7 More Kids Home Forever!

After two weeks of bonding with their new families and finalizing their adoptions in China, we are so excited to share that these SEVEN kids have all recently come home! This is the moment that these kids have been waiting for for such a long time. It’s the moment when they are no longer identified as an “orphan” and they come to know the love of a family. Congratulations to all of these incredible kiddos form all of us at GWCA and CAN, and welcome home!

Just as no two adoption journeys are the same, each of these kids came to be matched with their Forever Families in their own way. While some of these kids’ files were considered Special Focus, meaning their families were able to be matched with them right away, other kids’ files were LID, meaning their families had to have their dossiers logged in before they could learn more about them.

If you’re interested in learning how your family can be matched with a child through our China Waiting Child adoption program, visit our photo listing or contact a China matching specialist today!

Resources:

– Visit the GWCA Waiting Child photo listing
– Contact a China matching specialist
– Learn more about China adoption

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4 More Kids Have Updates!

Issac

Issac is a cute little boy from China that is 5 and a half years old. Issac is a smart kiddo who likes to listen to music, sing and dance. He has normal intelligence and is developing well cognitively. He has normal language development and can have regular conversations with friends and adults. Issac asks how and why questions such as “What is for breakfast?” Issac is a helpful boy that will assist his caretakers with daily tasks. Issac will sometimes ask his caretakers, “Are you tired?” which shows what an empathetic and sweet boy he is.

Issac was born with a spinal meningocele which was removed during surgery when he was very young. He has clubbed feet, so he cannot walk, but he can hold himself up enough to stand and he can go up and down stairs by himself. He can crawl to get where he needs to go.

It is unclear if this child could walk in the future with the right surgery and rehabilitation services that he could receive in America. Hopefully with the love, care and support of a loving Forever Family, Issac could thrive in the United States!

If you would like to learn more about how you could adopt Issac, please contact the China Home Finding Team at GWCA today!

Click Here to Watch one of Issac’s NEW Videos!

Johnny

Johnny is a sweet little boy from China that just recently turned 5 years old!  Johnny has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, but he received a shunt shortly after arriving to the orphanage and has been doing great since that time! He is also able to follow directions and has excellent fine motor skills! He is a shy, sweet little boy who would thrive with the love of a forever family. Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more about Johnny today!

Click Here to Watch one of Johnny’s NEW Videos!

Summer

As our Sponsored Star, Summer currently has a $2,000 grant available towards her adoption!  Summer is a precious little girl from China that is 9 and a half years old!  Summer is described as being a smart, optimistic girl who is polite and likes to have conversations with other children.  Summer has said that she very much wants to be adopted by an American family!  One of our GWCA Staff Members met Summer when she was in China last year and she would love to speak to any interested families about Summer!

Summer has atrophy of both eyeballs so she cannot see at all.  Summer has good cognitive abilities and is not delayed in that regard.  She is smart and going to a special school for blind children where she is learning to read braille.  She has good language ability and can sing many children’s songs.  She has great self-care skills including dressing herself, going to the toilet by herself.  She gets along well with other children and adults.

Summer as normal gross and fine motor skills compared to other children her age.  She can walk on her own, although due to being blind she may need a walking cane to get around unfamiliar places.  Summer also loves to dance!  In regards to her fine motor skills, she can button small buttons, build towers with jigsaw blocks and can use chopsticks and a spoon to eat rice and noodles at mealtime.

Summer is doing very well for a blind child who lives in an orphanage in China.  She is clearly very smart and has a positive outlook on life.   Summer would love to be adopted and be a part of a family!

If you would like to learn more about Summer and how you can adopt her, please contact the GWCA China Home Finding Team today!

Click Here to Watch one of Summer’s Videos!

Jacob

Jacob is an awesome little boy from China that is 4 and a half years old.  Jacob is described as being an active, cheerful boy with a ready smile.  He likes to play games with his friends and spend time outside.  Jacob is currently in a regular kindergarten class outside of the orphanage and is doing well there.  Jacob gets along very well with other children and enjoys playing with his peers.

Jacob is very close with his caregivers. Sometimes when his nanny is doing laundry he will sit next to her and try to help her fold clothes.  He is a very helpful little boy who is empathetic and aware when other people need help.  Jacob’s physical abilities appear to be normal compared with his peers, such as his ability to walk, jump up and down, and go up and down stairs.

Jacob was born without any ears but he can still hear, but he can still hear quite well! Jacob can hear what others are saying to him and can follow instructions given by his caregivers.  Jacob can say 5-10 word sentences and express his wants and needs.

The right side of Jacob’s face also droops somewhat, but it has improved with acupuncture.  Jacob was very brave and behaved well when he was receiving acupuncture, even though it was painful.

If you would like to learn more about Jacob, please contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall today!

Click Here to Watch one of Jacob’s NEW Videos!

Resources

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I’m Coming Home!

There’s nothing like being able to hold your family in your arms even when they’re thousands of miles away. Lucky for this little guy, this pillow from his care package is about to be replaced by the real deal–this week, his family is heading to China to bring him home forever! While the pillow that his family sent him was a great way for him to familiar himself with their faces throughout their adoption journey, he will finally have them right by his side. This is a moment that both he and his new forever family have been waiting for for quite some time and we’re so happy that it has finally arrived!

Congratulations to this little guy and his new family, and safe travels as you make your way home!

China Waiting Child Adoption

This little guy, who we advocated for with the nickname “Matthew,” was matched with his family through China’s Special Focus adoption track. In this track, families can be matched with a child at any point in the process – even if they haven’t completed all of their adoption paperwork. As such, when his family found him they were able to request to be matched with him right away!

