#WaitingChildWednesdays

As part of our #WaitingChildWednesdays series on older child adoption, we wanted to share with you a family story. This family adopted an aging out boy from China almost three years ago.

This is a REAL story in the family’s own words (emphasis ours) that shows that adoption can be hard and take time – even after the finalization is official. But it is worth it.

On June 23, 2015, a Facebook video crossed our paths and we both felt this boy was our son.  We really had never seriously considered adoption for our family, and any idea of adoption had certainly never included a 14 year old.  We already had two biological children who were 9 and 13 at the time. But there was something about him, and after talking it over with each other, our children, our family and friends, they all felt it too.  We called seven agencies who all told us there was no way we could complete his adoption before his 14th birthday – October 19, 2015.  Our eighth call was to Great Wall, and after some lengthy discussion, they said it was highly unlikely we could complete our adoption in that short window, but if we were willing, they would help us try.  

Over the next couple of months, we worked with a sense of urgency like never before, and with a lot of help from above, we flew to China on September 11, 2015, and brought our new son home to America exactly three months from the date we completed our application for adoption with GWCA.  They told us we set a new record for completing an adoption in such a short period of time. We were proud, excited, and ready for all of our dreams to come true as a new family of five.

And then the real hard stuff started.  We had dental and medical issues to take care of.  We could barely communicate without the help of Google translate, and that wasn’t perfect and created additional challenges. We both worked full-time jobs and had busy lives and Isaac started school as an 8th grader with our other son two weeks after being in America.  Isaac was overwhelmed and frustrated and mourning everything he knew and thrust into a different life on the other side of the world.  For the first time, he was expected to brush his teeth twice a day, shower daily, keep the toilet seat clean, chew with his mouth closed, sit through a church service, share, follow a new set of rules and expectations, etc.  All the food was new and different, he could not escape the constant stimulus of a foreign language, he felt like an alien and could not talk to anyone. We were eager to listen to him pour his heart out and connect with us and love us and share every feeling freely with us.

I remember some particularly hard times that first year.  On a family vacation to a theme park in Orlando, he got upset about something and took off.  Once we found him, we were all so stressed and upset we had to go back to the hotel room. The next two days of our vacation, one of us had to stay in the room and try to keep him in the room while he emotionally melted down.  The other one took our other children to the theme park. Another time, he got upset and decided he was running away, and took off to the field behind our house. We could see him, so we let him stay for over an hour while we watched.  When he finally came inside, he was covered with huge welts from mosquito bites. I felt horrible.

Every night when I tried to sit him down and review English words, he would belch (or worse) repeatedly, or lay his head down on the table, or anything else he could think of to frustrate me until I gave up.  It often worked. We tried to limit his electronics, and he would melt down and rant in Chinese for hours in his room, and refuse to eat. We all worried about him so much and wondered if we had done the right thing for him by adopting him.  I would go to great lengths to cook anything and everything, somedays, all at once, because food felt like the only way we could make him happy. We walked on eggshells and tried not to upset him. Things weren’t fair and we kept the scales tipped in his favor in an effort to keep peace in our house.  When we had family and friends over, they usually got to witness the chaos firsthand. It was embarrassing and we felt like it was damaging to our relationships, and we withdrew from a lot of people in our lives. We loved him deeply, but often hated what we thought our family had forever become. We occasionally entertained the idea of disruption, but knew in our hearts that we would continue to destroy a soul that had felt the deepest sense of rejection at least twice in his life already.

That feels like a different universe to me today.  Somewhere between year one and year two, it got a little easier for us.  Somewhere between year two and year three, it became easy. And normal. And happy.  Isaac is an amazing person. He is very smart and earned all A’s and B’s during his sophomore year of high school.  He can read very well and we have no trouble communicating. He still has a strong accent and sometimes we all have to repeat ourselves, but he understands the language fully now.  He’s kept a part-time job for over a year and will work hard. He loves to play video games and has his license but is still a homebody.

We know him now.  We know his heart and his likes and his dislikes.  We know what makes him laugh and what motivates him.  He is always kind to animals and children. He is quick witted and clever and a good cook.  He is a good brother and has finally built strong bonds with his brother and sister. They laugh and play together, and generally enjoy each other’s company.  He loves us and loves being part of our family and he shows us that through his actions more than saying the words. Our last theme park trip was filled with joy and nothing but good memories together.  I can look back on those though times now and know they were the result of a complete lack of trust in us, fear of rejection, and the stimulus of a completely different world. He is truly a great son, and while the road was nothing like I imagined, this is what I hoped for him and for us.      

