Sponsored Star for June – $2,000 Grant Available!

Quinn Sponsored StarMeet Quinn, GWCA’s Sponsored Star for June!

Quinn is an adorable 2 and a half year old girl who was born with Down syndrome. While she has some delays that are associated with her need she is doing very well! She can crawl and stand by herself, and she’s learning to walk using a small chair for stability. Quinn loves to listening to music, looking at picture books, dancing and coloring. She is able to use her hands to hold small objects and pass them back and forth.

Earlier this year one of our matching specialists had the opportunity to meet Quinn during a trip to China, and she would be happy to speak with any families that have questions about her.

As our Sponsored Star, Quinn has a $2,000 grant available towards her adoption fees! If you are interested in seeing Quinn’s file or learning how you can be matched with her, visit our China Waiting Child Photo Listing or contact our China Matching Team today!

What is a Sponsored Star?

On the 1st of each month, Great Wall China Adoption will feature one of the kiddos from our Orphanage Partnerships as our monthly “Sponsored Star!” As our Sponsored Star, that child will be provided a $2,000 grant towards their adoption fees! Each of the kiddos selected will be a Special Focus child,  meaning they have not found their Forever Family yet due to their age, or the degree of their needs. Together, we can find loving homes for these amazing kids!

We encourage any families interested in learning more about our Sponsored Star of the Month to visit our China Waiting Child Photo Listing, or contact our China Matching Specialists to learn how you can be matched today! Check back on the first of each month to meet the newest featured child!

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8 New Kids on the Block!

MarkMark is a cute little boy that is 1 and a half yeas old. Mark had a spinal meningocele that was operated on and removed, which led to his legs being paralyzed, and he also has cerebral palsy. He has normal eye sight, normal defecation and urination, and he seems to be doing well cognitively. Mark is learning to speak and is actively babbling. He knows his name and he will respond when you call him. He likes babbling with his caretakers and cuddling with them. He likes listening to music and playing with other children. He can grasp toys and pass toys between his hands. Mark receives rehabilitation and gets his lower limbs massaged regularly. Mark’s caretakers say that he smiles and laughs a lot!

You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Mark. We hope we are able to find Mark his Forever Family soon!

TatumTatum is a darling 10-year old with repaired cleft lip and palate! Her file also indicates that she may also have some cognitive delays, but she seems to be doing great in school! She lives in a foster family within her orphanage and she loves to spend time with her friends and caregivers. She is described as being active, optimistic, friendly, and helpful to others! She loves to sing, dance, and draw, dance, and sing, and loves to perform at the institute! Tatum has a close group of friends and she loves to invite younger kiddos to join in with fun activities. She loves to play tug-of-war and badminton, and she also enjoys throwing balls and climbing. She’s a happy, active girl! If you’d like to learn more, please reach out to Great Wall China Adoption!SelenaSelena is a beautiful 12 year old girl in need of a forever home! Selena has cognitive delays, but that doesn’t stop her from being a sweet and curious kiddo. She loves to listen to music, read, and spend time with her friends. She is currently in a simulated foster family in her orphanage and is thriving in the special education classes provided for her. Selena is shy around new people but becomes very outgoing and social around her caretakers, teachers, and friends. She takes initiative and says “hello” and “good morning” when she sees familiar faces! Selena also loves to sing, and will sing for a group when she feels encouraged. She loves to help her foster mother clean up the house, and she is always helpful with other kiddos. Please contact Great Wall if you’d like to learn more about Selena!CarsonCarson is a sweet kiddo who will be turning 9 years old in June! He is developmentally delayed and has a urogenital need. Carson lives in a simulated family environment and is currently in school. He loves to smile and play and is described as being a sweet and sensitive kiddo with a big heart. Carson loves music and drawing. He receives some training in language expression and seems to be benefiting from this. Carson participates actively in school and in activities with his peers. He loves interacting with other children and his caretakers say he is great at sharing with others. If you’d like to learn more about Carson, contact one of our matching specialists to review his file!MatildaMatilda is an adorable 2 1/2 year old girl in need of a forever home! Matilda ears formed a little differently than her peers and it is unclear whether or not she has any hearing impairment. Matilda also appears to have some type of syndrome, although it is not clear from her medical file what that may be. Matilda’s caregivers describe her as active, gentle, and cuddly! She loves to smile and loves to spend time with her caregivers. Matilda likes to imitate her caregiver’s actions and is easily able to express her needs. She loves toys that stimulate her senses and enjoys riding her tricycle! She’s a happy, social kiddo who loves to spend time with others. If you would like to learn more about Matilda, please reach out to Great Wall!TateTate is an adorable kiddo who will be turning 8 years old this August! He has spastic cerebral palsy which means his muscles are stiff. Tate receives rehabilitation which helps improve his condition. He is described as being energetic, positive and in tune with his emotions. He loves playing games and tends to be chatty with his peers! Tate is a great sharer and has great manners. He loves listening to stories and always tells his teacher that he would like to hear more. Tate has great expression ability and answers questions with confidence. He picks up on new concepts fairly easily and really enjoys learning in the classroom. Tate is able to walk with a walker and go up and down the stairs by holding the railings. His hands are flexible and he is able to get dressed on his own. Tate has the sweetest spirit and would love to find a family of his own someday. If you’d like to review his file, contact one of our matching specialists!

Click Here to Watch my Video!

Click Here to Watch my Video!

RubyRuby is a sweet kiddo who is about to turn 12 years old in July! Ruby is cheerful, talkative, friendly and always has a ready smile. She is an active kiddo who loves to be around her peers. Ruby often helps take care of the younger children and she loves telling them stories. Her language comprehension skills are great and she can communicate well. Ruby looks forward to going to school everyday and has made great progress so far! She has great motor skills and really enjoys being active. She likes to running and playing on the swings in the summertime. If you’d like to learn more about Ruby, contact one of our matching specialists!CharlieCharlie is a wonderful boy that just recently turned 12 years old. Charlie has mild cerebral palsy that seems to only affect his right hand. Other than his right hand, Charlie seems to be a smart, healthy boy with normal intellectual development! One of our GWCA staff members met Charlie when she visited China earlier this year and she would be happy to speak with any interested family about Charlie.

