We had another (for me) heart wrenching day at the orphanage this afternoon.
Every trip makes me feel a sense of sadness, relief, frustration, mingled with small doses of hope.
Trying to understand why a 4 month old, 8 month old and 10 month old all get the same amount of formula per day.
And hoping we can rescue yet another failure-to-thrive baby from dropping even further below the growth chart.
This little guy, named Jian-Hai (something-ocean) is 12 months old, about 10 pounds, and had a surgery on his esophagus sometime after birth which has left him with difficulty eating solids.
So since there is not so much manpower to feed these kiddos, if he doesn’t take it fast, he doesn’t get it at all.
I spotted him a few weeks ago rolling over on his tummy and looking eagerly over at me as I was seeing another child in the same playroom.
I was struck by his extreme skinniness compared with all the others in that room, who were mobile and chowing down on bowls of food.
I made sure we formally saw him the next week, where it was noted that he was losing weight, then we rechecked his weight today.
It was marginally up, but he still weighs about the same as a thin 4 month old.
We are lining up a potential foster parent for him, and as soon as the person is confirmed my Chinese colleague will contact the correct person and make a plea for him to be temporarily fostered out into the community for nutritional rehab.
The orphanage usually has a 3 month contract, and if there is good reason to continue the child being fostered, they may allow it.
It all depends on…everything. But mostly on the relationship between the person asking and the person granting permission.
So be thinking about Jian-Hai.
PS. John Deere has found a loving longer-term foster family that is willing to keep him as long as they are permitted.
He is growing in strength–can suck from a bottle, is showing more muscle activity in his arms and legs and has been smiling at his caregivers.
They are very excited about his progress!