thank you. from the depths of my heart, thank you.

I am sobbing as I try to find the words to write this post. You know, the ugly cry. I don’t even know how to begin to thank you for partnering with me these past two days. What began as an idea to raise $1,400 for an incubator for my daughter’s orphanage exploded into something far bigger. As of this morning $8,000 had been raised and donations are still coming even after I shared that the incubator was fully funded. Wow.

I contacted Love Without Boundaries regarding where all the exceedingly abundant funds would be spent. We talked over many options and contacted my daughter’s orphanage. Last summer my friend Angie shared with me a photo of her daughter Emery. Since that moment little ones with cleft lips/cleft palates have had a piece of my heart that I can never get back. We are doing a special needs adoption and were open to so many different needs, including cleft lip/cleft palate.

So, I asked LWB if there was any work they were doing with cleft kids that we could help. Cleft lips and cleft palates are considered a birth defect. They are occur all over the globe. A cleft lip/palate is more than a cosmetic need. When a cleft is not repaired it affects the child’s ability to eat & grow. It affects speech.  And, obviously, they face challenges simply because we live in a world that places a crazy amount of weight on what “looks normal”.  Cleft kids often undergo numerous surgeries over the course of their lives. For those that don’t have a loving family to get them the medical treatment needed, surgery is not an option unless someone else intervenes. The surgeries these kids face are intense and highly painful. The recovery is hard and long. For kids in an orphanage, returning back to the orphanage after a surgery is a horrible option.

This is where Love Without Boundaries (and other non-profits) come in. LWB coordinates doctors & volunteers who travel and offer their time for the surgeries, but they also have a few “Healing Homes” where babies/children can come before surgery to get the nutrition and help needed to prepare for surgery. After the surgery they can return to the Healing Home where they get lots of personal care and attention while they recover and heal.

So guess what….that exceedingly abundant amount that you gave (and are continuing to give)….well it meant 9 kids have been sponsored for a full year. LWB is in China now doing a week of cleft repairs and 7 of “our kids” are having surgery THIS WEEK. That means because of your generosity, those 7 kids will return to the Healing Home to recover and all their complex medical and nutritional needs will be met over the course of the next year.

Want to meet “our kids”?
4.12myCLCPkids

Seriously, can you believe we get to be a part of their story?

You can read more details about each of them by clicking on their names below:

Asher

Bennett

Abby

Blaise

Emmerson

Jacob

Marieli

Christopher

(There is one more “Amy”, but I don’t have her link yet)

Asher had his surgery today. He is pretty swollen, but recovering well. You are a part of his healing care now!

Ashersurgery

Love Without Boundaries will be sending me updates on each of “our kids”. I think I will add a page on my blog dedicated to their stories over the next year so that those of you interested are able to follow along. This week Bennett, Abby, Blaise, Christopher, Jacob, Marieli will all be having surgery. You will be able to get updates and see their post-surgery pictures on the Love Without Boundaries Facebook page (click here to view it).

I am still sending out the prints. I will continue to do so for all donations sent in through this Friday. Once I figure out the best way to share updates on my blog, I’ll let you know that too. What a couple of days! In less than 48 hours we’ve changed the lives of some gorgeous kids and hopefully this will all lead to families adopting these little ones. Click here to read the post for more info on how and where to donate (scroll to the bottom).

Thank you….deep, deep, deep thank you.

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  • devon - this is so beautiful. there arent many words to describe how wonderful what you are doing for these children is. adoption as a whole is an amazing gift you are giving these babies.
    i was born with a cleft lip/palate and have had many, many surgeries. my first was when i was a few days old and my last one was when i was 17. i am now 32. although i am an american and was fortunate to be born to a family that could ‘afford’ my surgeries, it has been no easy road. the physical part of having a cleft lip/ palate is, in my opinion, the most grueling. you know you are different – you know you look different than everyone else – even if you had fantastic plastic surgery and people tell you ‘they cant tell’. my point is, these babies were unfortunately born with this defect – but they are beyond blessed to have you take them into your lives and give them the chance they so deserve.
    god bless you all.

  • Tanya@TakeSix - Praise God \o/

    Ashley it is such a privilege to be a part of this. Guess who’s doing the big ugly cry now!

  • sarah - such wonderful news!!! God is good!!

  • tracy a - oh friend, this is so, so great. I am so glad to be a part of this! thank you for paving the way…

  • Jules - So amazing! God is good.

  • Holly - From the Coordiantor of the Anhui Helaing Home thank you so much for raising these extra funds for the cleft babies in the healing homes! LWB provides such an important service to help get these kids the right nutrition and feeding and eventually thier surgeries. You will be amazed at the difference in these kids in a short period of time. I look forward to having you follow along with Asher and Emerson our newest admission to our home!

  • Amy Beachy - WOW!
    God is good. All the time!

  • Moriah - How great is this! I love that you have shared this and I am so excited to be a part of it. Thank you and I wish the babies a speedy recovery from there procedures! Tears of joy!