Charlie is a little shy when you first meet him, but he quickly warms up to you. He is very sociable and extroverted. He enjoys listening to music and singing. The GWCA staff member that met Charlie said that he is just a really sweet boy with a very kind heart and a warm personality. Charlie always seems to have a smile on his face and is very observant of the world around him. The GWCA staff member that met Charlie said she can’t believe that no one has adopted him yet because he is such a wonderful little boy!

Charlie is in 5th grade and is one of the top students in his class. Charlie has been chosen to be the Teacher’s Assistant in his class, which is a great honor and responsibility for him. Charlie has excellent self-care abilities such as dressing himself, bathing himself and eating on his own.

You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Charlie. We hope we are able to find Charlie his Forever Family soon!

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Adorable Photos from Neijiang Partnership

BabbbiesssOur China matching specialists have just received photos of 8 adorable kiddos from one of our newest orphanage partnerships in Neijing! We are so excited for the opportunity to work with this orphanage, and we are looking forward to finding loving Forever Families for their kiddos. As we are still several months out from receiving these kids’ files, it is unclear whether their files will be considered LID or Special Focus. However, due to their young ages, it is likely that their files will only be LID unless they have more moderate or severe needs. As such, their files may only be available to families that have their dossiers logged in.

Our staff from the Beijing office truly enjoyed their visit to the orphanage, and shared a bit about their experience with us:

1(Feat)

We had a wonderful time visiting Neijiang! It is so peaceful here, and the air is so fresh. The orphanage here in Neijiang moved into a new building just last year, and the new facility has so much to offer the children. They now have a beautiful playground and buildings that cater specifically to older kids and children in foster care. All of the rooms in the orphanage are kept so clean, and the beds and cribs are all in great condition. The new building also has a great rehabilitation center so that the kids can get the help they need to continue growing stronger. All of the kids that we’ve met are so happy and polite, and they seem to be doing very well developmentally. The caretakers know the children well, and love and care for them as if they were their own. We are very much looking forward to working with this orphanage. 

If you’re interested in learning more about our China adoption program or learning how you get started with the LID track, contact our China matching specialists today!

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12 New Kids Added This Week!

TonyTony is an adorable 5-year old kiddo in need of a forever family! Tony was diagnosed with PKU, but seems to be doing very well! His file indicates that he may have some cognitive delays as well, but we are working hard to learn more updated information. His caretakers describe him as a affectionate kiddo who loves to play with his friends. Despite having a digestive need, he appears to eat a wide variety of foods without issue. If you’d like to learn more about him, please reach out to Great Wall!

JeremiahJeremiah is an adorable little boy from China that recently turned 3 years old. Jeremiah was abandoned when he was about three months old and he has been in the orphanage ever since that time. Jeremiah has PKU but seems to be doign well. His file was prepared in June 2014, so the following information is true as of that time when Jeremiah was only 15 months old. At that time he was able to sit up by himself, he could prop up his head and upper body when he was lying on his stomach and he could reach out for toys and hold them. He was holding his own bottle at the time as well. Jeremiah enjoyed being teased by his caregiver and would giggle when playing with his nanny. He liked bath time and playing in the water.

Since Jeremiah’s file is over a year old we are working hard to get some more updated information about him. You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Jeremiah. We hope we are able to find Jeremiah his Forever Family soon!

HuckHuck is a sweet little boy that has just recently turned 2 years old. Huck has a cleft palate and CHD (patent foramen ovale). He has not received surgery on either his cleft palate or his heart. One could probably assume that because he hasn’t had a heart surgery yet, Huck is weaker than many other children his same age. At his time Huck is unable to stand up by himself. Huck uses a baby walker to get around a lot of the time. His caretakers say his cleft palate does not influence his eating and that he eats mainly porridge and milk.

Huck is babbling but he is not yet talking, and his hearing is normal. His caretakers say he is delayed cognitively, but it is unclear if he has any actual mental issues or if he is just generally delayed because he hasn’t had surgery on his heart or palate. Huck does like to imitate the words and actions of those around him.

Huck has an extroverted personality and is active. He is fond of listing to music and he really enjoys being cuddled by his caretakers. If he is upset, he will stop crying right away when he is picked up and cuddled. Huck can grasp toys and play with them.

You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Huck. We hope we are able to find Huck his Forever Family soon!

