Arya the Adventurer
In the summer of 2012, we were contacted by a rural orphanage about a new baby they had taken in with cleft lip and a small heart defect. She was jaundiced and difficult to feed, and sadly many babies born with this special need become failure to thrive very quickly in an orphanage setting. They asked if we could possibly take her into our care at the Anhui Healing Home. We thankfully had an open bed and told them to move her immediately.
This beautiful baby girl was given the name of Arya (because one of our volunteers was reading Game of Thrones), and she soon had her very first bath given by one of our loving nannies. She liked it a lot!
Arya settled in great to life at our healing home. She had a wonderful appetite and quickly mastered eating, once she was able to be fed with a squeezie cleft bottle. We celebrated her weight gain each and every week, and soon it was time for her to undergo her important cleft lip surgery.
Arya’s operation went beautifully, and this sweet little girl was a trooper through the whole experience. She was definitely happy to leave the hospital though and get back to her nannies – and we know she was wondering what those strange things on her arms were!
Arya recovered quickly back at the Anhui Healing Home, and all too soon it was time for her to graduate to make room for another baby who needed our help.
Thankfully, LWB has foster care in her hometown, but it was still so hard for our nannies to see her go!
Arya was placed with a wonderful foster family who has cared for so many babies over the years for LWB. Each month when we would get her reports, we would smile at the words of her foster mom and our manager:
“Arya is very pretty and full of laughter.”
“Arya has discovered cartoons and will drum on the TV to make her mom turn it on.”
“Arya’s grandma says she is a night owl who would stay up until midnight playing.”
And then a persistent theme came through every month. “Arya LOVES to be outside.” Before she could walk, Arya’s favorite thing was to be pushed in her stroller to the front door so she could watch everything going by. Then once she took her first steps, she delighted in discovering that the world was filled with secret treasures on the ground, if you kept your head down and looked carefully. Arya started collecting the things she would find outside, from colored string to paperclips to beautiful little rocks. Even when it was bitterly cold outside, she wanted to be out playing. One report made us laugh when her mom reported that Arya is “unwilling to stay indoors. Even if it is cold, she loves to run in the open fields.” Those are reports that always make us happy since we know so many children growing up in institutions rarely get a chance to go outside and explore.
Arya was definitely a toddler on the move now. Her foster mom told us she had to keep a constant, watchful eye on her since she was a true explorer. She also admitted that Arya could sometimes make her very tired! That definitely made us smile because how many of us moms have experienced life with a very busy toddler?
Just a few weeks ago, Arya began one of the greatest adventures of her life, as she finally met her forever family! Arya’s foster mom is going to miss this beautiful little girl so very much, but she is so happy to know she now has a permanent home through adoption. Our volunteer team who was in Anhui actually ran into Arya’s new family in the hotel where they all were staying. She now has three big brothers and will be oh so adored.
Arya – you are a precious child, and we are so thankful we got to play a part in your life story!
May your life be filled with so much love – and lots of open fields where you can keep running with joy!