GWCA is currently advocating for over 60 Waiting Children who are in need of families. These kiddos’ limited profiles can be found on our China Waiting Child photo listing. and their full files can be requested by contacting our adoption specialists. For more information on how you can adopt a child from China, visit GWCA’s website or contact us today!

Resources

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Look What Love Can Do!

It is always so incredible for us to watch families’ adoption journeys, from the moment they fall in love with a child’s photo and decide to pursue the match, to the moment they bring their child home forever. There are some adoption journeys, however, that really hit home–particularly those that we get to watch come full circle. Last Thursday we were lucky enough to have a family visit our office, giving us the opportunity to witness a piece of their journey in person. They brought in two absolutely amazing kids that we advocated for who have been home now for some time. There are few words that can describe how meaningful this visit was, especially for our staff members who initially met these kids in China on an Orphan Hosting interview trip. Here is what our interview team had to share about the experience:

You never forget that first trip to China. The smells, the emotions, the nerves and the kids. I walked into my first orphanage January 2015 not sure what to expect. It was the heart of winter and it was freezing. The orphanage was in Changsha – open air – middle of January. We walked into the room where we would meet the kids, it was so cold–not temperature cold, the walls were white, bars on the windows and the toys were worn. We interviewed 30 kids that first day. To say that it was overwhelming is an understatement. That day I met many kids that will forever have a place in my heart.

I keep every Orphan Hosting program list on my office desk I see the names of all of the kids who have come for hosting. I have my crazy color coding systems that tell me who has come home, and who hasn’t. I see the kids who we have advocated for over the years and still wait. But those kids that come home – the pictures, the updates, the growth it’s insane. On numerous occasions, photos have brought tears to my eyes… but last Thursday was so much more.

Last Thursday two of the most precious children walked through the front doors of GWCA in Austin, TX, just days shy of 11 months being home. Two and half years since I saw them in China. Two and half a year since my heart fell deeper in love with the children in China. The children who were so wonderfully made to be a part of a family. There is nothing like coming face to face with something you poured everything into. We don’t often get the chance to meet the children we work so hard for day in and day out, but Thursday I got to embrace TWO of those kids. Two kids who are loved unconditionally and encouraged infinitely. I listened to the accomplishments of these two and tears fell as I heard every single one. How about a boy who has had six surgeries in 11 months and sweet girl that is blind that both play baseball and LOVE it! Or a little boy who plays the piano for his sister as she belts our her favorite Disney songs (which we were so lucky to hear). Or two kids just 10 days in the US enrolled in school eager to learn and ready to do great things with their lives.

All of this began with the belief that someone could be their mom and dad. There were so many inter-working hands that lead us to that fateful day in Changsha, to the one family that chose to host, and the countless voices that advocated on behalf of both that led them to their mom and dad. A saying we hear often is that “It takes a village.” It does – with everything that has gone on in China adoption in the last 2 weeks it would be really easy to stop fighting the fight, but now more than ever we need voices for the kids that wait – we need you – we need the village to make forever happen for the rest of the children waiting. Don’t stop now – take a look at what a little love can do! – Shannon Phillips, Orphan Hosting Director

 Resources

– Learn more about China adoption
– Visit GWCA’s Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Contact a China adoption specialist

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How the New Eligibility Updates Could Help Singles

In international adoption, every country’s program has a unique set of eligibility regulations put in place by in-country authorities. These eligibility regulations determine everything from annual income requirements to acceptable health conditions that potential adoptive parents can or can’t have. For single applicants, these eligibility requirements also determine whether or not they are permitted to pursue a child’s adoption based on their single status.

Over the course of time, some countries have gone back and forth on whether or not to allow single applicants. China, however, has always been very welcoming of single women who are looking to grow their family through adoption as long as they meet the specific eligibility requirements set in place for single families.

Last week, China released updates for their adoption eligibility regulations, many of which are now more stringent than they were before. One area where the new updates allow for more flexibility than previously, however, is with single applicants!

The two most notable changes that have been made to the eligibility requirements for singles are the minimum age of the youngest child in the home, and the maximum age difference between the parent and the child being adopted.

Old Requirements for Singles: 

  • The youngest child in the home must be at least 6 years old prior to adopting
  • There can be no more than a 45 year age difference between the parent and the child being adopted

New Requirements for Singles: 

  • The youngest child in the home must be at least 3 years old prior to adopting
  • There can be no more than a 50 year age difference between the parent and the child being adopted

 

While many of the other updated regulations have made it more difficult for countless families to pursue their dream of adoption, we’re so hopeful that this new flexibility for single applicants will open a window of possibility. If are considering beginning your adoption journey and you would like to speak to one of our adoption specialists to review all eligibility information, please contact GWCA today!

Resources

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Meet Victor

Victor is an amazing 9-year old boy who has continued to persevere despite all odds that he has faced. In the fall of 2016 Victor arrived at Bethel, an incredible foundation which specializes in the care of children with vision impairments. Upon his arrival, they gave him the name “Victor” to symbolize his victories over the challenges he has faced so far in his young life.

The caretakers at Bethel describe this amazing boy as an overcomer who is loving and joyful with everyone he meets. He has a curious spirit and always seeks to explore new places and new things. Victor loves his main caregiver very much, showing an incredible ability to attach and love others. He has been through a lot, but he continues to rise above those experiences and thrive with the love and care of the staff at Bethel.

Victor loves to play, dance, and laugh with with his friends and teachers. He has significant vision impairment in both eyes, but he is able to see light and loves to play with toys that light up. Despite his vision impairment, Victor loves exploring and seeking new experiences. He has learned to trust others and feels safer and more secure with each day that he is at Bethel.

Victor has made phenomenal progress since arriving at Bethel last fall, and we can only imagine what he will accomplish when he receives the unconditional love of a family.

