Meet Nathan!

Nathan is an adorable 4 and a half year old boy who is currently living with a foster family in China. He is described as being extroverted, active and happy, and he enjoys spending his time jumping on the trampoline and playing outside with his friends.

Nathan’s cognitive development is on target compared to other kids his age. He has good fine motor skills, and he can follow instructions given by his caretakers.

Nathan has post-operative CHD and post-operative cystostomy. He has normal bowel movements and urination, however, he has to have a urine bag and he wears a diaper since he has not been potty trained yet. Nathan’s file also indicates that he has scoliosis, but it based on a recent update it appears to be minor. If you’re interested in reviewing Nathan’s full file or watching the videos from his recent update, contact info@gwca.org today!

Resources:

– Visit GWCA’s Waiting Child Photo Listing to request Nathan’s file!
–  Contact a China Adoption Specialist
– Learn more about China adoption

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New Kids on the Block

Pax is a sweet little boy from China who recently turned 6 years old. Pax is an optimistic little boy that enjoys the company of others. He is very attached to his caregivers and loves receiving cuddles from them. Pax needed some rehabilitation when he was younger to help him learn to stand and walk, but with hard work and dedication Pax was able to learn how to do this. Pax was born with hydrocephalus, but it is not clear from his file if has received a surgery for a shunt or not. Since Pax’s file is a little out of date, our Great Wall staff is working hard to learn more about him.

If you are interested in reviewing Pax’s full file, please contact the GWCA China Home Finding Team today!

This precious boy’s name is Elijah! Elijah is 8-years old and in need of a home to call his own. He has been diagnosed with thalassemia and siderosis, which refers to a excess of iron that may be effecting his lungs. He was also diagnosed with hydrocephalus, but he received a shunt and has not appeared to need any follow-up treatment. Elijah’s file also indicates that he had a arachnoid cyst, but it appears that he has received surgery for that as well. Elijah is an active, energetic boy who loves to run, jump, ride bicycles, and jump rope. He has a clear language ability and is able to imitate adults and have conversations. He is in school now and is taking courses in Chinese, English, and Mathematics! He can follow instructions well and is even able to sing the Happy Birthday Song in English! He doesn’t always like to do his homework and likes to try to convince his caretakers to get out of it. He is a clever, mischievous little boy who would thrive with the love of a forever family. Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more!Ivette is a lovely little girl from China who just recently turned 4 years old.  Ivette lives with a foster family and is very close to her foster mother.  She gets very happy when she hears music and will get a big smile on her face.  She likes to talk a walk with her foster mother every evening after dinner.  Ivette tends to be more extroverted and outgoing, but she does get a bit shy around strangers.

Ivette was born with cerebral palsy but it doesn’t appear to affect her mobility much.  Ivette can walk on her own, can pick up toys off of the floor and can turn the pages in the book.  Her muscle tension appears to be the same as other children without cerebral palsy.

Ivette cannot speak words currently and only makes sounds.  Ivette does have some cognitive delays and does not appear to understand simple instructions given to her by adults.  She cannot feed herself and she needs an adult to feed her.  Ivette is not potty trained at this time and need an adults help when changing her diapers and getting dressed.

Ivette needs to be adopted by a Forever Family that will help her get the rehabilitation services she needs to learn how to communicate her wants and needs.  Ivette needs a family who will be patient with her as she continues to develop her communication and cognitive abilities.  If you would like to learn more about Ivette, please contact the GWCA China Home Finding Team today!  

**AGING OUT SOON**  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!

This precious kiddo’s name is Gia! Gia is 4-years old and has been diagnosed with Apert Syndrome. Gia also has syndactyly of her hands and feet. She is a precious kiddo who is described by her caregivers as being very active and a lovely little girl. She has attached well to her caretakers and can be shy when meeting strangers. Gia would thrive with the love and affection of a forever family! Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more! Meet Paul! Paul is an amazing 6-year old boy in need of a home to call his own. Paul is fully deaf in his left ear and has moderate hearing impairment in his right. He is an active, extroverted, and intelligent boy. His file indicates that he is not very verbal, but he does a phenomenal job expressing his needs through writing or gestures. He is in school currently and is described as having a very curious mind. He does not have any mobility delays and is very active with his friends at the orphanage. He loves to play on the slide, ride on the rocking horse, and play with puzzles! He’s an incredible child who would thrive with consistent care. Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more!

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I Found My Family!

