CONNECT Program

Thousands of happy families are united each year through the wonderful work of adoption. However, in some cases, despite a family’s best intentions and their desire to parent their adoptive child, the transition proves too difficult and the placement does not work out as planned. CAN has developed a resource to help these children and families in crisis. Our new CONNECT Program was born out of a parent’s love to provide a safe and secure option for their child to find their new forever family through our agency. The program aims to help families prevent a disruption or dissolution; however, if a new family is in the child’s best interest we can help facilitate the transition process. To learn more check out our CONNECT Program on our website.

If you are an adoptive family needing post-adoption support and are facing challenges with your child’s adoption transition, please contact us. Our adoption counselors are standing by to help guide and support your family.

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WOW Kids

This is our last week of American Heart Month. What have you done to raise awareness? Take a second and share this blog with someone you know to help us find forever families for these children. Jackson and Leo both suffer from heart conditions and need someone with a big heart to help care for them and give them the new start that they so desperately need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Jackson and I love anything that bounces. I am 5 years old and I have Tetrology of Fallot heart condition. I had surgery for this in 2011 and the doctors checked my heart in 2012 and it is functioning well! I am unable to hear my friends and caregivers because I am hard of hearing. I have been using a hearing aid and it has been helping. I go to therapy and I am getting stronger and learning new words! In 2013 the doctors found a cataract in my eye and I will be having surgery for this pretty soon. I love to smile and my caregivers say that I am funny when I laugh!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Leo and I am almost 2 years old. I love to go to the park and play with my foster family! I have been living with them since I was very little. I was diagnosed with hydrocephalus and CHD. Since I have been with my foster family, I have been taking supplements in order to get stronger. I am able to follow my caretakers voices and locate them when they call my name. I used to have some high muscle tension in my legs, and I am working on getting them stronger. My file is a little bit older, but my friends at Great Wall are working on getting more information!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Shannon and I am 4 years old! I am outgoing and I love to talk. I am only able to say simple words, but I love to be the life of the party. I have something called Down Syndrome and two mild heart defects, ASD and VSD. I also have been diagnosed as a Hep B carrier. My caregivers say that I live a life just like my friends. I love to eat, play, and watch cartoons! I am always smiling and playing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Sarah and I am 9 years old! Right now I am living in an orphanage but I get to go to a Special Education school in the big city. My doctor say that I have cerebral palsy and I am a bit behind my friends. I do like to play with other children and I study very hard. I am friendly with others and I like meeting new people. My limbs can be a little still but I still love communicating with others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Shirley! I am 9 years old and I love to play dress up and with dolls. I have been diagnosed with CP and I had high muscular tension in my legs, but I had surgery to help with my tendons. I am currently attending a primary school where I am in Special Education classes, and I am learning a lot! I am able to recite poems, sing songs, and I am counting up to 40. I can learn what my teachers have been teaching me, but sometimes they have to tell me a couple times before I completely understand. My teachers say that I am very kind and attentive in class. I have been living in a foster family since 2006 so that I could get more individualized attention. I go to therapies every day to make my body stronger. I am able to take care of all my personal needs and I am very independent. I have been taught about adoption and I would like to be adopted!

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Listen to Your Heart

Has anyone ever told you to listen to your heart?  “What on earth were you thinking when you bought that puppy?  What were you thinking when you bought that house you knew was a little more than a ‘fixer-upper’?” We are often conflicted as to what to listen to; our hearts or our heads?  It is common we are told to listen and be logical, and think with our heads but it can be hard when you feel the tugging at your heart. It’s funny we think so metaphorically about these different organs when it is scientifically understood that our brain is the only one doing the “thinking” in the human body.

Recently, scientists have discovered that the heart has an intelligence of it’s own.  The heart sends out electromagnetic messages just like the brain. It has its own neuro-network that sends messages throughout the entire body. In fact the electronic component output is 60 times stronger than what the brain sends out. “The magnetic component is approximately 5000 times stronger than the brain’s magnetic field and can be detected several feet away from the body with sensitive magnetometers.”

