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7 New Kids on the Block

asherAsher is an adorable little guy who is 5 years old! He was recently a part of GWCA’s JOY Program in China. An advocate spent some time with Asher and learned all about him! It is our understanding that Asher has a combination of heart needs. He has not yet received surgery for his special need. Our advocate noted that he cannot over-exert himself at this time but his information should be reviewed by a cardiologist to determine what type of treatment is needed. He is described as being introverted, sweet, polite and he gets along very well with others! He can speak in short sentences but his pronunciation is not very clear. Contact GWCA if you’d like to review Asher’s medical file!

kramer**FINANCIAL GRANT AVAILABLE** Kramer is a cute kiddo who is 9 years old! He has post-operative CHD and limb differences of his left arm. Kramer has a fantastic personality and his caretakers note that he’s quite the popular kiddo among his peers because of how kind and thoughtful he is! He is in the second grade and and makes excellent grades. Kramer has been in a foster family since 2010 and has adjusted very well to living in a family environment! He is described as being helpful, talkative, easy-going and well-behaved. Kramer is very independent and likes to complete tasks on his own. He enjoys playing with other children and being active! Contact GWCA today if you’d like to review Kramer’s file!clarissa**MATCHED** Clarissa is a sweet little girl from China that just turned 1 year old. Clarissa has CHD but it appears to be an issue that can be corrected with surgery once Clarissa is adopted. Clarissa is crawling, walking while holding on to the wall, and she is babbling a lot. Clarissa is a generally happy baby that enjoys spending time with other children and her caretakers. Clarissa has already been matched with a family, however, if you are interested in learning about kiddos with similar needs, contact GWCA today!masonMason is a precious little boy from China that just turned 2 years old. Mason has undescended testicles, but this is often something that corrects itself as the child gets older, or a minor procedure can be done to correct it. His file also says that part of his brain is a little wide in one area, but it doesn’t appear to be an issue in terms of his development at this time. Mason is an active, energetic little boy who can crawl and walk while holding on to something.

Mason has been living with a foster family since he was 2 months old, so he has been receiving much better one-on-one care than he would have living in the orphanage. He is very attached to his foster parents. He likes to listen to music and clap his hands with the rhythm. He like to play hide-and-seek and play with toy bicycles. He likes bath time so much that he doesn’t want to get out of the bath, so sometimes he gets upset when bath time is over. Mason has good imitating behavior and will copy the words he hears his foster parents saying. He knows the difference between big and small, he can build towers out of blocks, and when asked he can point to his nose, mouth, ears, eyes, etc.

You can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall if you would like to learn more about adopting Mason. We hope we are able to find Mason his 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. He was hosted by a family in the United States and had a amazing time! Brandon transitioned incredibly well with his host family and brought them a lot of joy and happiness. He has a hearty, infectious laugh that his host family loved! They describe him as a sweet, inquisitive, and helpful, saying that he has a very gentle spirit. Please reach out to Great Wall if you’d like to learn more!

Check out my NEW video!

peterMeet Peter! Peter is an 11-year old boy who was born with a cleft lip. Peter had surgery to repair his lip in April of 2008 and has been doing great since then! His caregivers say that he is a great learner, and that he has a very active and sunny disposition. His file states that he had some difficulties with language delays, but it is unclear if that was a result of his unrepaired cleft lip. Since his surgery, it sounds like his language development has become stronger. His caregivers love him very much and are eager for him to have a family to call his own. Please reach out to Great Wall if you would like to learn more!alecMeet Alec! Alec is an adorable 1 1/2 year old boy in need of a forever home! He has Down Syndrome and an atrial septal defect. He is currently living with a foster family and is described by his foster parents as being very affectionate and cuddly. He is not able to stand yet, but he is able to prop himself up and sit without assistance for short periods. He is also not speaking yet, but he is very expressive and is making babbling sounds. He loves to listen to music and will kick his feet along with the rhythm! He’s a sweet kiddo who would thrive with the consistent care of a forever family. Please reach out to Great Wall if you would like to learn more! Read More
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Kramer is Waiting – Grant Available

kramer-ccKramer is a sweet 9-year-old boy from China who has truly touched the lives of all those who surround him. GWCA’s matching specialists have heard from other advocates, families, and caretakers alike that he is an incredible kiddo, a great student, and a wonderful friend to other children. Recently, one of the families that feels a strong connection to Kramer provided him with a substantial financial grant. This grant is available to any family that would like to welcome Kramer into their home, and will be applied directly towards his adoption fees!