This week we are thrilled to announce that a family has begun submitting their paperwork to welcome this beautiful girl into their family FOREVER! Our China matching specialists have been advocating for this sweet girl for quite some time, and her radiant smile never fails to brighten our days. We are so incredibly happy that she is now one step closer to coming home. Congratulations from all of us at GWCA and CAN!

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

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An Update on “L”!

Eight months ago we shared a story about a family reuniting with their host kiddo to bring her home forever. It was a reunion that they had been anxiously awaiting from the moment they had to say their goodbyes at the end of the hosting program. Although the family was certainly sad to see their daughter, “L,” return to China after the hosting program, they knew that they would be seeing her again soon as they had already begun submitting their paperwork to adopt her.

Throughout the month that L spent in the United States with the hosting program, she was able to see life outside of her orphanage and experience the love of a family. These experiences ultimately helped to ease their transition transition upon returning home as a family of three. Now, eight months later, L is thriving in her new family! Read our blog below to learn more about L’s transition and the many firsts she’s experienced in the eight months that she’s been home.

Click here to read about L’s journey home!

October

L loves to drive by and point to the EIU castle.  She begged and pleaded to go there and finally got her chance during EIU’s Homecoming.  She got to meet Billy the Panther and go to her first parade.  We visited Tent City and she cheered on the Panthers at her first football game.

We had a special afternoon with Papa Swing and Grandma Barb at Aikman’s Wildlife Adventure in Arcola.  The highlight was the Wagon Tour where we got up close and personal with the animals and even got to feed them.  The zoo is going to seem boring after this special trip.

This was her first Halloween and she enjoyed carving her first pumpkin.  Mommy also visited her school for her classroom Halloween party.

November

By this time, we have gotten our rhythm and routine down.  L is loving going to school and making new friends.  We enjoyed a visit from special friends and L loved all the extra attention. It’s always so great to catch up with good friends!

We visited Santa Claus at the Festival of Trees and enjoyed face painting with Kinsley and Charlie.  We also had a great Thanksgiving with family and friends.

December

L started the month with the Trojet Dance Clinic.  She loves to cheer and dance so it was no surprise that she loved it.  Even now months later, she randomly starts doing dance moves from the routine she learned.

L had been asking to go on a train ride so we obliged by having lunch with Santa on the Polar Express in Monticello.  She asked Santa for a dress because what girl doesn’t want a dress?!  It was a snowy afternoon and really set the mood for the trip.  She was just excited because she got to eat chips in her sack lunch.
L was the star of the Broadway Christian Church Christmas Program.  She sang her heart out and was very enthusiastic about her performance.  She kept up with the hand motions and was also one of the loudest.  Unfortunately, she didn’t know most of the words even after weeks of practicing.  She could sing Jesus very clearly, but that was about it.  Everyone still seemed to enjoy watching it.
Santa Claus found our house for Christmas.  She was very excited about him going up and down our chimney.  He left L a new bicycle.  She was awfully concerned because her bike was too big and she needed a little bike like her best friend’s.  A great ending to our 2016 and fun to see how much she has changed in one year.

January

We started the year by taking L to her first movie at the theater.  She did really well.

Due to the unseasonably warm temperatures, we were able to visit the St. Louis Zoo in January.  She loved visiting all the animals and can’t wait to plan another visit.

L celebrated the 100th day of school and enjoyed dressing up as a “grandma” with all her classmates.

This was our first year celebrating the Chinese New Year.  The holiday fell on Saturday, January 28th.  This was the first day of the Chinese lunar calendar.  CNY 2017 was the year of the Rooster.  We celebrated by making decorations and re-decorating our Christmas Tree, enjoying traditional Chinese food from the Asian market, and reading a few books about the holiday.  We also went to a special event at the Urbana Free Library.
We ended the month with L’s 10th birthday party.  We enjoyed a small party with close family at home.  She enjoyed the special cake [Peppa Pig] that Grandma Barb made for her, unwrapping gifts, and having everyone sing to her.  This girl isn’t shy about being the center of attention.

February

L and Baba enjoyed their first daddy-daughter dance at Broadway Christian Church.  They were a beautiful couple and had a great evening. L’s favorite part was going out to eat for “china food” beforehand.

L loves all things dancing, cheerleading, and gymnastics.  So when we have events that she can participate in, we try to take full advantage.  She is so limber and flexible, we have no doubt that with practice, she will probably excel.  This month she did an EIU cheer clinic and did a beginner gymnastics class through the Recreation Department.