Older children are WORTH IT.

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SIX New Kids On The Block!

We have six new children listed on our photolisting! Please see a short bio for each below.

Hannah is a precious 4 year old girl who was born with Marfan’s syndrome. She is very active, outgoing, and friendly. She is self-independent and loves to read! She is a fast learner and has been described as a curious and smart little girl!
Landon is an adorable 2 year old boy who was born with a clubbed foot, which he received surgery for, and spastic hemiplegia that effects the muscles on the left side of his body. He is involved in daily rehabilitation training. Landon is an introverted little boy who loves to play with all sorts of toys!
Charlie is an adorable 8 year old boy who was born with a language disorder, but he has made great strides in his progress. He can now express his needs, cite poems, and sing! Charlie is self-independent and has been described as a handsome, outgoing, and active boy!
Tommy is an adorable 5 year old boy who was born with epilepsy. He is a self-independent boy that can express his needs, have simple conversations with others, and understand simple instructions. Tommy loves to watch cartoons and his favorite toys are trains!
Megan is a precious 2 year old girl who was born with a strabismus in her left eye and a need related to her brain. Megan is more of an introverted little girl who is closest to her caregivers. They’ll put a towel over their head and Megan will pull it down and they’ll laugh loudly together!
Isaac is an adorable little boy who just turned 4. He was born with was born with a cleft lip, palate, and an arachnoid cyst. Isaac has been described as an active and clever little boy! He is closest to his caregivers and loves to cuddle.

To learn more about any of the children above, you can request a file today!

Please note you may request a file of a child even if you have not begun the adoption process, so please contact us to learn more.

Resources
Visit the China Waiting Child photo listing
Contact a China adoption specialist
Learn more about China adoption

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We Found Our Families

We are very excited to announce that families are working to adopt Nina and Noah! We are so happy for these precious kids and their new families, and we can’t wait to follow their journey home. Congratulations from all of us at GWCA and CAN! Also, thank you to everyone who advocated for these children to help find their forever families!

China Adoption – Special Focus

Since these children were considered Special Focus, our China matching specialists were able to advocate for them on our Waiting Child photo listing. Once their families reviewed their files, they were able to submit their paperwork to be matched with them right away, rather than having to wait until after their dossier had been submitted. All of the kids whose profiles are currently on our photo listing have the same designation of “Special Focus,” meaning families can be matched with them even if they’re just beginning the adoption process.

If you’re interested in learning how you can be matched with one of our Waiting Children, contact our matching specialists or visit our China adoption photo listing today!

Resources:

– Learn more about China adoption
– Visit the Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Contact a China adoption specialist!

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10 New Kids on the Block

Meet Mabel

Mabel is a precious 10-year-old girl who was born with a facial hemangioma and cerebral palsy. However, the facial hemangioma doesn’t affect her daily life, and she can do most self-care tasks by herself. She’s a quiet and sweet girl who’s polite! Mabel loves to sing and dance with her friends. To learn more about her, request her file today!

Meet Gus

Gus is a sweet 3-year-old boy who was born with a malformation in his left eye. He’s very bright and self-independent. He’s also active, outgoing, and gets along well with others. His caretakers say he’s a healthy boy who has developed well, and they hope he finds his forever family soon! To learn more about Gus, request his file today!

Meet Roman

Roman is an adorable 1-year-old boy who was born with clubbed feet. However, he received surgery for it and has recovered well! He’s currently learning to walk and can almost say “mama.” Roman is friendly, extroverted, and gets along well with others (even to new people). To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Shiloh

Shiloh is a precious 6-year-old girl who was born with Down syndrome. However, she’s made a lot of progress in the last year and can complete some self-care tasks! She’s described as shy and quiet. Despite that, she gets along very well with other children. To learn more about her, request her file today!

Meet Tristan

Tristan is an adorable 3-year-old who was born with clubbed feet and a condition that affects his joints. Despite that, he can walk on his own and does well in physical therapy. He’s an incredibly cheerful child who loves to play with other kids and join in social activities. To learn more about Tristan, request his file today!

