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20 Years of Hope: Ruth

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A beautiful little girl came into this world in the summer of 2017 in a rural community in eastern China. Sadly, at just a few weeks old, she was abandoned into orphanage care — most likely because she had been born with a cleft lip and palate.

Baby girl in pink with a unilateral cleft lip

Thankfully, the director at this baby’s orphanage had reached out to Love Without Boundaries for help in the past and didn’t hesitate to ask for our assistance in having this little one’s cleft lip repaired. This new baby was admitted to our China Healing Home where we gave her the name of Ruth.

Our healing home nannies are well-versed in all the tips and tricks needed to feed a baby with cleft, and Ruth quickly gained the weight needed to safely have surgery. As you can tell by those chubby cheeks, they did a marvelous job!

Baby girl with unilateral cleft lip wearing a rainbow hat

Little Ruth had her cleft lip repaired when she was just over two months old and was able to return to the healing home just four days later to continue her post-operative care. Her post-op care stretched into months and even years as we had the space and resources to keep this precious girl in the home. We are so grateful to her loyal sponsors!

Baby in hospital following cleft lip repair surgery

For the next three years, Ruth continued to grow and thrive in our healing home. At three years old, she had made her way through the typical infant and toddler milestones: eating solids, learning to walk and talk, making friends, engaging in creative play, learning her manners, helping her elders with small chores — everything a typical three-year-old should be able to do.

Little girl in red vest clapping with help of her nanny

Most importantly, she learned about love and trust, safe in the arms of her nannies.

Little girl in a yellow top hugging a woman in white

Ruth also developed quite a sense of humor (and a love of minor mischief), and we adored seeing that sunny smile as each week’s reports and photos arrived from China. Her personality always shone through in those twinkling eyes.

Little girl in pigtails and black shirt with white polka dots with repaired cleft lip

Then in September of 2020, Ruth received the most incredible news…she was being adopted domestically! She would now have a forever family of her very own.

Little girl in pink shirt in arms of her nanny

It is a bittersweet experience for our nannies to say goodbye to a child that they have loved for so long, but such a joy to see that child move on to the next vital part of their life’s journey.

About a year later, we heard back from Ruth’s new mother who was hopeful that we might be able to provide some additional medical assistance through our Unity Initiative. Through this vital program, LWB provides surgeries for children from families that can’t afford the expense of a hospital stay and surgery. By this time, Ruth was ready for her palate repair to help her breathe more easily and speak more clearly. We learned that Ruth’s mother was a single woman, unable to pay the entire cost of a very necessary operation, so we were more than happy to help.

It was so nice to see that Ruth still had the same bright, sunny smile! Cleft palate surgery went well, and doctors were able to do a little tweaking of Ruth’s lip and nose at the same time. She stayed in the hospital for a little over a week so doctors could ensure that her stitches would stay in place.

Little girl in blue sits in a hospital bed

This was not our last goodbye, however. Just this past summer, Ruth’s mother was ill herself and unable to care for her daughter for a while. We were able to welcome Ruth back for a few weeks in our healing home while her mother had time to recover. Everyone was thrilled to see how Ruth had grown and progressed, and she had quite a lot of fun with our other residents who were close to her age. In addition, we had the chance to help Ruth celebrate her 6th birthday!

6 year old celebrating her birthday with cake

Ruth’s mother told us, “I am very grateful to LWB for giving me the opportunity to be a mother. Thank you for bringing this child into my life.” To this mother, we say that we are very grateful to her for giving Ruth the chance to be a daughter. We wish them a lifetime of love and happiness!

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