April

As the weather has warmed up, we have spent more and more time outside.  She loves to play bubbles and use sidewalk chalk.  She is working on riding her bicycle but after a couple of falls, she is understandably apprehensive.  She has gotten so much stronger!  We did a fun science experiment where we inflated a balloon by the reaction of vinegar and baking soda.  She has also learned how to play baseball with a wiffle ball and bat.  Her hand-eye coordination has improved so much she learned immediately and gets tons of hits.

We had special visitors came over to play.  She was excited about eating pizza, doing puzzles, playing Barbies, and playing Go Fish. We were so amazed at how far she has come in interacting with other kids, playing, and communicating.  It was an eye-opener for us.  Especially since it had been several months since she had seen them.

We celebrated our first Easter.  She talked about wearing her special dress to church for weeks.  She enjoyed coloring Easter eggs and seeing which colors could be combined to make new colors.  The Easter Bunny found our house and left her a basket with some special treats.  Since she does not like sweets at all, the eggs that she found contained coins and she was very excited about taking them to the bank.  We compromised and she added them to her bank at home.

She also got to attend a birthday party for one of her classmates.  It was held at the Flip Zone.  She was very uneasy around the trampoline, but by the end, she loved it.  She practiced walking on the balance beam and can’t wait to go back.  She has made some great friends in her class and it was fun to watch them play together.

Overall, it is amazing to see how far L has come.  She has lost three baby teeth and has new permanent teeth coming in.  She has gained some weight and is now up to 38 pounds.  She has grown in height, advanced a shoe size, and started to gain muscle strength and fill out.  Her hair is growing and thickening up.  She begs to have long hair.  She loves to put together puzzles, build with Legos, and play Barbies.  Food is still her love language.  She out eats us most days.  She is always open to trying new foods and is such a good eater.  She loves to snuggle with Mommy and Baba.  She is absolutely in love with her “sister” Bessie.  Bessie is our dog and if you remember when she visited last winter, she was absolutely terrified of the dog and screamed bloody murder.  If you have had a recent conversation with her, she probably asked you if you had a dog, what its name is, if it is big or little, and whether it is inside or outside.  If you asked her dog’s name, you likely got the response “B-E-S-S-I-E.”  She really likes to spell the words that she knows.  She is doing great in school and above average in her recognition/reading of sight words.  It makes my heart-swell to hear her read the leveled readers that she brings home.  This girl loves math.  Her vocabulary improves everyday and her spoken English continues to get stronger.  Her handwriting is beautiful and she concentrates so hard to make every letter or number “pretty.”  Astounding progress for a girl who had never been to school, had never used a pencil, put together a puzzle, and whose coloring consisted of scribbling.  She loves to sing along to the radio.  One of her favorites is Hillary Scott’s “Thy Will Be Done.”  She loves to belt out songs in the car and exclaims, “I know this song.”  Still working on the concept that songs are made up of words:)  This girls loves to sleep.  Every Friday night she says “sleep long time” aka let me sleep in.

I’m not sure how we got so lucky for God to choose us to be her parents, but our lives are blessed by her presence every minute of every day.   She fills our lives with joy with her smile, orneriness, and sassy personality.

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5 New Kids Are Waiting!

Caden is a sweet little boy from China that is 5 years old. Caden is described by his caregivers as a very lovely boy that gets along well with other children. Caden is will blow kisses at his caregivers when they walk in and out of the room. Caden likes to play with toys and play games with his friends in the orphanage.

Caden has cerebral palsy, so his lower limbs are a little bit weaker, but he can stand and at the time his file was prepared in 2013 he was learning to walk. Caden’s upper body and limbs appear to be normal and it sounds like he is doing well cognitively. He is a little behind on his language development, but he can understand what his caregivers are saying to him. Caden will wave bye-bye to his caregivers as they leave the room.

Because Caden’s file is a little bit out of date, we are working hard to get more updated information on him.

If you would like to review Caden’s full file, please contract the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall today!

This sweet kiddo’s name is Breccan! Breccan is an 8-year old boy in need of a home to call his own. He was born with hydrocephalus and a meningocele on the base of his skull. Breccan’s caregivers say that he is an active, restless kiddo who loves to play with toys and listen to music. He is a smiley little guy who is described as being very extroverted and lively. He has attached very well to his caregivers and loves to spend time with the other children. His favorite activities include playing with toy cars and being outside! Please reach out to Great Wall if you would like to learn more!This cute kiddo’s name is Deacon! Deacon is 9-years old and is in need of a family to call his own. Deacon was hosted in the United States for one month in December of 2015. Sadly, he still waits to be matched with a family to call his own. Deacon has cognitive and language delays, but he appears to be making incredible progress with the consistent care of his orphanage! His caregivers describe him as kind, helpful, and respectful of others, saying that is playful and loves to make friends with new people. He is very sweet and loves to spend time with his caregivers. Deacon would thrive with the love of a family. Please reach out to Great Wall if you’d like to learn more!