Further evidence suggests that our hearts retain memory. The recipients of heart transplants have been known to have memories and deep feelings and desires they never had before the transplant. Later they discover the memories were the last moments and truest loves of the previous owner’s life.

Also, like a magnet, our hearts connect with other like-electromagnetic wavelengths in other’s hearts. There is a real magnetic connection that is made when hearts are like-minded. Could this possibly explain why when you get within 5 feet of someone that you know you will like them or not get along with them? Could this be why we experience pain in our hearts when we deny its truest desires?  “There is now evidence that a subtle yet influential electromagnetic or “energetic” communication system operates just below our conscious awareness. Energetic interactions likely contribute to the “magnetic” attractions or repulsions that occur between individuals, and also affect social exchanges and relationships.”

There are matters of the heart that require the deep rooted feelings within the heart, not our heads.  That makes sense since it is located way down in our protected chest.  It’s not corrupted by the eyes and ears putting their two cents in about what is said to be right and what looks right.  We know we can’t trust them!

So the next time someone tries to tell you that you are crazy for wanting to adopt that child, for diving in head first to the unknown. You tell them that if that’s true, tell it to my heart.  It’s the one making the decisions!

The heart also appears to receive “intuitive” information before the brain. This suggests that the heart’s field may be linked to more subtle energetic fields that contain information on objects and events remote in space or ahead in time.  So what the science says is that when it comes to matters others just can’t wrap their heads around, it may be that you’re “crazy” or maybe you just have an extremely high heart IQ.

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WOW Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi I am Mariah! I am 7 years old. When I was younger I received a two-way Glenn operation and recovered well. I had a complete ASD; double outlets of right ventricle; severe pulmonary artery stenosis(under the valve), VSD(secondary), AO right arch right descending; and a formation of collateral circulation. I may need another surgery next year. I walk all by myself, jump, climb up and down the stairs and do most thinks on my own. I am a little behind my friends, but that is because as a young child I was very sick. I do enjoy my time playing with the other kids and enjoy sharing my toys with them.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Garrett and I am 5 years old. I came to the orphanage when I was 8 months old because I am deaf. I used to be a little bit smaller than my friends, but with a lot of care from the orphanage I am doing great! I have not been taught any sign language yet, but I am still very social and love to play with my friends. I communicate to my caregivers with gestures that I have found express my needs. I love to watch cartoon and my favorite toys are my animal figurines. Great Wall got an update and they learned that I am doing great! I have been at the School for the Deaf for over 2 years and I am communicating fully in sign language. I am doing really well in school and I love to play football!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Max and I am 8 years old! I love to play with any cars and planes! I was born with a cleft lip and palate, but I had surgery to repair it when I was just one year old. I may need another surgery on my cleft palate when I am a little older. I am very smart and I love to study in school. I can speak with my caregivers and friends without a problem! I have a big appetite but I love to eat all foods, even fruits and veggies! I am learning English words in school and I am getting great at them!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Felicity and I am 4 years old. I was born with hydrocephalus and my head is still a little large. Due to this, I have a hard time sitting up and walking, but I am working hard on catching up with my motor skills. I am almost always in a great mood and I love to watch my friends play. I am able to pass toys back-and-forth in my hands and I can grab at toys I want. I am currently on a nutrition plan that is helping my development, and I also attend therapies. My caregivers say that I am a very happy kiddo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hello! My name is Wendell and I am a very energetic little boy. My doctors say that I have an abnormal development on my eye (possibly leucoma) and I am a bit thin. I haven’t ever had any serious illnesses but I am allergic to egg whites. Even though I have vision complications, I can still walk while holding onto the wall. I can listen for sounds to follow and can recognize familiar people’s voices. I am close with my caretakers and I like to imitate what they say. Overall, I am behind my friends in the orphanage, but I am working hard to try and catch up.