OwenOwen is a healthy older boy who is 12 years old! He had a cleft lip when he was younger but it was repaired in 2005. Owen has lived in a foster family environment since he was a child and has done very well. He has been receiving education since he was 4 years old and can introduce himself in English. Owen has always done well in school and in 2014 he got 2nd place in the art competition! He enjoys running and riding his bike. He gets along with everyone around him and is described as being active, bright, kind and grateful. Contact one of our matching specialists if you would like to review Owen’s file!OttoOtto is a cute little guy who is 1 years old! His file indicates that he has cerebral palsy. It also indicates that he currently takes medication to control twitches he was experiencing upon entering the institute. The medication is controlling his symptoms very well. Otto loves smiling at familiar people and being cuddled and touched! He likes being around other children and happily waves his arms and legs when playing with his caretakers. Otto receives rehabilitation training daily to strengthen his physical development. He can turn his head when seeing moving objects and can express to his caretakers when he needs something. Otto is happiest outdoors and loves to observe his surroundings! If you’d like to review his medical file, contact one of our matching specialists!GrahamGraham was recently apart of our JOY program! A family spent a week getting to know Graham and these are some of the amazing things they have to say about him! If you would like to learn more about Graham, contact GWCA and we can connect you with his advocate. 5 year old Graham’s yearns for a family of his own. He was born with a congenital heart defect that he will most likely need surgery for upon coming home to the United States. From the very first moments that we met him, he opened up to us and made an emotional connection. He is fully able to bond with a family as evidenced by how quickly he interacted with us and showed trust and affection. Graham is alert, intelligent, and interested in everything around him. He has a wonderful sense of humor and loves to laugh, make silly faces, play games, dress up in hats, sunglasses and adult size shoes. He loves to play with all sorts of toys, but will also sit quietly and look at books, sing songs, and other activities that take a longer attention span. His medicals needs are significant, but he is able to walk and play and even run. Graham is truly a treasure just waiting to be discovered by his forever family. Contact our matching specialists today to learn more!PeterPeter was recently apart of our JOY program! A family spent a week getting to know Peter and these are some of the amazing things they have to say about him! If you would like to learn more about Peter, contact GWCA and we can connect you with his advocate. Little Peter is truly a kind and gentle soul waiting for a family to come and open up his world. He is a quiet little boy who loves to take walks with a caregiver holding each hand to give him a feeling of security. The joy he feels when being held and bounced up and down in your arms produces a twinkle in his eyes and a huge smile on his face. Small manipulative toys fascinated him as did soft stuffed animals that he enjoyed hugging and cuddling with. He also enjoyed large motor activities like climbing up and down a set of steps and sliding down a slide. Peter loved going out to eat and trying new foods. He quickly learned a hand clapping game to let us know when he wanted to try something new or have more of a certain food. Peter was very patient while traveling in the van and waiting for activities to begin. Peter would be a loving addition to any family that is open to some unknowns. Contact our matching specialists today to learn more!WinnieWinnie was recently apart of our JOY program! A family spent a week getting to know Winnie and these are some of the amazing things they have to say about her! If you would like to learn more about Winnie, contact GWCA and we can connect you with her advocate. Let’s talk all about Winnie, gorgeous little lady Winnie!! Winnie is as sweet as cinnamon French toast & she would love to share some with you, too! As most of you know Winnie has Downs (UP!) Syndrome (DS) but that doesn’t stop this girl from loving life to it’s fullest. She is oh-so-happy and very smart. Winnie loves her baby doll almost as much as she loves food & that is a WHOLE LOT! I have yet to see Winnie not eat any food item offered to her; she is not a picky eater. She loves to wear dresses & a bow in her hair, because she’s a princess! As loving and affectionate as Winnie is, she is also a healthy balance of independent and self-entertaining. Her favorites are her babydoll, finger puppets & a glitter wand! She can play for hours with toys and not make a peep. In fact, I have only heard her cry twice and that was because she was mocking the other crying baby in the room! Which brings me to one of my favorite things about Winnie: her impeccable copycat skills! And her smile… it’s infectious & with one flash of her dimples and big brown eyes she has the whole room around her melting! Winnie is healthy and in good weight and condition. She is wearing a 4T and fits in it wonderfully! It’s nice to see her so filled out and not skinny like so many orphans are. She does wear AFO’s (ankle foot braces) to help her with stability and walking. When not wearing them her ankles are a bit weak and have a hard time supporting her weight fully. So she will “bear crawl” when they are not on. When they are on she will walk a few feet & then she will sit down and crawl because she’s learned it is easier and faster! She will need someone to continue to teach her good walking skills and work with her to strengthen her legs! I also think getting her in much less bulky shoes will help a TON. Currently her shoes are thick, VERY heavy & not easy for her to ambulate. And of course with her UP! Syndrome she will need someone to adopt her that is either savvy with DS or willing to learn all about it. Children, people with DS are some of the most inspirational, loving people I have ever met. Winnie is truly a gem with her incredibly mind and intelligence. Contact us to learn more!MiaMia is a sweet 5-year old girl in need of a forever family! Her official diagnosis indicates that she may have a cognitive delay, but Great Wall is working hard to find out more recent information. She seems to have excellent motor development, and is able to sit up and walk without assistance. Her language seems somewhat delayed, but she is still able to call to her caregivers to express her needs. She also does a great job imitating words! Mia is shy around new people but loves to smile. Please reach out to Great Wall if you’d like to learn more!AlexaAlexa is a happy 12 year old with Microcephaly. She is an active and optimistic girl who always has a ready smile! She is described as being very polite and always wants to share her things with others. She loves taking part in group activities and especially likes being outdoors. She often helps take care of younger kiddos and is described as being an older sister! She is currently receiving speech therapy to enhance her communication skills. She does a great job at following instructions and understanding her teacher’s orders. When she has needs, she can express those needs to her caregivers on her own initiative. Alexa loves taking part in all types of games, especially with other children! If you are interested in learning more about Alexa, contact one of our matching specialists!SavannagSavannah is a precious little girl from China that is about to turn 5 years old. Savannah has CHD, specifically a kind called cyanotic congenital heart disease. Savannah was abandoned when she had just turned 3 years old, so she has only been in the orphanage for a year now.

Savannah has normal intelligence development and can read simple poems. She has a quiet personality and she is fond of playing with toys and listening to music. She gets along well with other children in the orphanage. She has good self-care skills such as taking on and off her own clothes. She speaks 5-10 word sentences and asks questions like “what is that?” Other than her heart condition, Savannah appears to have normal physical development.

Savannah’s file is brand new, so this information is very current. You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Savannah. We hope we are able to find Savannah her Forever Family soon!

ChristianChristian is a sweet little boy from China that just turned 3 years old. He was born with a meningocele on his back, but had surgery to have it removed, and he doesn’t appear to have any other medical issues now. Christian seems to be doing really well based on the information in his file. Christian was abandoned at the entrance of a church when he was almost 2 years old. Because he was probably raised by a family for two years before he went to the orphanage, his delays don’t appear to be as significant as a child who was raised from birth in the orphanage.

Christian is now able to sit, stand and walk by himself. He can use his thumbs and index fingers to pick up small objects, to take a block out of the cup and knock two blocks together. Christian has normal hearing and vision, so he can locate the sound source and follow a moving toy visually. Christian can some words and knows many people’s names and can call out for them. He can communicate with others normally, he understands the meaning of “no,” and he knows how to give the object he is being asked for to the person who is asking for it. He can wave goodbye and blow kisses.

