None of the parents on OrphanCare’s shortlist was willing to adopt Baby Alesha. Alesha had a cleft lip, a hole in her heart and one hand. She was left without any documents at OrphanCare’s baby hatch on 18th June 2011. We guessed she was about one and a half months old.
The Department of Social Welfare (JKM) gave us a deadline. If she was not adopted by 4th August Alesha would have to be placed in one of their orphanages. As per JKMs practice, she would most likely stay at the orphanage until she was 18. Pressured, we circulated an email to friends about Alesha and her condition, highlighting that she was sweet and would look even prettier after the cleft is repaired.
Just before the deadline a couple who already had three children came by and expressed willingness to adopt her. They however wanted a medical report. Our paediatrician explained to the prospective adoptive parents that she expected Alesha’s tiny hole in the heart to close by itself within a year. A plastic surgeon could easily repair her palate with no speech impairment and a prosthetic arm could be attached when she is older. All in all, Alesha was in good health.
We were overjoyed when Alesha went home with her new parents and siblings, the youngest of whom was a baby girl just 6 months older than her.
“Her life chances had moved from bleak to bright!”