Friday, August 24, 2012

Colostomy Cuties

A good percentage of the babies we care for come to us for special care due to birth defects involving the intestines, anus, urinary system and reproductive organs.

In many cases, surgeons are not able to do a complete repair until the child is older and stronger, so often they end up with a temporary colostomy or urostomy.  This is an opening on the abdominal wall to allow waste to pass into a bag, instead of the diaper.

As you can imagine, keeping a bag on an active baby is no easy job!  Under the best circumstances a bag might last a week or more, but many times we end up changing it as often as every day, because once it comes off it cannot be re-used.

Right now we have 4 infants and one older child with colostomies.  We are seeking donations of bags, or funding to purchase in bulk so that we can save money.  We've had very good offer from a supplier who manufactures for export, but we have to buy 1000 bags minimum to get this special price (approximately US$1,300 total).  If you are interested in donating bags or money to go toward their purchase, please email us.

Here are 4 little ones who use colostomy bags now:

And here they are again, all dressed and ready to go!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Building Castles

 The children in our Little Flower Group Home School love art class - and really, isn't that true of children all over the world?  What is more fun than using scissors, glue,crayons, markers and colored paper to really get that creativity flowing?

The theme for the week was "CASTLES" and our boys really had fun with the assignment.  Not only did this project help them develop fine motor skills, but they also had a chance to learn more about colors and shapes.

Here you can see them hard at work, just getting started:

Bin thinks his needs a little more blue:

Gong hard at work.  Every detail has to be perfect, you know!

Bin is already gluing his pieces in place.  It looks great!

 Now for the tricky part  - cutting!  Shu is concentrating very hard so he doesn't make any mistakes:

 Cai is working hard too - his is nearly finished:

Bin's castle is almost done - nice job!

Gong accepts some help from his teacher as he puts finishing touches on his castle:

Then he shows off the final result - an architectural masterpiece, don't you think?

 Shu shows off his castle:

Cai shows off his castle - he looks very proud!

Bin is happy with his results, too!

 Everyone had fun with this assignment and we're so proud of the progress they all are making!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Learning to Walk

Little Hui was born with a complicated version of anal atresia that involves not only the anus, but also requires reconstruction of the urethra and vagina as well.  This little princess has already undergone several surgeries.  But she doesn't let that slow her down; she still wants to keep up with everyone else!

Hui recently celebrated her first birthday.  Like most babies her age, she's been spending her days learning to walk.  She started out with a few hesitant steps and is now toddling back and forth, getting steadier day by day.  Since she's put so much time and practice into learning this new skill she's decided to give lessons.  After all, it's a lot harder than it looks and there are so many babies who could benefit from her practical advise and new found wisdom!


Lessons in Walking
by Hui

First, you have to have a good attitude.  Make sure you've had enough rest and plenty to eat.  A clean diaper and a pretty hair bow are also helpful.  Put a big smile on your face - sure, it's hard work but it's also good fun!  Like this:

Next, find your balance.  You've probably been practicing this over the past few months when you learned to sit, pull up and stand.  Make sure you have your feet firmly on the ground.  You'll probably find it easier to hold your arms out for balance.  Don't worry if that looks awkward; as you get better you can hold your arms in a different position, or even use them to carry something!  Like this:


As you move forward, you may need to look down.  This can help you navigate obstacles, like toys that may be been left in a dangerous position.  It also helps you know where your feet are and where to place your next step. Like this:


Make sure you don't spend all your time looking down, though.  Look ahead to where you are going.  Your feet will follow your eyes (and you don't want to fall down!), so pick out a goal and head straight for it!  Like this:


And what kind of a target are you headed for?  Well, best to choose something really good!  Maybe a toy you saw from across the room but never had a chance to explore.  

 Even better than a toy, though, is a person!  Choose a person who really loves you.  Someone who will help you up if you fall, and cheer all of your successes.  Like this:

If you hold out your arms, they probably will too.

And what is better than a big hug for learning a new skill and a job well done?

Practice these steps over and over.  You'll get lots of hugs and before you know it, you'll be an expert at this business of walking!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ping!

Little Ping has not been with us very long, but one of the things we were really looking forward to was celebrating her 4th birthday with her.  You can imagine our disappointment when just the day before her birthday she became seriously ill and needed to be hospitalized.


After thinking it over, and discussing with her doctors, we decided we could still celebrate in the hospital.  We brought the cake we had ordered, candles, and a special birthday crown.  The hospital staff provided balloons and a few other small gifts.

 Ping looked rather warily at the cake.  We wonder if she's ever had a cake, or celebrated a birthday before? 

 The candles are lit and everyone sings happy birthday:

Since Ping is on CPAP and has a trach, she cannot blow out the candles herself.  But she watches with interest:

Although her appetite is off and she's not very hungry, she politely tastes it anyway:

Happy Birthday, sweet little Ping!We hope you feel better soon, and promise that next year will be even better!