the incubator project

I’m not even sure where to start on this post. Those of you that are regular readers know we are anxiously awaiting an approval letter to adopt our second daughter. The wait is horrible.  While we tromp around here welcoming spring, she is in the only home she has ever known – an orphanage. Every orphanage is different. Some are full of bright colors, toys, and lots of community involvement. Some are quite the opposite. Our daughter is from a rural area (by local standards). Her orphanage is not elaborate or full of color. We had thought of sending her gifts, books with our voices recorded reading, blankets that smell like we do, photo albums….things we had seen other adoptive families do to help with transition. However, she quite simply is not in a place where we can do those things. I wish she could fall asleep with a photo of our family nearby. I wish someone could prepare her for our arrival. I wish I could send her gifts that she’d receive.

The wait is hard.

The distance is horrible.

The lack of communication is killer.

We are here:

family

She is here:

4.12incubator

Yes, those are wood planks. I’ve been told they are for sanitary reasons (helps prevent lice, scabies, etc.). There are around 24+ babies for every 2 nannies from what I understand. Needless to say, my daughter has spent the majority of her life in one of those cribs. She isn’t outside playing in the grass. She doesn’t get the individual attention babies crave & need. She is one among many. I am a wreck at the thought of it all.

Hard stuff.

Reality.

Some have emailed and asked me if there was something they could do for the babies living there. Some have had ideas of cute blankets or toys, but the reality is that is not what her orphanage needs. And even if sent, those items most likely would provide more work for caretakers who are already very busy with little ones. It needs essentials. Recently Love Without Boundaries, along with parents who had adopted from this orphanage, sent much needed diapers and formula. LWB has a great reputation for their work all over the area.

4.12incubator2

Over the past month I’ve been thinking about my daughter’s orphanage, about all of you sweet readers that have asked for ways to help, and about how I want to not waste this time of waiting. I’ve always wanted to use my blog for good, you’ve heard me talk about social justice issues in the past. Well, this time I’m not talking about a social justice issue. I’m talking about my daughter and her current home. I contacted LWB and asked if they could find out if the orphanage had any large needs. They were so kind to do a little research for me and let me know there is a great need for an incubator for tiny newborns in their care. One incubator costs $1,400.00.

$1,400.00.  A lot of money, but it sounds manageable.

LWB has an established relationship with the orphanage and in the country. I asked if they would partner with me on a project to raise the funds for the incubator. Thankfully, they were more than willing to help me. They will handle all the money, ordering the incubator and delivering it. They will also send me pictures and updates so I can share those here with you! And, more importantly, I can share this story and the photos with my daughter one day.

So, in honor of my daughter, I want do a little project here – provide the gift of new incubator to other newborns in her orphanage. I know many of you come to this blog just for crafts and photography, this type of post is so far from anything that interests you. I get that. But, I also know so many of you that are just as giddy as I am to get to do this for newborns. It is going to be a really fun day when Love  Without Boundaries sends me the pictures of the incubator at the orphanage and we can celebrate together!

Since 2007 every child in her orphanage has been given the surname “Song”. Hundreds of orphans before her and after her share the same surname, or what we call ‘family’ name. We have chosen to keep “Song” as her middle name. It is part of her story, part of her history and it means “praise”.

With “Song” in mind, I wanted to be able to thank those that help me raise the funds for the incubator. I’ve been blessed to know some pretty incredible women who are both talented and have big hearts. So, I asked a few if they would create an 8×10 print with the theme “song” that I could give as a gift. I am blown away by their kindness, charity, and creativity. I’m grateful for blogging and the friends I have met through it.

flourish
Created by Julie of Joy’s Hope

poster-01

flourish

Created by Heather of Life Made Lovely
poster-02

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Created by Heather of Life Made Lovely
poster-03

flourish

Created by Lesley (my sister) of Recipe for Crazy

(it says, “A bird doesn’t sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a Song”)
poster-04

flourish

Created by Lesley (my sister) of Recipe for Crazy
poster-05

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Created by Megan of Contented Sparrow
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Created by Sarah of Sarah Jane Studios

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So here’s the details:

Donate to Love Without Boundaries, by clicking here…in the notes be sure to choose “Other Projects Fund‘ in the top box and in the special notes box type, “Guangdong Orphanage assistance Ashley Campbell

LWB will update me on the status of the project, but if donations come in faster than we are able to track them, all donations above $1,400.00 will go towards the general work of LWB. As soon as I hear that the incubator is funded, I will announce that here.

