Sunday, July 2, 2017

Hearts of Hope

She called me on May 11th--the seventh anniversary of Daniel's open-heart surgery.

"Auntie Lisa?" she starts, "I have to do a personal project for my school, and I've been thinking that I want to do a fundraiser for charity. I want to do it for your charity. Can you tell me more about it?" 

Carmelina had absolutely no idea of this life-changing anniversary, or the weight that I carried in my heart that day. It could have only been a beautiful sign of hope from the Holy Spirit--a whispering as only He could give and that I so needed to hear. I burst into tears as I explained to her the meaning behind that day. We talked for a while as we narrowed down a more specific area for her project. I sent a message to a friend--another adoptive Mama--who knows the needs more precisely than I. A path was set into place, and the Hearts of Hope Event 2017 was born to benefit Open Hearts for Orphans, the charity formed in memory of our son.

This mere fifteen-year-old has been called to help heal hearts. She knew our Daniel and loved him, too. Her own mother endured two open-heart surgeries as a child, born with the same congenital heart defect as our son. This project is so filled with beauty and redemption. As a once-orphaned child herself, Carmelina recognizes the need and compassionately cares for those who are left behind. I'm not sure there are many children her age who even know about the orphan crisis. 

Many orphaned children have serious health issues and are not able to get the treatment they so desperately need. Carmelina's research tells us that Chinese authorities estimate that 98% of abandoned children have disabilities today, and the need for help is growing exponentially. The orphanages lack the funding and resources to provide the care that every child deserves. We don't often think of what happens to the children who are never adopted and forced to live on their own when they age out of the Chinese orphanage system at fourteen years of age.

Carmelina's goal is to put a pulse oximeter into every orphanage in China. This device measures how much oxygen is in the blood. Low oxygen saturation in blood can harm vital tissues and can be life threatening. Here in America, the use of pulse oximeters has become routine for diagnosing complex medical issues. But for children in orphanages? The simple, life-saving device is just--sadly--not available to them.

Through sponsorships, event tickets, and silent auction items, Carmelina hopes to raise at least $7,000 to accomplish her important goal.  Can we all rally to help her get there? She says she's "extremely proud to be a part of something that helps others and that is so personal to her and the people in her life."  Well, precious child, we are extremely proud of you and the example you are setting for others. 

Thank you for being love. And thank you for being a voice for the voiceless.

You can find all the details of the event, including sponsorship information at this link. Donations are welcome and appreciated. Thank you for spreading the word and supporting her work. And please--pray for Carmelina and for the success of her mission. 

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