Meet Xue and Jin, two little babies born with clubfoot who have found their way to the baby home this year. They’re both staying in baby room #4, which is reserved for some of our bigger babies who are not yet toddlers. Jin and Xue have been through so many challenges together, both facing a birth defect that—if untreated—could prevent them from ever walking. Side by side, their different personalities really shine through.
Xue is an incredibly active 9-month old. Like most little boys his age, he enjoys adventure. Crossing rattles, books, balls, and even babies to get to his destination, nothing can get in his way. Xue has already finished casting! He now wears braces that keep his feet nice and straight.
He’ll wear these braces all the time for the first three months, and then just for night and naps for a few more years. He gets to take them off once a day right before bath time, when he really enjoys the freedom to crawl around for a few minutes before physical therapy time, which—predictably—he doesn’t particularly enjoy.
Along with clubfoot, Xue was also born with a congenital hand deformity. He is scheduled for surgery to have his fingers separated on his right hand in the near future. Because there is always a risk of infection for any kind of surgery, he will be having his fingers separated one at a time. We want to ensure that if there are any complications, he’ll still have the use of his other fingers.
Unlike Xue, Jin spends his time with a more contemplative attitude. Not to say he doesn’t enjoy doing things any 6 month old would do, but because of his heavy casts, crawling is nearly impossible. But those big casts also have decorations and drawings from supportive admirers and visitors to the baby home from all over the world (quite literally!).
Jin is very content to sit, watch, and listen to everything going on around him—which most of the time is a lot! There is never a dull moment in room #4. With so many little babies learning to crawl around, Jin has more than enough to occupy his time. Since coming to us in May, Jin has built some touching relationships with the nannies, and even the long-term volunteers. Watching him from day to day, you can see whom he especially likes to be held by, or whom he’ll laugh with. Getting him to smile is a challenge in itself, but so rewarding.
Jin has recently finished his 2nd casting! We’re hoping he’ll be out of those casts and into braces as soon as possible. Most babies graduate from casts to braces in less than two months,but it varies for every child. We just have to watch and wait until his little feet are ready for the next stage!
Xue and Jin are very unique, but they also have so much in common. Seeing their eyes sparkle and their faces light up when someone gives them kisses or takes the time to hold them—nothing compares. To be held, nurtured and cared for by the volunteers and faculty at the baby home means that they can get through each day, one day at time. We know they’ll be on their feet soon!