I Found My Family

Pan Xia Fei 2This week we are SO incredibly excited to announce that a family has begun submitting their paperwork to welcome this beautiful girl into their family FOREVER! We are so happy for her and her new family, and we can’t wait for them to come home!

China Waiting Child Adoption

Our China adoption program allows families to be matched with Special Focus children at any point in the process, making the adoption journey as a whole relatively quick! We receive new children’s files each week, both from our orphanage partnerships and from the Shared List, which provides our families with the opportunity to review multiple files until they find a child that they feel would be a good fit. Contact our China matching specialists or visit our photo listing to learn more about the kids that we’re currently advocating for!

– Visit the China Waiting Child Photo Listing
– Contact our China Matching Specialists
– Learn more about the China adoption process

Read More

 

 

Meet Gloria!

Photo 1Gloria is an amazing 11-year old girl that has stolen the hearts of the staff here at GWCA! We have advocated for her twice before using the name “Katie” but have sadly not been able to find her family yet. Even when she is not on our agency’s listing, we think of this special girl often and are always hoping that she has found her family.

Gloria’s bright smile, sunny personality, and the love she has for the other kiddos really shows her gentle spirit and huge heart. She has been to the Bring Me Hope camp for two years in a row, making a lasting impact on the volunteers there. Due to her medical need, she has experienced rapid growth in her left leg, which has thankfully been slowed thanks to medication. Doctors recommend amputation as treatment, but due to the fact that her leg did not grow at all in 2016 it does not need to be pursued at this time. She thankfully has no pain in her leg and her mobility has not been restricted in any way. She loves to run, jump, swim, dance, ride a bike and do all the things the other kiddos in her orphanage can do! She is incredibly intelligent and talkative, even learning some English at the camps she attends! The more that we learn about this sweet girl the more we fall in love with her. She would thrive with the love and care of a family to call her own, and it is our hope to be able to find that for her! Her resilient spirit and bright and happy personality truly make her one of a kind.

Gloria’s Bring Me Hope camp counselors shared the following with us:

Gloria is a very special girl. I have been blessed to be her volunteer for two years at Bring Me Hope Camp, and can truly attest to the fact that she positively affects the people she comes in contact with. Her smile is absolutely beautiful, and her laughter is contagious. It has been a joy to get to know her!

During camp, Gloria especially loved painting nails. Hers, our camp director’s, other kids, a boys…it didn’t matter! 🙂 It was a joy to watch her carefully concentrate on making everyone’s nails beautiful. She spoke clear English as she asked people: “What color? Blue, ok!” The simple activity of nail painting truly showed her high intelligence. She not only spoke many English words, but was also so neat and proper in the nail painting.

Gloria’s special need is left foot hyperblastosis, which means that her left leg grows much faster than the rest of her body. That’s it! She is still fully capable of self care, running, and even graceful dancing. I feel that her biggest special need is for a caring Mama and Baba to lovingly and genuinely tell her how beautiful and amazing she is. We would always tell her that she was beautiful at camp, but she would respond with an adamant “No!” She needs to know how gorgeous she is, inside and out. Gloria is an awesome little girl, and I can’t wait to see her in her forever family.

Gloria lights up the lives of all those who surround her, and we’re so hopeful that she will find her forever family very soon. If you’re interested in learning more about Gloria or reviewing her file, visit our Waiting Child photo listing or contact our China matching specialists today!

 

Read More

 

 

7 New Kids on the Block

1487119605

Ava is an adorable little girl who is 5 years old! Her left ear formed a little differently and she has some language development delays. Ava doesn’t appear to have any mobility delays; she can walk freely, go up and down the stairs on her own and her fine motor skills seem to be on target! She can put blocks into a cup, can stack blocks, turn the pages in a book and draw using a pencil. Ava loves to laugh out loud and be active with her peers! She is described as being extroverted, happy and quick in reaction! Ava’s favorite activity is looking at picture books and playing games. If you are interested in reviewing Ava’s medical information, contact GWCA today!

