In 1993, a newborn baby girl was brought to a Chinese orphanage. She lived less than 24 hours. She died without a name. Without a family. But her short life touched one man, and he started International China Concern (ICC). That man, David Gotts, thought there had to be another way, a better way, for every abandoned child to lead a fuller life. Since 1993, thousands of children have been helped by ICC- an organization who has been invited by the Chinese government to bring love, hope and opportunity to some of China’s most vulnerable.
ICC’s work is six fold:
• Saving lives – From newly found infants with medical conditions to older, handicapped children in state run facilities, ICC either takes these children into their direct care or provides support to elevate the standard of care in the orphanages.
• Feed, House and LOVE – ICC treats each child with such dignity that they receive their own bed, food, and therapies. Their family style design to care is a leading aspect of their program. Children are placed in small family units with the same consistent caregivers and siblings. ICC works to have a 5:1 child to caregiver ratio! All this one-on-one attention, love, care and nourishment is so important to building a strong foundation for each child’s life and future attachments!
• Finding Schools – ICC advocates for children to attend school when appropriate. They work with teachers and administrations to integrate children into the classroom, and teach others about living with disabilities.
• Fund Surgeries – Many of China’s orphans have serious medical conditions, but they often can be treated. ICC works to get children the care, surgeries and therapies they need including sending children to major cities for treatment.
• Prevent Abandonment – Countless first families have been made whole when ICC workers have seen or are involved with a child and their first family. Through their Community Outreach Program, ICC has given help though education, respite care, financial aid and helping families seek medical care for their sick child.
• Train China’s Caregivers – ICC cares not only about their own children, but also children within the state run facilities. ICC helps by raising the standards of care in the orphanages by using the latest therapies, nutrition and child care techniques including lots of holding, eye contact and playtime.
Like a pebble thrown into water, that precious little girl’s life 21 years ago has created ripples stretching out and touching so many lives. Our daughter is one of those lives touched. She was in ICC’s care from birth to 15 months, and we have seen first hand how this amazing organization, staff and caregivers have made a lasting impact on her life. Consistent, doting caregivers, being in a small baby room, having her own bed, being fed nourishing bottles and meals, having nursing staff who went above and beyond to make sure her China repair surgery and recovery was successful, receiving attentive interaction with adults, both Chinese and Foreign volunteers, gave our daughter a launching point to successful attach and seamlessly integrate into our family.
It is hard to come up with adequate words to express our gratitude to ICC and the staff for all they do. So in turn, I want to spread the word about the work ICC does and the wonderful children in their care. Maybe your family can be blessed by opening your hearts and arms to one of these ICC treasures who will be well prepared by the staff for adoption:
Gregory is 12 years old, and is one of the sweetness natured kids on earth according to those close to him! He has mild CP and mild learning disability, but these do not hold him back. He is very affectionate and loves meeting others. Besides being charming, he is very inquisitive and keen to learn. Gregory needs a family to help him use his inquisitiveness to blossom into his full potential. Gregory is currently with WACAP and has a $4000 grant!
Mark is a 4 year old heart-melter with curly hair, dimples and just had a birthday! He is super smart, verbal, a real charmer, gentle natured and very affectionate. He has spina bifida that will require he use a wheelchair, and received a shunt for Hydrocephalus as an infant. The caregivers have observed that Mark is realizing that other children are getting families and he has not. This is quite an observation for a young child to make. You can read more about Mark here, and read about some myths and truths of life with a wheelchair. Mark is a treasure and is so smart, but he needs a family to look beyond his mobility issues. Mark is on the Shared List.
Timmy is a handsome 11 year old boy who has overcome some amazing odds. He has been in ICC’s care for 8 years, and has grown to be independent, chatty and a good natured boy. He loves to help with household chores! While his China file says he has hydrocephalus, he actually suffered a head injury prior to him coming into care. He has made an amazing recovery, but will need educational support. His caregivers feel he has loads of potential. This sweet boy needs a family who can put a smile on his face. Timmy is on the Shared List.
Simon is a loving, imaginative and kind 6 year old boy who has low vision. He is currently in Bethel’s care, but is from a home orphanage that ICC operates in. Bethel and ICC are working hard to find Simon a family so that he can receive an education. Simon’s low vision does not hold him back; he is so capable! He can see large objects, dress himself and walk independently. Bethel is working to get Simon glasses to help him even more! Simon is currently on the Shared List.
You can read more about the above children and other ICC paper ready children at China Special Treasures. You can learn more about the work of ICC, watch videos, partner with ICC through donations or sponsorships or inquire about long term or short term volunteer opportunities with ICC.
~Guest post by Erin S