Look What LOVE Can Do

The Flynt family has overcome many obstacles since their decision to adopt. They are an admirable family and we commend them for not being afraid to always share the truth, especially when it comes to adoption. Surely looking at Logan’s sweet face is a constant reminder of what LOVE can do.

What LOVE can do? Providing a testimony to what LOVE can do seems like such a simple act, but how did we get here?

My husband and I realized we had both been thinking about adoption since we were children, each had stories on how this desire came about, and as for everyone, it starts with the love you want to give to a person that you know needs it. Time went by and we felt ready to take that step. The kids already home were very excited at the prospect of a new sibling, and even more at a sibling from China. They both love that country and even set out to learn some Mandarin with an online program from our library.

We chose our agency and later found out it was the same one our neighbors used. We were pleased as our neighbors now have 4 successful adoptions from China! 

The process isn’t as glamorous as some would think. Paper-chasing is a lot of work, I even got carpal tunnel syndrome checking email and getting as much info as I could online. Then we did the online preparation parenting classes. Trust me, no matter how many books you read and classes you take you will still have a lot to learn after you come home! So I say, “be prepared for the worst, hope and pray for the best.” Have a capable counselor ready, choose one that can work for anyone in the family as you do not know what your needs will be. Hopefully none.  

We got the rooms ready as we had a young boy in kindergarten and an older teenage girl. All that was needed was a bed and dresser for the newcomer that would share a room with one of their a siblings. This would also make final inspection easy on the social worker. Our social worker is a very nice one. She lives near our fave pizza place so going to take papers to her was always a joyous occasion for more than one reason!

We really did not have a preference in boy or girl but were thinking of the new child being the youngest as we had no idea about the existence of older child adoption from China. Then Logan came along and we decided to join her life story. We adopted an older child.

I was looking at the GWCA listing and as usual I wanted to adopt all the children on the list but we had decided to wait for the search until most of the paper-chase was done. I just went to look after finishing a class on international adoption online. Once you get that password you are constantly checking for new faces and rejoicing when children have families that choose them, but I knew that we were not done with papers yet. Then the kids and I see Logan, and she was their sister. Roger was just as impressed so we asked for her file.

What? A 9 year old? How about those baby toys I bought? The tiny robe? A 9 year old? She will be over 10 when we bring her home! How am I going to get to go to our beloved preschool now? I had visions of preschool plays with a tiny tot as I had gone through with my other children, now what? We are skipping straight to 4th grade? YES! Yes we are. Yes, yes we did. Why? Because she was waiting for us. 

She was a waiting child, do you know what that means? She is WAITING for someone to tell her she is their own. And she had been waiting for years. We were ready to adopt and she was ready to come home. How silly of me to think I should wait for papers to be in a nice stack in every possible office and then put in my royal requirements.

The first few days in China we had were perfect, the first few days home we had were perfect. Then perfect left! Remember those classes you took? Me neither! Nothing is going to prepare you for your specific need. It is important to have a counselor in place that can help you understand the behaviors and tell you how to help in the proper way. You might be among the families whose older children are angels on earth, or you might be my family, where the only angels around are the Guardian Angels, and they are working overtime all the time.

We have come a long way since Logan came home 2 years ago. We are going forward to bigger and better things. The kids are happy, they love each other and behave like ordinary siblings. Logan is a lot faster than the other two and can manipulate a log into a house. But thankfully the other two are catching on and their bond is solid. The two already at home loved her from the moment they set eyes on her picture and have been very patient through all that she dishes out. Logan has gotten to know us and has adapted her behavior to our “boring” house. She loves her siblings. She adores her dad, he is the greatest. He can do math, how helpful is that! Even her mom, (who makes the worst stir fry) is worthy of hugs.

