Special need highlight: club feet

It was a day in October of 2012 that I will never forget. We had been in the process to adopt a special needs child from China, and we got the call that changed our lives for the better! We were told about a little boy with club foot. Two things about this call were hilarious. For one, I felt very strongly that we were meant to adopt a baby GIRL, secondly- it was a file of a boy with club foot! This was a “need” I hadn’t done any research on and knew nothing about! It didn’t matter. The moment I saw that sweet boy’s face I was smitten and knew he was ours.

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So what IS club foot?

Once we knew Regis was ours we began researching Club feet and all it involves. We found out that club feet is when the foot or feet are twisted or not in the right position. The tendons are shorter. This condition can affect one or both feet. Most kids who have club feet have no other problems. We connected with other parents who had brought home children with this special need and we were able to get a good picture of what we could be dealing with once home.

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How do you treat club feet?

There are several ways club foot is treated. One of the ways is through multiple castings. Casts are placed on the child every few weeks, each time slowly manipulating the foot into place with each cast. At the end of the casting series the child’s feet are in a normal position. Children often have to wear braces at night to prevent a “relapse.” Another way to treat club feet is through surgery where the feet are surgically moved into place.

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Regis had corrective surgery in China when he was just a few months old. The surgery was successful in correcting his feet, however once we got him home and had him evaluated by orthopedic doctors, we discovered he would need tendon lengthening surgery. We waited 6 months after being home, until we felt he had adapted well to his new home and attached to us as his family.

In some club feet children, because the tendon is shorter, they cannot lower their feet flat all the way to the floor. This was the case for our Regis. The only way he could stand flat footed was to pop his knees back. He had the surgery and he is currently in casts for 6 weeks. After that he will have “walking casts” for 6 more weeks. The casts are merely to protect his feet while they heal and prevent him from using that newly stretched tendon.

How is our boy now?

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Well our boy is a superstar! He is recovering well and we expect him to live a full life! We feel this “need” has just added to his spunkiness and independent personality. He rocks his cast and he pretty much rules the house these days!

When we started the journey to adoption we had no idea how many orphans there are in China. There are so many waiting who just need a mama and baba to bring them home and get them the medical care they need. We can honestly say adopting Regis has been one the biggest adventures of our lives. We are forever changed because of adoption and we are forever grateful for the blessings this boy brings!

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~Guest Post by Kelley

Waiting Children with Club Feet

Meet Jude

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Jude is an adorable little boy who is 4 years old. He was born with a heart issue; PDA, left-right great vascular shunt, with mild mitral and tricuspid regurgitation. Jude also had a club foot, which may have received casting to correct…he does not appear to have a problem with this now. He also has microphthalmia, which is best described as small eyes, and a cleft uvula (no cleft lip). Jude is a sweet little guy, who loves to receive hugs from the nannies. He really wants to communicate, and is happiest when playing with the other kids. Jude is a great little guy, and he wants to be loved. Jude is listed with Heartsent Adoptions, contact them for more information.

Meet Liam

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Hi, I’m Liam! I am 5 years old and I love to play with anything that bounces. I was born with clubbed feet, but I had surgery in 2010 and I am able to stand with them flat on the ground now! During that same time, I had surgery to repair an inguinal hernia. I have been getting stronger since then. My file has not been updated since 2010 so the team at Great Wall where I am listed is working to get more information!

Meet Tiger

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This nine year old little guy is a fighter! He was born with spina bifida and bilateral varus of his feet. He came into care when he was about two years old and had already undergone surgery for his spina bifida. He worked hard learning to walk and by the time he was six he could walk independently. He has attached well to his foster mother who is described as very kind and patient. He does “beautiful artworks” and enjoys being praised. This determined little guy needs a family that has experience adopting older children and has access to the medical resources he needs to treat his incontinence and potential future issues related to his spina bifida and club feet. He is listed with Holt International, contact them for more information.

Meet Louis

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Louis is a handsome ten year old boy who is growing and developing well. He walks well following surgery for club feet. He is active and smart and loves to study. He gets along well with others and likes outdoor activities. There is a $4000 Promise Child Grant with WACAP to help families who qualify with the costs of this adoption, contact them for more information or to view his file.

Meet Jake

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This outrageously handsome 5-year-old boy is adored by both his peers and orphanage caregivers. He’s a kid who LOVES to play with cars! Abandoned at birth, Jake is growing well and is constantly learning new skills in the care of the institution where he now lives. He eats well and has had no serious illnesses since his admission. Because he was born with strephenopodia of both feet and a missing patella in his left knee, he pulls himself to a standing position by holding on to furniture. Once accomplished he has a megawatt smile to share! His medical history also includes a diagnosis of cerebral palsy. He can dress himself, knows his colors and numbers and is eager to learn. Jake is listed through an orphanage partnership with Dillon, contact them for more information.

Families who have adopted children with club foot:
Tired Mama
Ni Hao Y’all
Live Your Life

Contact the Advocacy Team for information regarding beginning the adoption process.

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