I would like to introduce you to playful Pamela, a beautiful ten-year-old girl who lives in Zhejiang Province. I first heard about her a little over three years ago when I joined a parent Yahoo group for her orphanage when I was hoping to go to China to adopt my own daughter. One of the ladies on the group had visited this orphanage when she adopted her son, and not only did she get me a few photos of my soon-to-be daughter but also told me about Pamela. She was concerned about her because Pamela has brittle bone disease (osteogenesis imperfecta). This is a disorder which leaves the child with weak bones which can break easily. Perhaps because of this condition, Pamela’s adoption paperwork had never been submitted. My friend made a donation to LWB to provide vitamins for her, which is generous and wonderful…but what Pamela really needs is a family and medical treatment.
We adopted our daughter from Zhejiang in 2008, but due to bad weather I didn’t get to visit the orphanage. However, life is full of interesting twists and turns, and in January of 2010 we went again to China to adopt another girl from the same orphanage. On this visit, I was able to visit the orphanage and got to meet Pamela, but I still didn’t think that this darling girl would have the opportunity to be adopted. Imagine my surprise a couple weeks ago when I found out that Pamela is actually on the SHARED LIST!! I am so excited that this sweet little girl will get a chance to find a family. I am so hoping that someone will want to bring her home and help her get treatment for her special needs!
Pamela loves to sing and is said to have a beautiful, sweet singing voice like a sparrow. She also enjoys papercutting and other crafts and is quite positive about her life, despite the difficulties she faces.
Since osteogenesis imperfecta (OI) is not well known, a friend of LWB whose son has OI has been kind enough to share her thoughts and experiences:
My son came into the world and will leave the world with a physical condition. It is called osteogenesis imperfecta, OI for short. Most people have heard of it as brittle bone disease. It is a condition that causes his collagen to be produced incorrectly. This means his bones break easily and his cartilage is overly stretchy. Does it change the way we live our lives? Yes, honestly it does. We have to be more careful with him to avoid injuries. For a boy that loves to rough and tumble, it’s impossible to keep out of the ER permanently.
He has had surgery to implant titanium rods in his legs that grow with him. This has helped a lot. But the greatest blessing has been him receiving quarterly IV treatments of pamidronate. This has hugely improved his condition! It’s truly been like it has turned on his superpowers and increased his bone strength! We have these treatments at our Shriners Hospital, and he always looks forward to his trips there.
My son is small in stature. That is just what OI does, but he has the largest sense of humor and positive outlook on life. He is treasured and loved by all who meet him. He is an amazing child, and we count our blessings every day to have him in our family! He goes to school and has countless friends. He is a great artist and is a productive individual. It is true that he may have bones of glass, but he has a heart of steel.
Please consider adopting a child with OI. We are so blessed that we did. — Stefani Ellison
Suzanne Damstedt is the Orphanage Assistance Director for Love Without Boundaries. She lives in Washington State with her husband, Darrell. They have nine children: six bio kids and three daughters adopted from Shantou, Guangdong Province and Lishui, Zhejiang Province.
Love Without Boundaries proudly advocates for adoption but is not an adoption agency. We invite you to contact [email protected] with questions about a child we have featured and encourage you to contact your local adoption agency for more information about China’s Waiting Child Program.