Monday, November 26, 2012

Meet Graham

Sweet baby Graham
Graham is getting bigger and stronger and has now been placed in a foster care family who can provide him with the attentive care and love that he needs.  He needs our help to remain in the care of his foster home.

Graham was born prematurely at the begining of October.  He spent a while in the local Fuyang hospital before being moved to the Anhui Children's Hospital and you can see that some of the photos show a very tiny Graham indeed!  He had pneumonia and received tratment for osophageal refulux.  He was found to be allergic to cow's milk.  
Ten years ago, 95% of adoptions from China were of non special needs children. We all had read about the need – of Chinese orphanages filled with healthy baby girls - and people around the world opened their hearts to these children.  But now, almost 70% of all adoptions from China are of children with special needs. In the last few years alone, the birth defect rate in China has risen dramatically.

According to the National Center for Birth Defects Monitoring of China, nearly 1.2 million newborns have birth defects and congenital disabilities. That means that every thirty seconds, a new baby in China is born with a special need. This has changed the orphanage population in very real and distinct ways. Orphanage directors tell us again and again that 90-95% of the children now being abandoned in China and entering their care are children with medical needs. This brings new challenges to charities who wish to impact the lives of the children who wait but has also completely changed the responsibilities of the aunties and foster parents who care for these children in China.  If we thought an "auntie" had a job before caring for 10-15 healthy babies, just imagine how hard it is now caring for children all with complex medical needs.  Likewise many of our foster parents are dealing with children with complex heart defects, severe cleft lip and palate issues, tumours, special dietary needs, etc.

Why Foster Care?
We, Bubbles for Isabelle, is sponsoring foster care for Graham because, while it's not easy for an untrained person to care for a child with special needs, it is proven to have better outcomes when the foster mom is able to sit and carefully feed and care for the child versus being one of a dozen that is being cared for by one person.  Children need to experience everyday normal life rather than be shut behind the closed doors of an orphanage.  They need to have their own things around them, have someone tuck them in at night, help them with their homework, teach them right from wrong.  They need to be loved and hence, learn to love back.  And if these same children are to be adopted then this is also a big bonus for them as they settle within their new families.

Why do People Foster Care?  Are their intentions good? 
Quite a few older people whose birth children have grown up and left the home choose to foster.  Some just love kids and many foster many kids one after the other.  Other people are truly heart broken when their foster kids leave for adoption and don't foster again.  Some families do foster primarily for the money.  In most cases, it is a better environment for child with special needs.

A very tiny, premature Graham.

Graham at the beginning of November.
Graham with his foster mommy.

If you'd like to join us in sponsoring baby Graham's care, you may donate here:

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