Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A Sad Day for The Red Thread Promise

We received word that Ping died in his sleep. The Red Thread Promise would like to thank those that donated the funds needed for his recent surgery. Through your generosity, doctors tried to repair his heart. As you know, they couldn't complete all procedures, as they had hoped. Thank you for helping us provide for Ping's medical needs.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Look at That Smile!

We received this photo of Hua, the premature baby that had been abandoned last January. We were happy to be able to provide for his medical needs. What an incredible smile! Check the blog archives for Hua, and you'll see what he looked like earlier in this year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

More About Preston

Preston receives physical therapy and is progressing from using a walker, to using crutches as his primary means of walking.
This will afford him greater ease in negotiating everyday obstacles. A walker is very stable for him but the therapy provides him a means to develop his own balance. We look forward to hearing that he's moving around his classroom with crutches!

Jacob's Fund/TRTP is helping to meet some of the cost of his therapy at McKenna Farms.

Interesting Research About Hippotherapy

Perhaps the best evidence hippotherapy works was reported by Dr. Daniel Bluestone, then a pediatric neurologist at UC San Francisco, who had been following the progress of children receiving hippotherapy treatment. Comparing MRI scans over time, Bluestone found that the repetitive movement of riding prompts physical changes in the brain.

"We think that hippotherapy is effective in helping re-work networks within the cerebellum and within the motor system up in the cerebrum," he said in a Discovery Channel documentary. "The pathways within the brain that facilitate a particular movement become reinforced over time. The more pathways you reinforce, the better the brain compensates and the better motor function can improve."

Bluestone, who now practices in Fresno, said children do especially well in hippotherapy because the child's brain is constantly developing and changing. The "sensory input" children receive during therapy allows them to re-model their neural networks. The Red Thread Promise has been very happy to have the opportunity to support Preston and Cole with hippotherapy!

Hippotherapy Has Helped People Challenged With...

Autism Spectrum Disorders
Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Vascular Accident (stroke)
Developmental Delay
Down Syndrome
Functional Spinal Curvature (scoliosis)
Learning or Language Disabilities
Multiple Sclerosis
Sensory Processing Disorders
Traumatic Brain Injury

Hippotherapy Helps These Skills...

Gross Motor Skills
Speech and Language Abilities
Oral Motor Skills
Respiration and Postural/core Control
Fine Motor Skills
Sensory Processing
Behavioral and Cognitive Abilities

Meet Cole

Cole is a very sweet, bright and affectionate little boy, and will soon celebrate his 4th birthday. He was diagnosed with pervasive developmental disorder, PDD, a form of autism and apraxia of speech. Although Cole’s comprehension is within normal limits, he has tremendous difficulty with expressive language. This causes him to become frustrated and withdrawn. Cole loves to ride horses, play games on the swing, and read books. Jacob's Fund/TRTP has been very happy to be able to contribute toward his barn fees for hippotherapy.


Hippotherapy is a physical, occupational, and speech therapy treatment strategy that uses the natural movements of horses. Therapists use the horses' movements to provide sensory input. The horse handler is given specific directions regarding the gait, tempo, cadence, and direction for the horse to move. Hippotherapy comes from the Greek root hippo-, for horse and the word therapy , thus meaning therapy with the help of a horse. The horse's pelvis has the same three dimensional movement of the human's pelvis, at the walk. The horse's three dimensional movement is carefully graded at the walk in each treatment for the patient. This three dimensional movement provides physical and sensory input, which is variable, rhythmic and repetitive

Hippotherapy can only be provided by a licensed Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist or Speech and Language Pathologist. Adults and children with disabilities can improve their posture, muscle tone, coordination, balance,sensory/motor development as well as speech and language skills when hippotherapy is incorporated into a therapy plan.

Jacob's Fund

Jacob's family wanted to honor him by teaming with The Red Thread Promise, to provide for the needs of other children. Jacob had benefitted from Hippotherapy, and Jacob's Fund has helped with the cost of Hippotherapy, for two additional children; Cole and Preston.

