Sunday, February 25, 2007

Learning more about Fenghuangyuan Orpanage

Alyssa's orphanage
Fenghuangyuan Facility in Yongzhou City, Hunan
The Director at Alyssa's orphanage said I could share the following information about the orphanage. Please understand that we ask questions so we can know what areas need our support. We know the nannies are taking great care of the children and are doing the best they can with what they have.
1. Are there children who need medical surgeries?
We have children who are disabled at the orphanage. Some of them need surgery. There are 3 orphans with cleft lip/palate and heart disease who have had surgeries. The rest of the children are C.P. and congenital Mongolian. Some of the C.P. children recieved treatment when they were younger but the situation didn't improve much. Director doesn't think it's necessary to give current C.P. and Mongolian orphans surgery. Director said they may need such help in the future when they have more disabled children.
2. Are there children at this orphanage available for adoption?
Yes, disabled children can be adopted.
3. Does the gov't provide money for your orphanage or does the orphanage rely solely on the money it receives when a child is adopted?
Money is provided by the gov't for the orphanage.
4. Does the orphanage have heat in the winter and air conditioning in the summer?
5. Does the orphanage need items such as blankets, crib mattresses and toys?
We need blankets, crib mattresses and toys
6. Is there a need for baby formula at the orphanage?
We need 10 pieces of formula each month. Each piece has 20 packages. (our contact called the Director and wrote us this: each package of formula is about 18 RMB so the total cost for formula is 3600 RMB each month) Our contact wrote: "The orphanage will be happy if they can get help for formula."
7. Are the children at the orphanage able to go to school?
I'm going to try and ask a few more questions to get specifics about education, nutrition, etc... We would love to be able to provide a playground for the children as well. We have seen many photos of the outside and inside of the orphanage but haven't seen any playground or any sort of play room. This would be something fun forus to raise money for and something the children (and nannies, I'm sure!) would LOVE to have at the orphanage.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

It's Coming...

I'm off to hockey but am really wanting to post the answers the Director gave us about Alyssa's orphanage. I will try and get it up tonight or tomorrow. THANK YOU to everyone who has left comments and emailed us. This is very exciting. Those who expressed interest in Love Without Boundaries Canada - I will be in touch very soon!


Tuesday, February 20, 2007


Below are the pictures Alyssa's orphanage sent to us. As I mentioned in an earlier blog, the Director found out she was not allowed to send me pictures of the children. They may be nervous about me posting them on the web - I did assure the Director I wouldn't post any pictures or information that she didn't want on the internet. Maybe after time, she will come to trust us more in this area.

With the donation we sent the Director was able to purchase the following items:

6 snowsuit outfits for babies
3 outfits for the children between the ages of 2-3
6 outfits for the children between 8-12
10 really cool outfits for the children between 12-20 years old.
The Director also purchased some snacks for all the children!

Snowsuits for the little ones. These look similar to what Alyssa was wearing on Gotcha Day.

The outfits for the toddlers...if you're like me you are trying to figure out how many boys & girls live at the orphanage according to the outfits bought. Unfortanately, in China, boys and girls wear the same colors and styles. They don't usually distinguish "boy" colors or "girl" colors.

Very cool outfits for the 8-12 year olds. Looks like warm jackets, sweaters and jeans.

Again, very nice outfits for the 12-20 year olds. Looks like jackets, shirts and jeans.

The snack...not sure what it is but hopefully they thought it was yummy :-)

Now...who's waiting for the exciting news?!

I have been in contact with Love Without Boundaries many times over the last year. I began working with their organization a few months ago as a Foster Care Coordinator for one of the orphanages they support. I gave up that position for a NEW, EXCITING POSITION with Love Without Boundaries. My new role is "Love Without Boundaries Canada Coordinator"! Yes, you guessed it, we are starting a Love Without Boundaries right here in Canada! There will be LOTS more information on this as we are just in the beginning stages but spread the word that we (as in Canadians) will be fundraising to provide education, foster care, nutrition and medical programs for children in China. When our LWB Canada Board is set up we will be able to choose what orphanges to work in and send our Canadian volunteers to China to volunteer in our many programs. This is so exciting!!!! I will be sending out an official email from LWB with more details and a call for any people who are interested to join us. SO STAY TUNED!

