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Our Christmas Wish at Swallow's Nest is for all our babies to be with their forever family. These two are not only with a family, they are together in a family. Both adopted about a year apart. They lived in our baby house on Gang Po Lu the first several years before adoption. Merry Christmas and may all our babies be in a forever family by this time next year.
Our new director, Valeria Stella-Papis whispers sweet words of comfort to our oldest child at Swallow's Nest. We can call ourselves "International" as Vale is from Italy. She also teaches at Henan Institute of Engineering. We share and appreciate her love for the children.
Swallow's Nest could not function without our aupair program. Many thanks to these girls and their service to the orphans of Henan.
High Springs group 152 raised over 1000 dollars for our babies and made blankets as well. Many thanks to their troop and the leaders who helped. Without everyone working together, Swallow's Nest would never be a safe haven for these little ones. You do make a difference.
Meet Valeria, who volunteered at Swallow's Nest last year. This year she will return as our new interim director. She will arrive in late July from her home country of Italy, in order to be trained my Heather. We appreciate Heather and her faithfulness for the past three years. We appreciate you for making Swallow's Nest possible by your faithful giving.
Ms. Zhao is a great cook and enjoys making the long noodles for our children.
This little guy is having a winter blast ice skating in his home.
Bi Qing (Max) enjoys KFC even in his PJ's. He was adopted last week and on his way to USA. He'll be right at home with corn on the cob and friend chicken.
What a great reunion between our retired nannie, Angela and Anna, who was adopted several years ago. The Allen Family returned to adopt Xiao Fu. The little girl on the far left will leave in several weeks.
This little guy sure is enjoying his new home. He helped his parents pack 13,000 ears of corn this summer!!!
Love seeing our former Swallows having fun on vacation. This little girl ws our youngest adoption. She was only 11 months old on "gotcha day". She's having fun with family, this is our hope for all our kids.
This little guy was adopted by a local chinese family. He's giving Heather, one last hug. Hope his new family returns to visit, so we can see him again. Also, so he will remember how loved he was in the beginning of his life.
Technical difficulty is my issue today. Some of you may have gotten the newsletter twice, some not at all. Please know we appreciate your continued support and hopefully. I can send the newsletter from the local library later today. My computer is having issues.
Rick, a new foreign friend visited Swallows Nest recently.
He was introduced by Douglas a student at Henan Institute
of Technology. We appreciate all our volunteers.
You can follow Rick's blog here
These children have changed many lives as
our caregivers, volunteers, and interns sacrifice
to meet their daily needs. We wish you all a
blessed holiday season. May all your wishes
come true as we work together to make the
world a better place for all.
Operating costs for all our children
is between 5300 and 6000 per month
depending on how many kids are
admitted to the hospital or visit the dr.
We have 25 children. Doing the math,
we need 5 sponsors per child. Some
of our children haven't had sponsors
and our general fund has taken care of
this need. Friends of Swallow's Nest
have fund raisers for us throughout the
year and this helps us care for the
children without sponsors. Since Heather
& Harmony are doing such a great job in
China, I will concentrate more on the
sponsorship program. We appreciate all
everyone does to help us do more in Henan.
Many thanks to our Korean friends for the new
sponge floor padding at the toddler house. This
helps the babies have a warmer place to play.
Clay met with some of the adopting families living in the ATL area this weekend. A great reunion and meeting some new friends as well. When you can see the fruit of your labor its a wonderful thing to behold. This is little Lynn Marie (Chun Ai) from the orphanage in Xin Xiang. I got her on my mother's birthday. She had the worst clubbed feet the doctor's had ever seen. Now she's in a loving home, running, playing and living a fun-filled childhood.
Many thanks to the Senior Sunday School class of Olive Branch Disciple of Christ Church in Norge, Va. They helped provide braces for the two babies pictured. You can discover more about Olive Branch here http://www.ob-cc.org
Only several members of the class are pictured. This group has about 20 in attendance each week. We appreciate their love for the orphans of Henan.
Welcome to Heather Wilson, our new director at Swallows' Nest. She has agreed to fill in for us for the next year and even teach at our school. We appreciate her servant's heart as she cares for the orphans of Henan.
