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Chinese orphanages.

Impossible Is Nothing

Permisson is granted to reprint this article in any Families with Children from China Newsletter



What would you do if a dream that seemed absolutely impossible suddenly came true with hardly any effort on your part? Your life as you know it will forever be altered and if you were to make this commitment it will be a decision that will commandeer the rest of the time that you are alive.

My impossible dream: Opening an orphanage in China. I had never considered that there was even the remotest possibility that as a foreigner, I would be granted permission to start. A casual conversation on the way home from the government orphanage, where I had been volunteering for the past six months, turned into the stunning news four days later that I could go ahead. Where were the piles of paperwork, the months of waiting and the endless visits to government offices? What had happened to the famous slow grind of bureaucracy? The speed at which this took place scared me and it took me a while to come to terms with what it all meant. A few months earlier I had asked to become a foster parent and was turned down flat. Now I was offered as many babies as I could handle. What a paradigm shift!

If I was a logical woman I would have made a run for it. I was about to accept a lucrative job offer in Korea which included a two year Masters degree. My heart, however, could not pass up this chance to make a difference in the life of a child. I threw all caution to the wind and without much preparation, I forged ahead. There was no time for very careful budgeting, cost analysis or professional looking grant proposals to philanthropic organizations. I was not going to let some small, tiny, insignificant detail like money stop me from passing up this golden opportunity, so I delved into my savings account. Tom Brokaw once said something along the lines of: Making money is easy, but making a difference is decidedly more difficult.

So here I am almost a month after the arrival of the babies, five girls and a boy. As you can well imagine the morning of Sept 13, 2005 was filled with much emotion. The learning curve has been steep, the experience exhausting and the benefits truly inspiring. Nothing compares with the fact that three of the girls, who were malnourished, underweight and expected to die, have had their lives saved. Not only that, but that they are thriving.

I am looking forward to our first adoption, which is going to be a bittersweet experience. I clearly understand my purpose in all of this. I am to be a provider, protector, defender and a record keeper for these defenseless children. I am to prepare them to be placed in the arms of a new mom and a dad. I hope that in the future, they will know that during this time of rejection and abandonment, they were also wanted, cared for and loved by many people who have put forth so much effort on their behalf. I think about meeting them years from now, knowing that they have grown up healthy, happy and have been blessed by love.

As I sit here at 3:55am, everyone is asleep which makes it a perfect time to write down some thoughts. I keep watch over them, accompanied by baby sounds: The snores, grunts, groans, sucking noises and the occasional cough.

I have become bolder in my dreams of the impossible and my expectations have been raised considerably. I dream of hundreds of children in a bi-lingual environment, family style housing, a school, an army of local and international volunteers and teachers, medical care, a website, a foundation and first rate special education facilities. I still harbor one huge secret dream, which I will continue to keep close to my heart. Maybe one of these days I will tell you that this too, has come true. I often see the slogan on billboards around China and I now know that it is true: Impossible is nothing.

I am off to the mundane tasks of having a baby, multiplied by six. The 24-hour-on-demand-bottle-delivery system, the never ending diapers and the mountains of laundry…..

Amanda de Lange
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Xian, China




How to help the Children:

From Amanda:

I need help in three areas: The most urgent, monthly expenses and less so medical expenses and a least urgent one, a building fund for a future orphanage. The mayor of Xian has offered to give us some property.

My daily expenses cover things like diapers, formula, wet wipes and drinking water. The monthly expenses rent, utilities etc. These run at about US$ 1200 to US$1400 a month based on the first six weeks. This will change as I find interns or long term volunteers and they will help cover the rent. I am also in need of a dryer, some rocking baby chairs and strollers.

Some of the babies have medical needs which I need to take care of so that they can become viable for adoption. These needs range from webbed finger separation, a cleft palette operation to a spina bifida sack on the back of a babies neck. The most severe is a heart operation. I am not exactly sure what is going to be needed for that. I am contacting some places so that there will be some medical missions to China and I have also been in touch with Steven Tam in Tianjin, an LDS man, who runs a foundation called Hands of Hope, based in Colorado. Their mission is to provide medical care for orphans so that they can be adopted. They are willing to help us funnel money to China and also take care of some medical expenses. They will send the necessary tax information to you, so please be sure to include all relevant information.

Checks should be addressed to:
Hands of Hope Medical Foundation
c/o Mark L. Sabey
6132 S. Marion Way
Littleton, Colorado 80121

Please make sure you make mention that it is for the Amanda's orphanage in Xian.

©2005 by Amanda de Lange

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