Check out my NEW video! 

Meet Cal! Cal is an amazing 11-year old boy in need of a forever family. He was hosted through our Winter hosting program for one month in December of 2015, but sadly he still waits for a family to call his own. His host family has advocated strongly for this incredible kiddo since he arrived back in China and would love to talk to any interested families further about his time spent in the United States. Cal has differences of sex development and identifies as a boy. He also has possible hydrocephalus, but overall he appears to be on target in regards to his cognitive development. He is a bright, sweet kiddo who would thrive with the consistent care of a family. Here are some words about this amazing boy from the family who hosted him!

Host Mom: “Cal is a bright 9-year-old boy who lives in China. He is in the fourth grade and loves math and science. He is observant and a quick learner. He speaks some English and understands even more. He is very polite and is eager to learn. He flourishes from individualized attention and praise. His favorite pastimes include basketball, soccer and riding bikes. He also loves logic and math games. Cal is very small for his age but is persistent and determined. When he came to stay with his host family, he couldn’t hang onto the monkey bars, much less make it across. After two weeks, he can now do both. He enjoys new experiences and soaks up praise for his accomplishments. He is a reserved child who has a sensitive side but he can become quite animated when he’s excited. He gets along well with other children and enjoys working toward a common goal (building something, puzzles, etc…). He is affectionate little guy who likes to hug. He has amazing potential in a family!”

Host Dad: “From Day One, while reserved Cal had a ‘want’: a want to play football with others, a want to wrestle and a want for us to treat him no differently than the other kids. While small, he loved the physical contact of football, the excitement of being thrown in the air just to get caught, the joy and laughter of being in a human dog pile or having someone watch him while he was riding the bike or skateboard. Joining a family with or without other kids he has a want and a need to be physically active – that is exactly what I would want in a kid joining my family.”

Host Grandmother: “Christmas is a time of family getting together, so I wondered how Cal would feel being with our family. At first, he was a little reserved. But he soon settled in. Cal goes with the flow and just rolls right along. He is a sweet, smart, easygoing, affectionate child.  One night when I was helping get everyone to bed, he came downstairs with arms opened wide to give “Grandpa” a big hug. Another night, after watching me fluff pillows and smooth the sheets for Jessica’s children, he wanted me to do the same for him. He was so delighted over something so minimal. We got him a watch for Christmas. You would have thought it was a year’s pass to Disneyland or SeaWorld when in reality it was just a little inexpensive Spiderman watch. When you have few possessions, even something small is a really big deal.  Frequently from the expression on his face, you could see he was enjoying being with us but was wistful for a family of his own. This is heart wrenching and we have been praying for a family to come forward.”

Please reach out to Great Wall if you would like to learn more about this amazing boy!

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 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, though not as good as most of his peers.  Jacob understandably has a language delay, but he is able to respond to his caregivers when they call his name and ask him to do simple tasks.  Jacob can also say some words and is able to communicate with others. 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 i twas painful.

If Jacob could be adopted by a loving Forever Family and come to the U.S. to get the surgical procedure’s he needs to be able to hear better, there is no telling how far he could go in life!  However he will never get that kind of medical care in China, so he will most likely be unable to hear much and never get much better at his language skills if he stays in China.  Will you be the family who helps Jacob live his life to the fullest?

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

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Post-Adoption Report Day!

POSTED MAY 10, 2017 BY NATIONAL COUNCIL FOR ADOPTION

The Office of Children’s Issues at the U.S. Department of State has declared May 15th Post-Adoption Report Day. It’s an opportunity to highlight the importance that parents who have adopted through intercountry adoption keep their promises and submit post-adoption reports as they committed to during the adoption process.

Here are 3 simple reasons NCFA believes Post-Adoption Reporting matters!

– You promised!
As a part of the adoption process, you were entrusted with the care of your child and promised to share about their future experiences. While it is easy to forget about extra paperwork in the important work of caring for your children, we think keeping your promise to report back on the wellbeing of your child is critically important.

