Monday, November 29, 2010

A Little Girl and Her Rockin' Shoe: 12-Year-Old Heart Disease Survivor Re-Designs Nike

2007 - find your forever family - 2009 undergo 5 heart surgeries - 2010 become chosen as one of six to design one of the coolest pairs of Nike shoes ever made: this is Shelby Lee's life.

Photo by Daniel Root
 As a young child in China, Shelby was diagnosed with single ventricle heart disease, a condition her orphanage did not have the resources to treat. Her Children's Hope adoptive parents, Mike and Tanya, brought her home and immediately took her to Doernbecher Children's Hospital, where she later had five surgeries to fix her heart.

Shelby's presence in the Lee family is beyond value; her increased life expectancy, a great gift to her parents. To Doernbecher Children's Hospital, her bravery makes her a hero.

This year, Shelby and five other children were invited to participate in Doernbecher's annual fundraiser - Nike Freestyle - to redesign a popular Nike shoe. In October, Shelby and her family attended Portland's Freestyle Auction at Wieden + Kennedy Center where Shelby’s shoe, autographed by the Portland Trailblazers’ Brandon Roy, and artwork from her shoe were auctioned to a group of 300 special guests.

Photo by Daniel Root
Her large design team in Oregon was led by Peter Townsend, VP of NikeFootwear Design, and Suzi Sharp in manufacturing. Each designer was paired with a Nike team and was allowed to "go crazy" in the materials and design labs. After several drafts, Shelby received the final drawing and then in June she saw her shoe for the first time in a return visit to the Nike campus.

At the auction, Shelby’s shoe fetched one of the highest amounts ~ $8,000 for her shoes and another $5,000 for the artwork created from her shoe. Shelby’s surgeon and cardiologist both came to the auction and bid, but they kept getting outbid!

The October event raised more than $50,000 for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Nike also presented a check to Doernbecher for last year’s retail sales of Freestyle for just under $500,000. In the seven years this event has been running it has raised almost $3,000,000 for Doernbecher.

"Probably the most amazing part of the whole experience is what it has done for Shelby’s esteem. She went from 8 years in a remote orphanage in a part of China with 80% unemployment, to designing shoes with one of the most successful companies in the world. She was treated like a celebrity throughout the entire process, including autographing a special book given to guests at the auction," shares Shelby's dad Mike Lee on his family blog.

"We also want to thank God for this opportunity. Her shoe carries several elements from her life, all of which tell a story. From the broken heart in China on one shoe, to the mended heart in the US, to the sockliners in each shoe that are a map of her trip from China to her new home. The shoe is a testimony to the work God does in the lives of even 'the least of these'."

Shelby has worn her shoes every day but when it was supposed to rain. You can remember her story and be reminded of this testimony, too. Buy Shelby's shoes and support a hospital that gave Shelby, and children like her, so much life.


Buy Shelby's shoes! They are going fast. Not only do they make a great story of adoption, they also make a fantastic Christmas gift!

This story is a summary from the Lee Family Blog and Nike. Read more about Shelby's amazing journey through her heart surgeries and see some of her 2010 adventures through her photo journal. Shelby has 2 sisters adopted from China, Anna and Lily, and 2 brothers, Jake and Nick.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thank you for being a family!

To our families -

In celebrating National Adoption Month through November to today, there has been much time to remember how beautiful adoption truly is.

This Thanksgiving I am most thankful for my family, all of whom I have been excitedly anticipating seeing for weeks. As you understand, working at Children's Hope, family is not something easily taken for granted.

Just yesterday, our China Team found homes for 7 special needs children—seven children who will be challenged to learn what it means to be a part of a family. To learn what it means to not be hungry, be disciplined out of love, know their mother will return, day after day, be secure and hopeful for the future.

These are lessons we pray for, that they will be learned well.

We are so thankful for Children's Hope parents who realized they have room at their table, within their heart and in their home for a child in need.

Blessings to you and your family,

Jennifer Newcomb
Children's Hope International

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pray for Those Who Are Not Yet Orphans

Today, pray for children who are not yet orphans but may only have one parent who may be sick or dying. Pray for the health and safety of their parent. Pray for God's provision. Pray for protection for the children in these households.
(Children's Hope International will be sharing selected prayers from Lifesong's 40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care to celebrate throughout National Adoption Month.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Share Your Adoption Story with an Audience: Contact Your Local Media

You don't have to be a reporter to share your story with your local media, but that's exactly what Stephanie Vivolo did. After 3 years together, Stephanie's husband "grasped {her} hand, looked at {her} and asked a question that seemed more like a statement: “So, we’re adopting?” Three futures were made that day.