Christian is able to cooperate with his caretakers when he is being dressed, and is able to put on his own shoes by himself. He is very happy when a caretaker he knows well comes in the room. Christian is quiet and shy, but he gets along very well with other children. He likes to listen to music and whenever music is turned on he lights up with joy. Christian’s caretakers describe him as a lovely child and they hope he is able to find a Forever Family soon.

You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Christian. We hope we are able to find Christian her Forever Family soon!

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Celebrating 20 Years of Blessings!

Anniversary Banner

Adoption reminds us to be grateful. Each day reminds us that for each parent, each family who begins their journey towards welcoming a new family member, that journey represents a child who will have a place to call home. A family, a home, and a whole heart is the blessing of adoption, and with each trip, the journey of an orphan ends and the journey of a family begins.

Today we are grateful to have followed the countless journeys of our adoptive families for twenty years. Today marks Great Wall China Adoption’s 20th anniversary! We have had 20 years to work with some of the most amazing families opening their hearts and homes to children in need of a family to call their own. This is 20 years of blessings that could not have happened without you! Today we are grateful for each and every one of the families who have adopted, followed our journey, or lent a voice to the children in need. You are the ones who have made it possible for us to reach this milestone! Here’s to an amazing twenty years, over 9,000 orphans home, and many more to come!

 

Visit our Waiting Child Photo Listing | Contact our China Matching Specialists | Learn More!

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Josiah Needs Your Help – $1,000 Grant Available!

Josiah (2)This past April we had several amazing families travel to China for our very first JOY Mission trip. Among these families was an adoptive father who had the pleasure of spending his week getting to know two kiddos, Josiah and Amelia.

Josiah is a 10 year old boy with a heart condition that needs medical attention. This is the second hosting program of ours that Josiah has participated in, as he came to America a year and a half ago for our Winter Hosting program, and we’re absolutely determined to find this incredible boy a Forever Family. In fact, the JOY family that spent time with him in April is so confident that Josiah’s Forever Family is out there, that they have provided him with a $1,000 grant towards his adoption fees! Below is a blog post that was written by Josiah’s JOY family.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about Josiah, you can contact his JOY family at the email address listed at the bottom of the post. For more information on the China adoption process or to learn how you can be matched with Josiah, contact our China Matching Specialists at mallory@gwca.org.

The Empty Cup

What are Josiah and Amelia doing now? As I write this from the end of a sunny, spring, Wisconsin day, they are experiencing another Monday morning of their years of routine behind their walls. A routine I am hoping to free them from, in order to establish new routines with families, who  will help them grow stronger.

JOY BlogI came back from China knowing  the JOY Program would be different from last summer’s hosting program, when we hosted Jacob. I When I reflect on Josiah and Amelia, and their future, I am not handling the unknown for them well. Conversely, I know  that Jacob and Wen have met their new families and will be landing in Wisconsin next week. Jacob and Wen are both finding families who, 12-months ago, were not even entertaining the thought of expanding their families. But there they are, in China, awaiting to bring home two tween boys. They know there will be many challenges. Their families are not doing this because it is easy, but because they had room their cups that needed to be filled for these two boys.

There are people who want to help, have some room left in their cup, to help Josiah and Amelia. It might not be to commit to adopt, but will share the stories to connect two hands. They will give words of support and strength. To enlighten others on the greatest gift that can be given: a forever family.

A lot of friends have asked me what I hoped to gain out of my trip to China. They asked if I had fun. Seeing Josiah smile as he was making dumplings (video below). And seeing Amelia grow with pride as she mastered writing another Chinese symbol or master walking down stairs: that filled some of my cup. But that is not what I was hoping to gain from my trip. I am, and was, hoping to connect these two souls to their forever families. Families who still have room in their cups. Families who will enter into the unknown, but who have the knowledge that I will pass on, about how awesome each of these kids are. The knowledge that these children WANT most line their lives, a forever family. They love. They cried. They wanted. Are you their Forever?

How to Help

JOY Blog 1I have gotten a lot of questions about how to help Josiah.  The question is usually prefaced with comments like “What a great kid he is,” and “… it was amazing he could translate between you and Amelia,” and, “he just needs to find a family.”

Easy right?  Well no-one advocating says adoption is easy (neither is childbirth).  But sharing the message is.  I respond the question of how to help with the answer of amplify the message.  But what does that mean?

We all have different circles we run between.  We have our social media networks, we have our work networks, we have our neighborhood networks, we have our church networks, and we have our other research networks.  Your voice can carry a long, long way if you look at all the concentric circles you go between. But what do you say?

Tell your friends, colleagues, co-volunteers Josiah’s story.  It is something to talk about.  People like talking about kids. Tell them he is looking for a family.  Point them to this blog.  Point them to me.  And point them to Great Wall China Adoption if they are interested in learning more.  Share the information:

Blog Linkhttp://wahe.us/AdoptionJOY/
My Email: stefan@wahe.us
The Adoption Processhttp://www.gwca.org/china-adoption/the-process/

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8 New Kids on the Block

OliverOliver is a cute little guy that will turn 4 in July! He was born with Congenital Heart Disease but has not received any sort of surgery for his condition. Surgery for his heart is planned but not yet scheduled. Oliver is described as having an active personality! We received an update on him and his caretakers say that he is super talkative compared to his peers! His updated information also indicates that his cognitive development has been above average compared to his peers. He loves being around other children and always has a ready smile. Oliver is fond of playing games and listening to music and his caretakers say he is quick in reaction. He is able to go up and downstairs on his own and he can assist his caretakers in getting dressed. If you are interested in reviewing Oliver’s file, contact one of our matching specialists today!

Click Here to Watch My Video!