Sarah is very happy with her sister, she says that she is smart and funny and feels lucky to have her. Victor feels the same way even if she does not ever want to play with him. She gets excused since she knows nothing about Star Wars and would not know how to play with the Lego spaceships. Plus she is a 12 year old girl and Victor is a 9 year old boy. He is still very happy to have her as a sister and thinks that she is ‘good’ and can be funny. 

Logan will tell you that she likes it here and that she wishes there were more siblings to play with since the ones here are ‘boring’. Anything less than a Tasmanian Devil is boring for Logan. She likes her school, her teachers, and her classmates. She is now in 6th grade and is doing very well. She decided to keep us as a family. She loves playing with the neighborhood kids and going to the park. She loves her IPod touch her dad bought it for her birthday. She feels adoption is good as she has gotten to see America and Italy. She wants to go to Disney World and is shocked we have yet to take her since she asked months ago already.  

All that stuff about a better future? She is 12, all she cares about is playing games on her IPod, being on QQ, and running around at the park chasing other kids. She knows the importance of education as a means to a better life. She intends on being the best at whatever she does that way she can do whatever she wants with her future earnings, a Disney Cruise and a trip to Disney World are the first things she’ll buy! Hopefully I can tag along!

Victor, Dad and Logan in Athens, Georgia with the University of Georgia Bulldog!

Logan at a park in Athens.

The family at a park in Athens, Mom always the photographer!

 Logan with sister Sarah and friends.

Logan at her first communion, how beautiful.

Logan at Fiesta Texas with Rockville performers and friend, Emily.

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WOW Kids

Happy Halloween!  We are so excited to share with you our featured WOW kids. WOW stands for Waiting Child of the Week. There are so many sweet faces in China just waiting for their forever family. The staff at GWCA want to take the opportunity to advocate for these kiddos. Whether or not these children are destined to be your child or not, they belong to a family and we want your help to find that home for them. Walt, Tessa, Michael, Claire and Mary are all beautiful children in our China waiting child program. They are anxiously awaiting their forever homes! Take a second to read their stories, and if you would like to learn how to bring them home contact Jessie@gwca.org or go check out our Photo Listings to view other waiting children.

Meet Our WOW Kids

Whimsical Walt

Hi! I am 6 yrs. old.  I was brought to the orphanage when I was just a few days old.  I think my parents knew that I would be taken care of there.  My right wrist doesn’t look like all of my friends, but I have no problem keeping up with them.  I can do almost everything all by myself.  I can use my right hand to grab things and can even use my left hand to draw and hold my chopsticks!  I can be introverted at times but I still enjoy playing around with the other kids. I like to play with toys, especially trucks.

Taunting Tessa

Hi! I am 4 yrs. old.  When I was younger I had a big surgery that corrected my VSD and ASD and now my heart beats normally. I am not as big as the other kids my age but wonderful things come in small packages.  I am not as far along as my class mates but I am trying really hard to be a better speaker.  I still talk with short sentences, but I am ready to start using bigger ones.  My legs can be very stiff but I got to a special doctor where we practice using my legs so they can get better. I like to think I am very smart and I love pleasing my caretakers.

Mysterious Michael

Hi! I am 9 yrs. old.  The doctor’s say that I have Hemophilia, but I don’t let that stop me.  Even though I can’t run fast because of my condition, I love to watch my remote control cars go fast.  Toy cars are my favorite, but I really enjoy going to the zoo.  I know I am very smart so that is a place where I get to learn more and share what I learn with my friends.  I talk a lot with my friends and especially love it when we get to go to the carnival!

Clever Claire

Hi! I am 8 yrs. old. My doctor says that I have cerebral palsy and I have to go to therapy every day so that I can get stronger.  Since my speech is a little behind my friends I typically stay quiet but I am learning to speak better. I really enjoy helping my teachers and they help me study. I can walk by myself but I fall down a lot.  I don’t let anything keep me down, I always get right back up and keep pushing! School is my favorite place to go, I like to learn.  I have been learning to speak better and I can now sing songs and folk rhymes.  I especially love happy songs and sharing them with my friends.

