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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Project Being There and a personal favor

"Orphans are easier to ignore before you know their names. 
They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. 
It is easier to pretend they’re not real before you hold them in your arms. 
But once you do, everything changes” ~David Platt 

Papa and I wholeheartedly agree.  Once you step into an orphanage your life is never the same, and it changes how you see everything. You can't un-see those faces, the smiles, the luv and the family they make of it.  And the so little that they do it with.  My memory is etched with the faces of the children in the 3 orphanages that we've been in.   In the first in Saigon the children in school, so curious about us but glued to their desks as they craned their necks to see the foreign visitors in the hall.  At the second in China, the girl that took Patch by the hand and led him all over.  For hours.  In the third in Mexico, the 9-year-old twins so closed off from everything, yet so protective of the smaller children.  They watched us like we were a rattlesnake.

I don't do it very often.  I don't think I've ever done it.  But I'm going to ask you for a favor...
for them.

In my search for Livy's graduation present, I stumbled on the small non-profit group Project Being There on an adoption group I'm a member of.  Very long story short Tracy and Steve Foster first stepped into an orphanage in Vietnam in 2002 to adopt their first of three children, and everything changed for them too. And they had to do something about it. In 2009 Project Being There was officially born. 
Tracy and a couple of the sweeties from St. An's. 
Project Being There works closely with St. An’s Orphanage, located in Nam Dinh Province, in Vietnam. St. An's orphanage has 80 children ranging in age from infant to 20 years. Including 24 children with varying special needs. In addition to doing lots of other wonderful stuff, in 2012 Project Being There started working implementing a medical management program with the University of San Francisco Nursing School Vietnam Nurse Project.  That's good stuff right there!  The diet at the orphanage is limited.  Lots of rice, a few vegetables, even fewer fruits, and occasional meats and proteins.  By 2013 they had tracked the children long enough to identify which ones were not growing or appeared to have growth issues.  The implementation of a vitamin program for these children especially will hopefully improve their health and boost their immunity.  
Just a few of the orphans who live at St. An's
Through her work, Tracy soon realized that "in order to truly accomplish our mission we would be making a very long-term commitment. Change is not easy, and it isn't fast."  I quickly appreciated that Project Being There is in this for the long haul so the children have the best that they can.  I want more people like that in my world!
The boys get me Every. Time!  Really those missing teeth?!  Oh my! 
Okay, I told you I was gonna ask you for a favor and here it is.  
I want to give these children vitamins. For my own family, I walk into a grocery store once or twice a week and fill my cart with fruits and veggies, chicken, beef, beans...  It's easy peasy stuff for me and I even have the gall to complain about doing it!  But it's not so easy for the caregivers of St. An's.  They have to do without many many things. Things that we'd likely consider necessities.  The do without things we take for granted.  (I'm going to experience that first hand very soon.)   

If you could see how little these children live with, you'd get it.  It's why Liv and I are going back.  It's why we're never going to be the same again.  I'm asking if you'd consider buying them some vitamins. As Tracy explained, Costco has a brand that's a good quality that the kiddos will actually eat.  Some things, like gummy vitamins evidently, are the same the world around!  With tax, a container with 250 "Gummy Vites" is a bit less than $15 for one container.  Please consider purchasing a container for the least of these.  Consider skipping your Starbuck's this week or making a home cooked meal rather than going out so that 250 times a child gets a boost of nutrition.  
Sweet nap time. See... some things don't change no matter where you're at!
I can't believe we're going to be wrapping our luv around THESE very children in just a few weeks!
I know a lot of the readers of my blog are most familiar with the China SWIs or CWIs.  As you know, we've adopted from both Vietnam and China.  Of course I haven't seen them all, but from what I have seen, Vietnam's orphanage have far less resources and far fewer folks trying to help.  Thus the reason we've chosen to concentrate our efforts for Vietnam's orphans.  

Would you please consider donating?  I'll be going to Costco shortly before our trip and buying up all I can with all the money collected.  You're just gonna have to trust me that that is where every single penny will go.  I promise.  And if you can't trust a crazy lady who you only know via a crazy blog on the internet, then who can you trust?  I'll keep you posted on how much we raise, and you know that I'll take pics of your donations going to the kiddos.  Please be a part of this!  Consider purchasing a container of vitamins for $15 or maybe even more than 1!  A girl can dream can't she!  I'm going to ask my kiddos if they want to be a part of it and make a contribution.  When I told my sweet friend what I was thinking about doing, she quickly said, "Count me in for $100!"  I'm glad it was an email conversation because her words instantly made me cry.  So thanks to her we have a great $100 start on Operation VietNam Orphan Vitamins!

I'm going to keep the donation button on the side bar until the purchase.  Just incase you need to clear a donation with the head budget maker of your family. 
Luv luv luv those smiles!  How can you help but smile back!  
I'm not a very good asker-for-stuff-especially-if-it's-money gal.  I hope that came off okay.


  1. Hi, I've been reading your blog for years and LOVE it! We have one daughter adopted at 7 weeks old from Nam Dinh. She is now a couple of months short of 13 and as tall as I am! It's been the best thing that ever happened to us. Three years ago we came back from spending almost 7 months in Hanoi, trying to adopt a little sister (through the British system). Although it was a spectacular failure — 6 lost referrals, including a little girl we loved and were told was ours for 3 months, and a tiny girl we waited for for almost 9 months, as well as more than $20,000 lost — we will always love Vietnam and miss being there. I envy your project — spending time in a desperately poor orphanage was one of the most rewarding moments for me. One word of caution: the orphanage we spent most time in, in Thanh Hoa province, was pretty decrepit, and yet the director was very quick to demand large sums of money. We had a very strong feeling that it stayed in his personal pocket…I'll be following your adventures with huge interest!

  2. WONDERFUL!! Cannot wait to see how many vitamins you buy! Its gonna be a lot!

  3. I'll donate right after I share this post on Pinterest and Facebook :)

  4. Just donated! From my little brood!

  5. Done! In honor of my beautiful Vietnamese daughter, Grace Thuy, and all the precious treasures at St. An's. We'll be praying for you and Livy. Kathy in Glendale

  6. Done! Love from another adoptive mom from the Netherlands who really enjoys your posts!


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