Here are SOME, tho' not all, of the wonderful people working behind the scenes to make our work possible for the children in China.
I am Sharon, proud as punch mummy to Tilly aged 5 ½ adopted in Nanning in 2006, married to the lovely Paul – we all live in Bath.
As an adoptive mother life takes unusual twists and turns but certainly one of the HUGE benefits of adopting is that your world gets opened up to a wonderful community of like minded people. Through adoption I have met some of my greatest friends, and have also adopted a wonderful country - China. At first China seemed to me (as a great traveller, though never to China) to be a country that didn’t really interest me, it certainly wasn’t on my wish list of places to visit– it felt cold and austere, unwelcoming to my ignorant eye.
When we nervously visited Nanning in 2006 to adopt Tilly I was expecting a frosty reception, cold business-like, efficient people and that we would be quick in and quick out. Of course our experience couldn’t have been further from that, Nanning is a wonderful city, the people (well those that we met) including the amazing Matthew were beyond nice, there was plenty of warmth and welcome, how wrong I’d been. I remember the flight back to the UK with Tilly for that first time and I remember then wondering how quickly I could get back to that wonderful country and explore more of my daughters heritage.
In 2009 we returned – again a wonderful trip and on that trip we spent a week with Matthew, walking in his shadow, lapping up his stories, marvelling at his life experience. We saw the SWI’s from a different light, saw the great needs that China has and the huge difference that Hope4China was providing.
I was ‘in’ hook, line and sinker and just wanted to do more, on the blower to Linda as soon as I returned.
So, now I hold the proud title of ‘Nanning Mama’, I get to facilitate the arrival and safe dispatch of all the reports of our sponsored children in Nanning – who would have thought it! And it’s a role I do with honour and privilege. I love sending out those reports to the wonderful people who pay each month to sponsor the kids. As a sponsor myself I love getting the reports of the little girl that we sponsor and seeing her grow and thrive in a foster family, something that wouldn’t happen without our contributions.
My friends ask why do I help a country like China that is so rich and has so much – why can’t they help their own kids – and I answer because life is unfair and every child deserves a family so where there is a need (a big need such as that in China) then the country doesn’t matter, but the child certainly does.
I’m going on a bit ( I do that ;-) but I am so chuffed to be part of this team.
The boring bit and some credentials are that I am trained in family systemic psychotherapy, positive psychology, transactional analysis etc........ I have worked with children on the ‘at risk’ register in UK schools and within a CAMhs team and continue to work with families day in day out as part of my day job as an executive coach for working parents.
My final word on all this ;-) is that small charities really DO make a difference, no large admin costs and bureaucracy – every penny really does count and that inspires me too……thank you for reading if you made it to the end ;-)
Hi all Hope4China friends!
My name is Marion and I live in Fife, Scotland not too far from Linda and her wonderful family. I have known Linda for years now and have always marveled at the work she and Iain tirelessly carry out to give the girls in China a better life, so I am delighted to be an official part of the ‘Team’
I have two daughters, Amy aged 22 and Maisie aged 5. Maisie was adopted from China 4 years ago. Like all of us here, the children and teenagers ‘Hope4China’ and ‘Grace and Hope’ support have a special place in my heart. I was particularly delighted and honoured when Linda asked me to be the "Yongning Mama" as all the children in this group have special needs.
Anyone who knows me will know that this is my passion in life!!!!!!!
I have worked with children with a wide variety of very special needs for the last 21 years and my eldest daughter also has complex special needs so I feel I have a real connection with these children and the staff who work to support them in China.
I am also delighted to hear that ‘Hope4China’ is going to be developing further links with children who have special needs by helping provide appropriate equipment for them and training for staff. Provision for children with special needs in China is severely lacking. Equipment is expensive, training difficult to access and general understanding and acceptance of special needs has a long, long way to go. ‘Hope4China’ is taking small steps to try to address these issues where possible.
We have 5 daughters (ranging in age from almost 30 to 4), one son-in-law, one grand-daughter and one soon-to-be son-in law. Our youngest two girls are adopted from China - Abbie Jiang Ya, 9 and has been with us since 2002, Lian Hai Yan is 4 and has been a precious part of our family since 2006.
We met Linda and Iain years ago - not long after Eilidh Fu Yi joined their family. They were living on Skye, and used to "pop in" as they went past. Linda shared her vision for helping the children who had been "left behind" in China - those who weren't considered "right" for adoption by the authorities, and it just struck such a chord with me that I knew there and then that I had to help as much as I could, and the fact that everyone would give their time voluntarily meant such a lot to me (I really object to giving to charities that turn out to have big fancy offices and loads of paid staff, and adverts on the TV and in the press - all the money needed to pay for those things comes from the donations that people give, and that to me seems just wrong!). So we began by sponsoring a child, and then another, and another. We heard that one of our sponsored children had been adopted and we were able to get in touch with the new parents and share photos and reports with them - I cried when I heard that one of "our" children had found a "forever family", I was just so happy.