Bethel recently teamed up with The Archibald Project to share the stories of the amazing children in their care. Visit their website here or contact GWCA’s China adoption specialists to see what they had to say about Victor. We’re so hopeful that Victor will find his family soon. If you’re interested in learning more about this incredible boy or reviewing his medical file, please visit our Waiting Child photo listing or contact GWCA today!

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Update: China Eligibility

Dear Families,

This morning we received the following notice from the CCCWA (China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption) regarding the newest ​updates to the China Adoption ​eligibility regulations.

Although we have our reservations regarding some of the changes that are being made​, we are actively reaching out to the CCCWA to seek further clarification in order to best counsel each of our adoptive families. While most of the eligibility requirements have remained the same, we anticipate that some of the changes made will impact families that are currently in process.

Please know that the Waiting Children that we advocate for and our adoptive families  are our top priorities, and we will continue to ​push forward as we seek the best solution for each family.

We are compiling a list of questions for the CCCWA to clarify some of the points mentioned ​ in the update​. If you are a current family in process that we foresee this effecting​,​ ​our caseworkers will be reaching out to discuss your case.   Please understand there are a number of families we are currently trying to communicate with and we will be in touch as soon as possible.

We know that more changes outside of eligibility are likely on the horizon for China adoption. We are at a place in which we could easily be discouraged​, however, ​throughout the past 21 years ​that ​GWCA has been working with China we have always found a way to continue to help the children waiting. Our passion, our mission, and our hearts are devoted to bringing orphans their forever families and nothing will stop us from continuing that mission.

Please read the below statement from the CCCWA:

 

Review Points for Decision on the Eligibility of Foreigners Adopting from China

 Relevant government departments and adoption agencies in receiving states,

In order to further promote the scientific and standardized level of inter-country adoption, and implement our working principle “everything for the children”, we have refined and improved the review points for deciding the eligibility of foreigners adopting from China, in accordance with theConvention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, andMeasures for Registration of Adoption of Children by Foreigners in the People’s Republic of China, as well as the practice of paper review of CCCWA.

Ⅰ. Age

1. The prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) should reach the age of 30, and the age difference between the PAP and the adoptee should be not more than 50 years.

2. When a couple adopts together, the age difference should be counted based on the age of the younger party.

Ⅱ. Marital Status

1. The PAP(s) should be a couple of one male and one female, or a single female with no homosexual tendency.

2. In the adoption by a couple (couple adoption), the PAPs should have a stable marital status, either party should have not more than 2 divorces. If one party has no divorce history or 1 divorce, their current marriage should last not less than 2 years. If one party has 2 divorces, their current marriage should last not less than 5 years.

3. In calculating the marriage lasting time for PAPs, the time living together before their marriage can be included. When calculating the number of divorces, widow and remarriage after divorce are not included.

Ⅲ. Health Conditions

The PAPs should be physically and mentally fit, with the ability to raise and educate the adoptee, but without any of the following conditions:

(1) Intellectual disability;

(2) HIV positive, or infectious disease that is actively contagious;

(3) Schizophrenia;

(4) Mental disorder including mania, depression, bipolar affective disorder, anxiety and phobia, etc. PAP(s) with minor symptoms and are under good control by taking medicine, assessed by a psychological professional as having no effects on their normal work and life and fit to care and educate the adoptee, will be exempt from this limitation;

(5) Binocular blindness, binocular low vision or monocular blindness with no ocular prosthesis;

(6) Severe facial deformation;

(7) Binaural hearing loss or language function loss; PAPs who adopt children with identical conditions, or with one party of a couple healthy will be exempt from this limitation;

(8) Non-function or dysfunction of limbs or trunk caused by impairment, incomplete limb, paralysis or deformation;

(9) Diseases that require long-term treatment, and have bad prognosis which will affect PAPs’ child care ability such as lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, etc.; In a couple adoption, if one party is completely healthy and the other suffers any of such diseases but is under good control after treatment, they will be exempt from this limitation if they can provide a doctor’s note to attest that the illness has no effects on their normal work and life and fit for caring the adoptee;

(10) Skin cancer, thyroid cancer, breast cancer and testicular cancer that has been cured for less than 3 years; other kinds of cancer or malignant tumor that has been cured less than 5 years;

(11) Vital organ transplant within 10 years; In a couple adoption, if one party is healthy and the other party had organ transplant within 10 years but has recovered to live a normal life, they will be exempt from this limitation;

(12) BMI (BMI=weight (kg)/ height2 (m2) )≥40;

(13) Short stature or dwarfism; PAPs who adopt children with identical conditions will be exempt from this limitation.

Ⅳ Educational background

The PAPs should have received senior high school education or above, or vocational and technical skills education of the same level.

Ⅴ. Family Financial Conditions

1. The PAPs (at least one party of a couple in a couple adoption) should have stable occupation and income. The per-capita annual income of a family including the prospective adoptee should reach 10,000 USD; When calculating the family per-capita annual income in an adoption by a single parent, the number of family members should be one more than the actual family member number after adoption

2. Couple adoption’s family net worth should reach 80,000 USD, and single adoption’s family net worth should reach 100,000 USD.

3. Welfare allowance such as relief fund, pension, disability benefits, adoption subsidy, foster care subsidy and disabled child subsidy, etc. are not included in the family annual income.

4. Proper relaxation can be granted to foreigners living in China on the aspects of family annual income and net worth.

Ⅵ Moral Characters

The PAPs should have no record of criminal penalties, have good moral characters, honorable behaviors and abide by laws and regulations, without any of the following circumstances:

(1) a history of domestic violence, sex abuse, abandonment/abuse of children (even if they were not arrested or convicted);

(2) a history of taking drugs including opium, morphine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, smokable methamphetamine and etc;

(3) a history of alcohol abuse and have stopped drinking for less than 10 years.