The second bit of great news:

I went to the Wesleyn Church here in Ch'town with my friend Peggy a couple of weeks ago. I met a wonderful lady by the name of Bev. She told me she had been praying for the orphans in China for SEVEN YEARS! Alyssa was the first chinese child she had met in person who had been adopted from an orphanage. She was very taken with Alyssa and with her adoption story. She called me a couple of weeks ago and said she and her sisters would love to do something to help the children still living at Alyssa's orphanage. They decided they would make beautiful, warm, fleece blankets for all the children! That will be such a wonderful gift for each of the children. To add to this already touching story, Bev and her sisters asked me if they could name their mission "Alyssa's Kids". Isn't that so nice?! I was moved to tears when she told me.

It is so exciting to see how many people are wanting to be involved with these beautiful children. Even though they have not found their forever families they are loved all around the world.

People have been emailing us about sending in donations - we are thrilled to take these and pass them on to our contact in China. Unfortunately, we are not able to give receipts for Income Tax purposes right now. We are hoping to find a way to do this through my home church in Nova Scotia so we will keep everyone posted on that status. They have been incredibly supportive with our adoption even though I haven't lived there for 15 years! In the meantime, if you would still like to send donations, we will gladly receive them and direct them to our Chinese contact and then on to Alyssa's orphanage.


The Director let us know that they do need 6 crib mattresses (oh how I wish I could take those 6 babies home!!!) and they would also love to be able to buy new toys for the children. We are up for the mission!!!

Another huge need at the orphanage is baby formula. We would like to be able to provide this for the orphanage on a monthly basis as it is an on-going need. The cost each month for the formula is $540 Canadian.

We will think of a fundraiser that our family can do so we can help raise some of the funds for the formula....needing ideas.....

Tomorrow I will post the information the Director gave me about the children at the orphanage.

With lots and lots of excitement!


Monday, February 19, 2007

Happy Chinese New Year!

The kids are all smiles as we get ready for the Chinese New Year Celebration!

Our family...this is the only family shot we got and the sun was shining on Chris' face! Oops!

The boys loved this act! This young guy did an amazing Yo-Yo act and the boys were in awe!

Alyssa saw this girl practicing her dance out in the hallway and she couldn't wait to finally see her do her "ballerina dance".

A cool karate demonstration...
We had a really great time yesterday at the Chinese New Year Potluck. The kids were very enthralled with the chinese entertainment and hearing mandarin being spoken everywhere. They are even more excited about our trip to China next year and are asking tons of questions. We met a wondeful lady at the get together and she has offered to come to our house and teach us all mandarin and show the kids some videos of China and help us prepare for our trip. How exciting!
Tomorrow I will post the pictures sent to us from Alyssa's orphanage ~ sorry, the Director said she was not allowed to send photos of the children :-( She did send us lots of pictures of the snowsuits and clothes they bought, though. She also gave us some more information on the children in the orphanage and what is needed there. We have a new project...but I'll write about it tomorrow so CHECK BACK!!! Oh, and I think I can share our exciting news now, too! Tomorrow....
With eager anticipation!!
Tammy and the family

Sunday, February 11, 2007

In Memory of Logan MacLean

Logan was known for his famous smirk and this picture is a sweet example of it. Although he was shy he had a very dry sense of humor ~ everyone loved that about him. Everyone who knew him will miss him so much.

Logan's funeral will be on Thursday. I won't be posting anymore until after that day. I have heard back from Alyssa's orphanage and we received photos and I will share those next week.

Please continue to pray for Logan's family. Thank you to everyone who has written with words of encouragement and prayers.


Saturday, February 10, 2007

Sad news...

I'm just writing an update on the precious 13 year old boy, Logan. He passed away last night and his family is asking everyone to please pray for them and their children. They are absolutely devestated and need prayers surrounding them right now.


