The Ann Children's Fund is happy to provide hope and help to Ayina and Easten. Ayina has Spina Bifida and Easten has Osteogenesis Imperfecta. They are both in need of an adaptive bike to help in their therapy to improve knee flexion and hip placement. Thanks to generosity of our donors we are able to assist with this need.
James and Jenny were married for 20 years. Early in their marriage they felt led to adopt. Between 2007 and 2016 they adopted four children with various special needs. A loving father, James was a disabled veteran who had served in the Navy for over 14 years. Completely devoted to his family, James suffered substantial medical problems since December 2020. The family struggled watching their father under the weight of these medical challenges, which also made it difficult for him to work. In October, 2021 James passed away unexpectedly from COVID complications. Jenny, a stay-at-home mom, was left to find a way to make the mortgage payments and pay for the food and medical needs of their family. A good friend of Jenny's connected her with The Ann Children's Fund so that we could assist. Within three days of James' passing, we were able to provide the family with their next four mortgage payments and remain in contact with this family to help if needed.
Hannah was adopted from China at the age of 7. At the time she came to America, her fondest wish was to be able to walk. She asked her parents about it every day. While in China, Hannah had undergone multiple surgeries to correct her limb issues. These surgeries were not successful, and in some cases, caused Hannah to actually regress.
Through God's grace and the will of determined parents, Hannah was connected with skilled surgeons who have now performed two extensive surgeries to enable her to walk. The pictures below show how a girl who once could not stand upright is now able to stand straight. Today, she is able to ride a bike and run. Part of this success is due to the Ann Children's Fund. We are thrilled to have been able to improve Hannah's quality of life, and to make her dream of walking a reality.
Above is a picture of one of Ann's friends - Hannah. As you can see, Hannah's body hasn't allowed her to live out her dreams - so her parents took her for surgery and therapy.
And that's where The Ann Children's Fund stepped in, helping cover the specialized therapy Hannah needed. This picture, taken shortly after surgery, was just the first step for a joyful girl who now lives her dream of walking - and dancing!
I’m a single mom who has adopted three children with special needs. My sons, Julian and Liam, have bleeding disorders and my daughter Anne has a repaired cleft lip and palate and hearing loss. She’s named after my mother who was one of the strongest, most incredible women I’ve ever known. If my daughter grows up to be half the woman she was, I will be delighted. Unfortunately, my mother passed away before I brought my children home, although she did know I planned to adopt internationally and she was looking forward to meeting them.
When I first began the adoption process, I wasn’t considering special needs at all. I just wanted to find my kids and bring them home. I ended up adopting my oldest son from Bulgaria. I was planning to get on the wait list for a child when they sent me a paragraph about a five-year old being added to the special needs list who had Hemophilia. I called my sister (a doctor) and she said "no problem – go get him!" and we did. It turned out to be more than I expected (his medical records had his condition listed as much less severe) and I’m very grateful I didn’t know in advance what to expect. We were hospitalized for several days within a couple of weeks of returning home and again for 8 days after we’d been home six weeks. We’ve often been hospitalized multiple times per year since then, although we’ve now gone nearly a year without being admitted.
I’ve learned a tremendous amount since then – about adoption, about Hemophilia, about Julian himself, about the importance of community. During these years, so many people gave me hope and comfort – non-profits, hospitals, doctors, online communities, churches, friends, family, etc. And it became clear to me how important it was for us to have this network. It can be so incredibly isolating to parent a child with a rare or significant need. Finding someone who understands what you mean when you say "his bloodwork came back X" meant the world to me, as did finding someone who could help me navigate insurance questions, and others who could help me cover the cost of dental work for a kid from a non-fluoride country, etc. So, when Lori called me and told me she wanted to build The Ann Children’s Fund to connect people and resources and fill in any gaps we might see, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to provide the kind of hope and help which have seen me through these years.
In fact, these communities are the reason why I was able to go back and adopt Liam (who has Von Willebrand Disease) and my daughter Anne. I knew that these communities would be there for me and support me just as surely as they had with my first child. And they did. When Liam turned out to have an entirely different bleeding disorder than we expected, and my daughter turned out to have unexpected hearing loss, they came alongside me and helped me.
Now our family is complete, a fact we celebrate three times a year – the anniversary of each day that I brought one of them home and we got to be a family forever. And I’m thrilled to be able to help others find the resources they need to get through whatever they might be facing today or fearing tomorrow, as so many others have done for me along the way.
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