In our years processing adoptions and running heritage tours, we have often been asked what it is like for Chinese adoptees in other areas around the world. So we created our Adoptee Cultural Exchange Program, A.C.E.
This exchange program provides Chinese adoptees a chance to explore their heritage and meet other children who have the same life experiences as they do all within the safe confines of a host family who also adopted a child from China.
All the American girls are very well integrated in their families and they get along really well with the Spanish girls. They are becoming very good friends.
Each family is doing different things in different parts of Spain: they are going to the beach, to the swimming pool, to the mountains, doing cultural visits… They really want the girls to have fun and enjoy their stay in our country.Our Program Coordinator in Spain
This is one of the most unique cultural exchange and heritage tour opportunities available for a Chinese adoptee, and we are the only U.S. agency currently offering this opportunity.Read More
Connecting children with their cultural heritage can be so helpful for children and your family. A great place to start is at home, and what better way than to host an exchange student!
Last year, we hosted Iris- a 17 year old student from China. We were lucky because she was able to teach us all about China and shared so much joy with us! It was especially exciting for us because our daughter and son are adopted from China! Iris was able to teach us to cook some dishes, share some Chinese traditions with us, and introduce us to the Chinese community in our city!
She was wonderful to host and we had an incredible year with her and were able to share things we loved with her too! She joined a basketball team and did very well in school. We are so thankful that Iris shared such a special relationship with our children. She was like a mentor and our daughter especially looked up to Iris. We took her trick-or-treating, on road trips to the beach, shared all of our holidays and celebrations with her and our kids loved to play with her!
Host families should offer their students a place to sleep, 3 meals a day, and support as they adjust to their new school. While exchange students are expected to have a reasonable command of English, adjusting to classes does take a little time and families should be patient and resourceful to help their students. Overall it is a very rewarding experience, and I highly recommend everyone to check it out- even if only for a few months or a semester to start off. What a fun way to bring culture into your home!
Ms. Wynn, host parent with Student Ambassador Exchange
Hosting an exchange student is a great way to connect over shared and new experiences. Students come to the US to study at a US public high school, and live with host families. These students are ambassadors in their host communities. Students are encouraged to share their country, and culture with their host family and their community. Plus, Great Wall China offers its own program called Student Ambassador Exchange!
Students are from nations all over the world and are between 14-18 years old and have a wide variety of interests. Students are selected for the Student Ambassador Exchange Program based on their academics and comprehensive English abilities.
Host Families can host for a few months, a semester or a full school year.
And there are NO application fees or direct costs for hosting! The only things host families have to provide exchange students are:
Did you know there are over 600,000 orphans in China?
That number is staggering. Many of these children are labeled “Special Needs”. This means they likely have a health or medical diagnosis, whether it be minor or more severe. These children are the ones who are eligible for international adoption, and they are all deserving of loving homes.
We are overjoyed about helping match so many families with these children, and now we get to see them thrive in families who give them the love and support they need. We want to see more children experience this!
If you would like more information on China adoption please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-323-9595 to speak with a counselor.
Meet Ben! Ben is a sweet 10-year old boy who was born with very mild clubbed feet, but he has not needed any physical therapy or surgery to walk and run without assistance. He is very sociable and loves to say hello and thank you in English. He is on target developmentally and is a bright, intelligent kiddo. Ben is in regular school and is doing well. He was hosted for one month in the United States and bonded well with his family!
Meet Vivienne! Vivienne is an incredible girl from China that is 11 years old! She was born with a congenital heart defect and one clubbed foot that does not impact her mobility in any way. Vivienne is talkative, polite and loves being around other people. She is extremely intelligent and appears to be meeting all developmental milestones! Her caregivers describe her as very active and engaged, saying that “she has the prettiest smile every day.”
Meet Cody! Cody is an adorable 5 year old boy who was born with a need related to his eyes, but it does not appear to have a huge impact on his daily life. Cody’s cognitive development is on track for his age and his caretakers say that he’s very smart! He can count, read various poems, and he quickly masters an activities. Cody has been described as a gentle boy who is open minded and super adorable!
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.
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.
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.|
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.Read More
Older children are often passed over for international adoption as many families choose younger children. We highly recommend any potential adoptive family consider adopting an older child as they are often healthy and simply languishing in a system through no fault of their own. There is a tremendous need for special families that will consider opening up their hearts and homes to an older child. Many older children in China will either be healthy or have mild needs. These kiddos WANT and NEED the love of a permanent family!
Danielle and Kevin are just two of the thousands of children in China that will age out of the system on their 14th birthday. Every Waiting Child will have a unique set of talents, and they all have so much love to give!
Older children are advocated for on photo listings, like ours! If you’re interested in learning more about Danielle, Kevin, or another Waiting Child that we’re advocating for, contact our matching specialists today!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!