Kramer’s caretakers say that he has a fantastic personality, and that he’s quite popular among his peers because he is very kind and thoughtful. He is described as being a helpful kiddo who is talkative, easy-going and well behaved. He loves spending his time playing with other children and being active.

Kramer has post-operative CHD and limb difference of his left arm, but he doesn’t let that hold him back. He’s a very independent boy who likes to complete tasks on his own. He is in the second grade and and makes excellent grades.

Kramer has been in a foster family since 2010 and has adjusted very well to living in a family environment. November is National Adoption Month, and we are so hopeful that before the month is over Kramer will find a Forever Family of his own. Please help us advocate for him by sharing his story.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Kramer or if you would like more information about his grant, contact our China matching specialists today!

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GWCA Has a New Look!

gwcaIn the midst of National Adoption Month, we are so excited to announce the launch of our NEW website design! This change has been underway for the past few months, and we are so happy to share that each site (GWCA, CAN, Orphan Hosting and Student Ambassador Exchange) has now made the transition.

What’s new?

The Appearance

The site has a new clean cut appearance, but don’t worry, the content is all still there! So whether you’re looking for information on one of our programs, reading our latest blog posts, or visiting our photo listing to request a child’s file, love the speed and convenience of the new layout!

Browse On-The-Go!

It’s now easier than ever to browse our websites on your cell phone or tablet! The new layout adjusts to the size of your screen so you don’t have to worry about zooming in or out to find the right tab.

Sign up for our newsletter! 

If you’re interested in receiving emails from GWCA, CAN, Orphan Hosting and SAE, you can now sign up by simply scrolling to the bottom of one of our home pages and entering your email address!

While our newsletters are a great way to stay in the loop with our adoption programs, we encourage any families that are ready to begin their journey to contact our matching specialists directly. You can do this by filling out a contact form, emailing info@gwca.org, or calling us at (512)323-9595.

Take a look around:

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I Found My Family

Hooray! We’re so delighted to announce that one of the families in our China adoption program has begun submitting their paperwork to bring this little guy home FOREVER! We are so excited for him and his new family, and we can’t wait to see them come home!

Despite the fact that he is only one year old, this little guy’s file was considered Special Focus, meaning his family was able to review his information prior to logging their dossier in.

All of the kiddos that are on our photo listing are in need of loving Forever Families, and you can be matched with them right away! If your family is interested in learning more about any of the Waiting Children in our China adoption program, contact one of our China matching specialists or visit our photo listing today!

– Visit the Waiting Child Photo Listing to learn about kids in need of Forever Families!
– Contact our China Matching Specialists to learn how you can start your adoption journey!

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Connecting Hearts and Sending Love

connecting-hearts-collageOne of the kiddos in our China adoption program recently received a welcome surprise from his soon-to-be family – our Connecting Hearts care package!

While adoptive families get to put a face to their child from the moment they’re matched, the children who are being adopted are often unaware that a family is coming to get them until shortly before they arrive. By sending care packages, our families have the opportunity to let their child know that someone in the world outside of their orphanage is thinking of them.

Not only did this little guy get to wear a birthday crown for the day, but he got to eat cake and celebrate his special day with all of his friends. We are so excited for him, as his family will be bringing him home very soon!

If you’re interested in learning how you can send a care package, contact GWCA today!

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Kiera Is Our Newest Sponsored Star!

Meet Kiera, GWCA’s Sponsored Star for May!

kiera-sponsored-star1This sweet girl is Kiera! She 13 years old and will be aging out THIS MAY. She is an amazing kiddo in need of a forever family. Her file states that she had intracranial hemorrhaging, but she has had surgery and is doing great. She lacks some mobility in her left hand, but other than that her mobility is fantastic. Kiera loves to run, jump, and play with her friends. She has excellent verbal communication and is even taking English classes. Her caretakers mention that she is not delayed on her cognitive skills and is on target compared to her peers. She is a sweet girl who would thrive with a forever home! Please reach out if you would like to learn more.

Watch Kiera’s video: Video 1

As our Sponsored Star, Kiera has a $2,000 grant available towards her adoption fees! If you are interested in seeing Kiera’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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Forever Home for the Holidays

1One year ago this beautiful girl was listed on our Orphan Hosting photo listing with the nickname “Miss Happy.” When our interview team met her in China, they were captivated by her incredible smile and her playful spirit. She was excited to play dress up and show everyone her drawings, but behind her smile was a girl who was holding on to hope. She was hopeful that meeting with these strange people and answering their questions might lead to something new – something outside of the orphanage.

