Something to Smile About

When Dung’s mother was four months pregnant, many in her village contracted rubella. The child’s father tried to keep his wife healthy, but she too became ill. The father feared that his baby had been harmed by the sickness, but he didn’t express his fears. He felt that his parents and in-laws would push the couple to have an abortion, and he already loved his unborn child.

Dung was born with a cleft lip and palate. The condition of the lip and palate was so severe that Dung had difficulty feeding; she ingested just enough to keep her alive. After several days, the parents discovered that they could feed Dung using a soft tube. Using a homemade tube helps the child receive the necessary nutrition, but the process of feeding is far from easy. Dung’s parents continued with the tube for three months.

When government officials told Orphan Voice about Dung’s situation, we promised to help. Her parents expressed their deep gratitude and shared their hopes that Dung would one day have a beautiful smile.

In February, Orphan Voice workers transported Dung and her mother to a hospital in Hue, Vietnam. There, Dung underwent the first stage of the repair process. Thanks to the generosity of Orphan Voice partners, Dung’s lip has been fixed and an operation on her palate is in the works. Now that is something to smile about.

To provide a surgery such as this for other needy children, please donate here. Thanks!

Painted Nails

This is Lan.  To you she might just look like an ordinary Vietnamese girl.  Let me assure that she is not.  She lives in Dai Loc orphanage. I have had the privilege of seeing her beautiful face once a week.
Recently when we went for our weekly visit to Dai Loc we took nail polish to let the girls paint their fingers and toes with.  Lan sat looking at all the choices she had and I motioned to her that I would paint for her if she wanted.  She smiled and nodded yes, immediately picking a color and getting a chair in front of me.  I held her sweaty hands and painted her nails a glittery silver.  On each nail, she payed close attention to make sure that they were perfect.  When I was done with her nails, I motioned to her feet.  She looked at me as if to say, ‘Are you sure?’  I smiled back and pulled her foot into my hand.  There is something to be said about holding someones foot.  It is intimate, a way of saying to that person that you care for them with abandon of all the walls that they might put up.  That is what I wanted Lan to know; that I didn’t care how dirty her foot was, I was going to make it pretty.  I was going to do something seemingly insignificant, but something that would make her walk around smiling at her feet.  So I sat there holding that dirty little foot, hoping that she would eventually be able to see the true beauty that was so tenderly used to create her. That every time she smiled at those nails, her spirit would realize what she was made for.  I believe that those painted nails can make all the difference. –Shea Poole, Orphan Voice volunteer

Thue’s Story

I would like for you to meet Thue.  Thue is eight years old and she lives at Promise House.  Her story is similar to so many orphans here in Vietnam.  She is the youngest of four children, with no father present in the home.  Her mother was forced by her extreme poverty to bring Thue to live at Promise House in February of 2010.  In many other aspects she is no different than any other little girl.  Thue enjoys school and playing with her friends at the orphanage.  She is very smart and a bit shy.  She has a caring nature and seems to be concerned for other’s well being.

Thue was born with a cleft lip and palate.  When she was five she had the first part of the operation to correct the problem, but unfortunately it was never finished. In school she was having trouble, because her speech was so impeded the teachers couldn’t understand her. Through Orphan Voice, she has a chance to have this corrected and finish the surgery need to complete the process.

On July 22 she underwent the remaining part of surgery at a hospital in Hue.  The surgery was a success, with Thue speaking more clearly within a few days.  She will also have  need to have speech therapy to continue to improve her speech.  Thue is on the path to a complete recovery  All this was made possible through donations to Orphan Voice.  The work here can seem daunting and never ending at times, but it is a successful story like this that makes it all worthwhile.  Knowing that Thue will grow to have a life that she may not have thought possible is very rewarding.  Thank you for being a part of such a special little life.


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