Thank you so much, our community, for getting over 300 “likes” on Leo’s Facebook page! We appreciate you following along with his story, and we appreciate all the “shares” and visibility you are giving to Leo. He deserves to be someone’s son. He is loving, gentle, kind, curious, and wants to fit into a family. We have been fielding questions about his cognitive ability, and the short answer is this: we don’t quite know. The long answer is this: It’s hard to tell exactly where his cognitive ability is, and how much is his transition to a new environment. Let’s face it, plopping a 12 year old, into an entirely new culture, who doesn’t know how to speak English….well….you get the point. I’m told that can take a year or more for a child to truly adjust and settle into himself so that his abilities can shine. So, I feel like we’ve peeled back one layer of the onion, and we’re still getting to know him.
When I google “PKU” I get all sorts of scary symptoms. I can tell you that Leo doesn’t go to this extreme with his symptoms. I can tell you that he NEEDS to be treated for his condition, and his orphanage is not doing this. They never will, and if he ages out, he will
never, ever, be treated. And long term, untreated PKU can lead to major symptoms. Just thinking about that, brings tears to my eyes, and a heavy heart. He is a tender, thoughtful, submissive boy, and doesn’t deserve this hand he’s been dealt. What does it mean to “treat” PKU? It means he needs the right diet: low in protein and PKU formula (the cost of the formula is fully covered in WI and IL for sure, I am not certain about other states). He doesn’t need fancy medicines. He needs to eat the right food. That will never happen in China. As we navigate trying to determine his cognitive and developmental milestones, I will say this: he has flourished in the short time he has been in a family: He has moved from fearing a shower or bath to tolerating a quick one without tears. He has moved from
brushing his front teeth for about 3 seconds to brushing his entire set of teeth for a much greater length of time. He has moved from being terrified of our cat and dog to petting them often and even walking the dog. He is continuing to grow in our home, but he must go back to China in a week and a half. The only way he is going to come back to America is as a son of an American family who has adopted him. If you think you are the family that can make that happen, please contact Shannon Phillips at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512.323.9595 ext. 3101 or Meredith Chambers at email@example.com or 512.323.9595 ext. 3032. There is also great information at the Great Wall China Adoption website. We are 100% committed to advocating for Leo, and also welcome all your questions in the comments, message us on Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org!