If you’d like to receive a pdf of one of the “Song” prints as a thank you from me, here are the details:

  • 1 print choice for every $20.00 donation (logistically if 1400 people each donated $1.00, I’d never get through all those emails, so I needed to set a minimum donation amount for the prints so I’ll actually be able to email them all out. Thank you for your understanding on that.)
  • After you make your donation email me at incubatorproject2012 @ yahoo (dot) com with your choice of print and the name your donation was made under. I will email you an 8×10 pdf version of the print you choose. You can then print and frame it at your convenience. I printed mine at FedEx Kinkos on Glossy cardstock…they all looked great!

flourish

Obviously, I am excited to do this in honor of my daughter. I am excited for at risk newborns to have a safe and sterile place to lie. And I am grateful to have a blog that makes a project like this even possible. My hope is that for those of you that do donate, that when you look at the print hanging on your wall….your mind will drift to a little orphanage in a rural area of Asia and to those sweet babies in the cribs. And that as your mind drifts there your life would be impacted by Song’s…that you will advocate, pray, give thanks, hug a little one a bit tighter….that a song in your heart will rise up.

UPDATE 4.17.12: The incubator was fully funded on 4.16.12. The donations that came in exceeded the amount needed and I will soon announce the LWB projects that those funds will go towards. If you would still like to donate, I will continue to send out prints as a “thank you” until the end of this week. LWB does incredible work for vulnerable babies and children, especially among those with serious health concerns. I am excited that what started as a project for an incubator will impact so many more children. Thank you.

UPDATE 4.17.12: All funds that are continued to be given will go towards sponsoring children with cleft lips & cleft palates. The sponsorships will allow them to get the necessary care before and after surgery. You can read more details about the kids we’ve sponsored together so far by clicking here. The more donations that come in means more kids will be added to this list. I will post updates on the kids throughout the next year.

 

 

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  • giozi - I will share it

  • inadvertent farmer - The picture of those little ones makes me realize the child-welfare system in which I’m a part of in this country deserves some credit. My heart is broken for those sweet, sweet babies. I cannot imagine how hard the waiting must be for you. I just donated too! Kim

  • Cathy Shealy - HI Ashley,

    I live in Bixby, OK and I have two daughters from China. One from the Yunnan Prov. and one from the Guangdong Prov., Qingcheng SWI to be exact. The waiting for your child knowing they are in an orphanage is very hard. I came to your blog because of your photography (and found you were local) as some one who wants to learn how to use my camera better and I discovered much to my delight you were waiting on your child from China. Congratulations and I can’t wait to see you holding your precious gem from China.

  • Paige Willingham - thank you. thank you for being such a beautiful vessel for the Lord. excited to help!

  • Valarie - I was online this afternoon, looking at anthropologie.com for another plate to hang on my kitchen wall that I just don’t need. For some reason I decided to do some blog surfing before I bought anything, and here you were, a reminder of what is really important in life…it surely is not found at Anthropologie no matter how much it sometimes feels that way! Thank you for the opportunity to help out. All my best to you and your family.

  • Ruth@GraceLaced - Heart moved, action taken! I’m going to share about it! <3

  • Carrie - Thank you for this awesome opportunity to make a difference! I can’t wait to see how God multiplies the effects of one little blog!

  • Annie : 6 days old » Cowtown Camera Girl Photography blog - [...] my little music pictures here of Annie with Logan’s guitar. I think it was meant to be that Ashley Ann wrote this on the same day about her own Song. Check her out. I just donated. Posted in My Life * [...]

  • Michelle Straub - Thank you for sharing this and opening your heart to others and helping to open our eyes to needs we may have never known about. I did a small donation in memory of our daughter we lost to stillbirth a couple months ago. We named her Charlotte Joy, because Joy comes in the morning, no matter how dark the night. Praying for you and your family as you go through this waiting time.

  • Hanna Finn - I think the money will be raised by the end of today! Such a great way to help directly, knowing that the money will go straight to what the orphanage needs. I like the way you explained that pretty blankets etc is not what this place needs, and have gone for something that will be LIFE CHANGING for some of the babies in this place. Good luck with your adoption journey, and thank you for sharing it with all of us. There are many many people reading your blog who never comment, but who are in awe of the way you use your blog for the benefit of others.

