too noisy,’ when it’s actually quiet? Sometimes the brain doesn’t know how to sort out sounds – so a dripping water faucet might seem as loud and important as someone talking face-to-face. A child with overactive senses will want to avoid those experiences, and may curl up or cover her head. If not, this kind of sensory overload can easily spark a violent tantrum – but the deluge of sensations is often so overwhelming that a child just can’t cope. The only response available to them at that point is explosive. Effective treatment works on calming down, or regulating the body’s response to excessive sensory input.

Underactive Senses

Conversely, when the brain doesn’t give enough attention to a sense, it’s also debilitating. Have you ever noticed a child running his hand along the wall as he walks down a hall? It may be so he knows where his body is, in space. This child may also be wiggly, and love to jump or wrestle, or if his sense of taste is underactive, he might just love spicy or sour food!

sensory play with shaving cream

Everyday activities can be hard and scary for people with SPD. However, it’s not a disease – it’s a disorder, so therapy can be effective. Children can begin to understand why they’re so uncomfortable, and how to ask for help. Calming music and fidget toys can bring focus and concentration, and can be effective soothing techniques. A child might use chewable jewelry to satisfy oral cravings, or do push-ups and jumping jacks for physical stimulation. Some therapists use a deep pressure approach, using compression – or weighted – clothing. In fact, there are many therapies available, and PHF utilizes the best to foster a safe, loving, creative environment for our kids.

Bright Stars Therapy Changes Lives

Many of the kids at Shepherd’s Field needed help processing sensory information. Kids learn better when they are not distracted by the world around them.

Oral Stimulation

beth uses a chewie to calm herself

We are used to seeing infants and toddlers use a pacifier to calm themselves. Some kids do not outgrow this need for oral input to calm their bodies. You provided many kids with “chewies”, which are specially designed objects for kids to chew on to calm themselves. Xander, Beth, and Graham all benefitted from chewies.

Tummy Time to Improve Body Awareness Sense and Core Stability

Did you know that tummy time is crucial for developing the body awareness sense? If body awareness is underdeveloped, it will affect gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and eating. Our therapists worked with many of our kids to encourage them to spend time on their tummies by making it as fun as possible.

Bright Stars Therapists Use Swings for Stimulating and Calming

Our therapists used our indoor and playground swings to improve sensory processing and to help children calm their bodies. Swings can improve balance sense and takes lots of practice.

Sensory Processing Disorder Affects Feeding and Eating

As Leonard learned to chew food, our Occupational Therapist carefully chose foods with the right amount of flavor and crunch to encourage chewing and swallowing. Both overactive and under active senses can affect eating and feeding. Samuel is working on balance and body awareness. Kids with underdeveloped body awareness can fall or crash into things. Improving the connection between the brain and the senses helps keep kids safe.


Update on Hanna

Adelei at 5 years old

Hanna was at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village from May 2017 to August 2018 and appeared in several issues of Heartbeat. Her forever family thought you would enjoy an update on this sweet girl.

We’re happy to report that Adelei Behnke celebrated her fifth birthday on September 18, and started school for the first time! She’s super sweet, smart, kind, gentle and exceptionally brave and resilient. We adopted her in December 2018, the week before Christmas – and so it’s coming up on three full years this fall. Since that time, she’s had corrective open heart surgery for her Tetralogy of Fallot, a complication from heart surgery that landed her back in the hospital for even more time, and four heart catheterizations.

But God is so good and faithful – at her most recent appointment, the cardiologist said it may be years before another intervention is needed. She continues to do well, and loves her new Italian greyhound puppy Figment, in addition to dinosaurs, horses, cooking, music, unicorns, cheetahs, bananas and princesses. Her favorite Bible story is the parable of the lost sheep.

Elena Behnke


We Want to Hear From You!

Because China is closed to visitors, we are missing your stories! Ask us a question or share your current passion for orphans in China. Look on Facebook, on our website at chinaorphans.org/get-involved or in your email inbox for opportunities to answer surveys or questions. To share a story or ask a question, direct message us on Facebook or email Lori and Ally at media@chinaorphans.org

You can be sure we will not share your comments and stories without your permission. What you share with us can help shape our future changing the lives of orphans in China.


