Saturday, November 10, 2012

Harley Needs To Find A Family This Week!

This article was taken from Holt's Blog.  What a delightful little boy!  I can just see him riding bikes, playing soccer, and cuddling with bedtime stories!  He needs to find a family this week--a family ready to submit their dossier to China --perhaps that family is yours???

A Spring Blessing; Harley's Story


Harley is ready to join a loving family of his own.
DOB: February 11, 2007, China



Harley was just a day or two old when he was found abandoned in February of 2007. After a failed attempt to find his family, he was brought into the care of a local social welfare institute. When he arrived, the caregivers first gave him a bath, then changed him into “soft and comfortable clothes” before the doctors began a physical exam – estimating his birthday based on his physical development. Harley had a coppery brown birthmark on his right cheek, later diagnosed as Nevus of Ota, as well as a cleft in his lip and palate.

In Chinese culture, many still see birthmarks and clefts as signs of bad fortune – and discriminate against those who have them. But when Harley arrived at the orphanage, the caregivers received him as a blessing of hope and joy.

“When he came to this institute, it was a rainy day and it had spring thunder,” the orphanage staff writes. “We hope he can wake up the sleeping ground.” Harley brought with him the sense of renewal that comes every year in spring – and in the arrival of a newborn baby. In recognition, the caregivers gave him a Chinese name that speaks of spring.

At first, the caregivers struggled to feed Harley because of the clefts in his lip and palate. Many times a day, they prepared a formula. Afraid of choking him, they carefully held the bottle to his mouth and squeezed gently for him to drink. “After feeding him, they will cuddle him and pat his back lightly,” writes the staff. After 2 months, they gradually added cereals and fruit and vegetable juices to his diet to balance his nutrition. “He developed quickly, and his physical condition became stronger.”

On May 22, 2007, 3-month-old Harley underwent an operation for his cleft lip. In September of 2009, he received surgery to repair his palate and recuperated in the hospital. Upon returning to the orphanage, the caregivers noticed he was a little thin so the nutritionist adjusted his diet to help him grow at a healthy rate.

Since that stormy day in spring when a newborn baby arrived at the orphanage, little Harley has grown into a chatty, energetic 5-year-old boy who loves to sing, read pictures books and play with toys. He has become very close to his caregivers as well as the children in the institute – and he continues to grow healthy and strong. He attends special education classes, where he has learned to recite poems, to count, to dance, to identify colors and shapes and practice his pronunciation of words.

At no point in Harley’s short life has he not been truly loved. But although caregivers do their best to nurture the many children in their care, nothing compares to the love and attention of a family. Harley is now ready to join an adoptive family who will love him into the next stage of his life, and every stage after that – taking over for the orphanage caregivers who five years ago scooped him up in their arms, dressed him in soft and comfortable clothes, and lovingly cared for him as best they could.
A family with access to a craniofacial team and an understanding of older child adoption and institutionalization would be ideal for Harley. Interested families will need to have their dossier ready to send by November 16.

For more information about Harley, contact Marissa Leuallen at marissal@holtinternational.org or Beth Smith at beths@holtinternational.org.
* name changed

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