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I Need My Coffee!

Once a month, our Beijing Regional Manager, Cindy, visits all the children at our Heartbridge Pediatric Healing Unit. Cindy takes great pride in sending us beautiful photos of our happy babies…but Douglas here has not been cooperating lately. You see, Douglas — like many of us — is NOT a morning person!

Above you can see Douglas in June, and below you can see him in July. This is how he always looks when he wakes up, and he does NOT snap out of it quickly. Cindy has unfortunately arrived at naptime the past few months, and apologizes for the sorrowful photographs. I truly don’t mind them. I like seeing all sides of a child’s personality, and it has occurred to me that perhaps I look just like Douglas before I have my morning cup of coffee. And the last thing I would want to see is a camera in my face!

Thanks to our wonderful Heartbridge staff, I have learned that this sad expression doesn’t begin to reflect Douglas’ true personality. He is actually very lively and quite the little prankster! When Cindy visited in May, she sat and talked with his nanny for awhile, and then stopped to ask why the nanny kept a hand on his walker at all times. As it turns out, Douglas likes to keep things interesting: when nobody is looking, he will go zooming across the floor in his walker, as fast as he can, and rattle the crib of a sleeping baby. “He is very fast and rather naughty,” said his nanny with a loving smile. The nannies all love spirited babies, so being called “naughty” is actually a compliment.

Since I am not there to deal with the newly-awakened babies, I really do love to see the children become healthy enough to be a little mischievous! Above you can see Douglas as a newborn last October. He was born with microtia (an underdeveloped ear) and a severe intestinal blockage which required immediate surgery. He came to Heartbridge to heal and grow stronger after his operation. Douglas is now nine months old and weighs a very respectable 7.9 kilograms (over 17 pounds). Mona, the nurse at Heartbridge, just sent us a photo of Douglas demonstrating that he can stand by using only one hand to steady himself…quite an accomplishment, and you can see the pride (and an adorable SMILE) on his face!

Mona says that if you will hold both hands, Douglas will smile, babble to the music, and dance and dance and dance. Pretty soon there will be NO stopping him! Last month we learned that Douglas’ adoption file has been started, and hopefully he will appear very soon on a Waiting Child adoption list. Some lucky family is going to find their hands (and their hearts) very full with this wonderful little boy!

Jan Champoux is Heartbridge Coordinator for Love Without Boundaries Foundation. She lives in Nebraska, USA with husband Rob and four children. Jan and Rob have a son and daughter in college, and also a son adopted from Korea, and a daughter adopted from China; both in the fifth grade.

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