Tuesday, May 26, 2015

December 2014 Featured Child: Ji

For this month’s featured child, we are highlighting one of the children in our group home program, Ji. Ji joined group home 6 in October of 2012. He was 6 years old at that time. He was born with spina bifida.

Ji attends our Learning Center and is a pretty smart boy! He enjoys drawing pictures, math class and writing Chinese characters. He is a super talented artist - below is one of his drawings of super heroes! He even knows a little bit of English and Italian. And loves to show off his skills. If someone visits his home, he often starts a basic conversation with them and checks if they too can speak English or Italian!

Due to his spina bifida, Ji’s legs are of different length and he has difficulty walking long distances. When he joined his group home, he had special shoes to help correct the length of his legs so he could walk.  In January 2014, he had a surgery to correct his hip problem. This surgery went smoothly and when he went back for his check up, he was healing well. The surgeries are quite invasive and so he needed to be on bed rest and was not able to attend school during this period.

By September, he started to walk a little and do basic exercises by leaning on something or someone for support. Unfortunately,  soon after, he had a slight fall that resulted in his hip joint breaking. And so, he went back to the hospital to redo the surgery. On his return, he was once again on bed rest and could not really do much. But he is slowly recovering from his fall and surgery. During his last checkup, he was given permission to stand and sit. We hope he continues to have a speedy recovery and can start going to school again early next year!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

February 2015 Featured Child: Hou

This month’s featured child is little Hou.  Hou came to the baby home last year in early May as a one month old baby. This little boy has a lot going on.  He was born with multiple problems, including a cleft, anal atresia, amniotic banding and cardiac issues.  Since he needs special care and treatment for his conditions, his orphanage contacted us to see if we could provide this care for him.  Of course, we said we would!

At his orphanage, Hou had received a surgery to make a temporary opening for his anus atresia condition.  Anus atresia, is a birth defect where the anus is either not present or is in the wrong place.  Although little Hou has multiple problems, he is one happy little boy!

About 3 months after his arrival at the baby home, Hou started a series of surgeries!  He first went to the hospital to get a lip repair surgery.  He came back to the baby home looking like a completely different boy!

A while later, Hou then went back to the hospital to receive his anus colostomy surgery.  He also received reconstructive surgery on his feet for his amniotic banding and clubbed feet.

After all the surgeries, Hou has come a long way from when he first arrived at the baby home. He now no longer needs special care.  And so, he will soon be transitioning to another organization that provides foster care.  We hope that his adoption paperwork gets completed quickly so he can move into his forever family soon.

Friday, May 15, 2015

January 2015 Featured Child Post: Le

This month’s featured child is Le. Le came to us about a year ago in January 2014. Her story is slightly different, because instead of coming to us in need of surgery like most of the babies, she came to us needing post-op care. She had undergone heart surgery prior to her arrival. Her heart surgery was successful, but doctors were unable to extubate her, so she ended up needing a tracheostomy.   After the tracheostomy she was unable to return to her orphanage as they did not have the level of skilled care that she needed.

Le was 3 years old when she arrived at the Beijing Baby Home. She was not very stable and was very malnourished. In addition, to her heart condition she was born with down syndrome. She had very poor muscle development and was not even able to sit up.

We placed her in our isolation room to provide the best care for her. Her tracheostomy needed a lot of special nursing care. Slowly, we started to see her condition improve.

She started to develop her muscles. She started to sit up by herself and started to crawl! As time went by, she became healthier and stable.

About 4 months after her arrival, she was able to breathe well enough that the tracheostomy tube was removed.  She continued to grow healthy and bigger.

Now, she does not need any extra special care and so by the end of this month she is going to return back to her province, with the hope of her finding her ‘forever family’ soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May 2015 Featured Child: Sheng

The month of May brings sunshine and warmth here in Beijing and to reflect that, this month’s featured child, adorable Sheng, is full of joy and brightness.

Sheng came to us in April 2014 as a one month old baby. Her orphanage contacted us as she was having a lot of medical issues and the doctors were not quite sure what was wrong with her. We were not sure of this little one’s sex and suspected adrenal hyperplasia. Due to her condition, our medical team decided to bring her to Beijing and admit her into the hospital to get checked out by specialists to find out more.

The doctors diagnosed her with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia, commonly referred to as CAH. The medications used to treat CAH are steroids and they affect the immune system. Because of this, babies with CAH are quite immunocompromised and need to be watched very carefully for any signs of illness.   At this point, since we knew what her condition was, we figured she was ready to come back to the baby home and start her recovery.

Unfortunately, she soon got pneumonia and had to be readmitted into ICU for more than a week. After treatment, once she was no longer in critical condition, she returned back to the baby home. But again, for just a short stay. She had to go back to the hospital as her condition got worse again. These first few months were very tense as there were a lot of unknowns and visits to the hospital for this little one. But she flourished through all of this!

Since then, she has been stable and growing ever since!  Just like any other child, she started to crawl and become bigger and healthy!

She is such a happy girl, always smiling and bringing joy to everyone around her!

In March,  she celebrated her one year old birthday with a birthday cake!

As a 14 month baby now, she enjoys walking and exploring all things around her. These days, she also loves to sing and do hand motions to songs like  ‘Wheels on the bus’!

She is soon going to transfer into our group home project. Due to the extra checkups that she needs on a regular basis for her CAH condition, we felt that she would be a good fit for our long term group home project.