  • Kaite - Thank you Ashley for doing this!! While I personally can’t financially contribute, my parents sponsor a little girl “Emma Grace” through LWB. She’s so precious and I LOVE what LWB does! (my sister is from China so they do anything they can to help!)
    Also, my brother was born with a cleft lip & palate, and I saw the dozens of surgery’s he had to go through. Now he’s a confident 26 year old who is quite the ladies man ha! But it also puts my husband and I at a higher risk than the general public to have a baby with a cleft… so this is huge on my heart. We will be praying for all those BEAUTIFUL babies.
    I am SO happy for you and your family, I feel like I’m reliving my parents journey 7 years ago to adopt my sister. I can’t imagine my life without her.

  • Marcy - I have tears rolling down my face. This is amazing! THANK YOU for what you have done. I’ve volunteered for Love Without Boundaries for several years now and have seen firsthand what an incredibly efficient, capable, loving organization this is. Everone who has donated can be absolutely certain that every single dollar will be put to its very best possible use for the children. Children’s lives WILL be greatly changed because of your generosity. Bless you all.

  • Amber McGinnis - This is beyond amazing! What a wonderful story of God’s people coming together to do his work! Absolutely a great blessing!

  • living eventfully - GO JESUS! GO ASHLEY!! I have to ask….who “named” these little blessings?? I have a Bennett and I was just so tickled to see one of the babies with his name!

  • Donald White - I am the Chairman of the Board of LWB and on behalf of our over 150 worldwide volunteers I want to personally thank everyone of you for doing the most selfless thing in the world – helping a kid you will never know! This is so amazing but I see it a lot! The truest form of charity is when you give with no hope of what you give helping you. Blessings to all of you. You are warriors for these little guys that without you would have no one supporting them.

  • Sarah - WOW Ashley. Love seeing these faces and hearing your heart. Thanks for blessing me. Thanks for blessing them. As a mama of 2 cleft effected treasures from China, you have no idea the huge impact this will make on their lives both now and once they’re placed in their forever families. Awesome idea. Just beautiful. Look what God can do!! Way to go, lady.
    And now, on to bringing YOUR precious one home!

  • Tammy - I would like to thank you for letting me be a part of this. It is such an amazing thing, and the best $20 I have ever given/spent on anything. I wish I had more. You don’t normally get to have such personal knowledge of how donations help an individual(s), and this has touched me more than you will ever know. I have just posted a link to my facebook page, as well, so hopefully others will be inspired to participate further. I love this. Again, thank you!

  • Heather - Bless you, and your big heart!

    I gave away a couch and loveseat on Monday, and the recipient pressed two $20 bills into my hand as he got into his truck. I tried and tried to give it back, and he suggested that I donate it to a good cause. And then I read your blog a few minutes later, and I knew exactly where it would go. I volunteer for LWB, and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart!

  • Patti Kellett - My name is Patti Kellett and I coordinate the Love Without Boundaries Henan Healing Home where 5 of the babies that you are all helping live. We focus on helping some of the most fragile babies with cleft lip and/or cleft plates. These babies require more time to nurse their formula and special bottles since they often can’t swallow. The nannies at the home have a special way of loving unconditionally and helping failure to thrive babies quickly turn around. We love them for their selfless work! Check out the LWB Blog about the cleft trip to see the story of Maireli’s and Michael’s surgeries! Thank you to all of you for giving to help them!!!!!!!

  • Jane in Canada - Ashley, as you can imagine, I often look after babies with cleft, lip and palate (CLP). I meet with parents before babies are born because it is often identified during the pregnancy on ultrasound. After babies are born, I set them up with an extensive CLP team at Sick Kids hospital in Toronto. This team provides amazing care to children with CLP – plastic surgeon, orthodontist, speech therapist, occupational therapist, general pediatrician, hearing tests are arranged, etc. It always overwhelms me to realize what incredible medical care children born in North America are entitled to, just because of geography. So many children around the world do not have the same luxury. Thank you for making the care that these babies need happen through your wonderful blog.

  • Mischelle - Thank you for what you are doing!! We adopted a little boy w/ CL/CP from the Fujian Province about 1 1/2 years ago. The Healing Home in Fuzhou City was opening the week we were there, so we got to tour the home and see the amazing work LWB is doing! There was such a stark contrast between the orphanage where our son lived the first year of his life and the LWB Healing Home we visited!

  • Friday Delights « homely house - [...]  Under the Sycamore - now this is a blog worth reading.  This sweet mom of 4 (who is currently in the adoption [...]

  • Dawn - Ashley, this is incredible. What you’ve done is so beautiful.

  • Sharon Dalton - Hi Ashley,

    OMG!!! Seeing these lil babies with Cleft Lip/Cleft Palates brings back so many memories for me – my son was born with a bilateral cleft of lip and palate almost 23yrs ago….he is still having surgeries!!! There is a long road ahead for them, wish there was something I could do to support this cause from Australia!!!

    Please email me and let me know what I can do to help
    Cheers Sharon Dalton

  • Becky - I’ve just found your blog and have loved every minute of it so far. What an incredible story you have to tell. Your family is beautiful and so is your heart.

  • maria laura - love your story of life. This is awesome… God bless your family. wish you the best ..from Argentina.

  • Corene Goodenough - Hi there, simply was {aware of|alert

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