Adoption

Adoption Thanks to All!

I attended a neighbor’s party this afternoon, to celebrate their son’s Christian confirmation. While there, I chatted with other neighbors of ours, who I heard adopted a seven-year-old from Poland in June. I’ve been so busy this summer I had yet to meet him. And then, there he was…. beautiful child, happily playing with the neighborhood kids. His parents in Poland were alcoholics, and he was placed in the orphanage at age 5 with his siblings. There was evidence of abuse. And here he was, running on the lawn in the sunshine, healthy, eating cake and having a Sprite. What a lucky boy… which made me think of the Luckeys of Michigan, who we helped just two weeks ago with our fundraising email blast. Within 36 hours we exceeded the $10,000 goal, and eventually raised $17,000, to help them bring Lu Feng, an eight-year-old orphan with hemophilia, to his new home here in the US. And when I returned home, I had a message from Shari Luckey, asking me to share her letter this week with everyone reading the blog:

“This community, which we have been blessed to be a part of, has amazed us with their quick response to help our family bring Lu Feng home. We were so appreciative to you when we began this journey for your support and encouragement of our decision as a family to bring Lu Feng into our home as a son and brother to our three other children. From your initial email telling about this eight-year-old boy in China, your efforts to get factor to him and your pledge to get the word out to the hemophilia community that our family needed financial help to make this dream come true, you have never wavered from your commitment to our little boy in China. For that we will be forever grateful.

“When we began the fundraiser and the first donations began pouring in, we sat at the computer with tears of relief rolling down our faces. We never imagined that in less than three days, we would have not only met our goal, but surpassed it by more than 50%. With the funds that have been raised, we will be able to pay all of our remaining fees for the adoption, purchase our airfare, and have enough left to cover the majority of our living expenses (hotel, food and travel) while in China. Thank you does not seem sufficient to express our feelings of appreciation for those who donated and made this a reality.

“Currently it has been 63 days since China logged in our adoption paperwork as received. Typically it takes them around 90 days to process this paperwork, give or take several weeks. Once we receive the official travel approval from China we have a little more paperwork here in the states and then we arrange our travel and plan our trip. We are unsure at this point if we will be traveling in 2009 or at the beginning of 2010. We will keep you posted as the journey unfolds. We are busy at home preparing for Lu Feng’s arrival. Bedrooms have been reassigned and redecoration efforts are underway. Two weeks ago, we purchased a bedroom set for Lu Feng with bed, armoire, desk and chair. We are excited for him to see his new home and his very own room!

“When Lu Feng is able to understand, we will tell him how cared for and loved he was from the very beginning of his life. Loved by his birth parents who had the courage when he was only a year old to leave him at the one place they knew could help him, the hospital; cared for by the Chinese doctors that gave him the best treatments they could with the resources available to them; cared for and loved by the caregivers at the orphanage on a daily basis; cared for by the hemophilia community around the world, who united to get him medication and help bring him to the United States; and finally loved by his forever family in Michigan, before we ever even met him. He has a mother, father, big brother and two big sisters, three grandparents, aunts, uncles and nine cousins waiting for him here in Michigan to love and support him from the day he arrives home and forever.


Again we thank you all for your support and will keep you updated as we move forward.”

Gratefully yours,
Dave, Shari and the (now) 4 Luckey Children

We look forward to hearing about the Luckey’s adventure in China, and the homecoming trip, and to one day meeting Lu Feng, a very special little boy.

A “Luckey” Boy

Imagine your little boy with hemophilia abandoned, left in an orphanage, with no factor. It seems impossible, inhuman. You can only imagine the depths of despair or fear that cause parents to abandon their child.

Lu Feng, age 8, was abandoned when his parents learned he had hemophilia. In China, families are permitted only one child. This doesn’t stop parents from abandoning one if it is not desirable. Girls get abandoned, and so do physically defective children, especially when there is no treatment for him. Lu Feng has been in an orphanage most of his young life.

We were contacted by the adoption agency: would anyone in the hemophilia community be interested? We sent out an email in March, and within one week we had serious replies. Eventually, one family was selected … the Luckeys of Michigan. Their son Jay has hemophilia and an inhibitor. I met Dave and Shari a few years ago at a consumer meeting. Nice people: intelligent, warm, educated and informed.

