In July 2014 thirteen precious children were moved from an orphanage in southern China to a new foster center called City of Grace, opened by Lifeline Children’s Service (un)adopted ministry. This new safe haven became a place where nannies greeted the children with open arms and welcomed these children worthy of love. Over the course of only a few weeks, these children began to gain weight, smile, play and have a glimmer of hope in their eyes.
Lifeline Children’s Services/(un)adopted exists to equip the body of Christ to manifest the Gospel to orphaned and vulnerable children. This vision was the driving force behind opening the foster center. (un)adopted’s heart is to not only care for these children physically but also to nurture them spiritually. Once the new foster center opened, a unique opportunity arose where specialized (un)adopted teams have the ability to properly train the caregivers and better equip them to nurture these special needs children. (un)adopted’s desire is to invest deeply in the men and women who have the opportunity to interact and impact the lives of these children, knowing that it is through their influence that life change will happen.
We have so many stories to tell about these sweet children who were moved into the new foster center and are now thriving. Stories of children who had never talked before but are now communicating. There are children who had never walked before but are now taking steps.
Over the last year, there are two stories in particular that have really tugged at my heart that I want to share.
The first story is of a little girl who was moved into the foster center at a few months old and was literally skin and bones. She was so sick that the orphanage director told Lifeline that when she passed away they would come take care of her body. Once at the new center, this little girl started to eat, receive the love and care she desperately needed, and was prayed over. As only God can do, He strengthened her body. Each day she got a little stronger, and when the orphanage staff came to visit they were shocked that not only was this precious baby girl still alive but she was thriving.
That sick little baby is now a healthy and active almost two year old girl who is pictured below.
I also met another little girl in the orphanage in April 2015. She was about a year old but the size of a child half her age. I walked into the baby room and went from bed to bed until I stopped over a crib that had two very little ones lying in it. One of them looked up at me with the saddest eyes I had seen in a while. She had a look of despair, and as I picked her up she just clung to my shirt.
While on this trip, we never saw her smile. We knew she needed to be moved to the foster center in order to survive, so we coordinated her transfer to the foster center a month later. When I saw her again in August, it brought tears to my eyes. This sad-eyed baby was now happy. She was laughing, smiling, and had a sparkle in her eye. This “sad-eyed” little girl was fittingly nicknamed “redeemed eyes” and her picture is below.
Within the apartment complex where the foster center is located many doors have opened for these precious children. The moving stories of these children are being shared, and people in this small city in China are being exposed to orphan care and the Gospel. People from the underground church are stepping out to serve at the foster center.
There is nothing better than standing in the courtyard outside of the foster center and watching as people from the community come talk to the children, give them small gifts and call them by name. Children who were once unknown are now bringing this community together.
Some of the children in the Foster Center will be available for adoption through Lifeline’s China Adoption Program. Though we constantly strive to equip the caregivers to create a loving and nurturing environment, our desire is for these precious children to experience the love and hope of a forever family.
You can join us in praying and advocating for these children as we receive files and seek families for the placement of these dear children.
There are several ways that you can become involved with (un)adopted’s foster center.
1. Through prayer. Prayer for the manager and caregivers at the foster center who are making sure the daily needs of the children are being met. Prayers for the children that they will not only know the love of their caregivers, but that they will ultimately know the love of their heavenly Father.
2. Through sponsorship.
There are three ways to be involved in sponsorship at the foster center:
– The first is through the monthly child sponsorship. With this sponsorship you are partnering to provide food, clothing, medicine, supplies and emotional and spiritual development for a child in need.
– The second is through the monthly care sponsorship. With this sponsorship you are helping to provide dedicated caregivers, teachers and cooks at the foster center. As a care sponsor, you will provide ongoing care for specific children as they enter the foster center.
– The third way is through monthly center sponsorship. With this sponsorship you are joining with others to provide the center with rent, utilities, maintenance, transportation and most importantly a safe place for children to grow. As a center sponsor, you are ensuring that the children have shelter, light, and transportation to and from appointments or even to the park.
As a sponsor you will receive quarterly updates on the children and the center as well as have opportunities to pray for the current needs and celebrate both big and small victories.
3. Through going. You can join us on a trip to China to love and serve both the children and nannies at the foster center.