In the midst of a building similar to this, orphaned babies are housed, loved, and cared for. Laundry is washed and dried and folded. Daily routine is kept and the babies thrive. At Swallow's Nest we do our best to find good middle income apts in the midst of the community in order not only to change the life of the babies, but to change the mindset of the community. When we love the unloved, we change the world.
These two girls 4th and 6th from left, recently had
a birthday. They opted to have their guests give
to money to the baby orphaned boy their parents
sponsor at Swallow's Nest.
Many thanks for their generous heart and to their
parents for providing such a great example.
I'm home from the hospital and happy about it, can you tell!!!
Many people wonder why the chinese layer the clothing, especially for babies. It's cold! Usually the average temp is still 56 - 60 degrees F even with heat. The govt. controls the heating so we can't turn it up or down. The little one is layered and has split pants too, but a diaper on for protection:)
Helen, an intern who volunteered with our children last Spring, went back to Australia and had a very successful fundraiser for Swallow's Nest. She got area businesses to donate prizes, a local pub to donate a meeting room, and she had a raffle. This money was used to pay for our heating for home and the surplus was used to buy extra nutritional formula for some babies that were having some symptoms of failure to thrive. We appreciate her and her friends.
These girls are twins and their connection with Swallow's Nest is their au pair was trained by us last year. When the au pair mentioned the children we care for the girl's decided to have birthday parties at their school and raise money for our winter heating bill. They raised 335 USD. Many thanks to their mom, Annette, their classmates and their school for helping our babies stay warm in Henan.
Our house at Gang Po Lu is filled with crying nannies as this little one leaves with her new family. It is difficult but there are 3 more new babies for them to love. But each one has a special place in our hearts and each one is a favorite. Little Yin Huan is being adopted this week. She's been with us a long time and many have been involved in her care. Special thanks to our catholic friends in Shanghai and the special visitor from Japan who was visiting in Shanghai. These folks paid for her surgery over two years ago.
Each new school term in china brings new volunteers who hear about us from previous teachers. We are very thankful for all the new faces coming to visit our children, taking them to the zoo, out to the park, or reading them a story.
During the months of September and October we usually try to take in more babies since the adoptions during the summer leave us some empty cribs. We have 4 new babies that need sponsorship at this time. You may sponsor a child for 50 USD per month. This provides preventive medical doctor visits and med plus food and housing. It does not provide nannie care. If you are interested in sponsoring a child you may click on the donations under our logo and use paypal. Other options are to send a check to our home office in Ohio (see contacts). Many thanks and welcome to our new sponsors.
Birthday month for this little girl. She's been with us for 3 years. Hope she finds a family soon. Every year our prayer is that the children will be in a family by their next birthday. We hope the same for this sweet girl.
What Happens !!!!
Today, i found this quite by accident on line.
It shows what happens when babies are found.
The police were involved and got the details of the man willing to take the child. His ID card and the man gave his thumb print as a signature.
Anyway the video speaks for itself.
Yin Hei goes home
Next, we have a lady, who we don't know, but are very thankful to...she is the new mom of little Yin Hei, who was adopted on July 2nd. Yin Hei was with us for almost two years. He is rather shy, but very loving and has the sweetest laugh. We hope his mom will find us, for we have many videos and photos, we'd like to share with her of his time with us. I so appreciate the nannies letting his hair grow long. Usually, as summer is in full swing all our boys have a very close buzz cut:)
Newest Baby Boy
Our newest arrival is a little boy with an obvious issue, but his body and mind appear healthy. We are hoping he will thrive at Swallow's Nest and soon find a forever family . Clay had a recent meeting with the Zhengzhou Orphanage. It appears we will be getting more and more babies in the weeks to come.
New Heart Baby
This little one is due to come soon, but the orphanage doctor felt she needed to stay in the hospital a bit longer. As always, we appreciate all of you who help us continue this much needed service.
please visit her site. Thanks, pam
Three out of six (oldest daughter taking the photo) of these kids were associated with Swallow's Nest before adoption. Can you guess which three? Love to see our kids become their kids. Amy and Andy be blessed!!!
