Friday, November 27, 2009


When we met Zheng LuYuan in September 2009, he was just 10 days old and needed spina bifida surgery, a birth defect where part of the spinal cord is outside the body in a sac. Spina bifida occurs at the end of the first month of pregnancy when the two sides of the embryo's spine fail to join together, leaving an open area. In some cases, the spinal cord or other membranes may push through this opening in the back. This condition ranges from little or no disability to full paralysis and inability to use the legs.

In late October, The Red Thread Promise (TRTP) supported LuYuan’s journey to Shanghai Children's Medical Center so that he could receive this life-changing surgery. After several weeks of having one-on-one care from his nanny, LuYuan is back at Swallow’s Nest. According to the director, “He wants to be held all the time. I'm very happy with his progress. He is cooing and smiling.”

Being in a better state of health is a gift that LuYuan will have for the rest of his life and will greatly increase his chances of being adopted. When LuYuan turns 6 months old we hope he will be placed on the active adoption list in China, waiting to find his forever family.

Sadly, during the time that LuYuan was being treated, Deng Ni, another baby at Swallow’s Nest died from the same condition. While we celebrated LuYuan’s success, we mourned the loss of a little one who needed our help as well. By continuing to expand our global network of donors and doctors, we hope to prevent this tragedy in the future.

If you would like to support LuYuan and children like him, please click on the donate button on the right side.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Welcome New Board Members!

The Red Thread promise is happy to announce that several new board members joined the organization this month. We are excited about the opportunity to work with such dynamic folks. We are confident that they will both make wonderful additions to our Board of Trustees.

We'd like to introduce you to ERIN HARDIN.

Erin is an adoption advocate, special education teacher, and passionate mama to 4 children, biological twin boys and 2 children with special needs adopted from China. She is a member of many adoption and child advocacy groups and is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of children.

Some words from Erin: "I am so excited to join such a dynamic board full of movers and shakers. I also wanted to pass along that my son, Walker, has also done hippotherapy, in LA for years. He has autism and has used the same riding center as Jenny's son, Joey. There is something magical about horses and children with special needs. So glad that TRTP is supporting that effort. The Red Thread Promise has been supporting hippotherapy at McKenna Farms in GA for two years. We love learning about the progress the children are making."

(To learn more about hippotheraphy, stay tuned for updates from Glenna Fisher, founder of Jacob’s Fund. Jacob’s Fund is a division of The Red Thread Promise helping disabled children in the US.)

We'd also like to introduce you to JENNIFER AVEGNO.

JenA is a native of New Orleans who grew up as the only biological child in a large family. Her parents adopted seven hard to place infants and young children, both domestically and internationally. Her degrees in sociology and medicine and experience in Emergency Medicine make her a huge asset to TRTP.

Some words from Jen: "As a board member, I hope to serve as a medical liaison for those served through Red Thread in Haiti. I can help coordinate determination of medical needs for orphans being placed for adoption, or for those whose medical conditions may require travel to the U.S. I am also very interested in undertanding the needs and abilities of the medical and surgical center at Mountain Top Ministries, and looking for ways to provide desired assistance to best support and create self-sustainable health care to Haitian citizens."

A sad day for Rivers of Hope

How do you post to a blog when you just found out that a child has passed on? Honestly, I don't really feel like writing about it, but it is too important to brush aside.

Stephany, a beautiful little girl, was residing at Rivers of Hope. She came to the orphanage at 5 months old, weighing just 7 lbs. She had severe pneumonia and was seriously anemic. Rivers of Hope began to treat her immediately, providing a stress, HIV and sickle-cell test. Thankfully, all were negative.

After just 10 days at Rivers of Hope, Stephany slowly began to gain weight. Rachoul, the orphanage director, commented that "she is always hungry!" Sadly, she would only be at Rivers of Hope for about a month.

Two days ago at 3:00am, Stephany died. According to Rachoul the orphanage has never lost a child and the staff is devastated. Please keep Rachoul and all her staff in your thoughts and prayers as we all mourn the loss of another little one.

It is news like this that reminds us of how important our work truly is. Every child is precious and deserves the best chance at a healthy life.

ORPHAN PROFILE - Christopher

Hopefully you all met Christopher in our recent mailing. For those of you who haven't, he is an adorable 2-year-old living at Rivers of Hope orphanage in Gramothe, Haiti. Gramothe is a rural town in the mountains about one hour outside of Haiti's capital, Port Au Prince.

Christopher was brought to Rivers of Hope in 2008 as a very malnourished infant in need of medical attention. He has sickle-cell anemia and is frequently hospitalized due to his condition.

Not being a doctor myself, I had to look up what sickle-cell anemia was. According to Access Excellence, it is an inherited, potentially lethal disease in which a defect in hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment in the blood, causes distortion (sickling) and loss of red blood cells, producing damage to organs throughout the body. To me, that says he is one sick little boy who needs as much support as possible. And that's where The Red Thread Promise comes in.

We have pledged our support to care for Christopher over the next two years by underwriting his medical bills while his is in Haiti waiting for his forever family. Why two years? Because that is the average waiting time to place a child with an adoptive family. It is our hope by the end of that period he will have a new family who will continue his care.

If you or someone you know is interested in adopting this precious little boy please, contact Jennifer Mesick at SDG Adoption and Child Advocacy Center: 630.969.8202 or

If you would like to be added to our mailing list, please contact

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We're back!

Who would have thought that it would take a handful of professionals so long to figure out how to update an existing blog?! While The Red Thread Promise may be full of people who are passionate about the health and well-being of orphaned children and are dedicated to their care, we have proven not to be as technically savvy as we thought. We have learned some valuable lessons since our last post [in May!] and are excited to move forward with our posts.