LWB Community Blog

Heartbridge Hellos and Goodbyes

Whenever a child is well enough to leave our healing homes, we are sad to say goodbye but celebrate their “graduation.” Today we are happy to announce two graduations from our Heartbridge Healing Home and also introduce three new babies who arrived this summer!

First to graduate was little Violet. Last November, a very weak and fragile Violet joined us for some pre-operative “beefing-up,” surgery during our Cleft Medical Exchange, and post-operative care. At five months old, she weighed in at just 4.8 pounds and suffered from a fever, high white count and dehydration.

By the time of her recent graduation from Heartbridge, Violet had just celebrated her first birthday, had a beautiful new smile, and weighed 16.7 pounds. We hope to hear soon that Violet has been chosen for adoption and wish her a wonderful life!

Another summer graduate was Mary Beth. Arriving in February at just one month old, this sweetheart already weighed nine pounds. She obviously had wonderful care during the first few weeks of her life. However, Mary Beth also had an extremely wide bilateral cleft lip, and we sent her to our Cleft Medical Exchange for a repair.

Mary Beth 2.16

Mary Beth graduated on July 4th and now lives with a foster family in her hometown. We expect that Mary Beth will also have her chance for adoption and a forever family, and we send our best wishes for her future.

Now, on to our new arrivals!

In early June, Marcus arrived in need of some TLC and extra patience in feeding. Weighing just under eight pounds at twelve months of age, he was only as big as a good-sized newborn.

Marcus has Down Syndrome but no other medical needs that could explain his failure to thrive. Thankfully, his nanny’s special touch seems to be working, and he has gained three pounds in two months.

Once Marcus has gained more weight and strength, he will be able to graduate into LWB foster care and have his chance for adoption. We hope he continues to blossom!

Accompanying Marcus in early June was his orphanage-mate, Erin. Like Marcus, Erin was born with Down Syndrome. She also has an extra digit on her right hand and two small heart defects that we hope will heal on their own. Upon her arrival at six months of age, Erin was a tiny peanut weighing less than seven pounds.

As you can see from her updated photo just two months later, weight gain has not been a problem for this little gal!

Erin’s nanny reports that her charge is peaceful, easygoing, and rarely makes a fuss. She watches everything around her and loves to go visiting with her nanny. Once Erin is bigger and stronger and we get the “all clear” on her heart, Erin will be able to move into LWB foster care and hopefully be registered for adoption.

Can we hear a collective “Awwwwww!” for baby Brent? Born in mid-June with left arm and hand differences as well as two small heart defects, Brent was able to join us before the end of that month.

Like Marcus, Brent has gained three pounds since his arrival, and we are pleased with his progress. At almost two months old, this sweet little guy is becoming more interactive with his nanny and opens his mouth to make tiny sounds of his own when she is telling him a story. We look forward to getting to know him better as his personality emerges.

These hellos and goodbyes are all a part of the cycle at our healing homes. We hope you’ve enjoyed witnessing the progress that these precious little ones have made during their time with us!

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  • Brett says:

    I remember Violet at the Cleft Exchange and thought her little twinkle was congenital. This is the first time I’ve seen her “before” photo and realize this is multiplied by many thousands for orphans the world over, but it’s still devastating to see.

    And while I know that without LWB’s incredible organization and specialized training, much talent would be lost, once again, I’m struck by the ‘power of one on one’ seeing the difference the nannies make in the lives of medically compromised children who, in addition to their physical condition, face the very real threat of that vague but deadly condition called “failure to thrive”.

    Thanks to LWB, these goodbyes are filled with hope that’s contagious. Issac Bashevic Singer said that if you tell about one place really well, you tell about the whole world: Perhaps the model established by LWB can be that story that prevents the (comfortable) rest of us from thinking there’s no hope, that the little things can’t possibly make a difference when you’re – happily – proving us wrong with every child.