Jacob's Story: Told by His Grandmother, Glenna

“We’re having a boy!” Our daughter, Sarah, had written an e-mail, but we could hear her thrilled voice as if she were with us.

She and her husband, Josh, had a little girl. Elyse was four, sweet, playful, and the baby of the family. She had two cousins, our older daughter’s son, Evan, and his sister, Brookie.

Bernie and I had looked forward to having a big happy family, and when Sarah became pregnant the second time, it looked as if we were about to have the perfect family.

Our new grandson was due May 21, 2004. At the end of March we visited a friend in Florida. I kept in touch with both our daughters whenever we traveled. I called Sarah, reached her voicemail, and left a message. We didn’t hear from her that week.

When we returned we learned why. Sarah called and told me she had her sister, Mary, on the line. She had something to tell us and she could only bear to say what she had to say once.

She’d gone for a checkup the week before; during the exam the doctor discovered something unusual about her baby boy’s heartbeat. She’d gone to a specialist immediately and learned that the baby’s heart was malformed.

“But they are sure they can correct it,” she told us. “As soon as he’s born they’ll do surgery.”

When he was born, Sarah held Jacob for a few minutes before he was whisked away to another hospital. We stood in the hallway outside the delivery room. As the little cart with life support attachments that held our baby boy passed us, it stopped and we were allowed a glimpse.

“He’s a good-looking guy, isn’t he?” Bernie said. What he was really saying was much more than that.

Jacob Noah Beachy spent most of the first month of his life in the Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit. The surgery wasn’t done immediately; doctors wanted his heart to grow some first.

When Jacob came home he was receiving nourishment through a tube. Though they didn’t say why, the medical staff had urged Sarah to begin feeding him with a bottle even though he wouldn’t be able to take much. She’d planned to nurse him, but his intake needed to be measured. Only much later did she learn about babies who failed to learn to eat and thus languished when the feeding tube was removed.

Sarah fed Jacob with the bottle, held him, loved him, and handled him with care, as did Josh. Elyse, on the other hand, tickled, played, wrestled and talked to him like the little brother he was. She was never rough with him but treated him as the playmate she’d been waiting for.

His biggest smiles were for her. They were best friends. She looked out for him. And he adored her.

Jacob’s first open-heart surgery came early in 2005. We had no illusions; the risk was enormous for our tiny boy. We held our breath until we knew he was all right.

In spring 2006 Jacob underwent another surgery. We prayed, and through the requests of family and friends, churches across the country kept him constantly in their prayers.

The second surgery was successful; two down and one to go.

Jacob was two then. He began hippotherapy that same spring. Hippotherapy is speech, physical and occupational therapy delivered while a child is riding a horse. It’s a therapy that cannot be reproduced in any other setting. Anyone who’s had a child in pediatric therapy knows that it’s hard work. But the movement of the horse helps children with balance and motor skills.

Two common threads run through parents’ stories about their child’s hippotherapy sessions: they can hardly get the child off the horse at the end of the session, and their child’s speech skills improve dramatically. The kids don’t say much while riding, but after the session, it’s like opening a floodgate. That certainly was the case with Jacob. He’d hold lengthy conversations (for a three-year-old), talking about riding his horse, Major.

My heart soared and swelled to near bursting when I saw him walk for the first time. Once when I came to visit he greeted me at the door with, “Look, Grandma – I run.” And he ran to the kitchen.

His vocabulary grew quickly to include quesadilla and pedometer. And he told me the names of everyone in the family: Sissy Noah Beachy, Mommy Noah Beachy, Daddy Noah Beachy.

Jacob was love itself – he brought joy and laughter into any room he entered.

In June, 2007, Jacob went into the hospital for the procedure that would make the final repair to his heart. The surgery went well and Jacob was recovering on schedule. After a few days doctors removed a drainage tube from his chest. They discovered a small herniated area and decided to perform surgery to correct it.

During that surgery Jacob contracted MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant staph infection. The next six weeks can only be described as a living hell.

Jacob died on July 21, 2007. He was exactly 38 months old.