– It’s a great opportunity for reflection.
Post-adoption reports are a good time to do some reflection and assessment. Consider your reporting dates an opportunity, not an obligation.  You can review and celebrate progress and milestones. Take a moment to consider what types of support might help your child (and you!) to grow and thrive. And consider what your goals are for your child and your family between now and the next reporting date. It’s also a terrific time to touch base with your adoption agency or other adoption professionals if you need any support. For some countries, you’re required to connect with your agency at this time anyway. It’s a natural and convenient time to touch base about any questions, concerns, or supports your family might find valuable.

– You’re helping to support future adoptions.
Post-adoption reports are one of the ways countries assess whether children are healthy, safe, and loved as a result of intercountry adoption. This information can be critical to deciding whether future children will have the option to join families through intercountry adoption or might otherwise languish in institutions or other impermanent situations.

So, what exactly is a post-adoption report? While the number and timing of reports required varies, generally the report’s goal is to discuss the child’s development and adjustment to a new family, home, and country. It’s important to pay special attention to the specific requirements in the country a child is adopted from. The type of information, how it should be assessed (through an agency or by parents themselves), and how it should be submitted can vary widely from country to country. Below, we’ve listed some basic information on several countries reporting requirements. If you have specific questions about what your reporting requirements are, we encourage you to reach out to your adoption service provider to learn more. Department of State also provides country specific information and can be contacted if you need more information.

Post-Adoption Report Requirements

We aren’t listing in detail all the country requirements, but wanted to give examples of some common countries of origin and their general guidelines, we’ve also linked through to more specific information at Department of State for each country. Of course, the best way to get information on what is required for your adoption is always to contact your adoption service provider and confirm what was required by the country at the time of your adoption and any other requirements the agency might have that you agreed to during the adoption process.

Bulgaria: 4 reports required. One every six months after adoption for first two years.

China: 6 reports required. Six months after adoption and at 1,2,3,4, and 5 years after adoption. First 3 reports must be prepared by the social workers who prepared the homestudy. Families may write last three reports themselves.

Haiti: 7 post-adoption reports are typically required. The first 4 must be completed with the adoption service provider at 6, 12, 18, and 24 months after adoption. The last 3 reports at moths 36, 48, and 60 may be submitted directly to IBESR by adoptive parents.

To find the requirements for the country you’re working with, you can search here or contact our adoption specialists today!

 

 

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My Heroes in Disguise – GWCA’s First Adoptee Shares Her Story

Shortly after GWCA first opened its doors in 1996, Samantha was one of three adoptees to come home with from China with GWCA’s very first travel group. Now, nearly twenty one years later, she’s studying in college and looking at all of the exciting options her future could hold. We asked Samantha to share her perspective on life as an adoptee, her connection to China, and the impact that her incredible family has had on helping her become the person she is today:

They say the best gifts are the ones money can’t buy, and I’m learning each day how much truth is in that statement. Appreciate the people who are genuine, kind, supportive, and who will love you no matter what. Twenty one years ago, I was granted God’s greatest miracle – a family.

Hello to anyone who is reading this! My name is Samantha. I turned twenty one years old this past February, and was born in Lishui, China. In 1996, Snow Wu established what you know as Great Wall China Adoption. Who knew one woman was about to change the lives of many orphaned children like mine? I was the first child to be adopted at ten months old from the Great Wall of China Adoption Agency along with two other girls, Meghan and Rachel, back in 1996. Life in the United States has truly been a blessing, and I owe it all to God and the people he’s put into my life.

I was adopted by a family that has been able to provide beyond a child’s basic needs. My parents, Scott and Angela, weren’t able to have children of their own. They prayed that one day they would have a family. God answered their prayers, and led them to adoption. Never in a million years did they think that adoption would be the route they would take. Of course they were scared, but there wasn’t anything more they wanted than to have a family. With a strong faith and the help of Snow Wu, their dreams finally came true. They flew across the world to find me. Four years later, they went back to China, and adopted my brother, Alexander.

Ever since I was little, my parents have always encouraged my brother and I to try new things and put ourselves out there; I don’t remember a time where we weren’t involved in some type of physical activities. My greatest accomplishment related to sports was when I decided to join competitive gymnastics at four years old. At eleven years old, I ranked twelfth in Texas for my division. I endured many long hours, days, weeks, months, and years of hard work to accomplish the success that I did at such a young age (4 ½ + hrs. a day).  I was not even in middle school at the time and learned to balance my academics, social life, and my extracurricular activities. After I ranked in the state I decided to leave competitive gymnastics and try other sports. I was able to play competitive volleyball, basketball, softball, pole-vault, tennis, track and field, and dance. I was honored to be named one the Silver Dancers in high school, whose team has ranked five consecutive years at the annual Nationals Competition. I’m so blessed for all of the people I’ve met along the way and the memories I’ve made so far. Through everything, my parents have made it a priority to be involved in me and my brother’s lives. Since day one, they have always been our biggest cheerleaders out there.

