Smile Charles, Smile!
Charles was born in January 2009 with a unilateral cleft lip and palate and came to ACCH on January 19th. When he first arrived, he was a timid boy with large eyes who seemed scared of his surroundings.
He felt safest when he was wrapped up in his blankets. The nannies described his cries as loud, sorrowful, and pitiful. They stated, “these are the kind of cries that make you want to come to him immediately!” And, while his cries were sad, he was easily calmed down by a familiar voice that spoke to him. This is Charles just shortly after he arrived at ACHH. What a beautiful baby boy!
After a few months at ACCH, Charles became much more interested in his surroundings and became very energetic. He enjoyed being in crowded, busy places to watch the interaction of the nannies and the other babies at the home.
Since his time at ACCH, he has become a much happier baby sporting big smiles for everyone. One nanny said “his smiles make you feel like you are enjoying the spring breeze and warm sunshine, relaxed and comfortable!” Just look at this picture of his beautiful smile…I can see what the nanny means!
Like all of our babies, Charles was blessed to receive his cleft lip surgery on May 13th and now his smile is even more handsome than ever. He recovered easily from his surgery and now has a smile for us all the time. What a happy boy!
Just last week, Charles was strong and healthy enough to graduate from ACHH. He moved back to his province and is living with a foster family. How lucky for Charles that he will already have a built-in foster “brother,” Philip, an October 2008 graduate of ACHH who is also living with this same foster family. Surely Philip will show Charles all of the “ropes” and Charles will feel comfortable in his new surroundings very quickly. We hope Charles will be sharing those precious smiles with both his foster parents and his forever family in the near future!
Lisa Schmidt is an Anhui Cleft Healing Home Assistant. She lives with her husband and four children in Virginia. Her youngest child, a son, was adopted from Fujian Province, China in 2008. Her oldest child, a daughter, was born with a cleft lip and palate.