Ireland

Ireland is an adorable little girl from China that is two and a half years old. Ireland has cerebral palsy and esotropia of her eyes. Ireland’s file was prepared in February 2015, so all of the following information is from when she was only 16 months old. Ireland is receiving rehabilitation training and so she is learning to stand. Ireland can sit up on her own and stand holding on to things. Ireland is babbling and laughs happily when her caregivers speak to her. She can hold toys on her own and will turn her head when she hears her name being called. Her caregivers say she is very happy and cooperative when she is receiving rehabilitation training.

Since Ireland’s file is over a year old we are working hard to get some more updated information about her. You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Ireland. We hope we are able to find Ireland her Forever Family soon!

ChesterChester is a cute little boy from China that just turned 4 years old. Chester has Down’s Syndrome and is happy little boy. One of our GWCA staff members met Chester when she visited China earlier this year and she would be happy to speak with any interested family about Chester. Chester is described as a happy little boy that enjoys being around other people. Every morning he will energetically walk into every classroom to great his friends and teachers. He will sometimes crawl into other children’s beds and wake them up so that they can play with him.

Chester likes to listen to music and watching TV. Chester can understand his caregiver’s instructions and can respond to them. Chester speaks some basic words, although his pronunciation is somewhat unclear. Chester imitates his caretaker’s words and actions. Chester is not potty trained yet, but that is not uncommon for a child his age with Down’s Syndrome.

You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Chester. We hope we are able to find Chester her Forever Family soon!

BrandonThis sweet 8-year old boy’s name is Brandon! Brandon has an extra finger on his right hand and his left ear is slightly deformed, but there doesn’t appear to be any hearing impairment. He also has severe scoliosis, but he is able to walk without assistance! Brandon is a kind, shy kiddo who is hoping to have a forever family soon. Please reach out to Great Wall if you’d like to learn more!Amelia - JOYAmelia was recently apart of our JOY program! A family spent a week getting to know Amelia and these are some of the amazing things they have to say about her! If you would like to learn more about Amelia, contact GWCA and we can connect you with her advocate. Amelia is nine-years old with development delays both physically and mentally. Physically she would be listed in the 20th to 30th percentile category for height and weight on the American scale (please note this is an estimate, I did not measure her). I would estimate her head circumference is more on the 85th percentile. Her arms have little muscle mass and tone. Her legs have good muscle tone but she has difficulty with stairs. She will need some physical therapy but I am confident with good parental support that she will quickly gain the strength she needs. She is able to get around well, runs and climbs. In other words, it doesn’t slow her down one bit! She is active and engaging. She understands Chinese well and has some understanding of English. She communicates well with her caregivers as well as others. She has been very responsive with me. My evaluation is that on a maturity/education level she is currently on par with a five-year-old (kindergarten). She will need dedicated instruction to get caught up. But again I have noticed that when I have presented her with learning opportunities that she has eagerly accepted them. What she needs is a loving family. She would make a good younger sister. She is a little girl in need of more attention that what she is receiving from the orphanage. But then again, what child in this situation is not in the same boat.RobynThis sweet girl’s name is Robyn, and she is 8 years old! Robyn’s ankles turn inward slightly, but other than that she is a very healthy kiddo! Her language is somewhat delayed, but she is able to speak sentences of 5-10 words and often asks questions to increase her vocabulary. She likes to imitate her caregivers, and loves to listen to music and spend time with other kiddos in her orphanage. She is very extroverted and energetic, and she loves to smile! If you’d like to view her full file, please reach out to Great Wall!

Check out my NEW video! 

MarshallMarshall is an adorable kiddo who is 4 years old! Upon coming to the institute it was discovered that he has syphilis. Marshall is described as being a timid kiddo but gets along great with other kiddos. He has delayed physical and cognitive development but it is unclear whether these delays are a result of his syphilis diagnosis or his institutional environment. Marshall is fond of listening to music and playing games with other children! He can follow instructions and help his caretakers with simple tasks. Marshall’s file is a little outdated so Great Wall is working on getting some updated information. Contact one of our matching specialists to review his file!WillWill is a cute little guy that just turned 4 years old in February! Will’s file suggests that he is developmentally delayed compared to his peers. He loves playing with other children his age and is described as a quiet kiddo. Will was 2 1/2 years old when his file was prepared and at that time he could walk with support and run quickly using his toy walker. He loved being around familiar caretakers and always had a ready smile! He was babbling, saying some simple words and imitating adult’s actions. His caretakers describe him as being tender and cute! Great Wall is working toward getting some current information on Will’s development. Contact one of our matching specialists if you would like to review his file!

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New Orphanage Partnership in Sichuan Province

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GWCA Partners with Orphanage in Sichuan Province!

We are thrilled to announce that GWCA has just signed yet another Orphanage Partnership, this time with an orphanage in Sichuan province! Our China Matching team had the opportunity to visit this new orphanage during a visit to China earlier this year, and we are so excited to work with them to find loving Forever Families for their Waiting Children!

If you’re interested in learning how you can be matched with one of the Waiting Children from GWCA’s Orphanage Partnerships, contact our China Matching Team today!

What is an Orphanage Partnership?

GWCA’s Orphanage Partnerships work directly with our agency to prepare children’s files so that we can place them with loving Forever Families as quickly as possible! Once a child’s file has been prepared by one of our partner orphanages, it is given directly to our agency rather than being placed on China’s Shared List. This means that our families have the opportunity to be among the first to see these children’s files when considering if they would be a good fit for their family. If you’re interested in learning more about the kiddos from our OPs, contact our China Matching Specialists, or visit our China Waiting Child Photo Listing today!

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Meeting GWCA’s LID Girls

IMG_7799The last orphanage I went to during my two week trip to China was in the Guangxi province down near Vietnam.  This would be the orphanage visit that would impact me the most out of our entire trip.  I’ll get to that more in a minute.

While the buildings at this Social Welfare Institute (SWI) were rather large, only one small hallway was devoted to the orphaned children at this facility.  The rest of the SWI was focused mainly on care of the elderly.  The orphanage section consisted of three small rooms that were connected by an open passage.
The first two rooms were lined with metal railed beds and cribs, while the last room had a mat on the floor for playing, a rocking chair and a television mounted on the wall.