We were privileged to attend private school for the majority of our lives, where we grew in our spiritual faith and met people who would serve as a positive influence in our lives. Each year we are committed to going on a family trip. I’ve been extremely lucky to explore different cities, states, countries, and continents all around the world. I love travelling, hiking, going to concerts, shopping, interior design (DIY projects), hanging out with friends, blogging, and fitness. I’m currently in college where I am double majoring in Business Marketing and Public Relations, and have made the Dean’s List two years in a row. I plan on either becoming a wedding planner who focuses on destination weddings or being heavily involved in corporate event planning/sports entertainment.

We live in America, where dreams come true. If you’re scared of adoption, don’t be. I wouldn’t be the person who I am today, if it weren’t for the greatness of God, my family, and Great Wall China Adoption. Family doesn’t necessarily mean you’re related by blood. The people who will love you on your best days and even more on your worst days are considered family to me. My parents have hearts of gold, and will forever be my heroes. I know that whatever obstacles life throws my way that my parents will be there to support my brother and I, and they’ll have our backs like no one else. I’ll forever be grateful for my parents pushing us to be the best we can be, and teaching us to live a Christ like life every day. They truly inspire me like no one else I have ever met, and have taught me to stay true to who I am no matter what. I’m a strong believer that even though life can seem scary and unpredictable, everything happens for a reason. God has a journey for each and every one of us, so trust that he will guide you to the path you’re meant to be on. For my parents, their paths sent them across the globe, to find what they were yearning for, which was a family.

People ask me all of the time if I would want to meet my biological parents, and my response is always the same. The people who’ve raised me since I was ten months old are my parents, they’re all I’ve ever known, and having them in my life is all I really need. I wouldn’t trade them for the world, and will forever appreciate everything they’ve done for our family. Thank you to God, Snow Wu, my parents, mentors, and my lifelong friendships I’ve established in America. I hope someday I can leave an imprint on somebody else’s life like they have all made on mine.

If you’re interested in learning how you can begin your journey with GWCA’s China adoption program, contact our matching specialists or visit our Waiting Child photo listing today!

Resources

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

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5 New Kids on the Block

Dahlia is a sweet little girl from China that is 5 years old. Dahlia is described as having normal physical and mental development. Dahlia can speak in full sentences and understands how to follow her caregivers instructions. Dahlia can walk, jump and go up and down stairs on her own. When Dahlia gets upset she will be comforted by getting hugs from her caregivers.

Dahlia has Thalassemia B type and has a slightly enlarged liver. Other than that she seems to be doing pretty well overall.

If you would like to learn more about Dahlia, you can contact the Great Wall China Adoption Home Finding Team by requesting this child’s full file on the Waiting Child photo listing or by calling #512.323.9595.

Click Here to Watch one of Dahlia’s Videos!

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!

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 on the Waiting Child photo listing or by calling #512.323.9595 today!

Click Here to Watch one of Isaiah’s Videos!

Xander is a precious little boy from China who is 10 years old. Xander is described as very intelligent and he is very curious. Xander makes good grades in school. Xander loves writing and drawing and his artwork is hung all over his school. He is very well behaved and loves helping others and has a strong sense of empathy. He is happy to help his caregivers with the chores. Xander is living at the school during the week and a foster home on the weekend. Xander is very energetic and enjoys playing with others. Xander is very fond of music and loves to dance.

Xander has partial hearing loss but he can hear. His right ear has better hearing than his left ear. He can understand what others are saying by listening when they talk very loudly and also by noticing people’s mouths moving and their body language. Xander received a hearing aide in October 2010 and his hearing greatly improved. He has since been able to communicate much more and his language ability has increased dramatically. Xander asks how and why questions and is very observant in school. Xander can also read very and write. His hearing and speaking continues to improve all the time.

Xander’s file is very thorough and gives a lot of great details about his personality, schooling, his hearing and speaking skills and his personal life. If you would like to view Xander’s full file, please contact the Chine Home Finding Team at GWCA today!

Katrina is a lovely little girl from China that is 12 years old.  Katrina is described as being extroverted and energetic.  Katrina has been living with a foster family since 2008, so she is most likely receiving better one-on-one care than she would if she were living in an orphanage.  She has bonded well with her foster family and gets along well with others.