These kids from the new baby house are not babies anymore. The oldest now 3 is driving. Many thanks for whoever donated the car:)
Turning 18 is a milestone in a young girls life. This Australian Beauty (in white dress next to her dad) opted to have her friends and family give donations to Swallow's Nest instead of gifts for herself. She made a donation of 600 USD after the birthday celebration. People with hearts for the children is what helps us do more in Henan Province. Teagen may you be blessed for your generosity. Love you, Pam
Luke is home with his forever family. He is right in the middle. He's had many dr. appts lately and the following is an excerpt from an email from his mom:
We feel so incredibly blessed to have him. When the doctors look at those bad leg pictures and the labs from Shanghai they are amazed he is alive and so well!
He loves the pool and playing outside. He can climb the rungs to the 5 foot tall platform of the play set all by himself now and is very proud and happy about that! He is a busy, fun, sweet, intelligent, wonderful little boy we all love very much!! Thank you for being a huge part of making that possible :)!
Love , Lee
Time for the "summer cut" for our boys. I can tell Nancy, Ma Jia has come to work with her clippers. She's the official barber and always does a great job. I wish I knew what this little guy was looking at. He's got such a serious look, and that tongue, makes him appear very serious.
Lee, Tanzillo, president of Swallow's Nest, adopts Luke this week in Zhengzhou, Henan. In May of 2011 we found Luke abandoned at the local hospital. We would like to thank all the government agencies for processing his paperwork in record time. Found in May 2011, surgery in May, paperwork submitted in September 2011, adopted in April 2012.
Clay visits to say good-bye to this little one as his mom will adopt him tomorrow. It was 11 months from finding him at our local hospital till adoption day. The fastest ever. Many thanks to the Zhengzhou Orphanage, Lee Tanzillo, our president, Civil Affairs Office of Henan Province, and CCCWA for all their efforts to get him "paper ready". He will be able to get the best medical care plus have the love of a forever family at the same time.
Many of you who follow Swallow's Nest know that our on site directors are also teaching at the local university in order to maintain legal visa status and remain in China. Clay and Pam Williams, founders of Swallow's Nest with the assistance of many volunteers and our chinese employees carry out the day to day details of caring for these orphans.
In January, Pam resigned her position at the university. In previous years her university salary helped pay our employees. Thus, we are launching our "Sponsor a Nannie" Program to expand our donation base in order to continue our work.
We have shared a little about our dedicated staff on our Nannie page. As always we appreciate all of you!!!
Last week I wrote my friend Arthur at the Nursing College. I asked him for some weekend girls to help us out at Swallow's Nest. He sent these students. Oh my, they look so young, but in reality I'm just getting older by the second. They have a try weekend to train, and if they think the job "fits" them (as they say in China) then we hire them. They work from Friday night about 7 pm until Sunday at 7 pm. They live with the kids, cook, sleep, clean and enjoy the babies. We are so thankful for their youthful energy.
Little TT is HIV +. We sponsor her to live at another facility that can meet her needs. It's been a while since we've seen photos of her. But an adopting family went for a visit and took several photos of the cute baby. Further questioning proved true, little TT is growing. She was in the hospital in November and thanks for special donation, we were able to send 3300 yuan for her hospital costs.
Her paperwork has been prepared and we hope that she has a forever family.
Then over walks one of the caregivers with a huge smile.......En Hao??? She says. She immediately recognized him and told Rebecca she had cared for him when he was little.
What a blessing to get a picture with them together. It is so clear how loved these children are. They are truly cared for with gentle, kind, loving hands and it shows.
To view entire post click here:
We've had several adoptions lately. Here we go again!!!
Excerpt from mom's blog see below:
Wednesday night, way past my bed time, and I just can't fall asleep. I was born a night owl, and it seems even 3 kids can't change that! I decide that it would be a good idea to check the weather in both the cities our kiddos in China are at. I might want to start thinking about packing, so to pack, I need to know the weather.
Finding that out leads me to wonder if I can find out about the "local" scene, you know the secret places everyone should visit, that no one knows about. I decided to do random internet searches. I'm just weird like that, typing in random words to see what pops up and what information I can find out about where my babies are from.
Somewhere among the zillion searches I did, I found a link to a yahoo group that is composed of people who have adopted, are adopting, associated with, etc the same city/province as Caleb is from. Well of course I join the group. Maybe to find some random pictures someone took and my baby is in the background, or maybe just to learn more about where Caleb is from.
I told them my name and Caleb's Chinese name, and said hello!
Hours later, I received an email from the DIRECTOR of Swallows Nest in Zhengzhou, with the question...
Is this your son?
