American Holiday Traditions

It’s the perfect time to enjoy fun winter activities together with your adopted child! They might be new to American winter traditions, so here is a list of 10 ideas to help get you started. Have a blast creating new memories together this season!

1. Cook Traditional Dishes

Make holiday meals from classic family recipes or foods that you ate growing up! You can also cook dishes from your child’s birth culture to celebrate their cultural heritage.

2. Go Ice Skating

Ice skating is a classic winter activity that can be done indoors and outdoors! If you or your child are new to ice skating, you can try taking lessons together.

3. Give Gifts

In America, it’s typical to give gifts to friends and family for the holidays. You can play fun gift games like White Elephant or Secret Santa!

4. Build a Snowman

If it’s snowing in your area, building a snowman is a fun winter tradition! You can decorate your snowman with materials like sticks, vegetables, and more.

5. Have a Snowball Fight

Have a ball battling with each other in a snowball fight using real snowballs or “indoor” snowballs!

6. Drink Hot Chocolate

When it’s cold outside, it’s the perfect time to stay indoors and drink hot chocolate by the fire to stay warm and cozy.

7. Make a Gingerbread House

It’s fun to build a gingerbread house with candy and icing! Be creative with how you assemble and decorate your gingerbread house.

8. Watch Holiday-Themed Shows

Watch a holiday-themed performance like “The Nutcracker” and “A Christmas Carol” or listen to a holiday concert together.

9. Watch Holiday Movies Together

Winter is a great time to watch classic holiday movies like A Christmas Story, It’s a Wonderful Life, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and more.

10. Volunteer Together

To give back this holiday season, volunteer together as a family at a local soup kitchen, food bank, or other organization that helps people in need.

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Home for the Holidays: 3 New Waiting Children

For the fifth day of Christmas, we feature our new Waiting Children! These precious kids are in need of loving forever families. Would you give them a home for the holidays?

Stay tuned on our Facebook pageChina adoption blog, and Children of All Nations blog each day for our exciting 12 Days of Christmas!

Meet Drew

Drew is an adorable 5-year-old boy with postoperative CHD. He started kindergarten this year, and he’s been performing very well! He loves to read books by himself and draw pictures. Drew is a kind, obedient boy who has a lot of love to give. To learn more about him, visit our photo listing today!

Meet Elise

Elise is a precious 7-year-old girl who is developmentally delayed compared to her peers, but she would thrive in the home with her forever family! She’s self-independent and is currently attending school. Elise loves to dance and play the triangle in music class. To learn more about her, visit our photo listing today!

Meet Liam

Liam is an adorable 3-year-old boy with esotropia and possible cerebral palsy, but we are working on obtaining updated medical information. He’s very curious and becomes super affectionate and outgoing once he warms up to someone! He has a great imagination, and his favorite thing to do is listen to stories. To learn more about him, visit our photo listing today!

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Giving Wishlist

To celebrate the 4th day of Christmas, you can give a gift that supports orphaned children around the world. Your thoughtful gift will have an incredible impact on these kids’ lives! Read below for ways you can bring joy to orphans this holiday season. Stay tuned on our Facebook pageChina adoption blog, and Children of All Nations blog each day for our exciting 12 Days of Christmas!

Haiti Holidays Donation Drive

Our annual Haiti Holidays Donation Drive runs until January 1st, 2018! All of the proceeds directly help the orphanages meet the needs of children under their care. To learn how you can make a donation to benefit these precious kids, contact our Orphan Care Team Leader Hilary at hilary@childrenofallnations.com today!

AmazonSmile

Are you looking for an easy way to give back? When you shop through AmazonSmile, Amazon donates 0.5% of your eligible purchases to our orphan care programs! All you have to do is click on this link to select “Great Wall China Adoption” as your charity of choice. Then, shop like normal and know that you’re making a positive impact on the lives of orphans. We appreciate your support!

Gifts of Love

Our organization is committed to improving orphanages and enhancing the lives of children living there. You can support this cause by donating a gift to a child! Click here to learn more about how you can brighten a child’s day this holiday season by sending them a special gift!

Cake Packages

You can send a cake package for any occasion to an orphanage to spread holiday cheer! Imagine the children’s excitement and happiness when they discover that a special cake was gifted to them. Click here to for more details about how you can order a cake package!

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Home for the Holidays: 6 New Kids Waiting

For the first day of Christmas, we feature our new Waiting Children! These precious kids are in need of loving forever families. Would you give them a home for the holidays?

Meet Grant

Grant is an adorable 3-year-old boy who has Down Syndrome. Grant is receiving rehabilitation and has greatly improved in his self-care ability and cognitive development. He loves to look at himself in the mirror and make silly faces. Grant is super friendly and is nicknamed “Boss” because everybody always wants to play with him! He’s an active and happy kiddo who laughs easily and will bring joy to his forever family! Visit our photo listing to learn more about Grant!

