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Sunday, November 17, 2013

Announcing Coats and Christmas for Kids 2013!

Last year, we worked with our awesome China staff and even more awesome donors to purchase a new coat for every child in a Grace & Hope Foster Care Program.

For $15 per child, Grace & Hope for Children can purchase a coat for each child in our foster care program.  For these children, a new coat is a huge thing!  Last year, an exciting off-shoot of the Coats & Christmas for Kids Campaign is that several of our programs actually ADDED children to their foster care programs, allowing them to experience family life, as a result of this project.  Currently, we have 430 children in our foster care program, making our goal for this special project $6450. 

When you donate a coat, we will send you a printable card via email that you may use to as a memento for yourself, or to give a donation card to a family member, teacher, or friend for Christmas.  What better way to celebrate this special time of year than by ensuring that a precious child will be warm this winter? 

To donate:

1) Donate via Paypal by clicking the button below.  Please be sure to note the email address for your cards to be emailed.  You should receive a card via email within two days of our receipt of your payment.

2) Mail a check or money order to:

Grace & Hope for Children
465 N.E. 181st #210
Portland, OR 97230

Please be sure to note the email address you'd like your cards sent to on the memo line of your check.

Won't you join us in celebrating the season in honor of our precious children? 

We leave you with some of our favorite photos of last year's celebration:


Saturday, November 2, 2013

Thinking Creatively

Your talent is God's gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.
~Leo Buscaglia

What does this photo from a concert in Chicago have to do with a sweet four month old in Guilin?

This creative group of musicians in Chicago recently gave a benefit concert to raise funds to support a Grace & Hope for Children child in Guilin.  During the concert, about 80 attendees received the gift of some amazing, inspiring music.

And because of that, tiny Yonina received the gift of a family. 
What about you?  Do you have a creative idea that could allow you to work with others to help one of our waiting children?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Nolan, from Pingdingshan: Our Tiny Peanut Farmer

A huge part of why foster care like Grace & Hope is able to provide is so valuable to children is that it offers them an opportunity to live real life in a family, to have all the experiences a child should have as they grow.  Check out this sweet story from a recent report.

Nolan was not home when we arrived. As we wondering where to find him, we leraned that they were in the field with their foster father. He said that they are harvesting peanuts today and the two children (Nolan and Eric) were in the field now. Then he gave us a ride on his bike and took us to the field where from far away, we saw Nolan sitting in his stroller under a tree. Around him were all peanut stocks. Nolan was like a little guard watching the crops. His skin was tan and he looked strong and healthy.

I called Nolan’s name and he gave me a big smile right away. I passed him a drink and his dad helped to open the drink for him immediately. Nolan took several bites and had a break, he then took more bites and looked very content.

According to his foster dad, Nolan enjoys following his parents everywhere. He cries if adults leave him home. Today he wanted to come to the field to harvest peanuts and they had to take him. All the vellagers like Nolan, they cheer him when he passes by their field. Nolan has a sweet tooth, and the locals often share treats with him.  He remembers the neighbors, and greets them politely by name.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Elias from Guilin

Shortly before Elias from Guilin was a baby, he became a part of the Grace & Hope for Children foster care program, with the hope that foster care would help him thrive as he received treatment for his medical needs.

After a year with his foster family, he was growing into a helpful big brother, assisting with his younger foster sister.

He's become a little artist - who loves to doodle and share his artwork.


He is mischievous, and strong, and loves to laugh. 

We hope that Elias continues to grow strong and happy in his foster family, until one day he has a forever family of his very own.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday

“To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.”
― Mark Twain

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Alumni Spotlight: Sarah ("Janice" from Nanning)

Here is another adorable Grace & Hope for Children alumni, in her mother's words.
Sarah is our 4th child, and while she is itty bitty tiny, she is very mighty indeed!  Sarah was well prepared for a family, and knew all of our family names.  She was 2.5 years old at adoption, and was ahead of the developmental milestones.  She could write/draw (as we found out in the weeks after we got home and she decorated our walls, furniture, clothes, and herself).  She could pick up boiled peanuts with chopsticks.  She was very verbal.  She is also very stubborn!  She has some of the most amazing observations, and comes up with some of the most amusing things to say.  She is very creative, and loves anything to do with art or sparkly, glittery, girly things.  She has told me, "Mom, you can't make me learn how to read."  She's also told me that we can not make her learn how to swim or any other number of activities that she really does NOT want to do.  However, if she wants to do something she will do whatever it takes to succeed.  
Sarah still sleeps with the teddy bear we sent in a care package while we were waiting to adopt her.  Her foster family let her have it, and she came to us with that bear "well-loved" and she considers it her bear from her foster family.  
Since Sarah co-slept with her foster mom in China, we co-slept until she wanted to sleep in a room with her big sister.  After 2.5 years home she told us that she wanted her own room, and we've decorated her bedroom with rainbows. She loves it.