Adoption application will be given due consideration when the PAPs have had no more than 3 criminal records with minor violations and no severe outcomes, and the time for correction has reached 10 years; or have had no more than 5 records of traffic law violation with no severe outcomes.

Ⅶ Children in the House

1. The adoption of orphans, disable children, or abandoned infants and children whose parents cannot be ascertained or found, are not subject to the requirement that the adopter should be childless.

2. The PAPs should have enough time and energy to take care of the minors in the house including the prospective adoptee. In a couple adoption, the number of minors living in the house of the PAPs should be not more than 5; in a single adoption, the number of minors in the house of the PAPs should be not more than 2.

3. The youngest child in the house should reach 3 years old.

Ⅷ Adoption Frequency and Numbers

1. Adopters should submit post placement reports as required after the adoption; There should be a 1 year interval between the second adoption application and the previous one (from the registration date of the previous adoption to the current adoption application date).

2. In principle, the PAPs should adopt 1 child from China at a time.

3. In a couple adoption, if adoptee is a twin or multiple births or have siblings, the adoption will be exempt from the limitation of item 2.

Ⅷ Others

1. The PAPs should receive pre-adoption training to have a correct cognition and understanding of the possible risks of inter-country adoption, be fully prepared for the adoption and care of the adoptee. The PAPs should promise in the inter-country adoption application letter that they will not abandon or maltreat the child to be adopted, and will submit post placement reports as required.

2. As for PAPs residing in countries other than their birth country, if they intend to apply to adopt from China, they should reside in countries which have cooperative relationship with China in inter-country adoption, or in contracting states of the Hague Convention.

3. This document does not apply to stepchild adoptions. As for the adoption of a child belonging to a collateral relative by blood of the same generation and up to the third degree of kinship, relaxation will be granted properly.

4. Time or age is calculated based on the adoption application dossier’s log-in-date at CCCWA.

5. This document shall enter into force as of the date of issuance. In the event of any inconsistency between this document and previous CCCWA regulations or notices, the review points of this document shall apply.

China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption

 

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14 Kids With Vision Impairments!

We’re currently advocating for FOURTEEN Waiting Children who have vision impairments. Some of these kiddos have more minor vision impairments, while others may have more moderate or severe impairments causing partial or full blindness.

Winnie

Winnie is a precious little girl from China that recently turned 7 years old.  Winnie was not abandoned until she was 5 years old, so she has only lived in the orphanage for the past two years.  It is presumed that she lived with her birth family before she came to live in the orphanage.

Winnie is described by her caregivers as timid and gentle and she gets along very well with other children in the orphanage.  She is said to have normal physical development.  Winnie has good self-care skills such as putting on her own clothes and shoes by herself.  Winnie’s language is delayed and she can only say a few words at this time, however this is a great improvement from when she came to the orphanage and would not say any words.  Winnie’s cognitive abilities are said to be delayed compared with her peers in the orphanage.

Winnie is said to have had an abnormal vision screening, but it is unclear exactly what is meant by that, so we are following up with the orphanage to get more information on her vision needs.  It is possible that she just has droopy eyelids (ptosis) and that she just needs to get surgery to lift her eyelids so she can see more clearly.  This is something that would most likely never be done in China, so she would need a family to adopt her so she could get this kind of surgery in America.

If you would like more information on Winnie you can reach out to the GWCA China Home Finding Team today!

Click Here to Watch Winnie’s NEW Video!

Isaiah

More NEW videos of Winnie are available when you request to review her full file! Isaiah is a sweet little boy from China that is 5 years old. Isaiah likes to interact with other children and play games with him. He is very happy when he is playing with and interacting with other children and his caregivers. His personality is described as lively and joyful, but he tends to be shy around strangers. He can speak with others in simple sentences. He likes to listen to music and hear his caregivers read him stories.

Isaiah is blind and has no vision. He has already had a bilateral enucleation surgery. He does not have any other medical issues. He is very sensitive to sounds and he follow sounds when he hears them, such as when his caregiver’s phone rings, he will follow the sound and go pick it up for her. When his caregiver takes him to school every morning he will hold her hand and trot along side her. Because he is blind he cannot fully self-sufficient as of yet. He needs help getting dressed, although he can put on his own shoes by himself. The orphanage staff feels like he is developmentally behind some of his peers, however they feel that this is due to his vision impairment and not a lack of mental capacity to learn.

Isaiah appears to be a smart little boy overall, but he just needs the love and attention of a Forever Family to help him get to where he needs to be to live a full and productive life. If you are interested in learning more about Isaiah, please contact the GWCA Home Finding Team by requesting this child’s file to review or by calling #512.323.9595 today!

Click Here to Watch one of Isaiah’s Videos!

Leta

Leta is a lovely little girl from China that is 9 and a half years old.  Leta is described as being very cheerful!  Leta likes to be around other people, to play with children and she really likes to smile!

Leta has congenital glaucoma, so her vision is impaired, but she can still see.  She can see toys in a room and pick them up, she can hold food and eat it on her own, and she can walk by herself.  However when she does walk she will sometimes walk slowly if she is in an unfamiliar area.

Because of her vision impairment and from being in an orphanage setting her language development is delayed compared to her peers, as is her overall development.   She does understand what others are saying to her and she can follow instructions given to her by adults.  Leta doesn’t speak very much and she can only say single words, but not sentences.

Leta tends to rub her eyes sometimes, which may indicate there is some ocular pain she is experiencing.  She has not received any treatments or surgeries for her eyes and there have not been any recent tests done on her eyes.

Leta is able to go to the toilet by herself, although sometimes she needs to be reminded to go by an adult.  She can put on and take off her own clothes and shoes.  She can eat solid food like bread on her own, but sometimes she needs help to use a spoon to eat liquid foods like soup.