I was thrilled to hear they had been selected! But big barriers remained. Step 1, we had to get factor to Lu Feng, to keep him healthy until he made it “home,” to America. That was easily done. We have excellent contacts in China from our humanitarian work there. Delin Kong, person with hemophilia and one of the founders of the Hemophilia Home of China, immediately got in touch with the orphanages and doctors, and we had the shipment approved.

Step 2: raise money. The Luckeys used every bit of their life savings, $13,000, to put towards the adoption. But the expenses required at least $10,000 more dollars, a fortune for them. The adoption agency created an Active.com page, and we offered to alert the entire community from our database, over 3,000 US families with hemophilia. Within five minutes we had money coming in. Within hours, thousands. Within 30 hours, we had raised over $15,000.

Clearly, there is something about saving the life of one child that is compelling. And the US hemophilia community cares deeply about children with hemophilia in developing countries.

Lu Feng has a family, at long last. His new brother and sisters are waiting to meet him in Michigan. The Luckeys were overwhelmed by the outpouring they experienced. Dave says, “I can truly say that I am humbled by the generosity. We had been worried about how we would finance the remainder and were going to have to use our home equity line of credit. Obviously that was making us fairly nervous. I wish I had words to express our gratitude but I can honestly say there are none that would justly convey the emotion.”

Thanks to everyone who donated! You have helped to completely change the life of one little boy, who, left parentless in China, faced certain early death. He now has a shot at life, and in America! But above all, thanks to Dave and Shari for opening their hearts and home and lives to welcome Lu Feng.

Maybe Madonna Had it Right

Such hullaballoo when Madonna tries to adopt a second child from Malawai. Some of the news articles got nasty and personal about this. (Never heard a peep when Brangelina adopted again, and again, and again…)

Well, I’m happy to report that the little boy from China with hemophilia, living in an orphangae with no factor, has an adoption underway! We were able to find him a family in about a week, using our connections in the community. So, maybe we can do it again?

Here are two children looking for homes:

From Holt International:

“This sweet boy, born January 7, 2001, is described as playful, social, and always having a smile on his face. He has a wheat complexion with big, dark, expressive eyes. He attends an informal school and knows his body parts, numbers up to 20, days of the week and months of the year. He reportedly likes to color and put together puzzles. He understands simple instructions given in English. It’s noted that he can write his name and copy a few letters in both English and his native language, but doesn’t recognize it. He helps the staff and his peers whenever needed. This little guy has hemophilia, also known as factor VIII deficiency. He is very compliant with precautions needed to protect himself such as wearing knee and elbow pads and taking his medication. This charming boy needs a forever family who has parented past his age and has access to the resources he needs.

“To adopt this child, there must be no more than 45 years age difference between older parent and child, and there is a maximum of 85 years difference between combined age of parents and child. Single applicants are accepted on a case-by-case basis. Up to 4 children in the home* See country criteria for complete requirements.
http://www.holtintl.org/cgi/photolisting/3.cgi
ID: B08-50

And from Partners for Adoption:

“Alina” is a lovely 10 year old girl who is warm and friendly, and extremely outgoing. She also has hemophilia, and as such, requires parents who are able to help her manage this condition. She is in Eastern Europe and waits eagerly for her forever family. For more information about how to adopt her please contact Partners for Adoption, jen@partnersforadoption.org, 925-946-9658. http://www.partnersforadoption.org/waiting_children.shtml

If you know a family that is looking to adopt a child with hemophilia (and about 10 contacted us), please contact the adoption agencies above directly. Maybe you’ll have more success than Madonna did this week.

Weird Book I Just Read
The Politics of Stupid by Susan Powter
Susan Powter–you know, the shaved-head, frantic fitness lady who practically invented the infomercial in the 1980s. I happen to like her style, and so picked up her book on diet and health. Why am I not surprised. It’s actually not a bad message: she has excellent things to say about how we are mislead by the media about diet and exercise; about how we need to get moving and eat better food, but mostly get moving; and how being age 50 can actually be the best time of your life. Great message; entertaining messenger. The book is hardly a book; it truly reads like someone transcribed one of her one hour infomercials and made a book out of it. It’s okay if you want an entertaining and pretty raucous pep talk and motivation. But don’t expect too much information. The facts are thin; the rhetoric laid on like slabs of butter. One star.

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