Most boys who are abandoned in China have a visible special need and our Yun Xi was no exception. Cleft lip and palate, club feet, and other limb differences are common amongst the boys in China's orphanages, but Yun Xi did not have any of those things. What he did have is what doctors in China called a "vascular malformation" or hemangioma on the inside of his left cheek. Hemangiomas are relatively common and not a great cause for concern. In fact, they often go away on their own.
When Xi Xi was nearly 8 months old, though, he spent a week in the hospital where an oral surgeon performed two operations to remove the hemangioma. From the smiling face I see in post-surgery photos, it looks like he did a great job. Still, I think his chipmunk cheek was rather endearing.
Not surprisingly (to me at least), my dentist husband is eager to get a look inside his son's mouth to see where they performed the operation. There are many things in Yun Xi's file that could have been more detailed, that I wish were more detailed, but let's just say they were quite thorough in their description of the removal of the hemangioma.
Lyle found it fascinating reading.