Access Your Account Online

Great News! We have updated our online donation system, and you now can access your account online. For your security, you will need to request access through a link on our website here. You’ll be asked to provide your email address, and a link will be sent to you. For your security, that link is only good for 24 hours. But you can access your account as often as you want.

Use your self-service page to:

  • Update your physical address
  • Update your email address
  • Change your online donations
  • View your donation history
  • Print receipts for past donations

If you have any questions, please email Lori.Baxter@chinaorphans.org.

If you typically receive Heartbeat in the mail, please note that we did not publish and mail a newsletter in September. Look for the next issue in October!

From the Heart

September is a month of changes and transitions. The long hot days of summer are replaced by shorter days and cooler nights. Children return to school and the leaves begin to turn color and fall. Crops are harvested, and China celebrates Mid-Autumn Festival.

But some things never change. Kids need basics like food, shelter, and security.  Some even need medical care to survive. But to thrive, kids need more. They need to know they matter to someone, that they are capable, that they are loved.

That’s what you bring to orphans in China. Your compassion for kids without a family is out of the ordinary. Thank you for your part in changing the future of orphans!


Spotlight on Hydrocephalus

September is Hydrocephalus Awareness Month!  We would like to highlight a couple of sweet kiddos that were at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village. It was a pleasure to support and care for these precious little ones. But first, what is Hydrocephalus?

In simple terms, it is the buildup of fluid in areas of the brain, but the location can vary. This buildup puts pressure on surrounding brain tissue and can affect brain function. While there is more than one type of hydrocephalus, the children at Shepherd’s Field were born with hydrocephalus. There are also Acquired and Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH). Acquired hydrocephalus occurs after birth, while NPH occurs in older adults. There is currently no “cure” for hydrocephalus, but treatment is an option.

Depending on resources available, children with hydrocephalus will often have a shunt put in place. The shunt is a long tube that drains fluid from your brain into your abdomen or chest cavity for your body to absorb. And it is long enough to grow with you!

An infant with hydrocephalus often has an enlarged head. And so these babies need extra help learning to support their head and developing core strength. Because of your donations, our Bright Stars Therapy Team improved the lives of many kids with hydrocephalus. They have a brighter future because of you!

Soft Giggles and Big Smiles

Jean Marie with hydrocephalus

Jean Marie was in our Bright Stars Therapy program at Philip Hayden Foundation. Her shunt was placed before her arrival. Jean Marie worked on core strength and leg mobility with her therapists. Jean Marie was born with hydrocephalus as well as not being able to bend her left leg. She made great strides in therapy, but continued therapy would be beneficial to her future success. Jean Marie still needs a forever family.

Zack with a big grin

Zack is another child at Shepherd’s Field as an infant who received therapy in our Bright Stars Therapy program. Zack was born with hydrocephalus and had a shunt placed before he arrived. He has the most contagious smile. Making him laugh was always the goal so that we could see that big smile! In therapy, Zack worked on core strength to keep himself balanced and sitting up. It was hard to not just cuddle him all day long! We are grateful to share that Zack joined his forever family in China in March of 2019.


We Want to Hear From You!

Because China is closed to visitors, we are missing your stories! What breaks your heart? What brings you joy? Look on Facebook, on our website at chinaorphans.org/get-involved or in your email inbox for opportunities to answer surveys or questions. To share a story or ask a question, direct message us on Facebook or email Lori.Baxter@chinaorphans.org or Ally.Jarvis@chinaorphans.org 

You can be sure we will not share your comments and stories without your permission. What you share with us can help shape our future changing the lives of orphans in China.


Access Your Account Online

Great News! We have updated our online donation system, and you now can access your account online. For your security, you will need to request access through a link on our website here. You will be asked to provide your email address, and a link will be sent to you. For your security, that link is only good for 24 hours. But you can access your account as often as you want.