Sarah is a happy, witty, energetic little girl. And she remembers being loved in China.  This past April, G&H posted photos from something they did in Nanning with the foster families. Sarah was in my lap while I looked at them.  Looking at the photos on Grace and Hope Foundation's page for the Nanning foster families, Sarah said she remembered the room. She said it was loud and she covered her ears and her foster Mom took her out of it to let her eat where it was quieter. Sarah also said that they had fake watermelon there and it would poison you if you ate it. ROFL...I could totally see someone telling Sarah that to keep her from begging to eat it, or to keep her from eating too much! She also thinks she saw a photo of her foster Mom, though I don't know for sure if it was.

Sarah has photos of her foster parents in her room and she hugs them daily.  She tells me she misses her Mama and Baba.  (She calls us Mommy and Daddy and has NEVER ever called us Mama and Baba.  In fact, in China that is what we finally told the guides to tell her to call us and Sarah thought it was HILARIOUS that what she was calling her "Daddy" was so close to what she called poop.)


We are grateful for the gift of this precious child, and for the love her foster family in China shared with her.

To see children who wait for a sponsor in Sarah's SWI, please click here.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Alumni Spotlight: Meiya - Formerly from Yulin

Meet Meiya, a child Grace & Hope for Children was privileged to support in a foster home  before she joined her forever family.

 In her mother's words, here is their story:

In January 2011,  while browsing waiting advocacy sites we came across Meiya's photo. We fell in love at first site and immediately contacted the advocate and got her information. The process started very quickly after that. We got her file, filled out our LOI (Letter of Intent) and got PA very quickly. We found out that she was in Yulin SWI in Yulin, Guangxi.
Our process was fairly smooth and long from start to finish we were in China a year after we found her on the website. Our Gotcha day was January 14, 2012 exactly 1 year and 2 days after we first saw her precious face. The day we got Meiya was like a dream. Everything went so smoothly. She arrived at our hotel with her social worker and Yulin SWI's director. They were both very nice and loving towards her and us. The sw brought her over to us and introduced us to her all while showing her the pictures we had sent to her in a little pink photo album which we could tell was used a lot. Meiya knew who we were from this little album. We could tell her foster mama showed it to her because it was worn. Meiya did not show any fear towards any of us. She came right to me and said "Mama." I almost cried! She kept touching my face and looking into my eyes. She studied each of us curiously. She thought her jie jies were very funny and couldn't wait to get down and play with them.
They all hit it off very well right away. She was a bit leery towards her baba at first but warmed up quickly. We could tell that Meiya was shown love and taught love during her life with her foster parents. She did grieve in the evenings for her foster mama which we expected. We knew she missed her a lot. The morning that she came to us she was removed from her loving arms and placed into ours. We knew it was hard on her. We felt for her and for her wonderful foster mama. 
Meiya's special need is Arthrogryposis. She can not walk on her feet because her legs are deformed. She walks on her knees. We got her official diagnosis from Shriner's Hospital in Philadelphia in August and she got braces or KAFO (Knee Ankle Foot Orthotics) she was also given a walker. With the help of her braces and her walker Meiya can now walk! She is so very proud of herself and we are so very proud of her. 
Meiya has the sweetest personality. She is very loving and caring towards others. She is also very smart and picked up English right away. She can speak 7 word sentences. She also still speaks a little Cantonese. People who meet her are impressed with how smart she is. She is very mature for a 2 year old. Meiya is also a very funny little girl she has a silly sense of humor. She makes us laugh all the time with her cute little silliness. She loves to laugh and be silly with her sisters.  Meiya has 2 older sisters, Hannah and Hailee who adore her. They are very proud of their baby sister and love her very much. 
We are very grateful for the care Meiya received while she was in Grace & Hope's care! She had an awesome foster mama and support system. The care and love she received was the best. We feel like Grace & Hope and her foster family is a part of our family.