CHINA :: Ping Continues to Struggle

We've heard from Ping's CWI, and he is very sick. He does not have a thymus, and has a reduced immune system. He struggles to fight off infections. He's currently in the hospital and doctors are doing everything they can. They've said it is possible Ping won't survive. Ping's breathing is very labored, and it sounds like he has fluid in his lungs.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

CHINA :: Ping Needs Prayers

We've been notified that Ping is very ill, and back in the hospital. We do not know if this is related to his heart problem, or an illness. Please keep Ping in your prayers.

Friday, October 10, 2008

CHINA :: Ping Continues to Recover

Ping continues to make progress, and he we're hearing that he may go to a special foster home. Hoping to post more about Ping and the family that will be caring for him, soon!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

CHINA :: Ping Update

Ping is doing well and we hope he'll be released from the hospital soon.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

CHINA :: Please Keep Ping in Your Prayers

We received this update from Love Without Boundaries on September 17, 2008. Ping had heart surgery yesterday. The doctors had planned to do a complete repair, but during the surgery, they found that his heart defect was more complicated than they originally thought. The surgical plan was altered. One part of the repair was completed yesterday. Ping will need another surgery, sometime in the future, to complete the repairs to his heart. Please keep our special boy in your thoughts and prayers. Ping is at risk for infection, due to a low immunity condition that he has, in addition to his heart defect. We will update you with further information when we have it.

Monday, September 15, 2008

CHINA :: Ping Will Have Surgery Tuesday, September 16th

We just received information that baby Ping is scheduled for heart surgery tomorrow, on September 16!!

As you recall, Ping has severe Tetralogy of Fallot. We sent an initial email out about Ping on July 30th. The Red Thread needed to raise approximately $3,000 to help this child receive the care he so desperately needs. The Red Thread is proud to announce that $3200 was raised!! So, thanks to all of you, our wonderful supporters, this little boy has a chance to live!!

Please pray for a successful surgery. We will keep you posted.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Meet Your Scribe for The Red Thread Promise Blog

I'm Jeana, the scribe for The Red Thread Promise blog. I'm also the newest board member of The Red Thread Promise, and am totally humbled by the work that has been done, and work that needs to be done in the days to come. Thanks for logging on, and I hope you'll bookmark us and stop by on a regular basis!

I'm a single, adoptive mom to two lovely young ladies from China. Hannah lived in the Jiande CWI until 1999, when I adopted her at 12 months, with the help of Dillon. From the time she could speak, she prayed for a sister. We traveled to China in 2006 to adopt Grace, who was 32 months old. Grace had lived in the Dongguan CWI until her adoption. Lifelink helped with Grace's adoption. Grace had an unrepaired cleft palate which was repaired when we returned from China.

I'm an ESL teacher in the Midwest, love to travel, read, and spend time with my family.

What would adoptive families do without the INTERNET? I wasn't aware of all the resources on the computer, and there were not the wealth of resources in the early 1990's, when I was preparing to adopt my older daughter. When I read of families adopting from China, I'd track down their phone numbers, and ask if they would talk to me. My phone bills were a whole lot higher than they are these days! What an awesome source of info!!! Love my Yahoo Groups! When I'm explaining to friends who are not adoptive families, what a Yahoo Group is, I just say, "If you have an interest or a need for information, someone before you probably has too, and it is likely there is a file or a'll just love Yahoo Groups!"

Jen, another board member, led me to The Red Thread Promise. I'm on a steep learning curve, trying to get up to speed about The Red Thread Promise, and determine what my contribution to this group can be. My belief is that adoptive families want to help provide for the kids that remain in orphanages, may not be sure how to do that, and will step up to the plate if someone is willing to chart a course. It has been my experience that some adoptive families are exhausted financially, due to the cost of adoption(s) and after-adoption care their kids often require. I choke at the thought of asking these families that are on a tight budget, as I am, to write a check to The Red Thread Promise.

Instead, what if we grow more conscious as consumers? What if we log onto, assign The Red Thread as our charity, and then make our regular purchases? Businesses that donate a percentage of our purchase, and there is no charge to the purchaser, or to our charity. Takes a few seconds and a few clicks. THAT I can ask folks to do, and not break out in hives.