Meet Troy

Troy is a sweet 6-year-old boy who’s slightly delayed compared to his peers, but he would thrive with the support of a forever family! He’s self-independent and can say a few words like “mom” and “dad.” He’s very comfortable and outgoing with familiar people. Troy loves to cuddle, dance, and watch cartoons. To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Gavin

Gavin is a precious 5-year-old boy who was born with CHD. He’s an easygoing and self-independent boy who gets along well with other kids. He loves to play games with his friends. He’s also close with his nanny and likes to follow her around and help her. To learn more about Gavin, request his file today!

Meet Grayson

Grayson is an active and happy 6-year-old boy who was born with epilepsy. However, he takes medication for seizures, and they appear to be under control. He’s been living with a foster family since 2012 and has developed well since then! He enjoys taking care of the younger children in the home and is very polite. To learn more about Grayson, request his file today!

Meet Blake

Blake is an adorable 6-year-old boy who was born with a cleft lip and palate and some missing digits. However, he’s doing very well developmentally and is active and energetic! He’s outgoing, social, and loves to play games with other kids. To learn more about Blake, request his file today!

Meet Ryan

Ryan is a sweet 6-year-old boy who was born with cataracts. However, his vision needs do not affect his motor skills or self-care ability. He’s well-articulated, well-behaved, and outgoing! Ryan gets along very well with his peers and is talkative! He loves music and often participates in his school’s performances. To learn more about Ryan, request his file today!

Resources

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Evie Is GWCA’s New Sponsored Star

Meet our new Sponsored Star for March, Evie! She’s an adorable 2-year-old girl in need of a forever family. Evie was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect; however, she received surgery for it. She’s active and loves to play with other kids! Evie loves to give her caretakers and friends hugs and kisses. Watch this cute video of Evie playing with her toys!

As our Sponsored Star for March, Evie has a $2,000 grant available towards her adoption fees! Could you or someone you know be Evie’s forever family? If you’re interested in learning more about her, visit our photo listing or contact our matching specialists today!

What is a Sponsored Star?

On the 1st of each month, Great Wall China Adoption will feature one of our Waiting Children as our monthly “Sponsored Star!” That child will be provided a $2,000 grant towards their adoption fees while they are a Sponsored Star, which lasts for two months. Each of the kiddos selected is 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 precious 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!

Resources

– Learn more about China adoption
– Visit the Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Contact a China adoption specialist

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A Family for Leo

Leo is a sweet boy that is near and dear to our hearts! He’s 8 years old and is in need of a family to call his own. Leo was previously hosted in the United States in 2016 and made leaps and bounds since then! He made incredible progress with his strength, learning capacity, and English.

Leo is incredibly adaptable and resilient. Amazingly, he’s been able to adjust to any situation he’s given and develops trusting relationships with adults and kids. He leaves a lasting impact on everyone he meets! Also, he giggles often and has a big belly laugh that will bring a lot of joy to his forever family.

His medical need is unclear at this time, but CT scans indicate that he has a brain need. However, Leo is a bright and smart boy who would be a wonderful addition to any family. If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about him, please contact our Adoption Specialist Alexandra at alexandra@gwca.org or 512-323-9595 ext. 3032.

Resources

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10 New Kids on the Block

Meet Payton

Payton is a precious 2-year-old girl who was born with Down syndrome and a congenital heart defect, which she received surgery for and recovered well. Payton has been described as a quiet and obedient girl who gets along well with others. She likes to clap her hands, play with toys, and give hugs! She gets a big smile on her face when she is being teased. To learn more about Payton and watch her video, request her file today!

Meet Trevor

Trevor is a sweet 2-year-old boy who was born with CHD and Cri-du-chat syndrome. He can sit up by himself and crawl short distances. His favorite activity is being held by his caretakers, and he enjoys playing with toys. Trevor needs a loving family who can provide him with the resources he needs to thrive! To learn more about Trevor, request his file today!

Meet Maisey

Maisey is an adorable little girl who is 6 years old. Maisey was born with cerebral palsy and currently has some developmental delays compared to her peers. Her caretakers describe her has being extroverted and happy! She likes to smile and say hello to people. Maisey gets along very well with other children, and she loves being around them. To learn more about Maisey, request her file today!