Your new self-service page will let you update your physical address or your email address. You can also change your online donations, view your donation history, and even print receipts for past donations!

If you have any questions, please email Lori.Baxter@chinaorphans.org.

From the Founder

Life Skills Training Transforms Lives

The vision of the Philip Hayden Foundation (PHF) has always been to “transform the hope of disabled orphans into new lives of freedom and beauty.”  We recently sponsored eight new students in a Life Skills Training Program designed to do just that  – and their lives have been transformed as a result. A sense of accomplishment brings hope. The students completed 48 lessons of various topics – a total of 144 hours of instruction during the three-month-long program. Training included skills such as getting dressed, going shopping and even cooking. The participants also learned some work-related skills such as how to interview for a job and clean up after themselves, and they even had the opportunity to participate in some fun social activities like painting and music.

Accomplishments Bring Hope to Older Orphans

The program was a huge hit with all the participants – one of the students was even hired by a supermarket after completing training! We hope that all of them will be able to do as well, and continue to inspire others who may feel trapped and lonely. We look forward to the next opportunity to help older teens and young adults, by giving them the tools and training they need to live independent lives.


Adaptive Athletes Compete in Paralympics Games

logo for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Are you planning to watch the 2021 Summer Olympics? The best athletes in the world will converge in Tokyo in August to compete for the elusive Gold Medal – and only the best of the best will earn it. While the various sporting events are exhilarating, the back stories of the athletes are even more inspiring. Athletes share stories of years of sacrifice and training for the opportunity to be on the world stage and part of an elite community. Many times, an athlete will refer to the critical support provided by their family.

Since 1988, the Summer Paralympics have been held immediately following the Summer Olympics, using the same venues and arenas. The 4,400 athletes competing in the Paralympics participate in adaptive sports, with a complex array of groupings. For example, there may be as many as 20 classifications for the men’s 100m race.

Athletes With Disabilities Compete

Why so many? Paralympians have disabilities like limb deficiency, short stature, impaired muscle power, vision impairment, or ataxia (uncoordinated movements caused by damage to the central nervous system). The classifications – although complex – ensure that the athletes are competing against others with similar medical conditions.

Adaptive Sports Foster Accomplishment and Hope

Adaptive sports programs are for people who use a wheelchair or other mobility aid for movement. Participation in sports provides athletes with feelings of accomplishment, teamwork and determination, and adaptive sport athletes benefit in the same way. Check out Move United Sports for even more information and inspiration!

Many of our Shepherd’s Field alumni participate in adaptive sports, and at least two have even competed in the U.S. Nationals! Their stories are inspiring – ones filled with perseverance and family support. But in my mind, every individual needs that sense of value and belonging. And that is what the Philip Hayden Foundation offers. A sense of worth and accomplishment through therapy, medical care and vocational training – all provided with love and compassion.


UPDATE! Shepherd’s Field Alumni in Italy

Forever Family day for one Chinese orphan

Have you ever wondered how the adoption process works in other countries? The Italian Forever Family of Jerak Robbins – now Francesco – recently sent a welcome update.

In Italy, a home study includes an interview with both a social worker and a psychologist. Then a judge determines the family’s suitability for adoption. Francesco’s family received approval in September 2009 and was matched with the seven-year-old in the spring of 2011. They saw their first photo of him two weeks later, and finally traveled to China in November to meet their new son.

friends at shepherd's field

Francesco had a blue backpack with him when he met his new family – a backpack full of memories from Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV). Photos, drawings and school notebooks made up most of it.

His favorite friend at SFCV was Li Rei. Li Rei (now Philip) was adopted by an American family in 2012. He also remembers his English teacher and the many American visitors to Shepherd’s Field, who loved and played with the children.

In 2015, Francesco’s mom, Cristina finally found SFCV online, and was amazed to see all the photos – including many of Francesco – and see the love between all the kids. Francesco plays the flute, likes athletics and loves to cook. He’s also a great big brother to Yalin, who was adopted from China in 2016. Your support of the Philip Hayden Foundation continues to give children like Francesco futures filled with love and hope.

