Yes, the Spare Room is a book. More importantly, it’s also a protected space in our home, where we’re currently caring for our 17th young person. In just three months’ time, Wayne has experienced an extraordinary transformation. This little guy has learned his first seven words, gained +30% body weight, and learned to feed himself. He is, in every way, shape and form, a three month miracle.

Our first glimpse of Wayne immediately touched our whole family. The cared-for, but emaciated boy, lay on his back as another boy fed him.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Wayne initial

How many of you have tried to eat whilst lying down?

I encourage you to try it. This is a quick and impactful little experiment. If you can successfully chew and swallow without choking, please graduate to the next step and try drinking water. Each of our family members has tried this, and each ended up spluttering and red-faced.

Wayne was born with #hydrocephalus, and had some less-than-ideal medical experiences that have left him with an enlarged head. Though he has had a shunt installed, Wayne’s skull will always be larger than most, and the extent of his brain damage is still to be determined.

When he arrived at our home, Wayne was listless, skeletal, and could only communicate in guttural noises. But after a few weeks, he learned to sign “more.” Then he learned to say… of all things… “Wow!” Which he loves to express frequently and with great aplomb. Soon after, Wayne began learning new words and even to control his motor skills, so that he can feed himself snacks!

Though Wayne’s head is still to heavy for him to gain any meaningful mobility, he has learned to roll over and recently, to play with a mirror and reflect light. The 阳光, his little light ray, has become a friend and companion.

This New Year’s, we were thrilled to celebrate 2022 together!

The little guy looks quite dashing in a bow tie, and he cuddled with me the entire way home from our (epic!) New Year’s Day celebration at the iconic Peace Hotel (Laini chose to sleep in, which is, especially on Jan 1, a teenager’s prerogative).

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Wayne in car

Just for kicks, a few photos from our joyful first day of 2022, surrounded by good friends, good food and good champagne! Feeling beyond blessed.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Vintage
Dress code: Vintage (I’m wearing my mother’s halter dress from the 1960’s and a Cavalli faux fur)

If Wayne can develop this much in three months…

What will our lives look like by March 2022?! What are your New Year intentions?

And I’d love to hear, what miracles would you like to see in 2022? What will be your three month miracle?