Shanghai Healing home was first birthed in the heart of Jamie and Christina Weidner in 2002 while living in Manila, Philippines. Shanghai Healing Home was a dream of helping Chinese abandoned babies. James and Christina Weidner moved to Shanghai, China in 2008 along with their 3 children and 1 on the way. Jamie and Christina Weidner were able to meet a lovely, dedicated couple, Robin and Joyce Hill who oversee Hope Foster Home near Beijing. This couple was able to guide Jamie and Christina on how to support the orphans in China by caring for special needs orphans in need of surgery or specialized care. Freida Zhong joining the team as a local founding partner and was able to offer support in finding local and international partners such as Operation Smile providing free surgeries for cleft lip and palate babies. The initial home costs needing to be raised would go primarily towards baby care. The initial mission of the home was to offering pre and post surgical care to cleft lip and palate orphans.
It was when our first apartment was offered to us free of rental charge for 2 years that we were able to launch The Shanghai Healing Home in September of 2009. This was done with the support of local supporters such as individuals, Women of Joy, Cub Scouts of Shanghai and B.E.A.N. These volunteers helped to paint the new home, purchase the needed furniture and help with fundraising. The first baby arrived to the home in October 2009. She was 14 days and had severe cleft lip and palate. It was after this we were able to receive more babies from surrounding provinces and hire more full time caregiver to provide 24 hour care for our babies.
After 9 months in that location in JingAn district we outgrew the 2 bedroom apartment and relocated our 9 babies and team to the Pudong area. In our second year we grew to house 20 babies. Our volunteer program was developed and launched by one of our first volunteers, Jessica Thompson Giddens. She was able to put in place a program that would be inviting for volunteers to love the babies as well as safe for the babies. Other notable volunteers developed our SMART language classes teaching the babies baby signing and language skills both in Chinese and English.
In our 3rd year we moved to our 3rd location where in we continued to grow in our ability to house more and more babies. We expanded the mission of our organization to accept not only cleft lip and palate babies but a variety of correctible deformities besides cleft lip and palate. This also expanded the orphanages we were able to collaborate with and support.
In 2015 we were able to move to our current facility having the capacity to house up to 60 babies. We now have a Director, full time Assistant Director overseeing the full operations of the home, a full time nurse offering on sight medical care and several local admin team members ensuring all the surgeries and outside medical care are arranged. Our home continues to develop and strive to offer the best pre and post surgical care possible.