hemophilia adoption

Thanks to All for Luke’s New Life!

You may recall that last fall we received notice about an orphan with hemophilia in China. A quick email to our readers, and within one week–which is completely amazing–we had a family to adopt him. Within 48 hours my readers had raised $17,000 on line to help pay his fees and travel for his new family to get him. And within just a few months, Lu Feng was enrolled in a new American school! I’ve been told that Chinese adoptions can take up to two years. This adoption was almost miraculous; thanks to Homeland Adoption agency for facilitating this, and to all of you who helped. Here’s an update on “Luke”:

“We wanted to say thank you for your generous donation for our adoption of Lu Feng. Our family can never thank you enough for your kind support. It means so much to us that the hemophilia community showed so much compassion and concern for a small boy living with hemophilia, in a Chinese orphanage. The success of the fundraiser was overwhelming to us. We raised enough funds to pay the rest of our adoption fees. We also had enough to cover a good portion of the costs of travel and living expenses in China.

“Here is a brief update of our recent trip. We left for China on January 20 and we met and received custody of Lu Feng on January 25. Two days after we received Lu Feng, he had a knee bleed. We were unable to get factor concentrate, so we treated his pain and iced. We borrowed a wheelchair for the rest of our time in China. Lu Feng had never been in a wheelchair before and loved the new sense of freedom he had. Previously, he was confined to bed when he had a bleed. We stayed in China for another two weeks, for paperwork and legal processing of all the documentation. Two days prior to leaving China, Lu Feng had had enough of the terrible job we did pronouncing his name. We thought and thought and finally asked him what he thought of the name Luke. He loved it, and we have called him Luke ever since.

“We arrived home on February 7 and were so happy to be reunited with our 3 children we had left behind. Luke is settling in nicely to family life. He started school the week after he arrived home and is in the third grade. He loves school and looks forward to it every day. He’s learning the English language very quickly and has learned many words and phrases adding to his English mastery each day. We are making an effort to continue exposing him to Mandarin speakers, whenever we have the chance, to keep his native language abilities intact.

“We have already had several doctors appointments and Luke has started physical therapy to increase overall strength and range of motion of his right knee. He is in the process of getting up to date on all his immunizations. He’s already gained 5 pounds, which is great, since he is quite underweight.

“We are so happy that Luke is here in the United States of America. Here, he is a son, a little brother, a grandson, a nephew, and a cousin. Here, he will get the best medical care available for his bleeding disorder. Here, he will never feel hungry. Here, he will be able to continue to be a part of the Chinese culture. He has already introduced his new family, to so many new foods and he teaches us new Mandarin words each day. We are excited to blend the Chinese and American cultures together in our home. Thanks to you all!”

The Luckey Family

Great Book I Just Read
The Great Influenza by John M. Barry
This book provides an exhaustive history of the 1918 outbreak of the Spanish flu, which is described as the most deadly known pandemic in history. I had always heard of this flu, but had no idea the story behind it, why it was so deadly. It was a perfect storm: an outbreak of a particularly virulent flu happening at war time. With troops packed into tents and barracks, and traveling cross continents en masse, the flu virus laid waste to countries around the world, to the troops, closed down major cities, left behind tens of thousands of orphans and overwhelmed the nation’s healthcare system. This book is also a detailed study of the history of US medicine: as little as one hundred years ago you didn’t even need a college degree to go to medical school! William Welch is the founder of the US medical system, which modeled itself after Europe’s. The book provides in-depth history into the research institutes, the key players, and their research to race for a vaccine for the 1918 pandemic. Over 500 pages, you will gain huge respect for our physicians, researchers, nurses, and even the virus itself. This is an amazing piece of research and asks probing questions. Four stars.

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.

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