What is the Butterfly Home?
Since 2010, Butterfly Children's Hospices have provided loving care and treatment for children who have life limiting or life threatening illnesses in Changsha, China. Some of the children are only with us for a matter of hours, others have days or months, and some will thrive with the extra hope, love and medical attention and go on to get adopted.
No matter how small or how sick, we give every baby or child the love, care and medical attention they need.
We are working in partnership with the Chinese government to create a sustainable model of palliative care that can be extended to different communities. In 2013, we founded another hospice in Nanjing using the same model of care. We successfully completed training for Chinese medical and nursing professionals in January 2015 and Nanjing Rainbow is now independently run by a Chinese organization serving children in this community.
The Butterfly Home is a Happy Place
Even in the face of such heartbreak, we ensure that our home is a happy place, where children can be children, and are shown love and care every day. Although end-of-life care is a large part of what we do, we also have children, who thanks to our expert teams, go on to make full recoveries and are fostered, or adopted by loving families. In the Butterfly Home, we see past the diagnoses and complicated files; we see the children for who they are, their smiles, cheeky personalities and the sparkle in their eyes. And Gladney sees that too! We are delighted that the orphanage has partnered with Gladney for adoptions so some of our miracle children can go on to know the love of a family.
A Butterfly Home Fairy-tale Story
Gladney works hard to match these little miracles with their perfect families and the Butterfly staff loves to watch them grow up through the help of social media! One of my
favorite fairy-tale endings is the story of Michael and Robert. Michael and Robert were both admitted to the Butterfly Home after complications post-surgery. We watched Michael and Robert grow up, stronger each day, until they were fit to go for surgery together. Michael appointed himself as Robert's protector and constantly would have his arm around him. They traveled to another city with their "ayis" (nannies) for surgery, and encouraged each other in recovery. Aside from the tougher times, they had fun together too - tumbling and playing and laughing as brothers do and enjoying trips to their favorite McDonalds. They became brothers in their hearts, even though on paper they were together for a moment in time before another goodbye.
Eventually that goodbye came. A wonderful family came for Michael through Gladney. He was full of courage as he met them and travelled over the ocean to begin a new life. He was now a precious son, beloved and secure. Meanwhile, back in China, Robert waited. He moved to a foster home where kind people became his cheerleaders. They waited with him, hoping that one day, he too would become somebody's son. A little over a year later, the dream finally came true. Into Robert's life came his new Mama, his new Baba and his very familiar and much loved Gege (big brother). That's right - Michael's family came back to China to adopt Robert, making them brothers for real! We could not have written this story if we had tried. It is too wonderful, too surprising and too perfect. We are so thankful for their wonderful parents and to Gladney for placing these boys with their forever family.
These fairy-tale endings make all of the hard days' worth it, all of the heartache and tragedy a little bit easier. Without Gladney, this would not be possible. Check out our blog to read more of the wonderful adoption stories that Gladney has orchestrated by finding the perfect families for these precious children.
Thank you Katie for everything you do for the most vulnerable children! To learn more about Butterfly Children's Hospice, click here.