Katrina has been diagnosed as being developmentally and cognitively delayed.  However she was later diagnosed with having a significant hearing impairment, which might be why she was originally considered to be so delayed, because they did not take into consideration that she was unable to hear what was being said around her.

Katrina will need a Forever Family who is willing to take a lot of time helping her with language skills and social skills.    Katrina has a lot of potential to grow and thrive if she can be adopted by a family who can give her the time and attention that she needs.

If you are interested in learning more about Katrina, please contact the Great Wall China Adoption Home Finding Team by calling #512.323.9595 or requesting this child’s file to review.

 

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The Day I Met You: Caseworkers Watch Adoption Journeys Come Full Circle

Meeting the Children of GWCA and CAN

When working with children that need our advocacy, meeting them in person is truly one of the most life-changing experiences. From the moment that you hold them in your arms, your heart breaks for them and you know you have to do everything in your power to help them find the love of a family. Every day GWCA and CAN’s matching specialists advocate for kids, many of whom they have never met before. While it is always incredible to help a child find their family, nothing can compare to the moment when you see the same child you held in your arms in an orphanage finally uniting with their Forever Family.

We asked our matching specialist, Hilary, Meredith, and Heidi to reflect on a few of the incredible moments that they experienced while watching the adoptions of children they met come full circle.

GWCA and CAN are currently advocating for many Waiting Children who are in need of loving families. If you’re interested in learning more about these incredible kids or finding out how your family can be matched, visit our Waiting Child photo listings or contact our matching specialists today!

Visit GWCA’s Waiting Child Photo Listing!

From Haiti to Home

There are not many moments in your life where you truly feel the ground move beneath you. And, there are not many moments in your life where you can say that you directly impacted someone’s life and changed it for the better. As a matching specialist that is a feeling I often get to experience and it is nothing short of incredible. However, there are also moments when you get to meet a child face to face in their country and later see that same child come home with their forever family, and that feeling…well that is a feeling like no other. It is honestly indescribable.

I recently got to experience this feeling when one of my kiddos from Haiti came home. I met little E about a year ago and she was the caretaker of her creche. She loved to give everyone hugs and check on her crying friends. After spending a short amount of time at the creche little E quickly became one of my buddies. She would grab my hand and drag me from room to room and even jumped of my back for a photo op. This sweet little girl was full of personality and at the time was soft matched with one of my families. I could not wait to get back to Texas and call her mom to tell her exactly what her precious girl was like! Time passed, documents were approved, and I finally got to make the call that we as matching specialists love to do, “This is it. This is the call. You can go pick up your girl!” And, just like that, little E finally came home.

Once they were settled her mom called me to update me on how they were doing and that phone call went something like this, “Can you say hi Hilary?”, “Hi Hilary” in the tinniest and cutest little voice. It was little E on the other end of the phone. The sweet girl I met so long ago and now in her home with her forever family. I LOST IT.

International adoption is not easy. It is not easy for anyone involved in the process whether you are working on the adoption or adopting. But, these moments are what keep me going. These are the reminders of why I do what I do.

Meeting Lottie

Last summer, I had the amazing opportunity to fly to Chicago to meet the summer host kiddos that were flying in from Beijing. I will never forget the feeling of waiting at the gate with all of the families eager to meet the children they would be hosting for the next four weeks. For the kiddos that were going to be advocated for, I had the amazing chance to spend time with the kiddos at the airport to learn more about their sweet and incredible spirits. One little girl in particular, Lottie, captured my heart completely while we were waiting for her connecting flight. Even after a long and exhausting day of travel for the kiddos and the chaperone, she brought such joy and mischievousness to our little group. During the hosting session Lottie’s host family and I worked closely to find her a forever family, and now I am overjoyed to say that her family will be traveling to bring her home soon! I can’t wait to see photos of Lottie again, this time with a family to call her own. 

An Indescribable Feeling

What does it feel like to meet a child in China who doesn’t think they’ll ever have a mom or a dad, brothers or sisters, a home, a family to call their own?  What does it feel like to give them hope that one day you might help them find what they’ve always dreamed of?  What does it feel like to talk to a family who wants that child they have seen on a photo listing, to help them start the adoption process, to see their family work for months and months and finally get to go pick them up?

I got to follow their journey, I got to see pictures of their Gotcha’ Day, and even better, I received a phone call from the family telling me that the child I had met one year before was on the other end of the line asking to speak with me.