If you would like to learn more about Leta, please contact the GWCA China Home Finding Team today!

Click Here to Watch Leta’s Video!

Brian

Brian is a sweet little boy from China that just recently turned 4 years old. Brian cannot see due to having optic atrophy of both of his eyes, but he appears to be physically healthy in all other regards. Because of his lack of eyesight, Brian is delayed verbally, so he isn’t currently speaking. However he can make many sounds and he can communicate some of his basic needs such as when he is hungry.

Brian can walk on his own and he can get up on his own from a sitting to a standing position. Brian is very curious and if he hears a sound near him he will go over to it and feel around for the object or person that made the sound. Brian can use a spoon to feed himself at mealtime, although he still needs some guidance from caregivers since he cannot see the food. He also needs help getting dressed, brushing his teeth and bathing.

Brian is very close to his caregivers.  Brian’s caregivers say that he is a lively, active, happy boy, who loves to laugh. He has good appetite and he is not picky. He likes his caregiver to give him hugs and tickle him because it will make him laugh.

If you would like to learn more about Brian, please reach out to the GWCA China Home Finding Team today!

Click Here to Watch one of Brian’s NEW Videos!

Cooper

This adorable little guy is Cooper! Cooper will be turning 9 years old this June. One of Cooper’s eyes is underdeveloped and he does not have any vision from it, but his other eye is only nearsighted and he is able to see with glasses on. His host mom says that he was not restricted in any way based on this need, and that he was able to keep up with other kiddos with no problem! Cooper was hosted in the hosting program this past summer and had an amazing time with his host family! Here’s something that his host family wrote about him:

“He is independent, unbelievably well behaved, follows direction and likes to help. Shy at first he quickly opens up to everyone. Very inquisitive, he is constantly asking questions. Wakes up in the morning and greets us with a cheery “Hello!”, one of the several English words he learned while with us. He has been as low maintenance as any child I have ever met. They way he adjusted to the drastic changes of hosting was unbelieveable, he is so ‘go with the flow’. He doesn’t need to be constantly entertained, he will go up to the toy room and just grab whatever he is interested and plays by himself if we are busy. He has a good sense of humor and really understood and got a kick out of his host dads gentle sarcasm. While he was here being hosted it was clear that he knew this was only a short vacation to America but still he bonded with his host dad. As we did the countdown to departure day he was excited to go back to China saying he liked China and America equally. But speaking to the chaperone the night before he told heels he was not willing to go back to China. Once we arrived at the airport it all seemed to settle in and he was clearly devastated to be leaving America and said he wanted to stay. I think a family with a brother for him would be great but he did enjoy playing with the girls. Sounds too good to be true but he didn’t misbehave for a second while he was here. I really don’t have any negatives to say about him. His special need is blindness in one eye and nearsightedness in the other, which glasses helped immensely. Also his eyes wiggle a bit (nystagmus) as he is refocusing but that seemed to be greatly reduced with the glasses. We honestly forgot that he had any vision issues at all. He rides a bike, power wheels, scooter, runs races, all no problem.”

Cooper recently told his caregivers that he’d always wanted a family to love and care for him. Please reach out to Great Wall if you would like to learn more about Cooper!

Check out Cooper’s NEW videos!

Enzo

Enzo is a sweet little boy from China who is 4 and a half years old. Enzo is described by his caretakers as being energetic, active and having a ready smile! Enzo has congenital glaucoma of both eyes and esotropia of the right eye, so his vision is impaired. He had an operation in 2016 that did help his vision somewhat.

Because of his inability to see clearly, as it with many children with vision issues, Enzo is delayed in his language abilities. He can make sounds like “yiyi yaya” and can hum along to songs he knows. Enzo does know how to walk on his own, though he is sometimes nervous about walking too far because of his limited eyesight.

Enzo needs help to do certain tasks like using a spoon to eat or going to the toilet. Enzo did not always like to play with other children because of his inability to see clearly, but since being in the orphanage’s pre-school program, he has improved significantly in his abilities and desire to play with other children and he is now happy to play with other children. Enzo loves being cuddled by his caretakers and he has built stable emotional attachment with his teachers and caregivers. Enzo likes listening to music and playing games.

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

Click Here to Watch one of Enzo’s NEW Videos!

Gemma

Gemma is an incredible and essnetially healthy 13-year old girl who will be aging out of the system this coming Fall. She needs a loving Forever Family to adopt her before she turns 14 or she will never have a chace to know the love and acceptance of a family.

Gemma is a smart, bright, and active girl who would thrive with consistent care and a forever home. She has refractive error in both her eyes, but it is likely she will only need glasses in order to correct her vision.She has been in a foster family since 2006 and has been described by them as being very sensible and obedient.

Gemma likes to do housework and is always available to help her foster family! She is currently in school and is excelling in her studies. She can write over 100 Chinese characters and is able to perform addition and subtraction. She is a great listener and always finishes her homework right after school! Gemma gets along great with her classmates and is well-liked by everyone she meets.

The orphanage and foster family care very much for Gemma and hope that she will have a forever family soon. You can contact the GWCA China Home Finding team today to learn more about how you can adopt Gemma!

January

January is a sweet little girl from China that is about to turn 6 years old. January has amblyopia and strabismus, but she can still see fairly well. She also has some developmental and intellectual delays and is currently not speaking, however she can follow instructions given to her by her caretakers and she understands what others are saying to her. She can walk, go up and down stairs by herself.

January has good self-care skills like taking a shower by herself and eating by herself. She has a outgoing personality and likes playing with blocks. January is also fond of playing on the swing on the playground. January also loves puppies.

If you would like to learn more about January, please contact the China Home Finding Team today!