 

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Look What Love Can Do

I did not know in the summer of 2006 when the desire to be a mom again crept into my heart that it would lead me to adopt a child with a heart condition.

My desire to be a mom again had been growing, but my husband and I had already decided together that we would be a family of three. But the ache in my heart just couldn’t be quieted. I kept it quiet and I prayed. Not long after the stirrings began in my heart, our daughter, who was about three years old, began asking for a sister. Each time she asked, I responded with “Well, you pray about that, okay?” I wanted to scream and jump for joy when she asked each time, but instead, I stayed quiet and I pointed her to pray.

Fast forward to a little over a year later in the fall of 2007 and Chloe, our four year old, has stepped up her asks for a sister and I continued pointing her to pray. Then one day, she asks when my husband is around. If I remember correctly, I froze in place and tried to not let my face give away what was in my heart. But my face couldn’t hide my desire and we began having conversations and praying together…and in late November we jumped in to our second adoption journey!

We began the paperwork chase for adopting a healthy baby girl, between 6 months to 18 months. I very much wanted as young as possible baby. Our paperwork got sent to China in June of 2008 and the wait began. We knew going into this adoption that our waiting time was going to be longer. Adoptions had slowed down considerably with the increase in families wanting to adopt from China and with the Beijing Olympics coming. And so we waited.

As we waited, and waited patiently, we lived our lives. Chloe began kindergarten and as a family we made a decision to go on a mission trip to serve orphans in the country of Myanmar. It was an amazing time and the children in the orphanage grew in our hearts.  We followed that mission trip with Wayne and I each returning on our own in the following two Decembers. When Wayne returned from his trip, Wayne’s heart had changed. His heart had seen the children with special needs and those that were older that needed a family. He began talking to me about our considering adopting an older child or a child that had minor special needs. This could not have surprised me more! Wayne had not ever been open to this! We began to talk and pray about it, contacted GWCA, and began researching the Waiting Child program. Our own conversations, and talking with GWCA led us to decide to apply for the Waiting Child program while still staying in the healthy child program.

Our process involved looking at the waiting child lists, but after a few months, and after talking with GWCA, they sent the file of a little three-year-old girl named Yang Dong Shuang for our review. We looked over her paperwork thoroughly and also sent the file to a doctor specializing in reviewing children’s files with special needs. The doctor we used was so great and encouraging and was himself an adoptive father. He gave an authentic and realistic perspective with wise counsel from a medical and adoptive parent standpoint. After a time of thinking and praying, we decided to pursue adopting her!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In our daughter’s case, she had a minor correctable heart condition that had been repaired in China already. I’ve often thought about how her heart condition brought her to us. Her heart plus our hearts equaled forever family!

We traveled to China in May of 2012. When we arrived at the Civil Affairs Bureau, Haddie was hesitant and kept her distance and resisted coming to us. Her caregivers encouraged her and coaxed her, but she kept drawing back. We continued to try to get close, playing, giving her gifts, blowing bubbles and even a bit of bribing with some candy! She was determined to not come to us! Finally, the nannies just placed her in my arms. She protested, cried, wailed, and tried to get out of my arms. We said a few Chinese phrases (which mostly seemed to escape me) and tried to comfort her, but nothing worked. Comfort did not come for her. I know she was so frightened and she eventually fell asleep in my arms, worn out from the emotion of it all. I had prepared my heart for a tough time for gotcha day. I’m honestly glad that I did. I think because of that heart prep for me, I was able to focus on comforting and easing Haddie’s trauma. Haddie needed to grieve and for that reason I had to let go of my needs for the immediate bonding and connection so I could meet her needs with care, love, and comfort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fast forward to the present and we have been home with our daughter for a year and a half!

That year and a half brought lots of adjustments, learning, tears, laughs, but mostly love. It was tough, really tough at times, but love won and continues to win each day.