Marvelous Mary

Hi! I am 7 yrs. old. My doctor diagnosed me with osteogenesis imperfecta (OI).  Because of this I have trouble walking by myself so I get to use a wheel chair, which is so much fun! I live with a foster family where we listen to lots of music and they have taught me to sing. I have lots of friends and we have so much fun together. I talk a lot with my friends and they even let me sing to them, which really makes me smile!

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New Playground at Changsha Orphanage

We are so excited to share recent photos of the new playground that was built at Changsha Orphanage in Hunan province thanks to donations from one of our GWCA families. We are so thankful for their commitment to Chinese orphans, and for creating an atmosphere for love and fun for those still waiting.

 

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The Stork Has Landed!

We are so excited to share that Great Wall China Adoption received healthy referrals this week!  Families whose dossier was logged in on November 13, 2006 finally received the announcement that their child would be coming home! The children’s ages range from 12 months to 20 months, including a very rare set of twins!  Children in this referral group were from the provinces of Guangdong and Jiangxi. Congratulations to these families, we are so happy for you!

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My Chinese Dream: Send Children Back Home

At Great Wall we value our close working relationship with our Orphanage Partnerships. Recently, we have been honored to have Director Tang Rongsheng of the Shenzhen City Social Welfare Institute share with us his respected perspective on his position working with the children of China. Through all the obstacles and unforeseen circumstances that can occur in an adoption we are lucky to know that we have Director Tang’s support, along with his deep love and affection for these children.  In our partnership with Director Tang and the Shenzhen City Social Welfare Institute, we have helped around 100 children come home to their forever family.

Director Tang has been awarded and recognized for his heartwarming speech below. We are happy to share this speech with your family and hope that it touches you as much as it has our team here at Great Wall China Adoption.

My Chinese Dream: Send Children Back Home

By Tang Rongsheng

Director of Shenzhen Social Welfare Center

 

You can never feel the eagerness without looking at their eyes.

You can never know the urgency without hearing their pledge.

You can never imagine the power of love without walking into their life.

Four years ago, I was chosen to be part of the special children at the Shenzhen Social Welfare Center. The innocent eyes of those children are filled with eagerness and persistence, as well as bitterness and fearfulness, which urges me to re-explore the meaning of life.

Every time when the children call me “daddy Tang”, I feel a gust of happiness inside. Since then, I began to realize that I’ve been closely tied to them.

As an old Chinese saying goes, “Paternal love is as deep as sea.” In countless sleepless nights, I kept asking myself what I can do for those children. However, I am fully aware that “father” is meaningful only in the setting of a family where children come from and will eventually return to.

Hard work pays off in the end. A total of 240 children have returned “home” in the past four years, of whom 140 were adopted by foreign families. Behind every adopted child lies a touching story. Every successful adoption is a result of our persistence, devotion and hard work, which reflects the cross-border love and demonstrates the wisdom of Shenzhen people in promoting adoption.

As the only representative from a Chinese welfare institution, I gave a speech titled “Give Children a Home” at the annual adoption conference in Austin two years ago. Hundreds of American families were impressed and adopted, afterwards, more than a hundred children with disabilities from my center. For these children, a new, beautiful life has embraced them since then. And I was also happy to pass on the title of “father.”

Whenever a child is about to start a new life in a new family and says goodbye to me and whenever a child travel a long distance to visit the welfare center with his new family, I always feel joyful and meanwhile, have a strong attachment to them. At that moment, I feel that I’ve understood them by looking at their eyes, heard their inner voices, and experienced their feelings.

The adoption work is ordinary but complicated. To send children back home and to prioritize the interests of children are my working principles. For any individuals engaged in children’s welfare work, the benefits of children are always their core values.

I’ve been interviewed by the China’s Central Television for five times in the past two years. The Chinese authoritative media have the same hope that we, the frontline welfare workers, have–to help children rescued from human traffickers return home. I always believe that it will never be wrong to give every child a home.

