In January, we were blessed with volunteers from the University of Wollongong, Australia who worked both at Hope Home and a neighboring organization. The group of early childhood education students worked with our children for two weeks and shared their knowledge and experience with our staff. The activities they shared were a huge blessing to Hope Home children and staff, especially to LeLe, Tadpole, and Kame!
Upon return to Australia and their studies, the group wanted to remain connected with Hope Home and has done so in incredible ways. Through sending books, new activity ideas, and other goodies in the mail the relationship continued to develop! Recently, the team concluded a term-long fundraising drive for the two organizations and was able to bless us with a TRAMPOLINE for the children! Given that many of our children have a need for higher levels of sensory input this gift was absolutely perfect!
While a big hit with the kids right away, trampoline skills definitely had to be practiced! For Kame who has low muscle tone and troubles with coordination as well as Tadpole and LeLe who are strong but have lower coordination as well it has been an incredibly fun way for them to grow and develop their muscle skills all while PLAYING! In the beginning there was a lot more sitting and falling than anything else but now it’s a totally different story. Not only have their trampoline skills increased dramatically but we have noticed an increased ability in their strength and coordination as well!
Now they are jumping and bouncing all over the place! It is not just our jumping children that enjoy the trampoline though, but the whole family. Whether it’s while laying down and feeling the vibrations, watching others fall down in funny ways, or making silly faces we are certainly one big bouncy family!
THANK YOU to our friends for their generous gift of this trampoline as well as sharing your encouragement and knowledge!
Laap came to live at Hope Home at the age of 6 months old. With a severe brain condition, cerebral palsy, as well as other disabilities there has never been a road map for how Laap might progress or what kind of expectations could be held for his future. However, with his sweet personality and easy-going disposition, Laap has easily made his way into the hearts and lives of all our staff and children!
With cold season approaching in Thailand, many children around Chiang Mai are sick and our home has definitely been affected by colds and other minor illnesses as well. Laap became sick and was able to hold his own for a few days before one evening when we felt it best to take him to hospital as his symptoms seemed to develop. Unfortunately, within the span of a few hours in hospital this illness seems to have hit Laap quite hard and he was admitted to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). Three weeks later after treatment for his respiratory infection and following attempts to help Laap off the ventilator have been unsuccessful, this week Laap will have a tracheotomy. While it is a major procedure and our hearts ache at the necessity for him to transition to this as well as feeding with an NG tube we are confident in the incredible care he is receiving in the PICU, the doctor’s wisdom, and the Lord’s plan over Laap’s life. We ask that as you pray in this time you would pray for healing for Laap, especially as he has his tracheotomy this week, strength for staff, understanding for the other children about all these new tubes in their big brother, and praise God that Laap has received EXCELLENT medical and personal care over these past three weeks. At Hope Home we are blessed with the personnel (a nurse, experienced staff, and many other compassionate and teachable hearts) to care for Laap’s increased medical needs following his discharge from hospital. It is our blessing to journey through life with each child entrusted to our care and Laap continues to bless us daily!
Volunteers Tony and Joy arrived in Chiang Mai in mid September and have already made a major impact on the environment of Hope Home as well as in the lives of the children and staff. The couple comes with a wealth of experience in caring for and educating children with different needs and have also brought with them amazing artistic talents. What began as a thought to fix little bits and pieces of walls and gates with a fresh coat of paint has led to the two buying up the inventory at many DIY stores around town.
The first project they have taken on is the redecoration of the children’s bedroom. Once painted with dark blues and a simple scenery, years of leaking and use had left the room feeling dark and the design was wearing away in places.
They began by repairing holes and a fresh coat of light paint, but then the mural came forth…and the children loved watching the drawing phase and eventually the painting phase as the beauty developed.
The real treat has come as the final product was presented and sealed for protection from little hands and fingers which might want to explore its walls. It is definitely a good thing too, as our kids have not stopped barking, chirping, meow-ing, ribbit-ing, and more as they discover the different animals along the walls!
Thank you Tony and Joy for making our home more beautiful and providing us with a bedroom that is not only fun but educational too! We cannot wait to see what else you do!