IMG_7805.jpgI was looking forward to coming to this orphanage because I knew there were four little girls under 2 years old with more minor needs and I was looking forward to meeting them.  Three of the girls had pre-op cleft lip and cleft palate, the fourth was a little younger and was born very premature.  I had a feeling that all four of these girls would be LID when their files were prepared.

LID stands for Log In Date or Logged In Dossier.  LID children, also known as Non-Special Focus kids, are children that are considered to be the youngest children with the most minor needs available in the Waiting Child Child Adoption Program. For families looking for a young girl under 3 with very minor needs, the “LID Track” is usually what they will be doing.  Basically to review files of LID children, you have to have your dossier paper work, including your home study, completely done and logged into China.  At that point you will wait until our agency receives LID files from our orphanage partnerships, like the girls
I met at this Guangxi orphanage, and then you will get to review those files.  Once you find a file of a child that is a good fit for your family, you will then get matched with that child and then you’ll only have to wait 3-4 months until you can travel to go pick that child up.

IMG_7816.jpgI can say that for my agency, Great Wall China Adoption, we don’t currently have many LID families because we’ve matched so many recently.   So this is actually a great time for families to join our agency, start their paper work process, and get their dossier logged in and then get on the list to review LID files.  If a family wants an LID girl, they’ll usually be waiting around 9-12 months after their dossier gets logged in to China before they find a match.  However, it could be sooner than that since our LID family list is so short at this present time.  It could also take longer than that if a family is only open to one or two minor needs and if they want to review many LID files before moving forward with a child.  But the average time is 9-12 months after a family’s dossier is logged in.

My Girl - in crib.JPGTo find a match of an LID boy it’s usually more like 4-8 months, as there are many more boys than girls available in China.  Also many families looking for a younger boy with minor needs can often find one on the Special Focus listing, as China wants to give those younger boys every opportunity to be placed since there are so many of them.  In general more families are looking to adopt a girl and there are much fewer girls available in the Waiting Child program, so if a family is open to a boy, they can get matched with a boy much faster than with a girl.

So back to what I was saying about these kiddos I met at the orphanage in Guangxi.  When I first went to the orphanage it was early evening and the sun was setting.
RX Baby in cribMost of the little kiddos were already in their cribs, some tied to the railings so they wouldn’t try to climb out and get hurt at night.  When I first came in all of the children were in shock seeing me because I was almost certainly the first non-Chinese person they had ever seen.  I LOVE babies and so all I wanted to do was go up to each and every one of these little girls and pick them up and give them kisses, but I restrained myself because I knew that would probably terrify them and I didn’t want them to get upset.
After a little while some of the girls started to smile at me and you could tell they were definitely warming up to me.  There was one little baby sitting in a bouncer on the floor who was definitely not a fan of me (she wasn’t one of the four girls I was planning on screening the next day) and she cried every time I looked at her.  That’s actually a totally normal reaction for a little 8 month old baby to have, so I understood why she wasn’t a fan of me.  I was excited to meet her though because I knew that I would probably be able to help find her a family in the future, even though it would probably be a while from now because she was still too young to get her file prepared.  She will probably be an LID girl and her file will most likely be prepared in the next 6-12 months, so if someone was starting the paper work process now, they might be eligible to review her file by the time it it prepared.

RX BabyI had to leave that night after I met the girls and then came back the next morning to screen them.  I had the staff take them all out of their cribs and come play on the floor in the third room.  At first they were all just sort of starring at each other and all of us.  I think the experience of so many people looking at them and giving them so much attention startled them.  I also don’t think they get as many opportunities to all play on the floor together.  I have a feeling these kiddos, like many orphanages children in China, spend a lot of time in their cribs.  I brought some bubbles with me from America and I started to blow them and the girls were all totally shocked by them.  I can safely assume that this children have never seen bubbles before and so they were confused by how they were at once there, and then when they touched them they disappeared.  It’s so odd to think that they don’t know what bubbles are as this is something we introduce to most American kids at a very early age.  I definitely left my two bottles of bubbles at the orphanage after I left, along with several blow up beach balls I brought with me.

Heidi and preemie baby - RXAs I started screening these young girls, it became apparent to me how well they were doing compared to the other children in this orphanage, and many of the other children I had met during my entire trip to China.
Once you have screened 100 kids, which I did while I was in China, you can start to tell pretty quickly which ones are going to be LID and which ones will be Special Focus. It’s not that the Special Focus kids aren’t doing well, many definitely are doing well, but LID kids are doing really, really well and their needs are very minor and correctable most of the time, whereas Special Focus kids have needs that can range from very minor to more moderate and then even severe.  LID needs that we see most often are things like cleft lip/cleft palate (this is the most common), minor heart disease, microtia, clubbed feet, clubbed hands, general developmental delays and preemies.

IMG_7957.JPGAfter spending a couple of hours with these girls I really started to get to know each of their personalities a bit better, and I found in my heart a real fondness for each of them.  However, there was one little girl that I became particularly fond of.   I will call her “my girl” for the purposes of this blog, even though she is obviously not mine. She was probably the tiniest of the three girls with cleft lip/cleft palate, and she seemed very shy at first, but she had this light in her eyes and this positive energy that just radiated out from her.
It was getting close to time to go and I decide to go ahead and pick her up and hold her for a few minutes, because again I love babies, and I realized that after this crazy whirlwind of a trip, this was the last chance I was going to have to get to spend time with these little kids before heading back to the U.S.  She was surprisingly relaxed in my arms, even though she seemed very unsure about me just the night before, and so I got a few photos taken of us really quickly.
RX Preemie playingThen Veronica, our GWCA China staff member, said it was time to go, so I started to put the little girl back in her crib.  Suddenly, without warning, she tightened her grip on me and pulled in her legs and wrapped them around securely.  She started to get upset and started breathing quickly.  Veronica needed me to sign something and so I tried to with the little girl still in my arms, but I couldn’t, so one of the nannies literally pulled her off of me and put her in her crib.  She started crying so loudly, so I just signed the paper as quickly as I could, and then literally b-lined it for the little girl’s crib and picked her up.  When I did she dug her fingers into my shoulders, wrapped her legs around me as tightly as she could, and laid her head on my chest.  She immediately stopped crying and I could hear her breathing heavily, her head so sweetly resting on me.  I kissed her head and told her I had her, that it was alright.  In that moment I felt such a great rush of love for this child, such a sense of wanting to protect her, wanting to make sure she was safe and cared for.  I wanted to hold her forever and never let her go.

