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Zhi Xiong (male)   DOB 20 July 2006

Arrived at Blue Sky on 14 May 2013.


Zhi Xiong was born with a muscle and joint congenital disorder called arthrogryposis. His arms are also shorter than normal, and very stiff at the joints, limiting his movements.  


He was found by police when he was about 2 months old, and has lived at a state orphanage ever since.  The orphanage fed him very simple foods (rice and porridge with very little meat or vegetables).  It took him a few days to get used to the different foods at Blue Sky, as well as to all the activity and buzz.  Thankfully, he has adjusted now, and is a good natured and cheerful boy. 


While at his orphanage, Zhi Xiong was mostly confined to a bed and received little or no physical therapy.  Unlike one of our beloved alumnis - FU XIA - who was born with the same disorder, Zhi Xiong has not learnt to crawl or roll to get around.  Fu Xia, some of you may recall, was a super roller and could even navigate staircases !  Now living in America with his adoptive parents and little brother, Blue Sky alum Tian You, he is taking big steps with a walker !  So we have big hopes for Zhi Xiong to follow in FuXia's footsteps...literally.  


Zhi Xiong currently has physical therapy training once a week at the hospital, and daily practice with our caregivers.  


Thanks to Mr Sondag, our longtime supporter, Zhi Xiong has a new wheelchair, as well as English and Math lessons.  


The video below will show you his limitation in movement, but he's a tough guy and is learning each day to take care of himself. More importantly, ZhiXiong is determined to learn and works hard each day with his tutors and volunteers.  He is an inspiration to all of us !

Update (Feb 2017)

Zhi Xiong has been matched for adoption. 

Update (Oct 2017)

Zhi Xiong has left Blue Sky for his adoption. 

Ready for adoption !  ZhiXiong's paperwork has been processed and he is finally listed on the shared list for special needs adoptions.  For more information, please email us and we will point you in the right direction to locate his file. Blue Sky is not able to assist with adoptions, but we can refer you to the agencies that can.  


What Is Arthrogryposis?  


A child with contractures that bend their fingers, hand and wrist.Arthrogryposis (arth-ro-grip-OH-sis) means a child is born with joint contractures. This means some of their joints don’t move as much as normal and may even be stuck in one position. Often the muscles around these joints are thin, weak, stiff or missing. Extra tissue may have formed around the joints, holding them in place. Most contractures happen in the arms and the legs. They can also happen in the jaw and the spine.Arthrogryposis does not occur on its own. It is a feature of many other conditions, most often amyoplasia. Children with arthrogryposis may have other health problems, such as problems with their nervous system, muscles, heart, kidneys or other organs, or differences in how their limbs, skull or face formed.


This condition is also called arthrogryposis multiplex congenita. “Arthrogryposis” means the joints are curved or crooked. “Multiplex” means it affects more than one joint. “Congenita” means the condition is present at birth. Arthrogryposis in ChildrenAbout 1 baby in 3,000 is born with arthrogryposis.Each child with arthrogryposis is different. In some children, the condition is mild. It affects only a few joints, and these joints have almost as much movement as normal. In other children, the condition is more serious. It affects more joints and restricts their movement more. In extreme cases, arthrogryposis affects nearly every joint.


What to expect?


Arthrogryposis does not get worse over time. For most children, treatment can lead to big improvements in how they can move and what they can do. Most children with arthrogryposis have typical cognitive and language skills. Most have a normal life span. Most lead independent, fulfilling lives as adults. However, some need lifelong help with daily activities. Some walk, and others use a wheelchair.




The main cause of arthrogryposis is fetal akinesia. This means the baby does not move around inside the womb as much as normal. Starting in early pregnancy, moving helps a baby’s joints, muscles and tendons develop. If a baby doesn’t move much, these parts may not develop well, and extra tissue may form in the joints, making movement harder. There are many reasons why fetal akinesia might happen, including: Nerve signals don’t reach the baby’s muscles because of problems with the baby’s central nervous system (CNS). There isn’t enough room inside the womb for the baby to move. This may happen if the womb is not the typical shape or if amniotic fluid leaks out of the womb (oligohydramnios). The baby’s muscles don’t form normally and are weak, or their tendons, bones or joints don’t form normally. Fetal akinesia usually has nothing to do with what the mother did or did not do while she was pregnant. ​​​​​​​​​​




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