Remembering the Shepherd’s Field Paralympics

In 2018, our Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV) staff created our very own campus Paralympics! Every year we like to look back at old pictures and think of the fun memories that were made during the event. We had an amazing team visiting that year. They eagerly helped kids like Tyler compete in daring wheelchair competitions like the cone obstacle course! I can remember the Therapy Team trying to create a board for the front of the wheelchairs, so they could compete in the soccer competition. At the end of the contest, we were able to award each child their own medal. The smiles on their faces reflected pure joy and feelings of accomplishment. We will always remember this day, and are so grateful to have made that memory with the kids.


We Want to Hear From You!

Has your daily life looked different over the past year? Mine sure has! And it’s been different for the Philip Hayden Foundation as well. With your support for the past 25 years, the lives of orphans have been changed for the better through medical care, therapy, and education – with many of our alumni joining forever families throughout the world. China has changed as well, and for many orphans, daily life has improved. Buildings have been updated, more orphans receive medical care earlier, and more caregivers are being trained. Best of all, more families in China are adopting. Unfortunately, kids with severe disabilities or those who are getting too old for a Children’s Welfare Institute still need your help.

Stories of Love in Action

visitor writing on the wall of the Inn

For nearly 15 years, Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village welcomed teams, visitors, and interns from all over the world. The walls of the kitchen in the Inn were filled with your comments and spilled out into the hallways and gathering rooms. Laughter filled the campus as you held, loved, and played with our kids. And hearts were changed. Many of you returned home and shared stories of love you saw in action, and the great need. Some of you adopted, others began faithfully praying for and supporting the Philip Hayden Foundation.

Because China is closed to visitors, we are missing your stories. Stories of your passion to help kids in China. What breaks your heart? What brings you joy?  Look on Facebook, on our website at chinaorphans.org/get-involved or in your email inbox for opportunities to answer surveys or questions. To share a story or ask a question, direct message us on Facebook or email Lori.Baxter@chinaorphans.org or Ally.Jarvis@chinaorphans.org 

You can be sure we will not share your comments and stories without your permission. What you share with us can help shape our future continuing to change the lives of orphans in China.


Access Your Account Online

Great News! We have updated our online donation system, and you now can access your account online. For your security, you will need to request access through a link on our website here. You will be asked to provide your email address, and a link will be sent to you. For your security, that link is only good for 24 hours. But you can access your account as often as you want.

Your new self-service page will let you update your physical address or your email address. You can also change your online donations, view your donation history, and even print receipts for past donations!

If you have any questions, please email Lori.Baxter@chinaorphans.org.

From the Founder

Cleft lips and palates are rather common congenital facial disorders worldwide, and in China, one out of every 600 babies are afflicted. Through the years, we’ve been able to provide thousands of surgeries to orphaned children who suffered with these abnormalities. We began in 1996 when we partnered with the China Charity Federation to operate on orphans of all ages throughout the country.

infant in hospital post cleft surgery

In recent years, for the children who lived with us at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV), we partnered with the Third Beijing University Hospital. There we worked with Dr. Xie and his team of physicians and nurses, who are the best in the country. We’ve cooperated with them for more than a decade in a very successful partnership.

The surgery to repair a cleft lip and/or palate is a relatively simple procedure compared with other conditions, like heart defects. However, many kids in China have no way to get the operation because their parents must pay the entire cost in advance. Others may live in very remote areas, which restricts their access to hospitals that provide surgical care.

Surgery is Just the Beginning

Our goals for kids with cleft lips and palates include improving their ability to eat, speak and hear, and to achieve a normal facial appearance. The closing of the lip and palate are the first steps, and by far the most dramatic change for a child. However, their surgeries and treatments don’t stop there. Periodically, children need palate expansion, dental surgery and orthodontics, and even realignment of the upper and lower jaws. Tonsils and adenoid removal may also be necessary to improve sleeping. It’s a long road of costly doctor visits, operations and therapy visits, which are beyond the means of most families in China.