Meiya's preparation for her forever family was clearly impacted by her time in a Grace & Hope for Children Foster Home.  Can you help another child who waits for a family to call his/her own?  Click here for more information.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why Foster Care Matters: Look at her GROW!

Almost a year ago, sweet Mandisa was profiled while she waited for a sponsor on our Grace & Hope for Children Facebook page. 

This is the photo we posted:
Soon, because of a generous, faithful sponsor, we were able to place Mandisa with a foster family. When she met her foster mother, she had an ear infection that needed immediate treatment.

Early this year, Mandisa, now affectionately called "Little Rain Drop" by her foster mother, loved to snuggle with her foster mom and foster sister, and really loves a bath. 

Now, sweet Mandisa is a thriving toddler...she loves to go outside to play, has playmates in her neighborhood, and is learning to walk.  She is a good eater and sleeper, and thinks trips to the supermarket are quite an adventure.
In the space of one year, Mandisa has grown from here....

to here...
What a difference a family makes.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Meet Felix

This adorable little man is Felix, from Sanmenxia in Henan province.  He entered foster care because of the generous support of a Grace and Hope sponsor family in May of this year, just before his fourth birthday.

Felix is a little shy, and prefers to only play with people that he knows.  Three days a week, Felix goes to preschool at his SWI.

Since being placed with his caring foster family, he has grown taller and stronger, is learning table manners, and is becoming more talkative.  

Felix's foster mother dotes on him, and enjoys taking him on playdates with other GHC foster children in the area. 

We are so glad to see that Felix is blooming!

To see other children still waiting for their chance to grow in a foster family, click here.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sunday Snapshot: Meet Amada!

Meet Amada, a two year old cutie from our program in Qichun County in Hubei Province. She is one of 9 children currently in our program there.

The last time we visited with Amada's foster family, Amada was sitting in her walker and moving around in the living room. She loves her foster mother and loves to play with friends in the neighborhood.  While we were there, she stayed close to her foster mom, but listened carefully to our conversations while she played with her toys. She is learning to walk and to count.  She also loves to play with the remote control for the television. 

If you are interested in sponsoring so that another child like Amada will know the joy of experiencing a family, check out our waiting kids page by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Announcing the Grace & Hope Spring Fundraiser

We are all so excited about so many possibilities that lie ahead in 2013 for Grace & Hope for Children. Last winter, we were thrilled to be able to provide new coats for every child in a Grace & Hope program through our first Coats & Christmas 4 Kids Campaign.

This spring, we are excited to announce a new campaign, just in time for Mother's Day, Father's Day, or even teacher appreciation week. Our goal is to raise $7000 by June 1, Children's Day in China.

While Grace & Hope's staff in the States is entirely volunteer, we have a dedicated, passionate Chinese staff who work tirelessly to support our programs. These are the people who travel to see the children and their foster families, who work with the orphanages to place children with their foster families, and who provide training and support to the SWIs and the foster families. We are excited by the possibility of beginning several new programs this year, as the board prepares for its annual trip to China in just a few weeks. Because of all these exciting possibilities, we would like to raise funds specifically to support the salaries of our Chinese staff. This will enable more of our sponsorship dollars to go directly to the children, and help ensure we are able to begin new programs with new Social Welfare Institutes (SWIs).

As at Christmas, we are offering cards suitable for printing or emailing to notify your recipient that you have made a donation in their honor. The cost per card is $10, and you may choose Mother's Day, Father's Day, Teacher Appreciation, or General Gift Cards. You may purchase as many cards as you like, and know that your gift will both honor your recipient AND make a very real difference in the lives of Chinese children.

To participate, please fill out the form below, and then either donate via Paypal (button is below the form) or mail a check. Please share this fundraiser with your friends and family. We will post regular progress updates here, and very much look forward to sharing that we have met the goal!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sponsor Spotlight: Meet Hope

Meet Hope, a sweet 12 year old from Pingdingshan, Henan. The last time our staff visited with Hope, she was so proud to show that she was able to stand up without holding on to anything. She practices standing every day. She is able to recognize some Chinese words, and loves to watch TV. We love seeing her so happy!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Sunday Snapshot: Ben from Xianning

Meet Ben, from Xianning, Hubei Province. Doesn't he look excited to be in his new coat thanks to our Coats 4 Kids project?

Ben just recently turned two years old, and is a sweet and engaging little guy. He likes to be held and give kisses. One of his favorite things to do is mimic people dancing on television. He is learning to walk, and balances himself by holding on to a hand or furniture.