LWB Community Blog

Jennai: An Adoption Success Story

LWB first met Emily a year ago, and who could forget her! This spunky little girl with a big personality was dealing with multiple special needs, including three missing limbs, cleft lip, and a heart defect. Emily had her cleft lip surgery during our 2012 Cleft Medical Exchange last April and then stayed at Heartbridge Healing Home before and after her heart surgery. In December Emily, now named Jennai, was adopted by her American family.

Jennai’s mother shared this update on her precious new daughter:

This little girl amazes me every day. She is so strong, both physically and in her will. She has started speech therapy and is making lots of sounds. Every now and then she pops up with a very clear word that she is repeating. We are so thankful for LWB and the Cleft Exchange for repairing her lip at a young age so these sounds are so much easier for her to make. One of these days she’ll be talking a mile a minute!! We are looking forward to that. She definitely gets her point across by using gestures and she is even starting to use some sign language, though some signs are difficult for her since so many signs require two hands.

We took her to see a cardiologist here, just to make sure everything looked good. The ultrasound tech stopped over the repaired part of her heart. I was starting to wonder what he was looking at when he said, “That’s amazing!” The surgeon she saw also commented on the “excellent repair” she received on her heart.

Jennai went for her second fitting for her prostheses recently. They measured, cut, drilled, etc and were about ready to call it quits for the day when I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk (while wearing the prostheses). I supported her under her arms and away she went. They asked if I would walk in front of her to see if she would walk toward me while they held her, so they could see how she moved. At the doorway to the room, I stopped, she stopped, they let go and… SHE STOOD THERE UNASSISTED for about three seconds!!! This mama cried! The lady doing the measurements had tears in her eyes and said, “I think we got it! This girl is going to go!” This little girl continues to amaze us!

Thank you, again, LWB for everything you have done to help “Emily” get a good start in her life. She has a lot to overcome, but you were there for her at a crucial time in her life to help her with some of those obstacles.

~Jennai’s mom and dad

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