Hear Caleb's story,
as featured on KS95 For Kids.
Update: Caleb and Micah (pictured with brother James) have been enjoying their family's brand new farm in River Falls, WI. This January, the boys worked with their dad to build "bee boxes" that will provide the family with honey this summer. They have since learned TONS about bees! The boys have also helped build homes for new chickens and piglets on their farm.
Awaiting adoption in Chinese orphanages, brothers Caleb and Micah hadn't met each other yet. Abandoned at birth, both with significant facial deformities, their futures seemed grim. But their lives were about to converge. More than 12,000 miles away, a local family felt called to adopt children with special needs.
"Kids with disabilities might never find a family," recalls Caleb and Micah's father, Jim. "If we could provide a loving home to such a child, shouldn't we do it?"
Gillette Boosts Their Confidence
Contemplation turned to action as Jim and his wife, Peggy, pursued adopting a child in China. When they saw a picture of a 3-year-old boy with cleft lip and palate, they say they knew he'd become their son. The family scheduled an appointment at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare to learn about the condition. "We felt confident knowing that Gillette could provide all of the services we'd need," Jim says. "The team is truly incredible."
The family traveled to China to bring home their newest addition, whom they named Caleb. At Gillette, craniofacial surgeon Robert Wood, M.D., corrected Caleb's cleft palate and revised a lip repair that had been poorly performed in China. Speech therapy helped Caleb learn to speak with his new mouth. "Imagine being unable to talk, eat properly, or smile for years," says Peggy. "Gillette changed all of that for Caleb."
Caleb Gets a Little Brother
Just one year after bringing Caleb home, the family again traveled to China to adopt another boy, Micah, who also had a cleft lip and palate. As with Caleb, successful treatment was a turning point for Micah. Gillette's craniofacial team performed a surgical procedure that prevents air from escaping through the nose during speech.
"Before the procedure, Micah had difficulty making certain sounds," remembers Peggy. "Now, he won't stop talking. He's a completely different child!"
New Family - New Future
Jim and Peggy have since welcomed three additional adoptive children, all from Ethiopia, into their home. "We don't know if our other children will ever need Gillette," says Jim. "But if they do, we have no doubt that they'll be treated as exceptionally as Caleb and Micah have been."
After living in Chinese orphanages for their early years, Caleb, age 9, and Micah, age 8, have become part of two new families: the family that gave them a new life in a loving home, and the Gillette family, which gave them a future filled with smiles in the hands of a skilled care team.