With our next cleft trip right around the corner, we thought you might enjoy reading the story of one of our supporters whose daughter received cleft surgery through LWB.
When we first saw the face of our new daughter, we could not begin to imagine the amazing story of her life. In the photos she was a year old, and already she had great stories to tell. Cami was born in China with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. She entered the orphanage at less than 24 hours old. Left with her was a bottle that she could not actually suck from because drinking from a regular bottle is not possible with a cleft palate.
According to the information we were given, the caretakers at the orphanage fed her by spoon. It was not the best way to give her a full stomach, and so she had to eat often and all through the night. Her nannies helped her get stronger and then they helped her drink from a cleft bottle. The goal was to help her grow big enough to be a candidate for surgery.
A year earlier, a family in the U.S. adopted a baby girl from Cami’s orphanage. Home in America, when this little girl celebrated her birthday, her parents requested that no one bring gifts, but rather choose to give a donation to help the children still living in China. This birthday party raised over $1,000. The next day, the mother called Love Without Boundaries and told them about the donations. She asked if the money could be directed to the XiaJiang orphanage that her daughter had been adopted from. LWB called the orphanage to find out what their needs were at the time, and they said they had a little girl who needed cleft surgery and a little boy with a heart defect.
Because of this donation and funds from Love Without Boundaries, Cami and two nannies traveled to the Anhui Children’s Hospital for Cami to have her lip repaired when she was nine months old. Having the lip repaired helped her to eat and drink better and to continue to grow as a baby should.
Cami was adopted in August 2007 at age 2. Her palate was repaired a few months later. She is a happy, active, healthy child with a personality as big as the sky!
We are forever grateful to Love Without Boundaries for providing life-saving surgeries for so many babies. Cami’s “special need” is such a tiny part of who she is now that we hardly think about it, but, without her surgery, the orphanage may not have even submitted her paperwork for adoption. This birth defect could have impacted her entire life instead of being the non-issue it is for her today.
To read about this year’s trip and the children who will benefit, click here.