Our Little Guy…
March 5, 2012 by dkevinbrown
I’ve got a soft spot in my heart like all parents do for their children. All of our children are different. So are yours. Some children are “high-strung,” while some are “easy-going.” Some are naturally obedient, others have to be told to do things sometimes with a stern voice. Some children are very tender, some are more stoic. Pam and I and the Brown family have three girls and one little boy. The boy is out-numbered to say the least. He’s at a major disadvantage, yet he’s been that way his entire life. Imagine being dropped on a doorstep at one week old? That was Qing Bin Dang.
Looks kind of sad doesn’t he? This was at about 3 years old. But, I’d like Pam to finish telling the story. She blogged about Andrew over the weekend and I thought I’d let her describe Andrew in her own words…
I want to tell you a story about this little guy. He is Andrew, our son. We brought him home in September 2008. I remember seeing him in the social welfare office for the first time. He was tiny but so cute. He had bruises across his forehead. I later figured out why when he began to beat his head on the floor when something went wrong. He had sores like boils all over his head. My translator said these were from the bad living conditions. He was very dirty but had new clothes to cover it up. I guess the scariest thing and most amazing thing I saw was his little feet. They were very disfigured. Shoes were not remotely a possibility for him. Here is a picture to give you an idea.
He was born with clubbed feet. While this condition is correctable in the US (and China too) for newborns, the area where he came from (Hebi City, Henan) is very poor. This is poverty Americans cannot comprehend. His birth parents could not afford to have this defect corrected and the Chinese see birth defects as a curse from the gods and want to dispose of the child with the defect. They did see fit to take him to the Hebi Social Welfare Institute (an orphanage) where he lived from 10 days old to three and a half years old. The time had come and gone for this defect to be corrected easily. I can’t really think about how difficult the time in the orphanage must have been for him. Being in an orphanage where there are not many human hands to love and care for children is bad enough but to be deformed is a double blow because you are seen as an outcast.
Needless to say Andrew looked rough.
I don’t want to make us look like heroes because I was really afraid that serious neurological damage had occurred during this time but I KNEW that God wanted us to raise this child no matter what the issues were so I prayed… a lot. Andrew did not talk in any language when we got him. He was lethargic and sluggish. He had learned to walk on the tops of his feet, which was crazy to see. Under all of that exterior I could see there was a sweet little disposition with a contagious smile that came out from time to time.
When we arrived home we quickly (the same week) took him to the Shriner’s hospital in Greenville, SC. They began casting his legs weekly to correct his clubbed feet. He literally wore casts on his legs for the first two months we had him. He never complained. He just made do. We took him to Brenner’s Children’s hospital to have a hernia corrected and got him circumcised (I believe he disliked that the most). December 4th, 2008 Andrew had complete reconstruction of both his feet. He was in the hospital for a week and there was a lot of pain and rehabilitation.
Through this whole ordeal Andrew has kept the best attitude. He has changed and “bloomed” into an amazing little guy. He brightens our home in a special way. There are still many scars from his past that haunt him from time to time but I see him making great progress each day. He is a true boy and loves to run and play and get into mischief. He goes to speech therapy two times a week and is making great progress.
This week he will have another surgery to correct the twist in his tibia bones. I am so thankful to the Shriner’s hospital and the doctors there. They are very talented. The only cost to our family is our travel/hotel expenses. That placed has saved us thousands of dollars. Andrew’s adoption cost around $25,000, so medical expenses could have literally bankrupted us. I am so thankful that Andrew’s surgery will only cost us hundreds and not thousands of dollars. God always provides.
I am proud of all four of my children and they are all so special to me. Please say a special prayer for Andrew this Thursday and as he spends the next six weeks in a wheelchair (not easy for a six-year-old little boy). He is a brave little guy.
So…that’s Andrew…whom I affectionately call the “Oodley of Drewdley.” Somehow I came up with that crazy nickname a couple of years ago. Here’s how his feet look today (3.5.12)…
You can tell he’s still very pigeon-toed. They’ll fix this on Thursday as Pam mentioned.
See the scars on the back of his feet? That’s where they flipped his feet back over…
Let me tell you…Andrew is one tough little fella. I really mean that. As my grandpa used to say, “He’s as tough as a board knot.”
So, if you think about it…pray for Andrew on Thursday. We’d greatly appreciate it. And pray for me. I’m so used to taking care of everyone else…that sometimes I don’t do as good of a job as I need to in taking care of my own family. So, I’m making a commitment that this Wednesday-Saturday…I’m going to try to take care of a family in the church that needs some of my attention and a little 6-year old church member who needs his pastor…who just happens to be his Daddy. 🙂