Last winter, Miss Happy was matched with an amazing host family and she had the opportunity to come to the United States to live with them for one month over the holidays. She had the chance to see life outside of the orphanage and she had the opportunity to experience the love of a family

Now, less than one year later, Miss Happy’s host family is in China preparing to bring her back to the United States and welcome her home forever. Although we’ve simply been following their journey through photos, it’s clear that Miss Happy has already gone through a huge transformation. While her smile is still as big as ever, it has changed in so many ways. It’s the smile of a beautiful girl who finally has the opportunity to be carefree. After years of worrying and waiting for a family to come get her, she finally gets to relax and be a kid, because she’s not “Miss Happy” anymore – she’s Celia Ginger Stark. She is a daughter and a sister, but most importantly she is loved.

31Celia will never have to spend another holiday season longing to be part of a family, and she will never spend another birthday worrying that she’s one year closer to “aging out.”   The days ahead of her hold so much love and so many firsts, and we can’t wait to continue following the amazing journey that began with Orphan Hosting.

There are so many children in China that spend their lives waiting. They are overlooked not because of choices they’ve made or because of things they’ve done, but because of their age or their special needs. These kids are INCREDIBLE, and our Orphan Hosting program gives families the opportunity to get to know them, not as they’re described in their medical file, but for who they really are.

We are currently matching children for our upcoming winter Orphan Hosting program, and we’re so hopeful that these kids will have the same experience that Celia did. If they are hosted this winter, they may never have to spend another holiday season in an orphanage. Our host families play a huge role in helping these kids find families, whether they themselves adopt their host kid, or whether they advocate on their behalf. There are only a few days left to be matched with one of these amazing kiddos, so if your family or someone you know is interested in learning how you can become a host family, contact our hosting coordinator at shannon@gwca.org today! Together, we can end their wait.

Congratulations Celia, and safe travels home!

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Resources:

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Bryndal’s Story

October is the National Down Syndrome Awareness Month. Before it gets away from us, we wanted to make sure that we featured one of our amazing  GWCA families and their little Bryndal. The power of unconditional LOVE shines through this family! Check out their story below and take a minute to visit their adoption website, as it is truly a touching story.

Adopting a child with special needs can be a difficult and intimidating process, but with blind faith and love it can absolutely be done. The road will never be easy. For a family like this one, they already knew the difficulty of bringing home a healthy child through adoption, but never a special needs child. Adopting a child with special needs was never in “their plan.” However, they have changed this little girl’s life forever all thanks to their family’s willingness to love. It doesn’t take an expert to see that she fits right in, and is right where she belongs!

Bryndal’s Story

In 2006, we traveled to China to bring home our precious daughter, Bria.  Exactly one year later, we submitted paperwork to return to China to adopt another Chinese Princess.  During the course of that year, the process to adopt a non-special needs child from China had gone from a one year to a six to eight year process.  We decided to leave our dossier in China knowing that God had another special angel for us in China, and we would wait on His timing to bring that child home.

bryndal31-300x203During our wait, we traveled to Africa twice to bring home two beautiful daughters and we completed one domestic adoption for our youngest jewel, a precious son. Throughout the years, we discussed our “future child” in China and wondered when God would finally introduce us and bring that child home.

In May of 2012, we opened our weekly email from Great Wall that introduced two special focus children of the week.  The moment the photos loaded in the email, our hearts skipped a beat and we KNEW this was the precious Princess we had been waiting on for years.  She was not a baby, she was not on the non-special needs track, she was not who we expected…BUT she was beautiful with a smile full of pure JOY and she was OURS!  We called Great Wall and quickly received approval to adopt a special needs child and were matched with our precious, amazing Bryndal!

As we flew through the steps to bring home our new daughter, we faced many days when we were scared to death about what the future would hold for us once Bryndal came home.  This was our first special needs adoption, and this was not really in “our plans.”  How would she react to us, how would our kids react to her, what would our family think, how would we communicate with her, what would the attachment process be like adopting an older child, how would we parent a child with Down syndrome…  We had to place these fears in God’s hands knowing that He had led us to this child at this time with this special need, and He would take care of all of these details.

On July 1, 2013, God calmed all of our fears when we finally met our sweet girl.  She walked through the door full of smiles, hugs and kisses, and her amazing love has continued to blossom each day.  Words cannot describe what a blessing this precious child is to our family and to everyone she meets.  She is FULL of joy, laughter and LOVE!

Our other precious jewels have enjoyed Bryndal just as much as we have.  They take turns sitting by her at meals and argue over who gets to sit by her in the car.  She has blended into our family as if she was with us since birth.  She has added so much love to our family…our hearts are truly overflowing! We expected to bless a child with a forever home, but we had no idea what love and blessings she would bring to us! We could never have dreamed of such a smooth transition and not a day goes by that we do not thank our Heavenly Father for bringing us to this child at this time with this special need…our forever Chinese Princess!