Johnny

This sweet little guy’s name is Johnny! Johnny is 5 years old. He has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus, but he received a shunt shortly after arriving to the orphanage and has been doing great since that time. Johnny was also diagnosed with purulent meningitis and a brain hernia, but after treatment he appears to be doing well. He also has oculomotor palsy, meaning that he has difficulty controlling his eye movements. Johnny has some language and mobility delays, but he has made amazing progress! He is able to walk with assistance, and is able to speak in two to three word sentences. He is also able to follow directions and has excellent fine motor skills! He is a shy, sweet little boy who would thrive with the love of a forever family. Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more!

Liv

Meet Liv! Liv is a precious 7-year old girl in need of a home to call her own. Liv has hypoplasia in both eyes, meaning they did not develop fully. She also has cerebral dysplasia, but appears to be doing well in regards to her overall development! Liv was living with a foster family at the time her file was prepared, and her foster parents love her very much. They describe her as mischievous, clever, and cute! Liv is a sweet kiddo who would thrive with the love of a family. Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more!

Marina

Marina is an amazing 11-year old girl who is blind in both eyes. Marina is a smart, bright girl who would thrive in a forever family. She is an outgoing kiddo who loves to play with other children and sing songs with her caregivers. She follows her caregivers instructions well and appears to be doing well in school overall. She is always quick to compromise with other children and is great with sharing so that everyone gets a chance with a toy. Marina loves music and has a beautiful singing voice. Please reach out to Great Wall if you would like to learn more!

Rebecca

Rebecca is a lovely young girl from China that turned turned 13 years old earlier this year. If Rebecca is not adopted before she turns 14, she will age out of the China Adoption System and will never get the chance to have a family.  Rebecca has expressed to her caregivers that she very much wants to be adopted by an American family and that she desires to have a home and parents of her own.

Rebecca is missing her left eye and has corneal leukoplakia in her right eye, so her right eye has some sight, and can walk around freely in a familiar environment without any assistance. She goes to a special school for children who are blind. Her cognitive abilities and language abilities are normal and she is doing very well in school. Rebecca is currently in 6th grade and she gets excellent grades. Rebecca has been awarded “Triple-A” student every year at her school. This year she won the second prize in a singing competition at her school. Rebecca can also read in braille.

Rebecca likes to sing and will often perform at different celebratory events at her school and at the orphanage. Rebecca gets along very well with her peers and with her caregivers! Her teachers describe her as being obedient, sensible and polite. Rebecca is a very outgoing and active girl and has a ready smile.

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

Click Here to Watch Rebecca’s NEW Video where she is singing beautifully!

Summer

Summer is a precious little girl from China that is 9 and a half years old!  Summer is described as being a smart, optimistic girl who is polite and likes to have conversations with other children.  Summer has said that she very much wants to be adopted by an American family!  One of our GWCA Staff Members met Summer when she was in China last year and she would love to speak to any interested families about Summer!

Summer has atrophy of both eyeballs so she cannot see at all.  Summer has good cognitive abilities and is not delayed in that regard.  She is smart and going to a special school for blind children where she is learning to read braille.  She has good language ability and can sing many children’s songs.  She has great self-care skills including dressing herself, going to the toilet by herself.  She gets along well with other children and adults.

Summer as normal gross and fine motor skills compared to other children her age.  She can walk on her own, although due to being blind she may need a walking cane to get around unfamiliar places.  Summer also loves to dance!  In regards to her fine motor skills, she can button small buttons, build towers with jigsaw blocks and can use chopsticks and a spoon to eat rice and noodles at mealtime.

Summer is doing very well for a blind child who lives in an orphanage in China.  She is clearly very smart and has a positive outlook on life.   Summer would love to be adopted and be a part of a family!

If you would like to learn more about Summer and how you can adopt her, please contact the GWCA China Home Finding Team today!

Click Here to Watch one of Summer’s Videos!

Tommy

This precious kiddo’s name is Tommy! Tommy is 9 years old and was born with albinism. Tommy is a sweet, helpful child who always assists his caregivers around the orphanage. He is currently studying in the sensory integration classroom, where he works hard and does extremely well. He loves to play with the other kids and often sings children’s songs to the younger kiddos when they go to sleep. He is a sweet, smart boy who would thrive in a loving home. Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more! 

 

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When Being a Boy is a “Special Need”

This blog was written by Michelle C., one of GWCA’s adoptive moms and an amazing orphan advocate. Click here to visit her full blog. 

We love boys.

As a family with three-going-on-four male superheroes, we have a massive soft spot for the testosterone-filled adventure of Lego-building, light-saber-fighting, poop-joke-telling humans, even the ones who hate underwear and fight hygiene like it will be the death of us all.

Boys are just a total blast.

They’re also the ones most passed over in the world of adoption.

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the largest population of children available for international adoption in China was healthy girls. After Lisa Ling’s famous “China’s Lost Girls” National Geographic special, which showed the ramifications of a one-child policy on the abandonment of girls, aired, the world opened their eyes to the thousands of orphan girls waiting for families in China.

At the time, Ling reported that 95 percent of the Chinese orphanage population were girls. Now, because of a relaxed one-child policy, an increase in domestic adoption and a cultural shift in the preference for girls, healthy baby girls are being adopted domestically. But those with “special needs” that we know are just superpowers in disguise are not.

The children who remain in social welfare centers? Mostly boys with superpowers in disguise.

This year, our family has advocated for multiple Chinese superheroes with moderate to severe medical needs. But of the children who have not yet found forever families, a majority of them are boys.

Precious boys. Perfect boys. Heart-melting boys. Heart-breakingly sweet boys. Some of them with minor or already corrected needs.

One with literally NO MEDICAL NEEDS AT ALL.

