For some people, twelve years is a small part of a life. For me, it is a little bit less than 1/3 of my life lived so far. What happened in these years is priceless for me and the 2247 lives that I have touched. My life is meaningful and challenging because of these 2247 children. Now it is my turn to share my story. You or a friend of yours might even know one or two of the children I have cared for in the last 12 years. Life is full of surprises and miracles. We never know how small the world can be.
My name is Lijing Lu. That is my Chinese name. I am a Chinese woman who has been doing orphan work since 2006. When I first started this work, I chose Lily as my English name just because I love flowers. I started as a car coordinator for China Care home in Beijing. At that time, China Care home was run by Brent and Serena Johnson who had also founded China Little Flower as their own non-profit organization. Luckily, I followed the greatest people for this orphan work. Brent and Serena gave me all kinds of support and encouragement to help me grow into a person who is strong and tough and ready for any challenge in orphan work. From March 31st, 2006 to April 2009, I went from a car coordinator to a children’s home director and medical director. With around the clock hands on work I gained a lot of experience. I learned everything from basic care to special medical care. I cared for a total of 623 children during those years. Then China Care merged with Half the Sky in 2009 and I went to work with HTS China Care home from 2009 to January 2011. I cared for a total of 318 children during that time. Then from 2011 to May 2016, I officially joined China Little Flower and worked as the baby home director and medical director. My life was super busy during that time and it was very challenging as well. We never knew how many needs there were going to be and how many lives were waiting to be helped. I easily go back to those crazy times. Like when we had twelve tiny preemies in three weeks; A 610 gram preemie, 780 gram preemie, 800 gram preemie, 930 gram preemie, a preemie with anal atresia, one with spina bifida with a ruptured sac, one with a severe heart defect with an abdominal hernia—I will never forget those crazy days. We took in new babies like crazy because there was so much need. It is always so hard to say NO when an orphanage asks us to help a baby in need. During those years of working with China Little Flower, I cared for 1110 children. Then in 2016, with Brent and Serena’s support and encouragement, I set up Dew Drops as the legal entity of Little Flower in China. Our goal is to support not only orphans who need help but also families who need assistance with their child that has a medical need or require special care. From 2016 until now, 128 orphans were cared for by Dew Drops Little Flower and 68 children were supported through our family care project.
I am often asked why I do this work and how I continue doing it. I ask myself this sometimes too. Why and how? Honestly, I don’t know the answer. Why do I do this work? It could be because I was moved by Brent and Serena. It may be because of the sweet and happy smiling faces of the children who fought through their medical problems and survived. Or perhaps because I am not cut out to deal with office politics in other work settings? I don’t know the exact answers. But I do know the children’s sweet faces and that their strong will to fight for their lives makes me feel happy, peaceful and determined to try everything possible to help them. I do know the great joy when the “hopeless” preemie boy, Xiang, and the short bowel syndrome boy, Xiao made it and survived as happy, healthy children. I do know the tears of happiness I cried when I heard little Xiao sing “Jesus loves me” in English with his loving parents and siblings. Maybe these are the reasons why I am doing this work and how I can keep going day after day and year after year.
Many people say I do great things for these children. I think it’s more accurate to say that I receive a lot more from these children than I give them. They have taught me more than I could have ever imagined. Without them I would never know how strong a life can be. Without this work I would never know how many medical conditions there are out there that affect children and their families. I would never know how saying “No” can be one of the hardest things a person can say. I would have never become so stubborn when doctors say “this baby is hopeless”. I also never would have been given the chance to meet so many lovely people from all over the world. It is all because of this work. My own life has been forever changed because of all of these precious little lives. I may give a lot to these children, but they give me more in return.
March 31, 2018 is my 12-year anniversary in orphan care. 2247 children have touched my life. Will another couple thousand lives need my help in the next 12 years? I guess we have to wait and see. In the meantime, will you help me by supporting Dew Drops Little Flower and all of the lives that come to us for help? Please help spread the word and donate to support Lily and the children of who still need our help.