Each day Bria thanks God for giving her a family and she prays for all the orphans in the world to find a family too.  She is so happy to have Bryndal for a sister and refers to her as her “China twin.”  Bria is four months older than Bryndal.

To learn more about our journey to Bryndal please visit our site here! 

If your family is interested in learning more about the children with Down syndrome that GWCA is currently advocating for, please visit our China Waiting Child photo listing or contact our matching specialists today! 

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Ya Ya’s Story

I was innocently browsing through Facebook one day this fall when I saw the post. “Host families needed” it read. Intrigued, I clicked on the link and quickly requested a password to see the profiles of the waiting children. One smiling face stood out and I was immediately drawn in. I called and received more information over the phone and the anticipation set in; the anticipation of having a familiar conversation with my husband. “So, I was on the internet today and I saw this little girl…” it began.  We agreed to host Ya Ya over Christmas and advocate for her.

We drove through the night that cold December morning and arrived at O’Hare airport before the sun rose. We met with some of the waiting families and soon, a group of children, led by chaperones started towards us. And there she was! She was much, much tinier than we had imagined, full of smiles and not afraid.  I motioned to her and she came right over and gave us hugs. Our 9 year old daughter gave her a doll and she latched onto her right away. She was amazed by everything around her, automatic flushing toilets, doors that opened on their own, everything was new and exciting.

We arrived home and were greeted by the rest of the family. Ya Ya immediately was drawn to our son, Ashton, who shared something in common with her, Down syndrome.  They became good buddies over the month she was here. Ya Ya was sweet, gentle and kind with him. She fit in very well with everyone, after a few initial struggles between her and our almost 3 year old son. I believe he thought she was much closer to his age as she was so small. Once they (he!) worked out their “differences,” all was well!

Ya Ya fit in incredibly well! Everyone around us wondered how she would adapt, how would she understand us, what if she is upset, how will you communicate with her??? We used Google Translate and she understood very well! She is very expressive and we could tell by her reactions if she understood or not. Her English was pretty limited, but that did not stop her from playing and interacting.  She enjoyed showing us that she could count in English and liked to use the phrases that she picked up. We discovered her love of dancing around the second week here and dance parties were a regular happening around here!

Ya Ya is bright, inquisitive and catches on quickly. The fact that she had Down syndrome really wasn’t a concern of ours as our son has Down syndrome. She could do far more than we imagined! She was completely independent with her personal hygiene; showering, brushing teeth, getting dressed, combing her hair she did all by herself. Honestly, I think she trumps our 9 year old when it came to taking care of that independently! She enjoyed playing with dolls, our play kitchen, coloring and painting. Her artistic “skills” were a bit lacking, but she played well with toys.

As our visit drew to a close, I found myself panicked and a bit weepy thinking about sending her back “home.”  After some discussion, we made the decision to move forward with adoption. It just felt right, especially after being able to see how she fits in with our family. I have to admit that while she was here, I found a message board discussing hosting programs. Several people posting on the site were aghast that children with Down syndrome were being brought over as part of the host program. They wondered how they would understand what this was all about and how would they react when it was time to go back? I can say first hand that she handled it great! We started talking about going back to China about 10 days  before her departure. We talked about how excited her friends would be to see her and that she could share her new things with them.  At the airport, she played and interacted with her friends while waiting for the plane. When it was time to go, she gave Baba a big hug and boarded the plane waving with a smile on her face. We are so grateful for this experience and for this ray of sunshine we will now have in our home forever!

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Forever Family Friday!

helen1Hooray,  we are so incredibly excited to announce that a family has started submitting their paperwork to bring this beautiful girl home FOREVER!

She came to America with our Orphan Hosting program earlier this summer, and her host family had an amazing time with her. These experiences played a huge role in her advocacy, as both her host family and our China matching specialists were able to provide families with first hand information about her personality and development!

While there are still several steps in the journey ahead, we are so glad that this time when she lands in America, she will be doing it with her loving family by her side. Congratulations from all of us at Great Wall China Adoption, we can’t wait to see you come home!

 

 

Learn how you can host this winter!

We are currently matching families for our winter Orphan Hosting program. If you’re interested in learning how you can welcome an orphan into your home for the holidays, visit our Orphan Hosting photo listing today, or contact our hosting coordinators at shannon@gwca.org! Will you give the gift of family?

 

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