Meet Michelle

Michelle is a beautiful 12-year-old girl who has been diagnosed with a disability that affects her lower limbs. However, she is involved in daily rehabilitation therapy and is completely self-independent. She’s an intelligent girl at the top of her class in school and is an extremely hard-worker. Michelle gets along well with everyone and is a talkative, cheerful girl who is extremely helpful around the orphanage. Visit our photo listing to learn more about sweet Michelle!

Meet Tanner

Tanner is a sweet 9-year-old boy who has Hepatitis B and post-operative spina bifida. Tanner is described as talkative, clever and caring. He loves to help others, solve puzzles, and play with his friends. Sometimes he is a little trickster who plays funny tricks on kiddos! Tanner does a great job at completing some self-care tasks on his own and helping other children do so as well. Visit our photo listing to learn more about him!

Meet Simon

Simon is a precious 7-year-old boy who is deaf, but he’s great at understanding facial expressions and uses hand gestures to express his needs. His teachers and caretakers have described Simon as a lovely child. He is a self-independent boy who easily gets along with others. He loves to paint, and his favorite class is art! Request his file today to learn more about him!

Meet Matt

Matt is an precious 7-year-old boy who is slightly delayed compared to his peers, but he has made great progress and has been learning a lot! He has great attention skills in school and answers his teacher’s questions quickly. Matt is an outgoing, self-independent, and curious little boy who is very helpful. One thing to know about Matt is that he loves to sing and dance to music! Request his file today to learn more about him!

Meet Owen

Owen is an adorable 6-year-old boy who is delayed compared to his peers, but he would thrive with the love, care, and support of his forever family! Overall, he has greatly improved in every aspect. He pays great attention in class and carefully listens to the teacher. Owen is a self-independent boy who is very helpful around the orphanage and loves the attention of others. His favorite thing to do is play games outdoors with his friends! Request his file today to learn more about him!

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12 Days of Christmas

 

Today we are kicking off the beginning of 12 Days of Christmas at GWCA and CAN! Be on the lookout for adoption tips, holiday traditions, ways to give back, and more.

Stay tuned on our Facebook pageChina adoption blog, and Children of All Nations blog each day for our exciting 12 Days of Christmas!

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My Adoption Story

Grace, a former adoptee through Great Wall China Adoption, shares her story about growing up adopted and reflects on how adoption has shaped her into the person she is today.

“I sit here with so many thoughts in my head not knowing what to write about, so I’ll start off with an introduction. Hi, my name is Grace, and I’m 17 living in Los Angeles, California. I was born in Kunming, China within the Yunnan Province sometime in April of 2000 and adopted when I was 10 months old by my two wonderful parents.

At the time, my parents were living in Buffalo, New York and from what I was told, they started the process of adopting me in 1998. I was told it was always the plan that my mom wanted to adopt. Slowly as I’ve grown up, I’ve learned more and more about my past and where I came from. Being adopted has been one of the best things that has happened to me but at times one of the hardest things that I’ve had to come to terms about. For as long as I could remember, I’ve wondered who I truly am and wondered why I was given up. For years I have visited that question of ‘why was I given up? Why wasn’t I wanted? And was I not good enough?’ Sometimes those type of things get to you, but my dad has been such a supportive factor in my life that has helped me with those questions.

Before I was seven, I started seeing a family therapist. I wasn’t sure why, but I took a liking towards her, and later I discovered it was because my mom had cancer. My mom was battling her second battle with cancer, and on July 12, 2007, heaven gained another angel. Being adopted and losing my mom at such a young age has impacted my life tremendously. I’ve felt lonely and abandoned for so much of my life, but my therapist has helped me with that.

Being adopted is something I always have and will carry with me, but it has led me to meet some of the best people in my life. I know five others who are adopted from China, one of whom I discovered is from the same province as me and another who has become one of my best friends. Recently, I asked my dad if he and my mom knew what they were in for in terms of how it may impact me psychologically, and he replied by saying it was definitely an unknown. People tend to forget that when you bring a child home, it may not be all rainbows and unicorn fuzz. For example, I’ve been told another one of my friends’ little sister reacts in utter rage about being adopted. On the other hand for my best friend and I, it has always affected our self-esteem, or sometimes some of my friends just never talk about it because it upsets them. There is a level of uncertainty that comes with adopting any child, but it is an outcome that I think is worth it, as it can change the entire fate of a child.

I have a lot of positives and great memories about being adopted, some of which occurred in elementary school where my best friend and I would pretend we were long lost sisters, or sometimes I would imagine I was secretly a princess and that my biological parents were really royalty. My creative, childhood mindset has morphed over time to my outlook on the situation and the brainstorming I’ve come up with over time. I have become more mature from an experience that happened to me as a baby, but I wouldn’t trade any part of it for the world.