LillianMeet Lillian! Lillian is a 3 year old who has post-operative hydrocephalus. Her file is slightly outdated so GWCA is currently trying to get an update on her condition. She was almost 2 years old when her file was prepared. At that time she had some mobility delays in regards to her walking and crawling abilities. She knew her name and knew how to respond to someone calling her. Lillian is described as being quiet and obedient! She is the happiest when her caretaker is cuddling her. Her file mentions that she is very cute little girl that everyone loves! Please contact one of our matching specialists if you’d like to review Lillian’s medical file!1487117292Meet George! George is an adorable little guy who is 1 1/2 years old. He has post-operative anal atresia and post-operative transverse colostomy. His file indicates he also has some slight muscular tension in his arms and legs. George is very fond of dancing along to music and clapping his hands! He is described as being a happy and cheerful kiddo. George is receiving rehabilitation services and is improving! His caretakers believe he will continue to make progress. George can hold his head up while lying on his stomach, can roll from supine to prone position on his own, and can easily grasp toys in both hands. He can locate the direction of sounds, visually follows moving objects and laughs aloud. George is smiley and cute and we hope we can find him his forever family soon! Contact one of our matching specialists today if you’d like to review his medical file! AbbyMeet Abby! Abby is an adorable kiddo who is 8 years old. She was born with mild cerebral palsy and some language delays. Abby can communicate with language, eat and dress herself independently and can walk alone. She has been receiving rehabilitation training since 2014 and seems to have made a lot of progress! She is described as having a ready smile, is cheerful and has strong self-esteem! Her file indicates she is closest to her caretaker and other children her age in the institution. She is extroverted, fond of playing games and gets along very well with other kiddos! GWCA is currently trying to request some updated information on Abby. Contact one of our matching specialists if you’d like to learn more about her! Dylan Meet Dylan! Dylan is a precious little guy who will be turning 2 this March. He was born with hypospadias, which he has already had a surgery for. He also has a mild heart condition as well as a possible hemorrhage behind his eye. He appears to have some developmental delays overall as a result of growing up in an orphanage environment, but his caregivers say that he is doing well physically and is getting stronger each day! He loves to smile and spend time with his caretakers. If you’d like to learn more about Dylan, please reach out to Great Wall!EleanorEleanor is a sweet little girl from China that just turned 5 years old. Eleanor’s left ear looks slightly different than some of her friends, and it is possible that because of hearing issues in her left ear she has some language and developmental delays. Eleanor has been living with a foster family since she was one and a half years old, so she has been receiving better one-on-one attention and care than she would be if she was in an orphanage.

Eleanor likes playing with other children in her neighborhood and she enjoys playing outside. She enjoys dancing and will happily clap her hands she hears music. Eleanor gets along well with her foster family and she likes to help out with simple chores around the house. She is very sweet and when a guest comes to the house, she will carry a chair to the table so they can sit down, and she will wave goodbye to the guest when they leave. Eleanor can point out the different parts of her body when asked. Her speech and cognitive abilities have increased greatly since being in a foster family. Eleanor doesn’t currently have a very large vocabulary, but she understands what other people are saying to her and she can follow directions.

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

 DonnaDonna is a cute little girl from China that is 7 years old. Donna was diagnosed with CHD (VSD, aortic stenosis, two of the abnormal aortic valve, PDA, PHT) and it sounds like she has not yet had surgery for it. Donna likes music and likes to dance to the rhythm. She likes to play with lots of different toys. Her favorite foods are bread, rice and black sesame. Donna’s file is a little bit older, so we are working hard to get updated information on Donna.

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

Read More

 

 

Uber Helps GWCA Host Family

UberWhen a family is adopting, they will go above and beyond to make sure their little one gets home to them as soon as possible, and safe and sound! The Rhodes Family is the perfect example of a family that is working hard in super creative ways to bring their family together. Doug Rhodes started driving for Uber so that he could earn extra income for his family’s adoption of their 10 year old boy from China. Uber has agreed to help these orphan warriors by matching donations made to the Rhodes Family for up to $5,000! GWCA would like to thank Uber for supporting these orphan warriors and congratulate the Rhodes family on their hard work to get their little guy home! Keep it up! Read their story here!

The Rhodes Family hosted in the Summer of 2016 – we can’t wait to see them bring their little boy home forever!

Read More

 

 

I Found My Family!

Matched1Hooray! 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!

It is so incredible to watch the spark that ignites when our advocate families put their mind to finding a child a loving family. This little guy will be joining a family of these Orphan Warriors, who have not only adopted through our China adoption program in the past, but who have hosted multiple kiddos in order to help them find families of their own. We are so excited for him and his new family, and we are looking forward to following their journey as they work towards bringing him home.

Congratulations from all of us at GWCA and CAN!

GWCA’s Waiting Children

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!

