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Morning Star

Beijing, China

Services Offered
Photography

Collaborators
Jessica Mancari, Writer
Dave Baker, Filmmaker

Publication
Bittersweet Monthly

Morning Star Foundation: a nonprofit whose mission is to take in Chinese orphans with complex cardiac defects and provide the surgery that gives them a chance. All over China, state-run orphanages that don’t have adequate hospital care contact Morning Star to ask if they can send orphans to their home.

Morning Star says yes to the most high-risk children, like the ones who need multiple $10,000 heart surgeries and ongoing, hands-on care. It partners with surgeons who operate on the orphans’ hearts, as many times as it takes, until they are adopted.

Meal time at the Morning Star baby home.

The Chinese welfare system, or lack thereof, forces families with sick children to choose: find thousands of dollars for medical treatments, or abandon your child to the state in the hope that they will be rescued and given a shot at life by the government.

The Morning Star baby home was never meant to be the end game. It’s meant to be a temporary landing place – a place in-between abandonment and forever. A place that repairs literal broken hearts and heals emotionally broken hearts. 

When a child comes to the home, she learns to love. She learns what family means. She learns to trust, so that when the adoption goes through and she’s placed with a forever family, her heart is a little stronger, a little braver and a little more able to love.

Text taken from the original story written by Jessica Mancari


Film by Dave Baker