When you donate to our Medical Fund, needy children can receive the surgical transformations and follow-up care they desire and need. For more information on how you can help, go to info@chinaorphans.org.


cover of Hungry Caterpillar book by Eric Carle with Quote "The very hungry caterpillar is about hope. You, like the little caterpillar, will grow up, unfold your wings and fly off into the future"

The foundational purpose of the Philip Hayden Foundation is to enable vulnerable children to first have hope, then to transform their hope into new lives of freedom and beauty.

Eric Carle, loved for his children’s books with imaginative collage artwork, recently passed away. I spent many hours with my children reading his books and admiring the artwork. But this quote from Eric Carle reminds me of the vulnerable children and orphans we help in China. “The Very Hungry Caterpillar Story is about hope. Children need hope.”

Children Need Hope

For a child with disabilities, even ordinary things can be hard. This can be even more true in an orphanage. Without opportunities for success, how can a child be proud of themselves? These precious kids often live without hope. And without hope, a child cannot look to the future.

This is our mission: Providing medical care, therapy, and education to at-risk children with disabilities in China, transforming hopelessness to lives of dignity, fulfillment, and value.

As a Partner in Hope with PHF, you provide hope to orphans with compassion. Thank you!


Did You Know?

The congenital disorder known as cleft-related can be cleft lip (CL) only or cleft palate (CP) only. It can also be both cleft lip and palate (CLP). The palate is the roof of the mouth, and a cleft is a split – or opening – that occurs when an unborn baby’s facial structure doesn’t quite meet during development. Usually this is an isolated condition. But, it can be part of a group of disorders affecting the organs near the center of the body, like the heart. Children born with cleft lip and palate are often undernourished, because they have difficulty eating. They can’t suck from a bottle like a typically developed baby, and need to use a special bottle. These are better, but even then, it takes much longer for an infant to eat. In addition, there is a high risk of ear infections or pneumonia.

Some countries, like China, have a higher number of cleft-affected babies than other parts of the world. However, even within China, some provinces – like Chongqing – have many more cases than others. Throughout China, nearly 1 in 600 live births are cleft affected.

Cleft Lip Repair Surgery First of Many

The first surgery to repair a child’s lip usually happens around 10 months of age, and the initial palate surgery repair occurs before the age of three. Some provinces have more access to surgeries than others, and yet the cost may still be too high for some families. Between 2001 and 2011, Smile Train a nonprofit medical group, provided more than 17,000 cleft repairs in China. The Philip Hayden Foundation cared for many cleft-affected kids through our 25 years, providing surgeries and care. Thankfully, most were adopted.

The vast majority of cleft-affected kids have more than six surgeries, and require extra dental work, orthodontia and speech therapy. Most of the time, however, there are no other related health issues. In many areas in the U.S., cleft lip and palate teams of medical experts work together to plan cohesive medical care for the community. Children’s Hospitals and Shriner’s Hospitals are great resources – or check in your local area! Kids with cleft lip and/or palate are waiting for their Forever Families too! Maybe one is waiting for you.


UPDATE! Gratitude, Surgeries, and Time at the Beach

Jamie with mom Chrissy

Jamie spent many years at Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village (SFCV), and while there, donors like you provided for his surgeries, therapy and loving care. We send a huge Thank You to all of you!

It’s hard to believe that he’s has been home for a little over four years now, and just finished second grade. He’s in the Autistic Support Classroom at our local elementary school, and has grown so much in the last few years. I’m pretty sure he’s his teacher’s favorite. 😊 Not only is Jamie doing really well in school and learning a lot, but he’s also still in the process of going through his surgeries for cleft lip and palate. 

Cleft Palate Medical Teams Support Families

The surgeons in China performed multiple operations, and did an amazing job with the repair of his large bi-lateral cleft and palate opening. Once he was home and we saw the plastic surgeon at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), I learned that fistulas (small openings in the palate) are common even after the palate is closed. They discovered that Jamie had three small fistulas, two of which have now been closed. 