Friday, February 9, 2007


This post has nothing to do with Alyssa or her orphanage BUT it is extremely important.

On Wednesday night our next-door neighbours had a heartbreaking emergency. Their 13 year old son had an asthma attack and stopped breathing. After 1/2 hour of not breathing, the emergency personnel were able to get his pulse going again. He is in VERY CRITICAL condition right now and is in a coma. We are awaiting news on the lastest scan and testing to see if there is any brain activity. We are pleading for everyone to pray for this little boy and his family. He has an 8 year old brother and a 5 year old sister. As you can imagine, his parents are absolutely heartbroken and beside themselves with grief.

"When we call on Jesus, all things are possible...He'll move heaven and earth to come rescue us when we call...."

After being at our neighbour's house during this emergency and comforting their children we realize how precious our children are. Everyone needs to give their children an extra bit of love tonight! (and every day!)


Monday, February 5, 2007

Changing lives...

Yong, Duan Li
A picture of Alyssa in her orphanage (2004)

I've been thinking a lot about the children at Alyssa's orphanage. Alyssa was one of those children and it amazes us everyday how incredible she is. Every child still living at her orphanage needs the love of a family and the opportunity to flourish, to love, to be loved, to be stimulated, to be told they are truly the most cherished. It is our family's prayer to have each child in Alyssa's orphange adopted or, for those who are not able to be adopted, be loved in a foster home in China.
So absolutely precious
When I think about the children still at Alyssa's orphange I think about how far Alyssa has come with the love of a mother, father, brothers and a wonderful extended family. We truly believe the nannies and caregivers at the orphanage love and cherish the children as much as they can. But, it is an overwhelming task to care for many, many children and to provide their basic needs on a daily basis. When we adopted Alyssa at 15 months, she was not able to sit up on her own, she couldn't walk or crawl and she was very scared. Over the next few weeks and months we saw a beautiful little girl emerge. She was full of sillyness, laughter and loved to be teased by her brothers. Within 4 weeks she was running everywhere and was speaking a few English words. She would offer her arms to us for hugs and kisses and wanted us to snuggle with her in bed at night. Her eyes would light up when her brothers came home from school and she would run to the door to see Daddy home from work.

Our dream would be for every child to have this. This is our family's prayer.
2 weeks after Alyssa was adopted - definitely Daddy's girl!

One night when Chris and I had gone out we came home to see this touching sight! Alyssa had been nervous because we had gotten a babysitter so the boys decided to sleep with her so she wouldn't feel alone
There's nothing like brothers to teach you how to have fun!

Hugs and sillyness with mommy


Friday, February 2, 2007

Just some thoughts...

Alyssa & her friend Emma, in their matching PJs!

We found out our contact in China received the wire for the snowsuits! The ophanage should have the snowsuits next week! We are also waiting to hear back from the Director of Alyssa's orphanage about more items the children need so we can find out what our next project will be.

I found out two REALLY exciting bits of news this past week but I can't quite share it yet. Both bits of news have to do with Alyssa's orphanage and helping the children there. People have been so supportive and kind - we've had lots of emails from familes who also adopted children from Alyssa's orphanage and of course, they are thrilled to help in any way. As soon as I know it's okay to share our good news ~ no, we are not adopting again :-( ~ I'll post it!

Chris and I talked the other night and we agreed we are definitely starting to plan a trip back to Yongzhou with Alyssa, Caleb and Dylan. We are planning to go next Spring if all goes well with our savings account - ha ha!! Seriously, though, we are so excited to start planning this and eventually be able to visit Alyssa's orphanage and be with the children still living there!

Our friends, Catherine and Kevin left yesterday for China to finally adopt their new daughter, Roshandra. You can follow their journey at They are from Prince Edward Island, too.

Our friends, Marvin and Carolyn are leaving today for China to finally adopt their daughter, Kennedy! You can follow them at (also from PEI)

What an exciting time for them!

With an excited heart (and a bit of jealousy!),

Dylan & Caleb