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LWB’s 2019 Cleft Exchange – Day Four

Day Four is a wrap, and after being taught by the Chinese hospital team how to make homemade dumplings tonight, we can update everyone with very full and happy tummies.

We’ll just say we’re not going to quit our day jobs because this isn’t exactly how a traditional Chinese dumpling is supposed to look, but we certainly tried.  #pinterestfail  🙂

First a few updates on some of the children you’ve already met on the blog.  We’re very happy to report that with a good night’s sleep after a tough surgical day, Rylan is feeling SO much better. She was sitting up and even singing when we stopped by this morning.  She also got a chance to see herself on our cell phones in selfie mode, which fit right in with her love of mirrors.

Sweet Rylan

One of our medical team members noticed that Rylan’s left hip makes a popping sound when moved and that Ryland can bend her leg over her head, so we believe she might have a dislocated hip. Further testing will need to be done, and if so, she will most likely need extensive casting.

We’re so grateful for all the wonderful thoughts being sent her way. She is such a tiny little girl who LOVES being held and cuddled, and she has stolen our hearts.

Little Blake was not exactly thrilled to see the doctors come back in this morning, but after a quick check on his lip repair, he was safely back in mom’s arms. While he is still a little dazed from yesterday’s afternoon surgery, we expect that he’ll soon be ready to play again with all his devoted relatives.

Poor baby Jordan had a rough recovery after surgery, crying quietly for several hours, which broke her grandmother’s heart.  Thankfully Jordan was finally able to fall asleep, which eased grandma’s concerns.  Jordan was visibly relieved when the doctors removed the cotton from her nose this morning. Jordan’s grandmother is just so pleased with the lip repair. She’s been rocking her granddaughter nonstop and gazing down with such love at Jordan’s beautiful new look.

By late this afternoon, Jordan was feeling so much better and already back to smiling.  She just can’t help grinning at everyone she sees. Smile gently, little girl…we don’t want those stitches to move!

Jordan feeling so much better

Peyton was still a little fussy this morning since he was the last surgery yesterday afternoon.  His older brothers (all grown adults) are here for support and absolutely dote on him. They say he was already so handsome before but now has a terrific new lip to go with his movie star good looks.

Peyton trying out his best actor’s pose

Speaking of movie star handsome, Finley is also recovering well, although his lip is definitely still feeling sore. Just a few more days Finley, and we promise it will all be worth it.

Finley

Now we’d like to tell you about some of the children who had surgery today.

You met Darien on our blog earlier this week, the little boy who’s been in our foster care program since he was a tiny baby.  He is incredibly attached to his foster granny, who has cared for so many LWB children over the years. Many of them have since been adopted within China and to countries around the world.

The Dynamic Duo

Darien’s foster granny is from a Miao ethnic minority group in rural Guizhou province. In this region, women use hand-embroidered baby carriers which are an important part of their culture. Girls will often begin embroidering theirs even before they are married. Many of the hand-dyed and stitched carriers are so sturdy and strong that they can be passed down to new generations.

A handmade Miao baby carrier

We love thinking of how many foster children have taken the same exact ride in the carrier that Darien uses now. And how fit is grandma that she can multi-task with not only the carrier but the IV pole as well pre-surgery?

We’re happy to report that Darien sailed through his palate operation today and hopefully will be feeling much better tomorrow.

One-year-old Sam received his surgery with Dr. Buckmiller today.  Sam was born with a microform cleft lip, which might not be as noticeable as ones we typically think of, but still often requires surgical correction to restore the muscle continuity of the mouth. Isn’t he adorable?  He wasn’t too sure of this whole hospital thing.

Sam

Everything went smoothly for Sam in the OR, and he was dozing on and off when our team left the hospital.

Five-month-old Rowan also had surgery today, to repair his unilateral cleft lip.  His parents and grandfather traveled six hours to see our team in Lanzhou and are hopeful that having his lip repaired will lead to a better future for him. Rowan has been such a delight this week on the ward, as he is so social and smiley. If you even look his way, he bursts into laughter.

Rowan was sound asleep when we made pre-op rounds this morning. Here’s his very last photo before getting his new look.

And true to his nature, this jolly little guy was only moments out of recovery before he was back to giving smiles. Can we just give a shout-out to whomever it was that invented baby Tylenol?

Rowan looking oh so handsome

We’ll close out today with just a few more beautiful photos taken on the hospital ward.  We can’t believe just how fast this week is going by.  We’re so grateful for all the wonderful thoughts being sent to these amazing kids who are with us in Lanzhou.  More soon!

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