Read More

 

 

Connecting Hearts

1This adorable little lady recently received one of our Connecting Hearts care packages from the family that she’s matched with, and it certainly put a smile on her face! What a wonderful way for her family to remind her that she is so loved and that they’re working hard to bring her home forever. Happy birthday from all of us at GWCA and CAN!

Sending a care package is such an incredible way for our families to help their kiddos celebrate an occasion or let them know that someone in the world is thinking of them. If you’re currently in the process of adopting form China and you’re interested in learning how you can send your child a care package, visit our website or contact GWCA today!

Read More

 

 

February Is Heart Month

romposal

February is American Heart Awareness Month, a time when the country comes together to spread awareness about the dangers of heart disease and show support for those with heart conditions such as CHD. Heart Month is particularly significant to those of us in the adoption community, because many Waiting Children around the world are without families due to medical conditions such as CHD.

What is CHD?

Congenital Heart Defects (CHD) occur when a child is born with an abnormally structured heart. In many cases, CHD presents itself as one or more holes in the walls between the heart’s chambers, an issue with the vessels, or incomplete development of a portion of the heart, which can compromise the heart’s ability to pump blood to deliver oxygen to the tissues of the body.

Treatment

While most cases of CHD are treatable with medication and/or surgery, many of the children in our programs are in situations where they may not have access to the treatment they need. That’s where our Orphan Warriors come in! We’ve seen  countless families open their homes to children with heart conditions, and it’s incredible how quickly we can see improvement in a child’s condition once they’re home and receiving the treatment they need.

Down Syndrome and CHD

Although our matching specialists advocate for kids with a wide variety of special needs, the need most commonly seen among children that we advocate for — particularly in our China Waiting Child adoption program — is Down syndrome. While it’s not always the case, it’s common for children with Down syndrome to also have CHD.

GWCA is currently advocating for many children with Down syndrome. If this is a need that your family is open to, visit our China Waiting Child photo listing to learn how you can be matched with one of these incredible kiddos!

GWCA and CAN’s Waiting Children

Our China and CAN matching specialists are currently advocating for several kids with heart conditions. If your family is interested in learning how you can be matched with one of these incredible kiddos, visit our Waiting Child photo listings or contact our matching specialists today!

Read More

 

 

Lena Yi Yi’s Journey – An ‘Older Child Adoption’ Story

We LOVE receiving updates from families that have come home. Not only is it incredible to see how far a child can come in a short amount of time with the love and support of a family, but it’s a great reminder that adoption is so much more than the process we help families through each and every day.

Lena Yi Yi was adopted at the age of 12, and welcomed into a loving family. Now, six years later, she is absolutely thriving, living out her dreams and exploring her passion for dance! Here is an update that we received from Lena Yi Yi’s proud mom:

unnamed (4)Lena Yi Yi will be 19 on March 28th. It goes fast when you adopt them at an older age. Overall we have had a smooth ‘older child’ adoption. Knowing that she bonded with her Chinese adopted family from very early infancy I know helped. She’s very much fit into our family. She is actually so much like her dad in so many ways that except for her appearance one would not know she’s not our biological child. She is still home-schooled and will graduate either in late May or early August depending on how fast she completes her work.

She speaks English well but still struggles with reading and writing English although it’s improving slowly but surely. She is also still 100% fluent in Chinese. I had her take one semester with a native Chinese teacher, who immigrated to the US from China and settled in Nevada. This woman is a certified teacher and the super advanced Chinese lessons were via Skype. The teacher said Lena was very intelligent and read quite well and grasped new concepts in advanced Chinese very quickly.

Lena Yi Yi’s goals after graduation range from continuing to improve in English so she can work as a translator, to being a missionary and work in orphanages all over the world, and to continue training in dance and work in a Christian ballet company.  She is applying to be a part of Wichita State University’s International Intensive English program. Although she’s a US citizen and this program is normally for international students, they do occasionally work with US citizen’s where English isn’t their first language. Regardless of all of her other goals, Brad and I agree this would give her a huge boost in anything she tries to do in life.

Speaking of dance, this has been Lena Yi Yi’s passion her entire time here. Ballet is her favorite although she has also trained in jazz, tap, contemporary, and has been a part of a studio ‘funk team’ and was selected to be a part of a competitive dance team in Wichita. This year she was chosen to be a part of the Nutcracker in Wichita. I am sending an article that ran in our small town newspaper about that.  I am also sending some pictures and Facebook stories.

I feel her story is a good one to share as I know many with older child adoption have had struggles. We are thankful for all the help we had at Great Wall as well as that things really have gone pretty smoothly for us.