You perhaps have read of a mad man that runs marathons - well, that's David. He opens a Just-giving page and every penny he raises in sponsorship goes straight to Hope4China. His sponsor money has gone to help with medical expenses, long term fostering, special needs children and much more....
I have taken on one of the Fund-raising roles for Hope4China - I sell on E-bay and my seller's name is hope4china (what else could it be?) 100% of the price paid by anyone for anything that I sell goes straight to our fantastic cause - and I calculate the cost of postage and packing to make certain that I don't lose out on that. I donate all listing fees, to make sure that Hope4China gets every penny that is paid.
Hi, my name is Shawn.
I'm a proud Mama to 5 precious children, with number 6 on the way.
Our children's ages start at 24 and at present , encompass our youngest who is 4 and three quarters, as she never ceases to inform us.
I come from Sao Paulo, Brasil, and have been married to Chris an English country vet for 27 years.
We lived in Tanzania in East Africa for 6 of those years, where 4 of our children were brought up , with our youngest son being born there, at home: )
Our youngest daughter comes from Xiangfan in Hubei province and our baby on the way is being adopted from Ethiopia.
I have a passion for babies, toddlers and all children,
and adoption has been a dream come true.I have a varied training background, but my principal role with Hope4China is that of a Neuro Developmental Delay Therapist, which means I look at children with and without known Special needs, try to identify and help remedy, through specific excercises, delays that children may be experiencing in Gross and fine motor control, problems with balance an coordination, sensory issues and behaviourl challenges due to poor posture, concentration and inability to retain information due to over stimulation or high alertness.
I have been priviledged to work in China in Orphanages and Foster Homes, teaching and training staff and foster parents in the Neuro Movement Program which also has a very strong bias in bonding and attachment, which I have developed through my training with Birthlight and INPP (Institute of Neuro Physiological Physchology Chester)
I also work extensively in aquatic therapy, much of my training been undertaken through Birthlight, a charitable teaching trust which focuses on conception, pregnancy, birth and beyond, within the yoga and aquatic environment, to which I am one of the Senior Tutors.
I also teach swimming to Children and adults with and without Special needs, which has also been introduced to a small number of orphanages in China last August, this is an area which I hope we will be able to develop further with Hope4China.
My latest training has been in the American Method of Theraplay, a method which has complemented and enhanced my understanding and training for working with children from hard places.
I am honoured to be invited to join the Hope4China team and hope to be able to bring to this gifted body of people, knowledge and insight in my specific area of work.
And a word from Ellen, The Guangxi Girls ( GGEF) Mama......
For my husband and I, adopting our daughter, Annaliesa, from China in 2006 has been our single most wonderful blessing. As well as the joy that entered our lives when Annaliesa became part of our family, we continue to be gifted with friends, opportunities and experiences that we might otherwise not have been fortunate to welcome to our lives.
And becoming associated with Hope4China is one of those good fortunes that has blessed our family! We had been considering how we could support our daughter in staying connected to her birth culture, and sponsoring a beautiful young girl through Hope4China was our answer. As I learned more about Hope4China and GGEF, I soon realized that my heart was wanting to be more involved in somehow making a difference in the lives of the girls associated with Hope4China.
As much of my career has been nurtured in environments teaching and mentoring young people and adults, it seemed serendipity that I can now share some of my life talents in a multitude of ways with Hope4China. In particular, I hope to have plenty of opportunity over the coming years to work directly with the girls in the GGEF programme, both through helping to manage their sponsorships and through meeting and mentoring the girls themselves during visits to China. My dream is to help inspire the girls to expand their life vision – to value themselves through a strong sense of self-acceptance, to believe in themselves with a robust sense of self-confidence, and to trust themselves to know how to navigate their world in the fullest way possible.
It is such a privilege to belong to this amazing team for Hope4China. And I am honoured that the Greenshields family has placed their trust and enthusiasm in the vision that we will, together, create and sustain for Hope4China.
....I also have to mention so many others........ like my friend, Manna in Finland, who creates wonderful photo pages for us, another wonderful lady from Finland, Pauliina, who has just arranged an incredible publishing Event for Hope4China........more later ;-), Desheng families, friends in Spain, Anne who is looking at "big funding", the many friends around the world who run marathons, help arrange events, gather donations for orphanages, offer support...and help in so, so many ways. The list is endless........
And of course our faithful sponsors, big and small, too many to mention,
without whom NONE of this could happen!!!!!!!
So privileged to be part of this extraordinary Team...
and excited to be getting ready for the 2010 trip to China!