Read this Children's Hope adoption story. ...What's yours?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Share Your Story: Children's Hope Speaks about Adoption on KMOX

"Every month is Adoption Month at Children's Hope International!" says Cory Barron on KMOX this morning.

Cory, Children's Hope foundation director and adoptive parent of twins, shares and gives insight about international adoption, domestic adoption and also foster care--with fellow CHI adoptive parent Debbie Monterrey of Total Information AM. The two parents give a great overview of options available to prospective parents, some of the misconceptions regarding adoptions and more.

Listen to this 6-minute interview, and share what you learn with a coworker or a friend. Take the opportunity to share how adoption has touched your life, too!

Full Audio, KMOX

Friday, November 12, 2010

Celebrate Hands-On by Giving

Prior to families traveling to Ethiopia, either for court or to bring their child/ren home, many are asking what they can take with them to donate to the Children's Hope International House of Hope (HOH) transition home or the orphanage from which Children's Hope children are referred. As of this week, we reached $10,000 in in-kind donations delivered in 2010 to Ethiopia by 31 adopting families!

Throughout the year, families have packed vitamins, baby bottles, over-the-counter medications, art supplies, bedding, books, toys, bikes and piles of new clothing into their luggage for the long journey to Addis Ababa. Thank you so much families for making this sacrifice for the kiddos in Ethiopia.

In-kind donations, worldwide. These woven hats were donated to orphanages in China and were delivered by traveling families.
In celebration of National Adoption Month, find a family soon to be traveling for their adoption and offer to give in-kind donations yourself. It is a great hands-on way to celebrate the gift of adoption and become involved in adopting families' lives.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Did you know? November 7th is Oprhan Sunday

This weekend, November 7th, is Orphan Sunday. Learn more about this national event at

Praying for the Fatherless

Today, pray for the fatherless in your community. As the Lord to protect them and to care for them and to defend them and keep them safe.

(Children's Hope International will be sharing selected prayers from Lifesong's 40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care to celebrate throughout National Adoption Month.)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Support Those that Support the Orphan

Take a moment to look around you at your community, workplace and place of worship. Families and individuals near you have taken initiative for the orphan by adopting - internationally or domestically, by fostering or offering respite care.

Wow. What a gift they are giving to your community!

In celebration of National Adoption Month, support those who support the orphan and the waiting child. Take a moment to get to know a family more personally and assess their specific needs. If this step is too intimidating, consider an action that any parent would appreciate - such as mowing their lawn, raking their leaves, offering to baby sit, or creating their meals for a week.

Giving to a family who has a heart for orphans (or to a family much like your own) will grow your ability in this same love.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Celebrating National Adoption Month Through Prayer

Today, pray that the Lord would give you a personal sense of responsibility for praying for orphans and your community. Ask Him to break your heart for the orphans. Ask that He would help you to see orphans with His eyes and His heart. Ask Him to use National Adoption Month and these days of prayer to change you.
(Children's Hope International will be sharing selected prayers from Lifesong's 40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care to celebrate throughout National Adoption Month.)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Telling Your Story: "Chat Over Coffee"

You are your best story and one of the greatest ways to celebrate and advocate for the world's orphans. As an adopting or adoptive parent, your heart is big for the orphan and how your heart became prepared in this way is a story that is as deep and wide as this love. There are so many ways to share this.

Telling Your Story - "Chat Over Coffee"

So far during National Adoption Month, 10 Children's Hope Family Volunteers have stepped up to lead information meetings in their area. (We are so thankful to our CHAPs families!) Most often Family Volunteers ask their local library for space and our staff coordinator helps promote their meetings through the family's local newspaper.

The neatest idea being used this month is "Chat Over Coffee", an opportunity for prospective parents interested in adoption to meet families who are experienced in all that adoption is, both the challenges and the rewards - all over a simple cup of coffee. These meetings are personal and really help you connect with those that are about to enter your shoes, to adopt a child.

You have and are making a difference in the life of an orphan. Let others know how they can, too.

If you are interested in leading a "Chat Over Coffee" or more formal information meeting, contact Ginny Burkhart at She'll help you with everything you need.

Check out the map above for dates of meetings near you. Click on the picture to take you to our Meetings web page.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Day 1 - National Adoption Month

National Adoption Month is here! This November, we'll share fun and informational ways for you to get involved in promoting adoption and making a difference in the lives of children in need of homes, health and hope.

How do you plan to celebrate?