I'm active with a local adoption group formed from a Yahoo Group (did I mention I love those Yahoo Groups!!!), and host a bookclub/discussion group each month. We read books that are of interest to us as adoptive parents, and discuss topics that are also of interest to us! So far, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is my favorite book. We were on vacation as I was finishing the book, and my older daughter knew to ask, "How many pages until you're done with your chapter?" when she wanted something from her ever-attentive mom.

Our family is a bit unique, as we have a Chinese aupair. When I'm out with my girls, most people realize they are the daughters and I am the mom...Enter our Chinese aupair...People haven't got a clue who I am! I handle this with humor, as I'm the one they can't figure out; they're not trying to figure out how my kids fit into this mix. Also, life is short, and I have a limited amount of energy for irritation and despair...One greeter at church just can't figure out that I'm the mama, and Dikun is our aupair; the guy really does not believe me.

Dikun is from Chengdu, 60 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake in China. We're grateful that her family and friends are safe. It has been tough for her to be away from home and loved ones during this time.

Well, that's my little intro! I will be introducing you to more member of the The Red Thread Promise team in the days to come.

CHINA :: Our Latest Angel: Hua

Hua was born, prematurely, during the incredibly harsh winter of 2008, in the Anhui Province of China. Hua weighed 1 kg (2.2 pounds). The Red Thread Promise teamed with Angel Covers and Love Without Boundaries to provide Hua the intensive care hospitalization he needed, to survive. Hua remained in critical condition for several months, and is now learning to suck so that he can eat on his own and thrive. We estimate that the cost to provide for all of Hua's needs before he is placed in a foster home will be $3,000. If you would like to send a contribution for the care of Hua, please use our Pay Pal Account and indicate Hua.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Erick from Kenya

Erick was diagnosed with Burkitt's Lymphoma, a highly aggressive cancer that is endemic in children in equatorial Africa. This illness can be cured by chemotherapy, and survival rates range between 75 to 100%. Untreated, Burkitt's Lymphoma is fatal. The Red Thread Promise teamed with Angel Covers to provide Erick with the cancer treatment he needed.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Welcome to The Red Thread Promise!

Welcome to The Red Thread Promise Blog!  So glad you found us!  The Red Thread Promise provides medical care for orphans. You could help us by encouraging friends and family to stop by, as well! We'd like to share information about the children we serve, and the work we do.   Stop by, as time permits, and please bookmark us before you leave!

What is Unique About The Red Thread Promise Blog?

We believe many adoptive parents think about the kids that remain in orphanages. They wish they could help, but they don't know what action to take. Some of us are broke, or close to broke due to the cost of our adoption(s), and the after-care support that our kids need to live healthy, happy lives. Insurance meets some needs, but not all. We're thankful for our kids and occasionally have a sinking feeling when we think of all the random actions that brought our child(ren) to our home. We can't imagine what our own kids' lives would have been in an orphanage, had they remained. We really would love to help, but aren't sure what we can do, besides write a check out once or twice a year to groups who are in the trenches, caring for kids without families.

Well, we're all consumers; we spent painful amounts to just care for our families. Are we willing to become more conscious consumers if it will bless the kids that remain behind who need medical care? The Red Thread Promise Blog will provide opportunities for families to bless kids without families, by spending the money they'll spend anyway, just a bit more consciously. We're not going to be asking for donations on a regular basis. We're asking that you consider spending more consciously, through opportunities on our blog, that will benefit kids.

I hate asking people for money! Loved Brownies, and HATED selling cookies! My daughter is joining a special group for singers, and I am committed to selling $175 of Butterbraids before she even starts. I don't even know what Butterbraids are yet, and I'm sweating at the thought of asking people to buy them! They might be awesome and maybe people who eat Butterbraids can only get them once a year, but I'm dreading asking people for money!

So, upfront, I won't be asking you for checks written out to The Red Thread Promise everytime you stop by. Now, incase any of you have rich relatives who are looking for a good cause, we'd happily accept a check from THEM! Please bookmark us now, and check back every now and then to see the ways that you can support The Red Thread Promise kids, Think adoptive families are up to the challenge? I sure do!