I admire and appreciate those who have devoted time and energy, even a little, to orphans and children with disabilities.

I despise those who turn blind eyes to and make troubles to those children.

I am in deep love with the cause of children’s welfare because it’s filled with the aroma of love, it beats the passion of love and it enjoys the joy of love.

If you ask me what I have done in the past four years, my answer is : send children back home. If you ask me what is the happiest experience I’ve had, my answer is : send children back home. If you ask me what I will do in the future, the answer is the same: to send children back home.

To let every child in China have a cozy home is my Chinese Dream. It is also the Chinese Dream of all the staff at my center and the Chinese Dream of all kind-hearted people.

Thank you.

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Look what LOVE can do!

When adopting a Waiting Child a family can go through a roller-coaster of emotions in the process. It’s important for Waiting Child Families to value the difference they are about to make in a child’s life.Not only does your forever child become a blessing to your family but you are a blessing for them. Your unconditional LOVE for this child you have never met is going to change their life forever. Just a little LOVE can make a difference. Let’s take a look at the Smith family and little Miss Bella.

The Smith’s Story

Several years ago we knew that we were being called to adopt a special needs child. What it would look like, where the child would be from, and what special need the child might have was still uncertain to us. All we knew was that we were going to be bringing another child into our family to add to our already overflowing LOVE

Our biological daughter was born without her left arm. Upon finding out she would be born without an arm lots of emotions took their course. Well, October of 2004 we were blessed with a beautiful and healthy baby girl and our lives were forever changed. We knew we would have some struggles and trials, but we also knew we would always overcome. Honestly we forget that she doesn’t have an arm. She does everything that any other child does, but maybe in just a different way. Through experiencing what she has overcome we knew that anything was possible. 

After praying for the child God was going to bring into our family, we knew the minute we saw Bella that she was ours. The feeling in the pit of my stomach told me so. We started paperwork right away. Did we know exactly what it was going to be like to have a child missing both legs, no. Did we know that with God and with LOVE we could overcome anything, yes! 

Almost a year later I would have to say Yes she has overcome. She is now walking on her own and soon I know she will be running! Was everything always easy? Of course not, but with LOVE you can overcome. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  How beautiful LOVE is! 

The children on the Waiting Children list are waiting for their forever family. If you feel you are being called to adopt take that leap of faith. Your lives and these beautiful children’s lives will forever be changed and filled with much more LOVE. 

Sweet Bella was adopted last year at the age of two and a half from China.  She has been in the U.S. for almost a year now!  She was born with severe deformities to her lower limbs and digit deformities.   She could get around by crawling, and knew no different.

Two Christmas’ ago the Smith family knew Bella was destined to be a part of their family, they knew that together both family and Bella they were going to be able to help one another.  She is a happy sweet girl that has always been extremely adaptable and a beautiful addition to the Smith family.  In just under one year Bella has not only moved to the U.S. to be with her forever family, but she has also received two prosthetic legs.

Bella’s first steps.

The Smiths have worked diligently in moving Bella along and helping her to adapt to her life in the U.S.  She has been immersed in a loving home with fabulous parents and loving siblings.  It is amazing the LOVE these parents have for this sweet little girl and to see everything they are willing to do for her.

Check out Bella walking all on her own!!

To check out some of our other Waiting Children just waiting to be LOVED on, go check out our photo listings!

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Should I Be Worried About Government Shutdowns?

The GWCA/CAN team wants to assure our adoptive families that despite Congress’ ability to pass a spending bill by the start of the fiscal year (October 1), subsequently leading to government shutdowns, your adoption should still be processed at a normal rate. Government agency shutdowns should not affect the federal offices at which adoptions are processed. We assure you that we will notify families in the event of anything changing that should affect your adoption process. If there should be any questions please don’t hesitate to call our offices at 512.323.9595. Happy Tuesday!

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