Wadley is extremely underweight. His growth is stunted and his hair is orange. He is weak. He is anaemic. His bones are soft from severe Vitamin D deficiency. His liver is damaged from years of malnutrition. His immune system is compromised from lack of protein, and, he has contracted an antibiotic resistant ear infection.
My heart ripples as I watch him shuffle across the nursery with a hunched back, and bowed legs. I hurt, every time I stick him with a needle; Wadley doesn't react. There is no sound from him. His nose wrinkles, slightly. Otherwise, his expression is unchanging. It is frightening to watch this lack of emotion. It is a sign of severe physical and emotional deprivation. Wadley has learned that all the crying in the world will not make a difference in his life.
Wadley's appetite is voracious. He cannot regulate his intake yet. He has to learn two things; what a full stomach feels like, and that there will be food at the next meal. He smiles, often. I am glad that he is happy here, with us. Yet I don't believe it is wrong to say, that I will be even gladder, when I see tears. Then, I will know that he is truly on the road to healing.
I wish that he had come sooner. I pray that he wont suffer permanent physical, emotional or cognitive affects from his malnutrition. Sadly, I believe that he will.