If your family is interested in learning how you can adopt an older child through China’s Waiting Child adoption program, visit GWCA’s Waiting Child photo listing or contact our matching specialists today!

Share YOUR Story with GWCA today by sending it to ana@gwca.org!

Resources:

Read More

 

 

5 New Kids Are Waiting

AlfieMeet Alfie! Alfie is a precious kiddo who is about to turn three years old. He was born with Down Syndrome and polydactyly of his left hand. Alfie is a happy, sweet kiddo who would thrive with the love and affection of a forever family! He is able to sit up with assistance and appears to be getting stronger each day with the help of his caregivers. He is not verbal at this time, but he can clearly express his needs (such as hunger, thirst). He loves listening to music and described as being very close to his caretakers! If you’d like to learn more about Alfie, please reach out to Great Wall!

GloriaMeet Gloria! Gloria is an amazing 11-year old girl in need of a family to call her own. Gloria’s left leg grows at a much faster rate than the rest of her body, but it doesn’t stop her from running, jumping, swimming, and being an active and happy kiddo. She has a bright and beautiful personality and would thrive with the love of a forever family. A volunteer with Bring Me Hope had the chance to spend some time with Gloria, and they wrote about their experience with this amazing girl:

“Gloria is a very special girl. I have been blessed to be her volunteer for two years at Bring Me Hope Camp, and can truly attest to the fact that she positively affects the people she comes in contact with. Her smile is absolutely beautiful, and her laughter is contagious. It has been a joy to get to know her!

During camp, Gloria especially loved painting nails. Hers, our camp director’s, other kids, a boys…it didn’t matter! It was a joy to watch her carefully concentrate on making everyone’s nails beautiful. She spoke clear English as she asked people: “What color? Blue, ok!” The simple activity of nail painting truly showed her high intelligence. She not only spoke many English words, but was also so neat and proper in the nail painting.

Gloria’s special need is left foot hyperblastosis, which means that her left leg grows much faster than the rest of her body. That’s it! She is still fully capable of self care, running, and even graceful dancing. I feel that her biggest special need is for a caring Mama and Baba to lovingly and genuinely tell her how beautiful and amazing she is. We would always tell her that she was beautiful at camp, but she would respond with an adamant “No!” She needs to know how gorgeous she is, inside and out. Gloria is an awesome little girl, and I can’t wait to see her in her forever family.”

We have incredible advocacy and update information for Gloria that we would love to share! Please reach out to Great Wall if you would like to learn more about this special girl!

TommyTommy is a precious little boy from China that is about to turn 3 years old. Tommy’s primary diagnosis is thalassemia (β type) for which he needs blood transfusions every one to two months. Tommy has good mobility abilities and good fine motor skills as well. He can follow simple instructions like throwing away trash when he is asked by his caretaker. Like many little boys his age he does not always like sharing his toys. He likes to build towers with blocks when he is playing and he really likes playing ball games. Tommy is speaking simple words and phrases. He knows what the different parts of his face are and he will point to them when his caretaker asks him to identify his nose, eyes, mouth, ears, etc. Tommy knows how to put his shoes on by himself. He gets upset when he doesn’t get enough cuddles from his caretakers. When Tommy goes to sleep at night he usually sucks on his fingers.

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

KevinMeet Kevin! He is a 7 year old boy who was born with Cerebral Palsy. Kevin is a kiddo with lots of personality. He is in the Sunshine School in his orphanage and has made a ton of progress since admission. He can follow his teacher’s instructions, count to 100, knows his colors and different types of food and can talk about the months on the calendar! He is described as being a positive kiddo who can get along with all of his classmates. Kevin receives rehabilitation training for his Cerebral Palsy and seems to have made a lot of progress. His hands and feet are much more flexible than before and can could put on his socks and shoes independently. Kevin has improved from relying solely on his crawling abilities to being able to run! Contact one of our matching specialists today if you’d like to review his medical file! LizzieMeet Lizzie! She is an adorable 2-year old girl with Down Syndrome! Lizzie is a happy, giggly kiddo who loves to spend time with her caretakers. She can stand and walk with assistance and has excellent fine motor skills. She loves to cuddle and hug her caregivers! If you would like to learn more about Lizzie, please reach out to Great Wall! Read More

 

 

Eight Months Home – Learning Our Dance

YourdonFamily-2016.10.27-NealDieker-278It was eight months ago today that we brought our daughter home and began our life as a family of nine. I will never forget the day we met that little girl in the pink dress. The look on Naomi’s face during those first moments together is etched in my memory. She was so brave and clearly intrigued by us. At the same time, she had the “blank look” I have come to recognize as a sign that she is overwhelmed and nervous.