Meet Chance

Chance is an adorable 3-year-old boy who was born with Down syndrome. Chance is a happy kiddo who is very affectionate and obedient. He is also super helpful around the orphanage with housework tasks. He loves to play with toys with other kiddos, watch cartoons, and listen to music! To learn more about this sweet little boy, request his file today!

Meet Evie

Evie is an adorable 2-year-old girl who was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect that she has received surgery for. Evie is active, cute, and loves to play. She has formed an attachment with her teachers and interacts with them very well. Evie loves to give her caretakers and friends kisses and hugs! To learn more about this sweet little girl, request her file today!

Meet Anthony

Anthony is a sweet and active 5-year-old boy who was born with Down syndrome. Anthony is self-independent and very helpful around the orphanage! He always helps clean up. Anthony attends school within the orphanage, and his favorite class is music. He loves to play outside and watch cartoons. To learn more about Anthony, request his file today!

Meet Marissa

Marissa is an adorable 2-year-old girl who was born with Cri-du-chat syndrome and a congenital heart defect, which she received surgery for and recovered well. She has an easy temperament and rarely cries. She loves to be held and cuddled by her caregiver! Marissa has been described as a quiet, obedient, and active little girl who likes to play with other kids. To learn more her and watch her video, request her file today!

Meet Sam

Sam is a precious 6-year-old boy who is delayed compared to his peers, but he would thrive in the care of his forever family! He is shy around strangers but is very cuddly and affectionate with his caregivers. He feels very secure when he’s in their care and laughs happily. Sam is very active and likes to play chase with other kiddos in the orphanage. To learn more about Sam, request his file today!

Meet Caroline

Caroline is an adorable one-year-old girl who has Down syndrome. She has been described as a quiet, obedient, and extroverted little girl who has a striking smile and good temperament. Caroline loves to hug and cuddle with her caregiver! She loves uplifting music and she starts to smile and dance whenever she hears it playing. To learn more Caroline and watch her video, request her file today!

Meet Hudson

Hudson is a precious 1-year-old boy who was born with Down syndrome and a heart defect that he has received surgery for. Hudson is a cheerful, happy, and enthusiastic little boy. He loves to interact with others and frequently wants to be in the center of all the action! He likes to give hugs and smile at his caretakers. He is especially fond of toys with music. To learn more about Hudson, request his file today!

Resources

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11 New Kids on the Block

Meet Nina

Nina is an adorable 1-year-old girl who was born with cleft lip and palate and a heart defect. However, she has received surgery for the heart defect. She’s friendly and loves to play with people and listen to music. Nina is currently babbling and saying phrases like “bye bye!” To learn more about Nina, request her file today!

Meet Noah

Noah is a precious 2-year-old boy who was born with a congenital heart defect, but he has received surgery for it. He’s slightly introverted with strangers but loves to play with other kids and is close with his caretakers. Noah is developing on track and can speak short phrases. To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Sydney

Sydney is a sweet 6-year-old girl who is cognitively delayed compared to her peers but doesn’t have other medical needs. Sydney gets along with other kids very well and likes to play games with them. She’s loves to read, listen to music, and participate in musical performances. To learn more about Sydney, request her file today!

Meet Jonathan

Jonathan is an adorable 9-year-old healthy boy who’s doing really well! He’s obedient, honest, and kind. His favorite activities are reading, drawing, singing, skating, and playing games. Jonathan is very social and likes to help care for younger kids. To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Stella

Stella is a cheerful 4-year-old girl who was born with cerebral palsy and is delayed compared to her peers. However, she’s fairly self-sufficient. Stella is well-liked by everyone in her orphanage and is always smiling! She loves to watch TV, listen to music, and dance. To learn more about Stella, request her file today!

Meet Corbin

Corbin is an adorable 4-year-old boy who was born with CHD but has had surgery for it. He’s doing very well cognitively and doesn’t appear to be delayed. He’s doing well in kindergarten and likes to sing and paint. He’s active, polite, and enjoys playing with other kids. To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Bailey

Bailey is a lovely 6-year-old girl who was born with dislocated hip joints. However, we are requesting updated information about her. Sometimes her caretakers ask her, “Are you close to me?” and Bailey will reply by smiling and pointing at her chest, meaning that they’re close to her heart! To learn more about Bailey, request her file today!

