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20 Years of Hope: Mason

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In 2019, Mason was born with Down syndrome, and as sometimes is the case with children having this condition, he also had a heart defect. We were truly grateful that his orphanage director reached out to us for medical assistance.

Baby Mason joined us in our China Healing Home when he was almost six months old, very weak, and weighing only nine pounds. The plan was to give him a whole lot of TLC and strengthen him for his upcoming heart surgery.

Small baby boy with wrinkled forehead being held by a woman in pink sweater

At first, Mason was quite difficult to feed and had a hard time putting on weight. Unfortunately, he developed a respiratory infection right around the time we had planned for his heart surgery. As he was being treated for pneumonia in the hospital, doctors decided that Mason could benefit from gaining some more weight before his heart operation. An echocardiogram showed that his heart issue might very well improve or even resolve over time. With that in mind, the new focus became weight gain and careful monitoring of Mason’s heart condition.

Baby in a yellow bib drinking from a bottle

Over time, Mason started to keep more of his formula down in his tummy where it belonged and began to make steady progress at his own rate. He mastered sitting, scooting in a walker, and crawling, and when he took his first independent steps right around his second birthday, there was quite a celebration! We were all proud of Mason, but no one could have been more thrilled than Mason himself when all the nannies cheered for him.

Baby boy with Down syndrome standing with arms in the air

Mason’s personality blossomed over time, and he turned out to be the perfect jolly little turkey to grace our 2020 Thanksgiving message of thanks to supporters. What an infectious grin!

Baby boy dressed in a turkey costume for 20 Years of Hope blog

These days, it’s humorous to think back to the time when we prayed for Mason to be a little more energetic. In fact, the old saying, “Be careful what you wish for” comes to mind. Now that he is four years old, Mason’s weekly reports are filled with tales of minor mischief and mayhem! It’s impossible not to smile at some of the stories of his busy-ness. According to Mason, doors and drawers are meant to be opened and shut (over and over and over), the bathroom floor is meant to be flooded by vigorous bathtub splashing, and shoes are meant to be gleefully chucked around the room.

Boy in a yellow shirt gleefully throwing a shoe in the air

The healing home nannies sure do have their hands full!

Thankfully, Mason has a very sweet side as well, and he is full of smiles, hugs, and kisses for his beloved nannies. Surely that cute stinkin’ grin makes up for a few little messes, don’t you think?

Little boy in yellow with his nanny, both of whom are laughing

In April of this year, Mason was admitted to the hospital for his long-anticipated heart surgery. During pre-op testing, it was discovered that the hole in his heart had shrunk to less than a millimeter in size. Doctors feel that there is a good chance that the hole will heal spontaneously, so Mason was discharged back to the healing home without having surgery. What wonderful news!

Little boy with Down syndrome in a yellow t-shirt

This week, while our LWB volunteers in the U.S. are celebrating Thanksgiving, we give thanks for a spunky little boy in China who is well on his way to a healthy heart.

We are thankful that he has a warm bed, nutritious food, love, and gentle guidance from the nannies who are dedicated to his well-being.

And we are thankful for all the amazing supporters who give to LWB programs such as our China Healing Homes. Mason’s STORY OF HOPE would have never been possible without people like you, and we are truly grateful.

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