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20 Years of Hope: Cayden

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In February of 2015, we received a call from an orphanage who had a baby in severe distress fighting to survive.  He had a large laryngeal cyst on his neck and was struggling to breathe and swallow. We immediately took him to the hospital and named him Cayden.

Tiny premature baby in a hooded yellow sleeper lying down

Following surgery and treatment for a nagging respiratory infection that he couldn’t shake, Cayden finally joined our China Healing Home in mid-March. He was very small and weak and didn’t have many reserves in his little body to fight off another infection.

Caring for Cayden at our Healing Home

At seven months old, he weighed just six pounds. Our nannies devised a treatment plan that involved frequent small feedings of specialized PreNan preemie formula and lots of rest.

Tiny premature baby drinking from a bottle

Against all odds, Cayden began to grow stronger. We were concerned that he might need a feeding tube, but during his first three weeks in the home he valiantly put on 14 ounces!

Tiny baby in orange sleeper gazes at woman who is gently touching his face

Cayden began taking an interest in the many fascinating things happening around him at the home. As he grew more and more pink, the nannies gradually got him used to some mild exercise. This exercise routine where his nanny held him chest-to chest and reclined slightly was a modified form of tummy time to help him learn to use his neck and trunk muscles without burning too many calories (as he didn’t have many to spare!)

Before long, Cayden was on the floor for tummy time with the rest of his healing home buddies. Cayden began packing on the pounds (five in just two months) and developed actual dimples!

Baby looking at woman and laughing with mouth wide open

Cayden started becoming very interested in the world around him. He loved being gently teased and hugged by his nannies and demonstrated his joy with lots of giggles, smiles, and baby babbles.

Small baby in turquoise shirt with mouth wide open

We couldn’t be happier to see him happy and healthy after the struggles of the previous spring. What a turnaround for this tiny warrior!

Baby with chubby cheeks sitting in a bouncy chair

Cayden Post-Adoption

In 2016, Cayden was adopted and moved to the United States. We recently heard from his mom and are thrilled to see him doing so well! We’re also happy to see that he still has those amazing dimples. Here’s what she had to say:

It’s hard to believe that we’re coming up on seven years since Cayden joined our family. Today we’re thankful to say that he is healthy and strong. He loves going to school, drawing, and anything related to Godzilla! His dream is to travel to Tokyo.

Boy laughing with a toy dinosaur in the snow

While at first Cayden can be a little shy, you see a much more confident personality come out once he warms up. Then, he tells you all of his big ideas and asks questions about everything. He loves learning and often surprises us with his thoughtful questions and answers.

Boy with repaired cleft palate smiling in someone's arm.s

Two years after Cayden came home, we returned to China and adopted a little sister, who is close to him in age. Now they’re best friends and constant companions…going to school, playing and growing together every day. These two completed our family, and we are so incredibly grateful.

Sister and brother holding hands and smiling outside

It was such a blessing to be able to provide healing, a warm bed, special formula, and the loving arms of our healing home nannies in order to turn Cayden’s life around. Our wonderful medical care program and healing homes program sponsors made this all possible, and we cannot possibly thank them enough!

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