You can read the remainder here:
Adoption day is today, probably right now!!!!
Little Chen Bin celebrated his birthday and is now 3 years
old! He is so happy and so cute! We made some family-foto's we really
wanted to sent you. He is a very active boy and really likes cars.
Al lday he wants to play, run and just want to make jokes. He is a good
eater and his favorite food is Italian :-) (his sister wants Chinese
food and he wants pizza or french fries). He is also very stubborn but
makes everyting go away with a smile!
He is also going to a Kindergarden, all the little girls really love
him! he is just a handsome 3 year old!
Heather, (Clay pointing) volunteered for two weeks. She lives in China and used her winter break to assist us. Many thanks to Heather!!!!!
As Heather was leaving Rebekah (pink shirt) from Huntsville, AL was arriving. Rebekah will assist us for several months, teaching English to the older kids and filling in until we get some more aupairs.
Several other in China volunteers, who assist us are pictured.....one couple I haven't met yet, plus Harmony (middle). Many thanks to all of you for assisting Clay.
The beginning of the new year presents more opportunities for all of us. As I am still in USA, I am speaking to various groups rising awareness of our work in China.
Pictured here, a group of girls from a local Fellowship at Crosswalk in Williamsburg, Va. They learned to speak a little chinese, write a little chinese and dress a little chinese.
Lately, we've had one little girl say she didn't want birthday presents, just give some money for the kids at Swallow's Nest. Her parents sent us over 200 dollars. Two other girls put their heads together, sold a few things, did chores, sold stuff and sent us over 60 dollars. These girls were all under 12 years old. Many thanks for their effort and their serious heart.
Two weeks in USA and we are finally over jet lag. We are enjoying family and friends and baking. It's amazing how cooking American style is coming back to me. I'm able to teach Xiao Qing many things I couldn't teach her in China. We know this stay in USA is for a season. We appreciate everyone remembering my dad as he improves after his recent hospitalization. We miss our babies and are grateful for those in China who we trust to manage Swallow's Nest while I am away.
Today, the mail brought 400 knitted caps from USA. Many thanks to our friends who spent time and money making them. We plan to share with the local orphanage and some of our other foster homes in the city.
I can remember the day with a discovery of Down's Syndrome seemed like the end of the world. But after having a children's home in China for 4 years, our Down's Syndrome kids are the easiest to care for and the most well behaved.
Little Piper has always been an angel and we miss her so much. No one can fill her spot, but we did get a little boy to fill her bed :)
It's so wonderful to see her here with her family. Wishing that all our babies find their forever families this year.
This little guy was only with us from Oct. 27th to Nov. 20th. He was in the hospital most of that time. Through his hospitalization we met Tian (in nursing uniform). She wanted to work nights and weekends with us. Therefore, we hired her. Its amazing how each little life is so precious and how these little babies change all of us without uttering a word. He had multiple issues and we are thankful he spent his last days with us.
You can co-sponsor a child for $25 USD or more per month.
To inquire about sponsoring a child?
Each child needs 5 sponsors at $50 per month. This provides the child with immunizations, medical check-ups, food and clothing. Simply go to the donate page for easy on line payments. Thanks for helping us do more. Be sure to include an email address, so we can send you a regular news update on your child's progress.
See The Children Waiting For Sponsors
Our Korean friends, along with some other volunteers, took the toddlers to the local park. They painted with hand prints and vegetables cut in different chinese characters. Overall a great day for all involved.
Many of our faithful friends have followed this little girl (in the middle) since she first came to Swallow's Nest several years ago. Everyone was thrilled to hear about her adoption last spring. Now, she will be undergoing surgery. This note from her mom:
She has her first operation on November 1. They will raise her left eye so it is the same level as her right :? We take her to Vanderbilt University Children's hospital for her pre-op appointments on Monday. She will have an 8 - 12 hour surgery on Tuesday. This should help her vision and then they will do another operation 6 months, from now, to take some of the hardened scar tissue away from her face, give her a more normal lip, and a straight nose! Please remember her in prayer :)"
Today we said good-bye to the Big Kid House at You Ai Lu (Friendship Love Road). Many babies were saved there, but some also passed away. I took about 5 minutes to myself and thanked the Father.
