Livia came to us in March 2009 at the young age of four months. She was born with a unilateral cleft lip and cleft palate, making it difficult for her orphanage to feed her.
Malnourished, weak, and susceptible to illness, Livia’s only hope was to be sent to one of our cleft healing homes for specialized care. When Livia arrived at the Anhui Cleft Healing Home, she weighed all of 5.5 pounds. Our smallest of clothes were much too large for her tiny body, and thin loose skin revealed many wrinkles along her forehead. She was the true definition of fragile!
Our cleft home team got right to work and Livia began receiving her feedings with specialized cleft bottles and high calorie formula, and above all she was LOVED! She responded very positively to this specialized care and began gaining weight very rapidly over the next few weeks. Her wrinkles were replaced with fat, uncertainty and shyness were replaced with a smile, and a hopeless future was replaced with HOPE. Within two months of joining the ACHH family, Livia began rolling from side to side and accomplishing new things that a baby of her age should be doing.
Livia did so exceptionally well in gaining weight and strength that she was ready to undergo her life-changing cleft lip surgery in mid-July! She has recovered so nicely from her surgery that she will be ready to graduate from ACHH and move into foster care in just a few short weeks. It has been amazing to watch what “Loving Livia” did for this little girl and to know that her entire future has now been transformed because of the existence of a cleft healing home, the love of a cleft home team, and the support of our amazing donors that have provided for Livia’s care, nutrition, and surgery!
Now isn’t Livia a true vision of hope?!
Trish Gerber is the Anhui Cleft Healing Home Coordinator. She lives with her husband, Shon, and four children in Kansas. Her youngest child was adopted from Anhui, China in 2008 and received the gift of a cleft lip repair from LWB in 2006. They await their fifth child, a son, from Maoming, China.