Recently, we told you about a very special foster home in Beijing where orphaned and abandoned children from all over China can come for life-changing surgeries. At this home, called “Peace House,” children receive attentive care from loving caregivers to help them grow strong enough for surgery and to make a full recovery afterwards.
Today, we would like to introduce you to a special girl, Xin Xin, whose life was changed because of the care she received at Peace House. As you read her story below, please consider helping children like Xin Xin by giving today to the Molly Holt Fund for Children with Special Needs.
Just a little over a year ago, Xin Xin was living in an orphanage in China, waiting to be adopted. Born with a cleft lip and palate (CLP), Xin Xin needed a loving family who could help meet her special needs. Hoping to adopt a child from China, Todd and Julie Samolinski were open to a child with a cleft lip and palate. After Holt presented Xin Xin’s file, the Samolinskis reviewed the information with their doctor and social worker and decided they wanted to become Xin Xin’s parents.
Todd and Julie were then contacted by Holt’s China program staff with a choice – doctors in Beijing could perform the surgery to correct Xin Xin’s CLP, or they could wait until she came home to the U.S. After consulting with their doctor, they decided it would be best for Xin Xin to have surgery in Beijing. “Our doctor said Xin Xin would be in great hands,” Julie says. “Having worked with doctors in Beijing on CLP surgeries, he said the surgery would be very well done.”
So Xin Xin was transferred from her orphanage to Peace House in Beijing, where she stayed while waiting to have surgery. “The staff at Peace House were excellent,” Julie says.” They sent lots of pictures and kept us well informed of Xin Xin’s wellbeing.”
Sharing her impression of the care her daughter received at Peace House, Julie says, “You could tell there was just love. The photos and videos showed Xin Xin, as well as other children, clean and well dressed, enjoying toys in a clean environment.” The caregivers, or “nannies,” took the children on walks and developed a nurturing bond with the children.
One of Xin Xin’s nannies accompanied her to her surgery. “Someone from Peace House stayed with her during her surgery so she was not alone,” Julie says. “Her nanny was also there for her afterwards to be there for her as she recovered.” Julie and Todd feel that Xin Xin and her nanny formed a strong bond during this vulnerable time in Xin Xin’s life.
Julie believes Xin Xin’s attachment to her nanny may have even helped Xin Xin bond with Todd and Julie when they traveled to China to bring her home to the U.S. “She had already had a positive bonding experience with caregivers and she transitioned well to us,” Julie says.
When the Samolinskis took Xin Xin to their family doctor, he said she clearly had a great surgery and received excellent care. And it shows. Xin Xin has made great progress with eating and speech, which can both be challenging for a child with a repaired CLP. Today, she is talkative, outgoing, full of energy – and even learning ballet.
“We are happy that Peace House is there for children,” Julie says. “It’s invaluable. It’s a place where children can get the 24-hour, one-on-one care they need. It was a great comfort to us to know they were there for her so she wouldn’t be alone — since we could not be there.”
But Xin Xin’s recovery would not have been possible without the support of friends like you. Many have made gifts to the Molly Holt Fund for Children with Special Needs and for that, we are truly grateful. But more children like Xin Xin need surgery, and a place where they will be comforted, nurtured — and most of all, loved — until they find a home of their own.
Please consider giving a gift today to help more children like Xin Xin receive the care they need to reach their full potential in life!