You see, 8 months ago, we were total strangers. I was already in love with her or at least the idea of her. She had seen our photographs but could not be fully prepared for what was to come. We were instantly mommy and daughter, all the while still strangers to one another. The dance of attachment was beginning for us but we were nearly four years late to the party. I didn’t know her cries, her looks or her needs. When you bring home a new baby from the hospital, you study them. You ask yourself countless times a day, what does she need? I found that the same was true for our little Naomi. I needed to become a student of her, study her sounds and her actions. I would love to tell you that I did this perfectly but I did not. There were times we were both in tears from sheer frustration. There were times I was not as patient as I should have been and lost sight of what was really important. I have had to apologize and ask her for forgiveness more times than I like to think about.

The beautiful thing about a family is that we just keep loving and moving forward. There have been countless victories in these eight months, reasons to celebrate and solidify the bond that we have created. We parent our seven children in a way that gives us the great gift of time. We home school so there is no need to rush off in separate directions each morning. Granted, Daddy has to go to work but we are all excited when he walks back through that door! Learning the rhythm of our family has been accelerated for Naomi as she watches the way I interact with all her siblings on a minute by minute basis. Giving her a solid foundation of what family means is our priority. We know that her little heart still has plenty of healing to do. A child who was abandoned at the approximate age of two certainly needs time to feel safe and secure. She asks me often, “Momma, gonna go bye bye?” I rarely leave the house without my children but the thought of being separated from Momma is still unnerving for our little girl. On the rare occasion that I leave the kids with Daddy or Grandparents, I remind Naomi, “Momma comes back. Momma always comes back.” We have a little song we sing with these words. It is an important ritual for us.

YourdonFamily-2016.10.27-NealDieker-178Naomi’s big sister, Izabella, is just a few months older than her. Izabella was our only girl for four years. We had no idea how their bonding would go but we prayed fervently that they would be a gift to one another. Their relationship has exceeded our wildest hopes. I will never forget one of their first nights together, Izabella hugged Naomi tight, looked at me and said, “Mom, thank you so much for my sister!” They take great joy in spending time together. They are little mommas to their baby dolls. They love to color and make crafts together. They sit next to each other for every meal. They are taking a weekly ballet class together. The sight of them in their little tutus is more than this momma’s heart can stand. They attend the same art class and story time class at our home school co-op. They are precious little shopping buddies and love it when we have girl dates. They often say, “girl power!” when they accomplish a difficult task. I am grateful to have a front row seat to watch their relationship develop. A sister is truly a gift.

YourdonFamily-2016.10.27-NealDieker-260We have been amazed by Naomi’s patience and kindness with all her siblings. She has learned to stick up for herself when she needs to. We think this a terrific sign of how comfortable she has become in her family. Her adoption was our first experience with adopting out of birth order. Naomi is older than our two youngest sons. They were two years old when she arrived home and she was weeks away from turning four. We felt that Izabella would keep her identity as our oldest daughter and the little boys would keep their identity as our babies. We were right. The transition has been seamless.

Every night when I tuck Naomi in bed she says, “Momma, sing Jesus!” She snuggles her teddy bear and baby doll and settles in for this comforting nightly routine. I rub her back and sing this song, “Jesus loves Naomi this I know for the bible tells me so. Little ones to him belong. They are weak but he is strong. Yes, Jesus love Naomi. Yes, Jesus loves Naomi. Yes, Jesus loves Naomi. The bible tells me so.” Then I lay my hand still on her back and whisper a prayer in her ear to the King of Kings. I thank him for her life. I praise him for the restoration he has done and will continue to do. I ask him to continue to bind our hearts together. I pray for her best friend from the orphanage who is happily home with her family. If I forget this part, I am quickly reminded. I ask God to draw her heart to his. I pray that she will grow up to boldly walk in the calling he lays on her heart. I have no doubt his plans for her are great. When I say amen, I kiss her little face and tell both my girls, “Goodnight my princesses.”

In the past eight months, there have been challenges to overcome, memories to make and milestones to celebrate. We are no longer strangers. We are well on our way to forever. Not only do we know the steps to our dance, we are tearing up the dance floor.

Read More