Jamie with cleft surgeon Dr. Taylor at CHOP

On June 3, Jamie and I went to CHOP for his annual Cleft Team Day, where we saw multiple specialists related to Cleft Lip and Palate. We had visits with Dr. Taylor (plastic surgeon), the orthodontist, speech therapist, CL/P nurse, audiologist, and psychologist. During this visit, Dr. Taylor decided to close Jamie’s remaining fistula so it won’t affect Jamie when they go to expand his palate and do his bone graft surgery. The opening could potentially affect his speech and eating, and is currently affecting his breathing. If the hole continues to grow, it could cause more issues with breathing, sleeping and eating down the road, and make future surgeries more difficult.

After Jamie’s surgery in September, we’ll take the next steps to prepare for his bone graft, where they’ll take bone from his hip to seal the holes in his mouth. A few years after that, he will get rhinoplasty (a nose job!), and then a few more surgeries once he’s almost done growing. PHEW! 

Cleft-Affected Children Thrive with Coordinated Care

Having a child with cleft lip and palate was a lot more involved than I ever knew. I’m so grateful for the amazing team at CHOP, and that we’re so close to one of the best Children’s hospitals in the country. Dr. Taylor is always reassuring and so kind to Jamie and me. Jamie continues to amaze me with his strength and resiliency, especially after each surgery. His nurses always love him and are surprised to see how well he handles everything. He takes meds like a champ, and even surgery on his mouth doesn’t stop him from eating. I don’t think I could handle all of this as well as Jamie does. As a result, I’m a very proud mama!

In the meantime, as we await surgery we’re looking forward to some days at the beach (one of Jamie’s favorite places), lots of playground time, and a fun, relaxing summer during which we will celebrate Jamie’s 10th birthday!    – Chrissy Kelly


An Open Letter from Madison Adoption Associates

Philip Hayden Foundation has been partnering with Madison Adoption Associates to find Forever Families for orphans in China. Unfortunately, the process in China has recently changed, and you will need a completed dossier to be matched with a waiting child. Here’s what MAA is sharing:

Dear China Waiting Families,

In our continued effort to be fully transparent with all of our families in the China program, we are writing to let you know that we learned today that CCCWA is halting the issuance of any new pre-approvals.  Our understanding of this is that it will only impact the families who were interested in pursuing a specific child on the shared list, as we will not be able to lock and submit and receive PAs for those cases.  We are continuing to gather information, and will share any new information with you all as we receive it. 

In light of this new development, we, as an agency, have made the difficult decision to temporarily stop accepting new applications into our China program until we see forward movement.   As soon as adoptions resume, so will we with application acceptance.  The Chinese government continues to assure us that adoptions will resume, and when they do, we will immediately continue our advocacy and recruitment and sending of families.   But with knowing the monumental commitment of compiling a Dossier, we feel it would not be in our families’ best interest to continue to submit Dossiers and add to the backlog.  We understand that this feels like a step backwards, when we have all been fervently praying for steps forward.  And we realize this news will result in many emotions for all of our families, and not just the families directly affected by it.  It is difficult, at best, to advise our families on how to proceed when we, ourselves, have such limited information to go by.  Please know we are available to each and every one of you to talk through your individual case, and explore your options regarding what might be best for your family moving forward.  We will, of course, immediately email any urgent news learned, but we also plan to discuss this latest development, and the impacts on the program, during the June 16 Zoom meeting.  For those unmatched families who are directly impacted by this change, your caseworker will be reaching out to you individually.

We are living through a pandemic right now.  However, in time, we believe things will return to normal.  Thank you for your faith and trust in us as we walk with you through this unknown path.  We are praying for all of you and the children who wait.

The staff at Madison Adoption Associates


Access Your Account Online

Great News! We have updated our online donation system, and you now can access your account online. For your security, you will need to request access through a link on our website here. You will be asked to provide your email address, and a link will be sent to you. For your security, that link is only good for 24 hours. But you can access your account as often as you want.

Your new self-service page will let you update your physical address, your email address, change your online donations, view your donation history, and even print receipts for past donations!

If you have any questions, please email Lori.Baxter@chinaorphans.org.