IMG_2770.JPGI had kept most of my emotions at bay for the majority of my two week trip up to this point.  I had to, because I couldn’t allow myself to feel all of the feelings I had for these kids.  I had a job to do, I had to keep it together, I had to do what I was there to do.  But after two weeks in China, after meeting 100 kids who all needed Forever Families so desperately, I couldn’t hold back my feelings any longer.  Holding her I could feel all of the emotions that I had held back for two weeks flood over me and I could feel my heart breaking into a million little pieces.

Veronica told me that we had to go, we were going to miss our bus back to the train station if we didn’t leave right away.  I could have stayed in that moment with that little girl forever, but I had to tear myself away from her.  I held her in my arms for just one more moment and whispered in her ear, “I promise I will find you a family.  I promise.”  I didn’t say that to any other child while I was there, because honestly I don’t know how many of the children I met in China we, our Home Finding Team at GWCA, can actually help place.  But this little girl, I knew that she was LID and that we could find her a family, or at least I was pretty sure.  And I felt compelled to tell her that, even though she couldn’t understand a word I was saying, I just needed to tell her that.

The nanny pulled the little girl off of me, and I could feel her desperation as she tried to hold on to me with all of her might.  I could feel her nails digging into my skin and her feet tightening around my torso.  She began to cry so loudly that I had to walk away to the other room to compose myself.  A rush of tears came upon me and I was shaking with sadness, less for me and more for her.  She didn’t understand that I was there for a reason, to help her find her real forever family.
She didn’t know that hopefully in less than 6 months another woman would be coming to pick her up and take her home forever.  Another women would be coming to call her daughter, to hold her for as long as she liked, and to give her the safely, security and love that she had always craved.

It was so clear in those few minutes just how little these children get held and how desperately they crave loving human touch.  She was desperate for it.  They all are.  And not just the little ones with minor needs, but the older kids, even the 12 and 13 year olds that might seem too old to want to cuddle with a parent, but they totally do!  The kids in wheelchairs, the kids with cerebral palsy, the blind kids, the deaf kids, the developmentally delayed kids, the kids with blood disorders and with all other sorts of special needs, they all desperately crave the love and attention and physical touch of a parent.  These kids need to be adopted, all of them, because they are all sitting in these orphanages just waiting for someone to call them “beloved child of mine.”

RX Girl - Saying Bye.JPGBefore we left I went over to the little girl’s crib one last time and held her hand and said good bye.  She was laying down at this point, her face sad and defeated, with tears still streaming down her cheeks, breathing heavily from crying so hard.  She is the last orphaned child I woudl see while I was in China.  We left quickly from the orphanage, got on our bus, then to our train, and then the next morning I would be on a plane headed back to the United States.  It would be days before I stopped feeling that little girls nails digging into my shoulders, before I woudl stop feeling the weight of her head on my chest, before I would stop hearing her cries.  And not a day has gone by since I have been back that I have not thought about her.  You will always be in my heart little girl, and my heart will always be with you.

So, the good news, because surely this post about these amazing LID girls must end with good news, right?  Well it does!  Only a few weeks after I returned from my trip to China we received the files for these four girls!  Three of them are LID, one was Special Focus (don’t ask me why, sometimes China just arbitrarily says one child is LID and one is Special Focus, but the truth is they were all doing great and all had minor needs, so whatever).  We were able to match all four of the little girls, including “my little girl” as I had started to think of her, within two weeks of receiving their files.  Because LID families are already logged in to China, it usually takes them only 3-4 months to get their travel approval and to travel to China to pick up their kiddos.  So each of these little LID girls with be picked up by families within the next 3-4 months or so.
I can only imagine what it will be like when “my little girl” gets picked up by her new mommy in just a few short months.  At first I’m sure she’ll be scared and confused, and she’ll have to grieve the loss of the only home she has ever known.  But soon she will be get used to her new mommy, she will get used to the love and one-on-one attention, and she will get used to being held for as long as she wants, as often as she wants.  And someday soon she will even get used to her mommy putting her down for a while, but knowing that her mommy will come back and pick her up again soon.  That’s what it will be like for “my little girl” when she is then her mommy’s little girl.

My Girl - RXThe day I found out that “my little girl” found her forever family, I wept with joy, right at my desk at work.  It was one of the happiest moments I ever experienced at my job, and I have experienced a lot of them, but this one took the cake!  This is what I live for, to help families find their children, and to help children find their families.  It is what all of the people I work with live for, because it means the world to us, to know that we are really helping people have the lives that they have always deserved to live.  I know that whatever I do in this life, I will always have helped this little girl, and many other boys and girls of varying ages and special needs, find the homes they have longed for.  For me, there is no greater thing I could be doing with my life at this moment.  This is what I love to do and this is what I hope to continue to do for a long time to come.

 

To read more about Heidi’s trip to China you can visit her blog at: https://chinaadoptionlife.wordpress.com/

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7 New Kids Added This Week!

TuckerTucker is a cute little guy that is 1 1/2 years old! Tucker has Down’s Syndrome and CHD. He lives with a foster family and has been thriving in their care. Tucker has some difficulty sitting up and standing on his own but his file indicates that he’s always trying to strengthen his abilities. We think that with the right family and rehabilitation plan, Tucker will be able to overcome these delays! His caretakers say that he loves being in crowded places so he can be observant. Tucker has good grasping ability and can play with toys on his own. His caretakers say that he loves watching television and frequently giggles at the TV! Contact Great Wall if you’d like to review Tucker’s file!