  • Malayka - Oh my goodness this post almost had me in tears! It reminded me of a documentary I once watched about orphanages in Romania and other Eastern block countries, it almost clean broke my heart! I think it’s a really great thing you’re doing and I wish you all the best with your daughter. x

  • Sara Torbett - Crying and crying…adoption is on our family’s heart so deeply. As I sit listening to my 10 month old roll around in her plush, mattressed crib, it just breaks my heart to think of these sweet babies with no mattress or mama. Thank-you for being a voice for these sweet children. I will be donating later today! I want to share this post with dear hubby too. Blessings Ashley!

  • Bettsi - Hi Ashley, I just made my donation- it was my honor! I have a blog too and will post about the need at the Guangdong orphanage. I’ll link over to this post.

  • Julia Leinen - this is awesome. So cool.

  • mmirandam - It is amazing what you are trying to do. I hope you will achieve. Poor little children ;)
    I can’t belive that they are living in such conditiones, and yet it’s such hard and long process to addopt one of them. Song is a very lucky girl to have you for her mum.

  • Glenda Childers - I have found the blogging world to be so sweet and generous. This is a great example. Blessings on your project.

  • julieta - Oh ashley! once again reading your blog made me cry… it´so hard to see those little ones in that cold place,and it´s so hard to believe that you have to wait so long to take your beautiful Song home… i don´t own an international card, so i can´t donate, i just can share your story so more people can know those children and help. That´s what i just did. I dont know how to really translate this, because it´just goes out of my argentinian heart!!!: sos una genia, en cada dificultad de la vida, encontras una manera de hacer el bien, no sólo para vos sino para el resto y el resultado siempre es más y más amor. It´s sort of you are a genious, before each difficulty of life you find the way to make a good thing, and the resul is always more and more love. Thank you! And all the best for you, your family and your little Song.

  • you can do it! « lovely little life - [...] via today i learned another hard part of the waiting…knowing your child is living in conditions that you don’t find personally satisfactory. sure they may be clean, well fed, and out of danger. but maybe they live without any comfort. or affection. and you can’t hold them. or rock them to sleep. because you’re on the other side of the world maybe. waiting. for the stars to align and the paperwork to be approved so you can go get your baby. [...]

  • Karen - I just donated! So excited about this project! Praying that you will raise MORE than you ever dreamed/expected! Thank you also for sharing the photo of the orphanage. I was able to share with my children the needs in China.. and all around the world.

  • Penny Sheehan - Love this and made my donation already!

  • Another chance to give money (and get something in return) | With 2 Y's - [...] please visit this blog here and help some newborn babies. And get a cute piece of art for your [...]

  • Katie - Thanks for the chance to help!

  • Julie - My heart is so sad and happy all at once. But so thankful that an incubator will be delivered and able to save babies that might not have had a chance without the gentle nudging of your heart.
    Thank you for using this little space for so much good.

  • Felicity - You know weare in this… Shauna is sending her Yangxi sister hugs and a donation too. I will link this on my Facebook page.

  • Brooke - Ashley, just the fact that you were adopting this beautiful baby girl who will be your daughter was so special. The fact that you never stop wanting to do more and help others is magical! I will be sharing this post with my follower and hope that in some small way I can help you reach this goal!

  • Leanne - Ashley – you are amazing. Donation made. We are so blessed to have what we have here. The hospital I had my babies in was a small rural hospital in Australia and it still had 2 humidicribs (as we call them here). What you are doing is wonderful. Thank you for inspiring the better person in all of us.

  • Sarah A - Wow, what a picture… I want to snuggle all those little babies. Their faces – how precious! Hard to see them through the tears. Thanks for the opportunity to be a part of helping them. Thanks for your heart – God’s heart – for the orphans.

  • Angela - http://www.amazon.com/Lily-Keri-Campbell/dp/1439213240/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1334633481&sr=8-1 My friend wrote this book after they adopted their second of three children. Her second child was adopted from China. They’d originally thought she’d spent the first year of her life entirely in the orphanage but were later grateful to find out she’d spent much of it in foster care.

  • Mindy Harris - seriously amazing. my best friend julie johnson, of the breezy acres farm blog, JUST GOT the name/picture/details of their daughter.
    so this hits really close to home.
    i am so honored to be a part of your blog community and pray the Lord blesses and multiplies your precious efforts.
    off to donate.
    lots of love, friend.

  • Donna Anderson - You are an inspiration and amazing example of God’s love. I’ve made my contribution and wish you and your family much much happiness.

  • Heather - Thanks you for the wonderful work you are doing for the children in the orphanage. My 27 year old son spent his first 11 months in an orphanage in Manila.