What love did for us is bring bonding and connection and completeness to our family.  In the months leading up to adopting Haddie, the number four became such a symbol of how our family would be complete. Interestingly enough, the number four also is important to our Haddie. Each time she sees a group of four, she associates our family to that!  This picture below is our “family picture” from left to right there is Daddy, Momma baby, Chloe baby, and Haddie baby!

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will close with one other post-adoption story. In the days following our arrival home, Haddie noticed our several family pictures from when Chloe was little. Haddie would point and say “Dong Shuang,” her Chinese name. At first I was correcting her, but then I thought, “What if this puts it in to Haddie’s heart that she has always been with us? That she forms in her heart that we’ve forever been family?” How cool would that be to help her with the bonding and attachment! Know that it is in both our hearts to keep her Chinese heritage alive and that Haddie’s foster family be always remembered. But for that short time post-adoption I stopped correcting her and let her cement in her heart that we have been family forever.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

-The Rohrscheib Family

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WOW Kids

It’s Valentine’s week and we need to mend some broken hearts! A family I spoke to recently made a very good point, some of our kids were born with heart conditions and definitely need special care, which is what we are raising awareness for this month. However all of these kids are suffering from broken hearts because they don’t have families to love them. Even if these kiddos aren’t meant to complete your family, share them with everyone you know. Their family is out there, we just need to find them. If you would like to learn more about these kiddos you can reach out to Jessie@gwca.org.

Hi, I’m Quentin! I am a shy boy but I can be very active too. I have a good appetite and my caregivers think I am very clever. A wonderful group called Love Without Boundaries helped me receive treatment for my serious heart defect (single ventricle, complete endocardial cushion defect and persistent truncus arteriosus). Since my surgery in 2012, they have helped me live with a foster family and I have grown so much. I get wonderful care from my foster family and I love chasing after the other children. My foster family thinks I am a lovely boy even though I can be timid too.

My name is Blake. I have a birthday coming up soon and I will be turning 4 years old! Since last summer I have been living with a foster family and this year I started kindergarten. Since I have been diagnosed with Down syndrome and a heart defect I still need daily help from my foster family, but I am trying to do more like a big boy. Even though I am still a little delayed, I can go up and down the stairs all by myself have good basic fine motor skills. I can understand what my foster family says to me but sometimes they cannot understand my words clearly. It can be hard trying to find the words to express myself but I still enjoy playing with the other children. I am always energetic and try to keep a ready smile for the day!

Hi, I’m Amber! I just turned 6 years old and I am a cutie! When I was younger, I had a hard time digesting my food because I had a deformity in my intestines. I had surgery in 2008 for this and it has been corrected. My speech is behind my friends because I am not able to hear fully. I can still communicate with my caregivers and let them know what I need, and I am able to follow their instructions. One of my legs is a little weak, but I am able to walk, run, and go upstairs independently. I am able to get dressed by myself and I know my shapes and colors. I love to look at picture books and my caregivers say that I am very kind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hi, I’m Lucy and I am as brave as Superwoman! I am 10 years old and I was born with an meningocele. I had surgery for it when I was very young, but then the doctors discovered that I also had a dislocated hip and clubbed feet. I have had surgeries for all of these things and I am able to walk on my own now. When I had my surgeries my caregivers said that I was very brave and I did not even cry when they put my legs in casts. I have always been very smart! I study hard in school and my dream is to go to college and become a doctor. I want to help other kids like my doctors helped me!

Hi, I’m Lola and I am 4 years old. When I came into care I was diagnosed with something called  esophageal and anal atresia. I had an operation to correct both of these in 2011, and I recovered well after some good nutrition therapy. I have a difficult time hearing because of my bilateral microctia, but I am able to follow instructions and hear my caregivers. When the doctors looked at my heart, they saw that I have left ventricular false tendons, but other than that my heart looked healthy. My file says that I also have a curved spine, but I am able to fully walk, run, and jump. I really enjoy being active and independent!

 

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