Miles

Miles is an adorable 4 year old boy who loves to laugh with his friends and caregivers! Miles was diagnosed at a young age with hydrocephalus, and had a shunt inserted into his head in June of 2013. The shunt helped to alleviate some of his symptoms, but unfortunately he began to develop excess fluid in his head once again and is now in need of further treatment. He is delayed in language, mobility, and cognition, but has made improvements during his time with his caregivers. His caregivers say that he gets along well with other kiddos, and that he loves to laugh! The describe him as a lovely child, and they are very hopeful that he will find his forever family soon. If you’d like to learn more about Miles, please reach out to Great Wall!

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QuinnQuinn is an adorable little girl from China that is 2 and a half years old. Quinn has Down’s Syndrome and is doing quite well. One of our GWCA staff members met Quinn when she visited China earlier this year and she would be happy to speak with any interested family about Quinn! 

Quinn has been described by caregivers as clever, introverted, cute and energetic. Quinn lives in an imitation family on the orphanage grounds, which is like a foster family, so she is receiving more one-on-one attention than some other children. Quinn can use her hands to hold small objects, such as sticks, books, spoons, etc. Quinn can pass toys between both of her hands and can use hands to support herself. When Quinn is sitting up the child has good balance and can change her position freely. Quinn can crawl, she can stand up by herself and is learning to walk. Quinn likes to walk around using small chairs and stools to help her balance. Like many children with Down’s Syndrome, Quinn’s language abilities are delayed compared to other children her age without Down’s Syndrome. However, Quinn can say words like “ma ma,” “ba ba,” and she imitates what adults and children around her are saying. Quinn enjoys listening to music, looking at picture books and dancing. Quinn can color on paper and play with puzzles.  Quinn is clearly a very curious little girl and always seems to want to figure out how things work.

You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Quinn. We hope we are able to find Quinn her Forever Family soon!

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JackJack is a sweet 3-year old boy looking for his forever family! Jack’s official diagnosis is cerebral palsy, and it is unclear as to whether or not he has been diagnosed with a syndrome as well. Jack is able to walk with the assistance of his caregivers, and has good fine motor skills. His language is delayed, but he does imitate his caregiver’s language and expressions through his actions. He will even observe his family doing housework and will imitate their movements! He is very close with his foster grandmother and has formed excellent attachments with his caregivers. Jack makes his caregivers very happy, and they said that they love him very much. If you’d like to review Jack’s full file, please reach out to Great Wall!JosiahJosiah was recently apart of GWCA’s JOY program. A family spent a week getting to know Josiah and these are some of the amazing things they have to say about him!

Mr. Josiah is the cool kid who just wants to please! He’s hilarious and has a killer sense of humor! Josiah is not only fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese, but he is extremely good with the English language. Often times on our journey we were grateful we had Josiah as he was able to translate for us in a pinch! He REALLY is hoping to find a family, soon! Josiah is an all-around HAPPY dude. He has great friends, including another Joy kiddo named Sean, does excellent work in school & isn’t afraid to jump into the mix of things no matter what they are. One of my favorite things about Josiah is the wonder in his eyes. With every new experience he was ready to take it on with an open mind & no hesitation! Josiah would be an excellent big brother, little brother or only child… he’s really a happy-go-lucky kiddo who just wants to belong & be loved! Josiah has a congenital heart defect. At two years-old he had surgery that, if he was born in the US, would have been done at infancy. This probably saved his life, for now. The procedure was successful, but what happens when kids get older? They grow, and so do their hearts. Josiah will most likely need another procedure. We will not know until a cardiac surgeon has the opportunity to complete a full medical profile. What Josiah wants the most is a family. I witnessed this every moment I was with him last week in China. He wanted to please me. He wanted attention from me and the other advocates. He wanted to be friends with the other kids. And he was all that and more.

SeanSean was recently apart of GWCA’s JOY program. A family spent a week getting to know Sean and these are some of the amazing things they have to say about him! Sean is a clever, well-mannered and helpful 13 year old boy. Our family spent 5 days getting to know Sean, and within hours of meeting him we could see that despite the fact that he is deaf and mostly mute, he is very intelligent. He had hearing aids until he was 3 years old but they were uncomfortable so he quit wearing them. Then, when he came into the orphanage they were no longer accessible. He says he cannot hear from his left ear but he can hear sounds and words from his right ear if he is wearing an earbud headphone. Sean is fluent in Chinese Sign Language and seemed to be keen on learning ASL signs as well. He can also read and write in Chinese. He is very “tuned in” to whatever is going on around him and finds ways to communicate with others. He is well behaved, patient, observant and helpful. Since we spent 5 days with him, we were able to watch him even when he wasn’t aware we were doing so. His excellent behavior was consistent at all times. Sean has an amazing sense of humor! His humor is universal and he understands other’s level of “fun” and play easily so nobody ever got hurt! Sean also knows there is a time & a place for this kind of silly, and quickly reels it back in when necessary. We had younger children in our group, and he was always patient as we had to tend to their many needs. We got to play ball, jump rope, blow bubbles, play tag, and even had a water fight. We could tell that Sean is an incredibly active, athletic and agile kiddo. This young man would fit well into any family. He is longing for parents and even siblings of his own. He is TRULY an amazing young man & the family whom steps up to adopt him will be so fortunate to have him in their lives!

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JadeJade is an adorable little gal that is 4 years old! Jade was born with PKU. She is also delayed compared to her file does not indicate how significant her delays are. She can walk freely, go up and downstairs on her own and can help her caretakers with some basic self-care needs. Jade is delayed on her language development but her caretakers say that she is eager to get the attention of new and familiar people. Jade’s file is limited so GWCA is working on getting an update on her. Please contact one of our matching specialists if you are interested in reviewing her full file!

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