Aaron is an 11-year-old boy with NO MEDICAL NEEDS. He was hosted by a family in the United States last summer with D.J., our first host child. From his host family: “A sweeter boy you will not find. We saw him interact with children of all ages very well. He has been in the orphanage for six years. Is on target cognitively and goes to public school. Until 4, he was with his birth parents. He is extremely healthy in all regards. I have the medical records. He lived with my wife and I, in our home, with our cat, in Boston… for 30 days. We know this child and are advocating for his urgent placement. China classifies him as special needs ONLY because of his age.”

Aaron is on the shared list. To find out more information, or to have your agency pull his file, email meredith@gwca.org.

But who still wait because of their greatest “special need.”

The special need of being a boy in the world of adoption.

Every adoption specialist we’ve ever spoken to, no matter whether that specialist places children domestically or abroad, has confirmed for us the preference of girls over boys when it comes to adoption.

Which means that boys, in general, wait longer.

Especially when it comes to adopting from China.

This just crushes us. Because our boys — both the one who was born in China and the two who were born in the United States — are the biggest blessing, biggest blast and greatest adventure of our lives.

And we hate that thousands of other boys, not because of their personality or their hearts or their abilities or their souls, but simply because of their gender, wait.

This week, I interviewed Meredith Chambers, international adoption specialist at our agency, Great Wall China Adoption, to better understand why boys are so much harder to place than girls.

Why there are still a handful of host children who have been advocated for since last summer, most of them boys, who still haven’t found forever homes.

This is what she shared:

What percentage of files that come to Great Wall are of boys?

Approximately 70 percent of the files we receive are boys, both in Special Focus and the LID designation.

When a file of a girl and a boy with the same condition come to Great Wall, which child is placed faster?

Girls are placed much quicker than boys are, particularly if it is a mild to moderate need. For example, a girl with a few mild needs may be placed in the LID designation, but a boy with the same conditions may be placed in Special Focus to increase his opportunity to be matched. The same goes for more severe needs, such as Down Syndrome or cerebral palsy. We often see girls placed at a much faster rate than boys overall.

Why are boys harder to place than girls?

Great question! We don’t have a concrete answer for this, but we believe that it has something to do with the idea of Chinese adoption that was perpetuated about 10 to 15 years ago when there were so many healthy girls available. In China, the one-child policy inadvertently created a gender imbalance in their population — so many families wanted to keep their boys in order to further their lineage and support the parents financially in old age, leading them to abandon their infants that were girls. Due to this imbalance, China first modified the act so that parents who could pay higher taxes could have more than one child, then they abolished it completely in 2015. This has changed the dynamic of China adoption in that many birth families are now able to parent their girl infants instead of seeking adoption as an option. In addition, domestic adoption has become much more commonplace in China, and many families are adopting healthy girls. These are some of the many cultural reasons why there are now so many more boys available than girls. Because families were accustomed to girls being available for so many years, we believe this may impact their expectations somewhat in regards to China adoption.

How do you explain to people who still buy the stereotype that China’s orphanages are filled with GIRLS that the biggest need is really to adopt BOYS with special needs?

This is something we are still trying to figure out! 🙂 We find that it’s helpful to get families’ information out there who have adopted boys — for example, when people see your blog, they start to realize that adopting a boy is not only a possibility in China adoption, but actually the biggest need that we have. I think seeing family stories really helps to dispel the idea that families have in their mind of a sweet little Chinese girl specifically — it helps them to see how amazing boys are!

What information or statistics do you have just within Great Wall that could help us tell these older boys’ stories well?

In 2016, GWCA matched about 60 percent boys specifically, and so far in 2017, we have matched about 42 percent boys of our total matches.

I have recently seen two older boys with almost NO medical needs still waiting for families — Colt, who had his heart repaired years ago, and Aaron, who has NO needs. Do you have any idea why these kiddos are still waiting? Is it age? Is it age and being a boy?

Yes, definitely. It shocks us that these sweet kiddos with no needs have not found their families yet. One aspect about this in particular is the age that the kiddo was when their file was prepared. If it wasn’t prepared until later due to lack of resources, then the child is already at a disadvantage, even if they are physically healthy. A lot of kiddos this age have developmental delays as a result of growing up in an orphanage environment as well, so even if they have no physical need, their delays may hinder their opportunity as well.

Years ago, when we discovered the number of girls abandoned in China, we were shocked and appalled when GENDER was the biggest obstacle to a child having a forever family. And we MOVED! WE RESPONDED! We pursued this population who needed an advocate and a voice!

Will we do the same thing NOW?

Boys like Leo, Aaron, Ben and Colt — who ages out of the Chinese adoption system in September and will remain an orphan FOREVER if he doesn’t find a family IMMEDIATELY — depend on it.

** URGENT: AGING OUT IN SEPTEMBER ** Colt was born with tetralogy of fallot, but he had surgery in April of 2005 and has thrived since that time, Colt is an incredibly smart, social child who would thrive in a forever family. Colt is bright, independent and mischievous! He loves his teachers and classmates, and he is currently in school. He also loves his brothers and sisters in the orphanage and hopes to one day be adopted and come back to visit them to tell them about the United Stated. Colt has wanted to be adopted for a long time and told his caregivers to tell prospective parents, “Dear Father and Mother, I am waiting for you in China.” His caregivers say that he is cheerful, helpful and has a warm heart. If he sees a caregiver working hard, he will say, “Let me help you, you look so tired.” He is a sweet, charismatic little boy who needs to have the love of a family. His caregivers love him very much and hope that he is adopted soon.

Check out this video of this deserving superhero, who cleans and makes his bed FAR BETTER than the ones in my house who still pretend like we haven’t given them 75 lessons on the topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7UUzwQV93v0&t=1s.

