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October 20, 2009

Dear Friends,

This has been an unusual month in Shenyang in some ways. The fear of “swine flu” has managed to close the orphanage to visitors as well as keep the orphans on the campus. This is a particular hardship for our “youth” who have been spoiled by lots of visitors in the past as well as lots of activities outside the orphanage over the years. They have managed to continue to greet each day with optimism, however, and have remained their usual sweet selves!

During the recent National Holiday, our two teachers were kind enough to take turns in coming out to the orphanage so that the youth wouldn’t be totally without activities! I know how folks look forward to regular occurring holidays so I am very grateful to our very caring and competent teachers! We would be lost without them!

It was during this same National Holiday that Migyeong wended her way to BeiJing to the great hall of the people (171,800 square meters large and able to seat 8000 people) to receive a national award as a representative of Liaoning Province. This is the “Friendship Award”, China's highest award for foreign experts who have made outstanding contributions to China's economic and social progress. Migyeong certainly fits this description as she completes her tenth year of service to handicapped Chinese orphans at the orphanage in Shenyang! She was also invited to take part in a State banquet celebrating the 60th anniversary of the PRC in the banquet hall of the Great Hall which can serve 5000 people at one time!

The occasion for this holiday is the anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, 60 years ago! Most of us remember the excitement of the bi-centennial of the USA in 1976 and this was very similar to that, one difference being the sheer amount of participants involved in the formal Chinese celebrations! I think that this is one of the most representative aspects of this country of 1.3 billion souls: you can always count on several hundred thousand taking part in just about any national gala! And, their performances are flawless, even with that huge number involved!

The Sunday following Migyeong’s return from BeiJing was a very special one for us and one of our favorite young men: LuPing. We were pleased to be able to observe and share in his excitement as he was welcomed into the “family” and partook for the first time of the bread and the wine! He was all grins and so proud of his accomplishment!

We were very excited, also, to meet and greet a couple from the States, Angie and Gary, who came to pick up their new son, Shawn, from the Shenyang orphanage. We had been corresponding for several months and it was great to actually meet them face to face! They met other children that need families while they were at the orphanage and we are encouraged by their desire to make these kids known to other families that might be interested in adopting them! With everybody helping, who knows what wonderful results might transpire?

With the orphans “confined to quarters” so to speak, we are thinking ahead to the holidays. We would like to ask those of you that want to, to think of either donating some money specifically to be used to bring in delicious food OR sending us some special dainties from the States such as instant pudding in various flavors, sugar free or sugar full! We have plenty of milk at the orphanage and this easy and fast treat can be whipped up even by the orphans themselves as a special activity. As usual, we are also in need of new and different craft ideas and supplies. We are open to suggestions which I will include in future newsletters so that, maybe, others can help with the supplies!

We would like to ask all of you to say a pr for WenRu, a four year old girl that has developed the destructive habit of hitting herself. I guess that this is not that uncommon a behavior among mentally handicapped children but we really hate to see it!

Please pr for all of our children and youth as well as the caregivers and other staff members (including Migyeong and me) as we enter winter in northeast China which can be very severe. We are currently in my least favorite period: it is already quite chilly BUT the heat has not been turned on in Shenyang and won’t be until November 1!
Thanks for your continued support of our work here. We depend on you all to “have our backs” as they say on the “cop” shows.

Much love and gratitude, Elaine and Migyeong



boys eating apples




WenXi and JiaHao 


Migyeong and Vice Premier



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