It was our first home. It was humble, but it served the purpose. Our landlord will move in soon. They are tearing down her neighborhood in order to build something:)
The move went well on Saturday. We finished everything about 3 pm and it started to rain, so we all rested for the afternoon. Babies adjusted well, they love having more room to run around and play.
Many thanks for volunteers taking babies over in their cars, for the Koreans coming and helping watch the kids, while our workers unpacked and for the two unscheduled young men who helped haul everything. I don't think they knew exactly what they were getting into when they arrived to a house turned upside down, and no babies.
I think Mr. Wang (our volunteer maintenance man) worked the most hooking up air conditioners and the washing machine. What an adventure!!! Glad it's over:)
October is Down's Syndrome Month. Our little QT still waits for a family. He has been on the special focus list for over 6 months. All our other Down's kids, who were listed, have families and we hope the same for him.
He is a sweetheart and we call him our "little Beaver" because he loves to chew on things...he is teething. Here he is at the park with one of our volunteers.
If you are interested in adopting QT you may have your agency lock his file from the special focus. Currently, he is not represented by any agency, but we do have permission to advocate for him. Hope he finds a family soon!!!
This is the first I've seen this feeding from behind. Seems to work pretty well with hop sticks and you can keep good control of the child at the same time.
This little guy is definitely having a good time as he plays with a bubble squirt gun and a chop stick.
I love this little guy squatting, so cute. Wish I could do it without falling over. I think he has a turnip. The Korean volunteers carved chinese or korean, not sure which characters for the kids to paint with....they all had a great time.
Recently Ms. Wang came to visit. She is the director of the Zhengzhou Au Pair facility (see au pair program for link). She came bearing gifts of diapers, baby formula and rice. These 3 staples are what we spend a lot of money on each month.
Many thanks to her and for her friendship. Here she is pictured with our little guy who just returned from the hospital. His surgery was successful and even though he endured an asthma attack which delayed it by a week, he is doing much better.
We appreciate all the help of our local community. It has been suggested that we build or buy one large facility on the outside of town where things are cheaper. But, I'm a firm believer that our babies need to be part of a community.
This way our friends and neighbors are involved in their day to day care. They also share in the rewards of watching our babies learn to walk, talk, and feed themselves.
We all rejoice when our kids find a forever family and go for adoption, whether in town or across the sea. A family is the best.
Monday night we had our seasonal volunteer meeting. Many thanks to the Henan Experimental High School for allowing us to use their Learning Resource Center room. We appreciate so much Harmony (pink sweater middle, sitting) for volunteering to coordinate the scheduling. We had medical students, a doctor, an author/teacher, many English teachers and our faithful Mr. Wang, who volunteers maintenance.
We look forward to a productive year working together with these in-country volunteers.
The most monumental task at hand is including all the student volunteers, and there are many who want to come but have only weekends free.
Brittany and Melanie, who are teachers for the high school student volunteers work closely with Harmony to make it all happen.
All of it combined gives our kids some good one on one with the community and makes the community aware of their situation.
Many thanks also to Andrew, Kelly, and Diane, past teachers at the high school who started this program in 2008. We miss you!!!
I just happen to visit during meal time and found all the kids hovering over a worker trying to feed one baby. "Where's the table?", I asked. "I know nothing!", was the response. I looked all over the house for our little fold up table, we usually bring out for meals and couldn't find it anywhere. Then I noticed the table for the cooking stove was larger. It appears, the legs of the kid's table had broken. The ladies took them off and used the table top for a counter top.
Why didn't someone tell me the table was broken? Who knows!!!! So we went immediately and bought a new one.
Why this story in general......because today I discovered quite by accident that one of our little guys has a family. I know his mom will probably read this post and I want her to see her son in the orange shirt. Yea!!!! We are thrilled beyond measure. Soon I can go to the orphanage and get another one.
Our latest information from the orphanage in our city is......they have a census of over 600 and want us to open another home. Problem is...I'm having trouble staffing the 4 we already have. Pray for dedicated staff and more au pairs.
I love it when our workers come to the office and bring one of the babies.
On this day ZYH came for a visit. She loved sitting in my chair and she also enjoyed her stroller ride.
This stroller was given to me for Xiao Qing by the Seifers. They are great supporters of Swallow's Nest and also live and work in China. Great to know after 11 years, its still carrying around some precious cargo.
Cai Yun is one of our au pairs. She's very hardworking and loves the babies!!