  • Rebecca - I guess I’m a little late, but I just made my donation! So happy to help and be a part of what you are doing for the children over there.

  • Brandon Taylor - What a great idea! If you are OK with it, I would like to feature your blog on my website.

  • Stacy E - I donated yesterday, but am just now getting around to telling you “thank you” for bringing awareness to this need and I’m so happy to help with this project! :)

  • Jules - So glad that you raised funds that quickly! Blessings to you for going beyond and doing something wonderful for the orphanage. I hope your daughter is in your arms soon!

  • Katy P - I have never considered adoption. Especially international adoption. I have two boys of my own (2 yrs and 4 months) and adoption always just seemed like something for other people to do, not me. Your post, and especially the picture, have haunted me since I saw them yesterday morning. I laid in bed last night fervently praying for those babies sleeping on slabs of wood while my son slept in a padded crib in the next room. I showed the photo to my husband and asked him through tears how it must feel to grow up not being hugged constantly, loved unconditionally, and enjoying just being a kid. I caught him looking up international adoption information on the internet last night. I don’t know what we’re called to do or if this will even turn out to be anything but I know that God used your post and that picture to plant a seed in our hearts and an unprecedented love for orphans.

  • Mishku7 - The SWI bestowed the last name of Song on the babies in honor of the Song Dynasty, which was one of the more significant dynasties with unprecedented growth in Chinese culture. During this period China was the most advanced society in the world. It is quite an honor to have our daughters last name reflect such an important era in their native country’s history. I also kept the Song name as part of my daughter’s name.

  • Tammia - Thank you, thank you. Our daugher was in the LWB program and has cleft lip/palate, so this is especially close to our heart.

  • steph anderson - I’ve always dreamed of adopting a child. You’re story is so inspiring. I have to admit, I’m worried about the financial aspect of it all. If you don’t mind me asking, how much has it cost you so far?? I just don’t know if it’s possible for us, financially.

  • Back with a little inspiriation « brown eyed quail - [...] incubator project is working to raise funds for the precious babies in her daughter’s orphanage. Her drive [...]

  • skippee - you are amazing! and truly God has planted in your heart a beautiful song that you share with others to inspire compassion and love. i will definitely be donating!

  • Aleksandra Podbereski - Speaking of “song”, have you heard of Abigail Washburn. She’s an American banjo player who spent some time in China when she was still thinking of becoming a lawyer. Needless to say, she didn’t, but she has a newish album called City of Refuge that combines American folk with traditional Chinese music. It is beautiful, and I must admit it makes me think of you when I do. I swear I’m not a salesperson — I just think you’d like it. Check it out.

  • Christy Camren - Read about your project in an email from LWB. Clicked on the link, scrolled down a bit, read “zee are here. She is here” I can’t read any more because I’m at work and it’s breaking my heart. My niece spent the first 3 years of her life in an orphanage in China physically unable to speak because of a cleft lip and palette that wasn’t repaired until she came home. She was loved but they have so little there. My heart breaks ever day for the children who are left behind and may never have a forever family. I’ll for sure be making a donation but will wait until after work because I can barely hold it together now and crying at work is never good.

    GOOD JOB MOM!!!

  • Carol LEE - Dear Ashley…I am regular follwer of LWB. My heart go out to little ones in China orphanage. Nontheless, your great effort has touch mine and thank you very much for creating this platform for me and the rest to chip in a little effort to help the “SONG”.

    Keep up your good deeds. Love.

  • Incubator Project and Amazing Inspiration | Midwest Magnolia - [...] I had hoped to raise $1,400 to go towards purchasing an incubator for my daughter’s orphanage. You can click here to read that original post. In a day that amount was raised. And then more donations kept coming. Two days later we had [...]

  • Tammy - Heart breaking. Why would anyone or any entity god or otherwise allow this to happen to a baby? Come to think of it, why would he say he loves us and then allow even more unthinkable horror happen to children, there must be another explanation.

  • Cheryl - You remind me of me, 22 years ago. We adopted boy/girl twins from Romania. They are now wonderful adults. I became very involved with the orphanage and raising money for them. Sadly, Romania no longer allows the children to be adopted from non-Romanian citizens.

  • Poison Ivy and Mother’s Day - […] Note: I learned about Love Without Boundaries several weeks ago in one of my favorite blogs, Under the Sycamore. Ashley Ann is a beautiful example of what one person can do when she lives out 1 Peter 4:10. Thank […]

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