Many of you have been asking for an update on Charlotte. Physically, Charlotte is doing very well, but emotionally, she is still a bit fragile. Switching to a younger grade at her school mid-year was good for her academically but hard socially. She had one close friend in fourth grade whom she doesn’t get to see much because they now have different lunch hours and recess. As a third grader, she is older than many of the kids in her class. She may switch schools next fall to ease the difficulty of having her peers move on a grade ahead of her.
Her adoptive mother, Sharon, had surgery two weeks ago. It was fairly routine, but required overnight stay in the hospital where her uncle was hospitalized with terminal cancer. While it was explained to Charlotte that this was nothing for her to worry about, she misunderstood and thought that her mother would die. She did not say anything until she melted down completely nearly a week after the surgery. She seems to understand now that her mother is in no immediate danger and that life can go back to normal, but it was a very difficult time for her emotionally.
As some of you following may know, Charlotte’s uncle did not make it to the party planned in his honor which was mentioned in the last post. He had passed away the night before in his home. There was a lovely service that was well-attended as Tom Ponce was a friendly, hardworking man with many good friends. Charlotte’s father, Tim, has had an especially difficult time dealing with his identical twin brother’s passing.
The family participated in Relay for Life – Muskegon over the weekend in remembrance of Tom Ponce. While much of the extended family could not make the event, the immediate family was in attendance for the majority of the 24 hour event. Charlotte walked more than five miles in laps on Friday evening alone. She helped to sell hair ribbons and tulle tutus to raise funds in support of the American Cancer Society. The family is hoping to make this an annual event in remembrance of Tom and other friends and family members who have battled cancer.
Charlotte has a surgery coming up in July. The doctor is going to plump up her right cheek, which will help her face be symmetrical and should make a big improvement on her overall appearance. Charlotte needs to fatten up a little bit for her next surgery so they have some fat to borrow for her cheek. Charlotte is a skinny little girl, and each time Dr. Chiayasate sees her in his office, he tisks and says, “More donuts!”
We also may look into electrolysis for hair removal on her nose. Her nose needs a shave every few days as the transplant skin from her forehead retained the hair follicles and she gets a bit fuzzy if they go untamed. We are hoping that permanent hair removal will help her nose look more natural.
Thank you for your continued thoughts and prayers. Probably mostly as a result in our lapse in posts, Charlotte has seen very little mail. If you have a stamp and a few minutes to spare, please consider sending Charlotte a brief note to let her know that you’re still thinking of her. She loves to hear from you! Charlotte Ponce, PO Box 397, Fruitport, MI 49415.
Wishing you a warm and blessed week.