What does that feel like you ask?  It is indescribable!  There are no words to describe that feeling.  It takes your breath away.  It punches you in the gut, but in the best way possible.  You want to run and jump and laugh and scream with joy, but you also want to fall to the ground and cry because of how big, how huge that moment is.  How can you describe being the catalyst for an orphaned child’s life being changed forever?  How can you describe someone telling you that the photo or video you took in China is what made them fall in love with a child?  The sheer weight of that knowledge is almost too much to bare! And yet it’s one of the most amazing feelings a person could ever experience!

A moment of silence.  Then you hear the child pick up the phone.  And then, “Hello Heidi?  It is…”  Breathless.  Speechless.  Silent tears stream down my face. There are no words to describe this moment.  And there never will be.

*Note: For privacy purposes, the kids shown in the image above are not the kids featured in the post.

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6 New Kids Are Waiting

Meet Harper! Harper is a darling 8-year old girl in need of a forever family! Harper has delayed language and motor development, as well as maldevelopment in her hip joints. Based on her file it is unclear if she is able to walk without assistance at this time. Great Wall has reached out to her orphanage and is hoping to learn more about her soon! At the time the file was prepared, Harper was living with a foster family and attending classes during the day. She loves to be read to by her teachers and will point at the contents of the book when teachers as her to identify pictures. She is able to follow instructions from caregivers but often has to be reminded a few times before completing the task. She can express her needs clearly using body language. Harper is a sweet, happy girl who loves to laugh and spend time with her peers!

Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more!

Meet Poppy! Poppy is a darling 4-year old girl with Down Syndrome. She is a sweet kiddo who is described by her orphanage as being shy to strangers but close with her caregivers. She loves listening to music and playing with toy cars!

If you’re interested in learning more about Poppy, contact Great Wall China Adoption today!

Meet Abigail! Abigail is a darling kiddo who just turned 11 this past April! Abigail’s diagnosis is intracranial hemorrhage. She also appears to have had kidney issues soon after her birth, but it is unclear at this time whether or not she is still impacted by this need. Great Wall has reached out to her orphanage to try to receive updated information on her medical file! Abigail is a sweet kiddo who has lived with a foster family since June of 2007. She has excellent self care ability and is able to put on clothes, eat, and use the bathroom without assistance. She is described by her caregivers as being shy and introverted, but when she is in a familiar environment she is much more active and outgoing! She loves her caregivers and has attached well to her foster family. Abigail loves playing computer games and watching television! She’s a special kiddo who would thrive with the love of a forever family.

Request Abigail’s file today to learn more about her!

This little guy’s name is Calvin! Calvin is a sweet 6-year old boy in need of a forever home. Calvin is believed to have a brain development need which may have affected his mobility on the right side of his body. Great Wall has reached out to his orphanage and is trying to learn more about his needs and how they impact his daily life! Calvin’s right side of his body is delayed compared to his left, but he appears to be doing well in regards to his cognitive and language development. At the age of two, Calvin was able to use simple words to express his needs and communicate with his caregivers. He loves the outdoors and loves to play with toys! Although his mobility is delayed on his right side, he is able to accomplish much of his daily self care using his left hand. Calvin also has esotropia and weakened sight in his right eye. He is a bright kiddo who would thrive with the love of a forever home.

Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more!

Jessa is a sweet girl who is turning 13 this May! She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and malformed ankles and joints. Jessa had a surgery for her legs in 2012, and since that time she has been in rehabilitative training to increase her overall limb function! She is able to walk alone but has some difficulty with stability. Jessa is doing extremely well in regards to her overall cognitive and language development! She loves to read poems and studies characters and numbers in school! Her caretakers say that she has a rich imagination and a love of learning and exploring. She loves reading books and likes to act out scenes that she reads! Jessa is an amazing girl who would thrive with the love and resources a forever family would be able to provide.

Please reach out to Great Wall to learn more about her adoption process!

Carter is a cute little boy from China that is 1 and a half years old. Carter can walk by himself, he is babbling, he is imitating what others say, he is a quick learner, he can point to his eyes, nose, ears and mouth when asked by his caregivers. He likes to climb up and down from things, like his bed and the playscape on the playground.

Carter likes playing with other children but he gets upset when other children try to take his toys. He likes to go outside and play and when he sees that it is time to go outside he will run to get his shoes and quickly put them on.

Carter likes snacks and meal times.  When Carter hears someone calling his name he will turn around and look at them. He can follow simple instructions given to him by his caretakers.

Carter’s file says that he has congenital dysplasia of the left temporal lobe and he has paranasal sinusitis.

If you would like to learn more about Carter you can contact the China Home Finding Team at Great Wall by requesting to review his full file!

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