The Answer for Anara

26 11 2010

To learn more about Joint Council’s National Adoption Month Advocacy Campaign-Click Here

Anara was born in 2006 with a congenital defect called Bladder Exstrophy- In other words, her bladder was outside of her body at birth. A corrective procedure was attempted in Kyrgyzstan, but failed. She survived over 11 months with her bladder outside and her ureters not fully draining, which caused some permanent kidney damage. The baby house in Bishkek provided the best care they could. They kept Anara in isolation and treated her with antibiotics for frequent infections. When we picked up Anara from the baby hospital in April 2007, she had a fever and her bladder was extremely irritated. We had consulted with a pediatric urologist before traveling to bring Anara home, and were prepared to use plastic wrap coated in Vaseline to keep the bladder moist and protect it.

We took Anara to an international health clinic in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The physician told us that Anara most likely had Cerebral Palsy, and needed a “serious neurological examination.” The physician was concerned that we had not been given all the information about Anara’s condition. We knew that Cerebral Palsy was a possibility from Anara’s medical record and we were prepared to adopt her either way. We were willing to adopt a child with special medical needs because these children, too, need families and we have great resources here in the U.S. We knew from the moment we saw Anara’s picture, that regardless of her medical and developmental issues, she belonged in our family.

We were home only one day when Early Intervention Services came to evaluate Anara. They noted that she was severely delayed and malnourished, weighing less than 15 lbs at one year of age. Anara received occupational therapy, developmental therapy, physical therapy and a monthly nutritional consult. Anara started to gain weight, learned to sit up, started speaking, and even started walking within her first 6 months home. At that time, her care team felt she was strong enough to undergo the 15-hour procedure to correct her bladder exstrophy, followed by a month-long hospital stay. After the surgery, Anara was on her back for eight weeks before she was able to sit or stand again.

Anara has now had 11 surgical procedures. She is doing wonderfully and is not delayed in any area. She does not have Cerebral Palsy. She is social, loving, and healthy. We used to see her urologist weekly. Now we are able to go 12 weeks between exams. Anara is brilliant. She loves to play, pretend, laugh, listen to music, ride her bike, and go new places. We cannot imagine our family without her.

To watch a video Anara’s family created in celebration of the one year anniversary of her adoption, click here.  Anara was one of the last children to be adopted out of Kyrgyzstan before the Kyrgyz government stopped international adoptions.  For information on some of the children who have been impacted by this closure please read about Nikolas and Shelby, Addison, and Kenny and Emir.

Anara was lucky enough to find An Answer- Be The Answer for another child by reading about and signing the Families for Orphans Act Petition. Will you Be The Answer for the estimated 143 million orphans?

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