Meet Austin

Austin is a precious 2-year-old boy who was born with finger deformities, but he’s received surgery for them. Austin is outgoing, tolerant, super sweet, and has a positive attitude! He’s very active, and his favorite things to do are dance or play with other kids. To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Collin

Collin is a lively 8-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with hypospadias. He’s self-independent and is doing very well in school. Collin is sociable and likes to play on the playground and play sports with his friends. He’s cheerful and always has a big smile on his face when he dances to music. To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Shelby

Shelby is an adorable 8-year-old girl who was born with cerebral palsy, but she is receiving rehabilitation services and can complete activities by herself. She’s described as introverted but loves to play with her peers. Her favorite activities are playing catch and playing with dolls. To learn more about Shelby, request her file today!

Meet Ruby

Ruby is a sweet 5-year-old girl who was born with cerebral palsy. However, she’s cognitively on track and is receiving daily rehabilitation. She’s outgoing and gets along great with other kids in the orphanage. She’s always smiling and laughing, and she loves to dance. Ruby has a bubbly personality and would bring joy to your family. To learn more about her, request her file today!

Resources

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Ben Is GWCA’s New Sponsored Star

Meet our new Sponsored Star for February, Ben! He’s a sweet 11-year-old boy who’s still waiting to find his forever family. We’ve advocated for him previously, and he’s been in our hearts ever since we heard his story. Ben is an amazing and fun-loving kiddo who would make a fantastic son or brother, and we hope that he will be adopted soon.

He was born with very mild clubbed feet, but that hasn’t kept him from being very active and outgoing! He loves playing with other kids and can walk and run on his own. Ben is very sociable, bright, and intelligent. Watch this video of Ben demonstrating his talents!

As our Sponsored Star for February, he has a $2,000 grant available towards his adoption fees! Could you or someone you know be Ben’s forever family? If you’re interested in learning more about Ben, visit our photo listing or contact our matching specialists today!

What is a Sponsored Star?

On the 1st of each month, Great Wall China Adoption will feature one of our Waiting Children as our monthly “Sponsored Star!” That child will be provided a $2,000 grant towards their adoption fees while they are a Sponsored Star, which lasts for two months. Each of the kiddos selected is 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 precious 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!

Resources

– Learn more about China adoption
– Visit the Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Contact a China adoption specialist

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7 New Kids on the Block

Meet Lily

Lily is a sweet 11-year-old girl who was born with cerebral palsy. However, she’s made amazing progress with her language and physical abilities and can complete self-care tasks. Lily is very polite, cheerful, and kindhearted. She loves helping people as much as she can and is a positive kiddo. To learn more about Lily, request her file today!

Meet Daniel

Daniel is a 7-year-old boy who was born with differences in his legs. However, he is able to walk on his own and is cognitively on target for his age. He’s an active and talkative kiddo who likes helping his caretakers. Click here to watch a video of Daniel singing! To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Brianna

Brianna is an adorable 4-year-old girl who was born with cerebral palsy and esotropia in her eyes.  However, she’s in daily rehabilitation and has greatly improved her strength. She’s also working hard on learning to talk. Brianna loves going to class, and she’s very active there. She enjoys playing with toys, making crafts, and drawing. Brianna can be shy, but she gets along well with all the other kiddos. To learn more about her, request her file today!

Meet Joey

Joey is a darling 3-year-old boy who was born with anal atresia and some differences of sex development. However, he can walk on his own and has great fine motor skills. Joey is extroverted, active, and bright. He is a sweet kiddo who would thrive with the care of a loving family. To learn more about him, request his file today!

Meet Laney

Laney is a precious 3-year-old girl who has Apert syndrome and some limb differences. However, she received reconstructive surgery and has made a fantastic recovery! She’s an active, charming, and lovely girl who’s extremely affectionate. Laney loves to be held and hugged by her caretakers. She’s hitting all of her developmental milestones and is very bright. To learn more about her, request her file today!

Meet Annie

Annie is a cute 3-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy. However, she has good flexibility and is working on walking. She adapts well to new environments and has a healthy attachment to her caretaker. Annie loves to play with toys and listen to music. She gets along well with the other kiddos in the orphanage. To learn more about her, request her file today!

Meet Melanie

Melanie is a precious 4-year-old girl who has cerebral palsy. However, she receives daily rehabilitation and can stand or walk with support. Melanie is a shy, cheerful girl who likes to listen to music and play with toys. She’s also made a healthy attachment to her caretaker. To learn more about her, request her file today!

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