Baby Cuddling at Heartbridge
LWB’s Chief Administrative Executive Kelly Wolfe recently got to do something that many of us dream about: she visited Heartbridge Healing Home in person for a session of baby-cuddling!
Since most of us won’t get the opportunity to do the same, we thought we’d take all of you on a little tour of Heartbridge and catch up with some of the darling children there.
Four-year-old Rena joined us in mid-August following a one-month stay at Anhui Children’s Hospital. This fragile toddler had come into orphanage care with a painfully swollen tummy and subsequent malnutrition. Look at how tiny those arms are!
Rena was put on a liquid diet which includes Peptamen formula. For now she is doing much better, and we hope that additional hospital time can be avoided and that she will share her shy smile with us more and more.
We were also happy to welcome seven-month-old Xander. Xander was born with an anorectal malformation which will require surgery within the next couple of months. This poor little fellow was covered in mosquito bites and was suffering from a severe case of diaper rash upon arrival. We are thankful for the time to beef up Xander and get him healthy before his surgery.
Xander has a hearty appetite and kicks excitedly whenever he sees Nanny heading his way with a bottle. What a sweetie!
It’s great to see little Erin looking a bit more alert in her recent photos. She is slowly growing stronger, and now even shows a preference for laying on her tummy and holding her head up to look around. When she needs a rest from that activity, she will holler for her nanny come and help.
Erin’s very favorite activity is bath time. She quietly lays in the tub, moving her arms and legs back and forth like a relaxed little fish. Nanny figures this is another good form of exercise, but since Erin would happily stay there until the water is cold, this little workout is usually cut short before she is ready to leave. You can bet she is squeaky-clean!
Erin’s orphanage-mate Marcus is a more energetic little fellow. In fact, when he is laid down for a nap he will often wiggle around to the point of trapping himself in his blanket. Thankfully he knows that a good loud cry will bring his nanny (or Kelly!) to the rescue.
Marcus appears to have a good attention span, and he will happily play, babble, or simply watch whatever is going on in the home. His nanny says that with his bright eyes and sweet smile, Marcus makes people want to cuddle and talk to him. This suits him just fine.
Hazel has really come out of her shell in recent weeks, and she loves nothing better than a nice, long chat with her nanny. She gets very excited, wiggling her arms and legs, mouthing along to the story, and watching Nanny intently for the next words. Hazel does not like to be cradled on her back, but wants to be held upright where she can see what is going on in the room.
Brent has also made great strides in his social development. He is at that age where he loves people and hasn’t yet developed any “stranger anxiety.” This makes him a very popular guy with visitors like Kelly and her husband.
Unlike delicate Hazel, Brent has been gaining weight like gangbusters, putting on over two pounds during the month of August. Brent will be going into the hospital in September to evaluate the best treatment for his hand and arm differences.
Last but not least, we have the ever-cheerful Val. Weak, unresponsive and malnourished when she joined us in January, she is now making incredible progress!
Val’s new exercise regimen includes spending time each day in a walker. This has helped tremendously with her core strength, and now she is even able to stand up in the walker and take a few steps. When she tires, Val can simply sit down until she is ready to roll again. Nanny says that when Val is ready for a nap, she will scoot her walker on over to her crib and call for someone to come and help her. She’s a girl who knows what she wants, and she knows exactly how to get it. Val is also beginning to repeat some simple words. We are all so proud of her!
Thank you for joining us on our little tour of Heartbridge!