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This fundraiser ended on 05/16/10

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Yang Cheng Bing (Jewel) was born in Fujian Province, China without eyes/blind & was abandoned by her family when she was just a month old. She is now living in an orphanage. We are running to help bring Jewel to her forever home here in Cleveland.

On May 16, we will set out to accomplish one of the many goals on our life list- to run and complete a half marathon. At first, the idea of this run was something completely personal, but shortly after we had made the decision to participate in the Cleveland Marathon, we came across a story that was so touching, that we wanted to turn our run into more than a goal for us, but a cause for another family.

The Jarrett’s (Jeff and Tammy) a local family from Hudson are trying to adopt their second child from China. After reading this story, we couldn’t be more set on trying to help them out.

Here’s their story, told by Tammy Jarrett:

Jeff and I were married in June of 1996 after dating for about 6 years. By 2002, we had 3 fun and active boys. We had always talked in passing about adopting some day, and after hoping for a daughter and being afraid to “try again” we started talking more seriously about adoption.

After studying up on adoption, we learned that China has a 1 child policy in many areas, and that they prefer boys over girls. For this reason, they abandon thousands of healthy baby girls every year. Adoption through China was down to a science for the United States since they had been allowing international adoptions for many years. Since we really wanted a little girl, and the process seemed so simple through China, that is where we decided to adopt from.

About the time we started the adoption process, China started changing the rules of adoption. To make a long story short, by the time we sent our paperwork to China in Feb 2007, the wait for a healthy baby girl was about 3-4 years. Another option for families is a “Waiting Child List”. This list contains orphans, boys and girls, who have minor-major special needs. This list comes out with new kids every couple of months. I remember talking to friends at work and them saying, “You’re a nurse. Why would you not adopt a special needs child?” The more I thought about it, and talked to Jeff about it, we realized that they were right. Why would we not?

In November of 2007, we found a little 1½ year old girl who was completely healthy, but “blind”. I had been on a yahoo group for “special needs” kids and put the question out there, “Does anyone have any experience with blind children?” The response was overwhelming. I came into contact with parents of blind children who quickly convinced me that with patience, love, and support, blind children can do anything that other kids can do. We connected with Hadley’s School for the Blind and took a few classes online to get a better understanding of what it involves to raise a blind child. We then decided, this is definitely something we can do!!

In March 2008, Wan Jin Si, who we named Jasmine, became our daughter. She is not completely blind, but is visually impaired. She is one of the best things that has ever happened to us! She has taught us that if you can get past the “special need” there is so much else there. She is so brave and is a very determined and “normal” little girl. She is amazing. We know that she was sent to us to open our eyes and hearts. We wonder what her life would have been like if she would have grown up in China, where having a “special need” is not easily dealt with. As we think about that, we think of the hundreds of other “special needs” children in China. How could we NOT adopt again? How could we NOT adopt “special needs” again?

Yang Cheng Bing, was born February 14, 2009 in Fujian Province China. She was born without eyes/blind and was abandoned by her family when she was just a month old. She is now living in an orphanage. We let our Adoption Agency know that we were possibly interested in adopting her and they pretty much told us that we didn’t need to rush because chances were that if we didn’t adopt her, she wouldn’t be adopted at all. Even in the adoption community, she is a very “hard to place child”. This was like a punch in the stomach to me, so very sad. Of course we have decided to adopt her! We are naming her “Jewel”.

It takes special people to consider adopting, but to adopt a child with special needs is beyond commendable… and Jeff and Tammy are going to adopt a special needs child for a second time. They are going to give a chance at life to a little girl who otherwise, wouldn’t have had a chance at all. Could you imagine living in a place like this? Where being a certain sex and having a special need condemned you to a less full life? It’s just not right.

So now what? The Jarrett’s want more than anything to bring Jewel home, here to Cleveland. Unfortunately, adopting from China is EXTREMELY expensive, around $25,000. Since this decision was fueled by their first adoption, they weren’t as prepared and don’t have the funds to cover this adoption themselves.

So this is where we all come in… We are asking if you could help donate to our run so that we can help out this deserving family. Any gift is greatly and graciously appreciated.

To learn more about the Jarretts, check out these stories that have been published:

Our Journey to Jewel: The Jarrett Family Journal
Ohio Authority Magazine
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and for any gift you can make.

Stephanie and Glenn Anderson

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