Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Love Without Boundaries 2008 Cleft Mission Trip!

It is almost here...Love Without Boundaries
2008 Cleft Medical Trip to Anhui, China!

Many of you know that Jaida was the recipient of cleft lip surgery during the November 2006 LWB Cleft Mission Trip to Anhui, China. Well, another team of volunteers is getting ready to leave in one week to provide this life-saving, life-changing surgery to 25 more children. In one week, LWB will take a small team of ten volunteers to Hefei, Anhui. Leading the team will be John Ness, an outstanding plastic surgeon from St. Cloud, Minnesota, who has offered his skillful hand to help children all over the world. He is very passionate about these sweet children and he looks forward to teaming together with the physicians and hospital staff at Anhui Children's Hospital (ACH) to bring new smiles to 25 beautiful children's faces! We are personally so thankful to Love Without Boundaries and to ACH, as this hospital is the location where Jaida was found when she was left as a newborn baby. It is also the hospital where her cleft lip surgery was performed. Jaida's life was forever changed because of the collaboration of this U.S. Charity organization and this China hospital!

I am writing this to let you know that there are still many children who will be receiving cleft lip surgery during this trip and they are still in need of a surgery sponsor or just a general donation. Even the smallest amount of money can make a difference in the life of one of these children. Please consider donating today by visiting the Love Without Boundaries link I have posted under "Favorite Links" and experience the joy of giving! Enjoy reading "Jaidalyn's Gift" below, which I wrote for LWB to post on their blog to encourage others to donate!


With only a week left before the 2008 LWB Cleft Mission Trip to Anhui, China, I wanted to encourage you to become a part of a child’s story. Our story begins in June 2007 when my husband and I opened our hearts to the prospect of adopting a child from China with special needs. With some apprehension we submitted our special needs application to our agency and waited. On August 20th, we received a phone call that has forever changed our lives. Our agency had matched us with a little girl named Na Qun whose special need was cleft lip and palate. The moment we opened up the first picture of her file, we knew for certain that Na Qun was our daughter. We adopted Jaidalyn Na Qun in March 2008 with a repaired unilateral cleft lip and an unrepaired cleft palate. Jaidalyn is a beautiful 2.5 year old who is full of life, a blessing and delight to our family!

But it wasn’t always this way for Jaida…Jaida was born with a very wide cleft lip and palate, which made eating very difficult and required special bottles and attentive nannies. We discovered through Jaida’s medical files that in November 2006, Jaida was the recipient of cleft lip surgery during LWB’s 3rd Cleft Mission Trip to China. We may never know who sponsored Jaida’s surgery or the individuals who donated even the smallest amount of money for Jaida to have this life-saving, life-changing surgery, but every time we see her smile we are reminded of and forever grateful to the team of surgeons, nurses, and volunteers who gave our daughter a smile that can melt your heart and light up even the darkest of rooms!

As the next cleft mission trip to China quickly approaches, I ask you to open your hearts and experience the joy of giving. Yes, Jaida’s beautiful smile came with a cost, but its worth is PRICELESS. “Every Child Counts” and they are counting on us…become a part of their story and donate today!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

Jaida has been ours for 6 months!

Well, last week we celebrated six months since the day Jaida came into our lives and she was fully ours! Even though it seems like she has been with us forever, we still can't believe that six months has already flown by. My goodness, where does the time go?!

I first must apologize for not updating our blog on a more regular basis! I thought this was going to be a great way to keep everyone updated on our weekly happenings, but it seems to get pushed to the back burner as I try to maintain the homefront for this busy family of six. I really am going to try to do better from now on!

As I reflect upon the past six months, the only two words I can truly think of is.....extremely blessed! Jaidalyn is such a gift, bringing joy and adding more fun to this crazy, busy, abundantly full life God has blessed us with. Jaida is full of life and her smile is big enough to light even the darkest room! She has grown and changed so much over the past few months. She has grown about 3 inches in height and has gained almost 4 pounds. She finally figured out she can ask us for food rather than just waiting for us to feed her! She sleeps 12 hours a night and takes a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon-can't get any better than that!

She has learned English more quickly than I ever thought possible and speaks amazingly well despite her unrepaired cleft palate. She is a true girl and talks from the time she wakes up until bedtime. She is not shy to voice her opinion and can be frequently heard saying, "I don't wanna!" Wonder where she got that from? She has speech therapy two times a month and is fairly tolerant of us making her repeat words correctly, but she also has a mind of her own and pretty much decides when and if she will cooperate with this. She attends preschool three mornings a week and absolutely loves her teacher and her new friends. The teacher told me she is very quiet and soft spoken in class, boy does Jaida have Mrs. Jodi fooled! She also loves church and we enjoy listening to her say grace at the dinner table. She always ends it with a raising of our hands together and a "Hallelujah!"

She loves her brothers and sister. Mikayla and Jaida have developed a very close relationship. That is really neat to see! She is also very attached to her brothers and has fun deciding on a daily basis who is going to get their bedtime hug first. She surely likes to be in charge, but the kids have done a great job of making her a part of the family. I am so proud of them! It has probably been the most difficult for Josh to adjust, which has revealed itself a lot since school started. It has proved very difficult for him to go from being the "baby" of the family to a middle child. We have had many teary-eyed days, but are implementing some things to try to make this transition easier for him to handle. We pray for Josh to be back to his happy-go-lucky personality very soon!

The only thing that hasn't gone as we had hoped is Jaida's cleft palate repair. We were hoping to have this repaired shortly after she got home from China, but that hasn't happened yet. She finally had her first consultation with the Cleft Team in Kansas City on August 28th. We are still awaiting a surgery date. The plastic surgeon who will be performing the surgery is highly sought after and in high demand which has now caused his surgery schedule to be fully booked through June 2009. Yikes! They are planning to bump someone else to fit her in sooner rather than later, but not sure when that will take place. The longer it goes, the more bad speech habits we will have to break, but at the same time, we have enjoyed the time we have had to bond with her. She has had ear tubes placed and a bad tooth extracted since being home. She will have approximately 3 to 4 surgeries from now until 6-8 years of age. Poor baby!

The twins are doing great in high school. For the first time, Mikayla is playing golf for the girls golf team. She is doing a great job and getting some good practice and experience under her belt for next year. They both play and march in the high school band. Ty has joined a Robotics club. Josh is doing a great job in 2nd grade and thoroughly enjoys the gifted classes he gets to participate in for Reading and Math. They are all such a blessing to us and even though sometimes the teenage attitude is more than I can handle, I wouldn't trade them for the world!

Well, I hope you enjoy the update. I know it is definitely a long time in coming and way overdue! I will be adding a slide show later today for all of you to see how Jaida has changed since that first uncertain day in March when she met her new Mama and Daddy (no longer Baba), as well as, pictures of her beloved siblings! Enjoy!