Hope Home has long been blessed by the generosity of supporters from around the world. We truly rely on the donations of individuals and organizations to continue providing high quality care for our children. This month we have been especially blessed by DSG International for their donation of 15 boxes of nappies! That’s over 1,000 nappies that will keep our kids clean and dry for quite awhile!
Nappies for the children can be a large expense of our monthly budget, and the kids need them especially in order to go on outings in community without having to worry about bladder control issues. The children and staff love being able to go to physio therapy, hydrotherapy, school, and church on a regular basis as well as other special events. We are very excited to have this donation to help support our daily care of the children!
LeLe can’t believe these are ALL for us! Though the staff may be the most excited around our house for this blessing, the kids did have a lot of fun watching the truck pull up, drop off the nappies, and then drive off as well! Thank you DSG-Baby Love for the donation as well as the exciting experience!
With seven residential kids and more in the foster or respite care programs, we get the opportunity to celebrate a lot of birthdays throughout the year! It is our desire for each child to know they are special. Special because God made them and special because of the place they hold in our hearts! This love is shown year round through actions, words, and deeds but at least once every year each child gets a big reminder of just how special they are!
In September we have a total of 4 children with birthdays, and even more staff, so this year we decided to have an extra special party!
Wentaa is a former resident now living with her permanent foster family down the street! She had an absolute blast at her 9th birthday party!!
Dontrii is celebrating his fourth birthday this month and was a HUGE fan of the cake! Maybe too much of a fan….
Little Guy is turning one and had a blast playing, eating, opening presents, and of course trying a bit of cake!
Last but certainly not least we celebrated Garfields 11th birthday! He may be in Bangkok and therefore unable to attend but we used this stuffed animal in his place and hope he knows he was celebrated from afar!
Overall, it was a night of great food, dancing, and just good old-fashioned family fun! How will we celebrate in October? We can only wait to see, but for now we celebrate our September birthdays and pray that God would bless each one with a year of joy, growth, and experience of His love.
Thailand celebrates Mother’s Day on August 12th as it is the birthday of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, or the mother of all Thai people. As it is an extremely important day in the year, Hope Home comes together to celebrate Her Majesty the Queen Mother as well as the many “Mee” (or mothers) that selflessly give of themselves and their time to each of the Hope Home kids everyday. While many people might see the children at Hope Home as “motherless” these women step up daily and love each child like their own. Our celebrations were complete with a poster the children helped to create, special pizza treat, and lots of pictures!
The celebrations continued past the actual day and into the weekend as we were able to join in a special event with friends in the community. Hope Home children and staff as well as a foster family and representatives from the local Social Welfare office came to a Mother’s Day program where the concept of “Motherhood” was discussed and those present were challenged to think about how one can still be a mother without being a biological mother. It is our hope that this was a valuable time in which community members became aware of the opportunity it is to foster a child.
Hope Home children and staff were also able to present a special performance for the audience! The children performed “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” in both Thai and English, “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock” in Thai and other songs the children enjoy along with motions. It was a big hit for everyone in attendance and we are hopeful that this is one more step in advocating that all children have special talents and abilities!
In conclusion, everyone was able to plant a Thai Jasmine flower or “dok mali” in a small group. This flower is the traditional flower of Mother’s Day and the Hope Home kids and mothers had a blast planting their own flowers and can’t wait to watch them grow over the next year!
Last week we were able to welcome the newest member of our Hope Home family! This little guy is 9 months old and has a diagnosis of Tracheomalacia. After having spent the first part of his life in hospital we are excited to have him in our home!
As one can tell from these pictures, Little Guy is already adored by all of our family! As the littlest brother he’s likely to be a bit spoiled but we are guessing lots of fun is ahead!
Currently, Little Guy needs quite a bit of extra care from trachea cleanings to a careful monitoring of his environment to keep him safe and we are blessed to provide for him in this way! His condition is one that with proper care and development the trachea could be reversed around age two! Our hope for Little Guy is to help him get that care and find the loving and supportive adoptive family God has planned for him!