Although he was listed with Great Wall China Adoption for a period of time, he is now on the shared list. But Great Wall can provide detailed information and more videos on this sweet boy that everyone has fallen in love with and can’t stand to watch live out the rest of his life without the love of family.

For more information on Colt, who ages out in September, please contact Meredith at meredith@gwca.org ASAP. Families best able to reach him will have dossiers logged in China or are eligible for dossier copies.

Check out photos and videos of these boys and others by scrolling our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ofcapesandcombatboots. And then join the Operation Orphan Warrior team to advocate for them on social media.

Sharing the orphan story can change it.

Let’s be the voices to change these superheroes’ stories.

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China Adoption FAQ

Below are the answers to some of the most common questions that our matching specialists hear from families about the China adoption process. If you would like more information contact our China adoption specialists today!

Q: Are the children on your site available for adoption?

A: The children on our photo listing are all either available for placement or have been recently matched through the Special Focus or LID track. Children not on the photo listing have generally already been placed with a family, and are, therefore, not available for placement. Please reach out to our Matching Specialists to learn more about our available children!

Q: We do not live in Texas, can we still work with GWCA?

A: If you live outside of Texas, Great Wall is happy to assist you with your adoption. Although your home study agency must be licensed to perform home studies in your state, your adoption agency can be located anywhere in the US. This allows you to choose an agency based on experience and reputation, rather than location. If you already know which home study agency you are working with, just let us know. If you do not have a home study agency, we will refer you to a reputable Hague-accredited agency located near you. In Texas and Florida, Great Wall is licensed to provide a home study services for you.

Q: How many children does Great Wall place each year?

A: Great Wall has a long-standing history as one of the leading adoption agencies in the US. Since being founded in 1996, GWCA and their sister agency CAN have placed hundreds of children with US families! In 2016, our agency placed 175 children! If you choose Great Wall, you will be working with a well-established, stable organization that will recognize your individual needs throughout your adoption journey.

Q: What is the general cost of adopting from China?

A: Most families where two parents are going to pick up one child end up spending $29,000 – $35,000 total on their overall adoption costs. This amount is with all adoption costs including agency fees, dossier paper chase, home study, USCIS costs, China Legal Fees, Orphanage Donation Fee and Travel costs combined. Costs vary somewhat depending on where in China your child is located, what time of year you are traveling, how many people you are bringing on your trip, etc. This overall amount is not due all at once but will be spread out over your entire adoption process.

Q: Does Great Wall offer a discount if we have adopted from China previously?

A: Yes, Great Wall offers a discount for families who go through our China adoption program a again! You can ask our Adoption Consultant for details about this discount.

Q: Can we adopt more than one child at a time?

A: Yes, families are able to adopt two unrelated children from the China program. Families are able to adopt two children simultaneously, meaning that they are both being matched on one dossier. You are also able to do a dossier copy for a second child. This refers to the process of updating your existing dossier in order to be matched with a second child within one year of the finalization of the initial adoption.

 

 

 

Q: Does Great Wall work with specific orphanages?

A: Great Wall works with all welfare homes authorized by the CCCWA. Many of the files of children that we receive are requested from the shared listing, which is the listing of all available children that agencies worldwide have access to. We also receive a large majority of the files for children from our 19 orphanage partnerships!

 

 

Q: If one parent is 30 and the other parent is 29, when would we be able to send our dossier to China? Do we need to wait until the younger spouse turns 30?

A: Both parents must be 30 at the time that the dossier is sent to China or at the time a match is official made with a child. We recommend starting the process when the youngest parent is about 6 months from turning 30, that way a significant amount of the dossier process can be accomplished prior to the parent’s 30th birthday.

Q: Can you provide us with a list of home study agencies in our area?

A: If you are a family who lives in Texas or Florida, a Great Wall social worker will be doing your home study for you. If you live outside fo Texas or Florida, once you join our agency, your dossier specialist will help you find a Hague and/or COA accredited home study agency in your state to help you do your home study.

Q: Can we work with a home study agency that is not on your list?

A: If you live in Texas or Florida, you must use one of Great Wall’s social workers. If you live outside of Texas and Florida you can use any Hague and/or COA accredited home study agency you want.

Q: How do I know if an agency is Hague Accredited?

A: The State Department’s website provides a list of agencies who received their full or temporary accreditation and those who were denied. Great Wall China Adoption is Hague accredited.

Q: How do we get our 12 hours of the Hague training?

A: The Hague training courses can be purchased through our agency and taken online. Our dossier specialists will notify you as to which courses are needed.

Q: In general, how long does the dossier process take?

A: Most families can complete the entire dossier process (this includes your home study) in about 6 months.

Q: What information should be included in the application letter?

A: After you contract with our agency to start the adoption process, you will be assigned a Dossier Specialist to help you through the Dossier process. They will give you a guide that will help you complete the different documents required for your dossier. In that guide you will have instructions and an example of what an application letter should look like. If you have any questions about your application letter, your Dossier Specialist will assist you.

Q: How long after we receive our referral will we travel?

A: After you receive your official referral, called your LSC (Letter Seeking Confirmation), it is typically 3 – 3.5 months until you travel to China to pick up your child.

Q: Which flights does Great Wall arrange for us?

A: All of your China intra-country travel and accommodations will be arranged and booked by Great Wall, so you don’t have to worry about booking anything within China. The only flights you will need to book for your trip will be your international flights to and from China.

Q: Can we bring additional family or friends with us to China?

A: You can absolutely bring additional friends and family with you to China!

Q: Who will pick us up from the airport when we arrive in China?

A: Great Wall will provide your family with a travel guide/translator who will pick you up from the airport and take you to your hotel, to all of your adoption appointments and for sight seeing while you’re in China. You will always have your guide’s personal cell phone number as well so that you can get a hold of them anytime while you’re in China.

 

 

 

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