Special need highlight: adopting a child with club feet

January 22, 2014 clubfoot, Family Stories, Orthopedic 0 Comments

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



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