Everyone asks me, ‘If you could, would you meet my bio parents? Or have you met them? Or do you know why you were given up?’ And at times those thoughts annoy me because growing up with my own questions, of course I’ve thought about all of those, and sometimes that’s all I’ve ever thought of. From time to time I still wonder why everything happened the way it has, but it has made me see the world in a different light. I have decided that I want to dedicate a part of my life and use my voice to become an advocate for child adoptions, bring awareness, and to find ways to help orphans.

I’m very thankful to not only my parents, but the people involved in taking care of me and helping my parents adopt me and become the person I am today.”

Resources

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Amelia Found Her Family!

We are so happy to announce that this sweet girl has a family that is working towards bringing her home forever! We are incredibly excited for Amelia and her new family, and we can’t wait to follow her journey home. Congratulations from all of us at GWCA and CAN!

China Adoption – Special Focus

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

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

Resources:

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

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4 New Kids on the Block

LaurenMeet Lauren

Lauren is a sweet 6-year-old girl in need of a forever family! She has cerebral palsy and is in daily rehabilitation therapy. Lauren can get around well using her walker, dress herself, wash her hands, and complete other tasks independently. She’s described as a kindhearted, selfless little girl who always puts others first. She enjoys helping care for the younger children in the orphanage.

Also, Lauren is intelligent and is cognitively on track. She can recite poems and have full conversations with adults. She’s a happy girl who loves to sing and laugh. Lauren is always able to brighten up her caretaker’s day. Please reach out to us at GWCA to learn more about this special girl!

ChristianMeet Christian

Christian is a precious 6-year-old boy with a need related to his fine motor function. He’s in daily rehabilitation and has made great strides with his fine motor development! His caretakers note that he’s very skilled and has improved in small muscle exercises.

Christian can run, kick and pass a ball, and ride a bike. He’s able to express his needs and can speak in simple sentences. He’s a self-independent boy who’s very helpful around the orphanage with cleaning and housework. His favorite thing to do is play games with his friends. He would thrive with the love, care, and support of a forever family. Please reach out to us at GWCA to learn more about him!

ClaytonMeet Clayton

Clayton is a precious 2-year-old boy who was born with abnormal development of his skull, hands, and feet. Despite that, Clayton can pick up items with his hands, stand alone, and walk a good distance when holding his caretaker’s hands. He’s in the babbling stage of language development, responds to his name, and can recognize people. Whenever he sees a familiar person, he’ll crawl over to them and reach out for a hug!

Clayton is an outgoing, active, and energetic child who loves to giggle and play games with others. Clayton will bring much joy to his forever family! Please reach out to us at GWCA today to learn more about him!

PatrickMeet Patrick

Patrick is an adorable 3-year-old boy who was born without a right ear. However, it does not affect his ability to hear. Patrick can walk independently, say simple sentences, and understand caretakers’ instructions.

He’s an outgoing and active little boy who’s happiest when playing with toys, eating treats, and singing and dancing to music. Patrick would thrive in the home of a loving forever family. Please contact us at GWCA today to learn more about him!

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Kayla Is GWCA’s New Sponsored Star

KaylaMeet our new Sponsored Star for December, Kayla! She’s a precious little 2-year-old girl with Down syndrome. Kayla is described as curious, obedient, and friendly. She loves to blow kisses!

Kayla can walk independently, express her needs, and follow instructions. She’s very active and enjoys playing with toys and with other kids. Whenever music is playing, you’ll catch her dancing. Kayla would thrive with the love of a family!

As our Sponsored Star for December, she has a $2,000 grant available towards her adoption fees! If you’re interested in learning more about Kayla, visit our photo listing or contact our matching specialists today!

What is a Sponsored Star?

On the 1st of each month, Great Wall China Adoption will feature one of the kiddos from our Orphanage Partnerships as our monthly “Sponsored Star!” As our Sponsored Star, that child will be provided a $2,000 grant towards their adoption fees. 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 amazing kids!

We encourage any families interested in learning more about our Sponsored Star of the Month to visit our China Waiting Child Photo Listing, or contact our China Matching Specialists to learn how you can be matched today! Check back on the first of each month to meet the newest featured child!

Resources

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

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Special Needs Adoption

Have you considered adopting a child with special needs? Special needs seen in our China program range from mild to moderate to severe. The minor needs can either be surgically correctable, medically managed, or remedied with therapies. They’re typically classified as needs that wouldn’t prohibit a child from living a healthy life. Cleft lip and palate is an example of a minor need.

Most of the children on our Waiting Child photo listing will have more moderate to severe special needs or a combination of special needs. Examples of these needs might include Down syndrome or congenital heart defects.

While the idea of special needs can seem overwhelming, it’s important to realize that many needs fall on a spectrum. It’s possible for children with special needs to live long, happy, and healthy lives! Read below to learn about common conditions and advice from adoptive families on how to prepare for them.

Cleft Lip and Palate

Cleft lip and palate are common birth defects which occur during pregnancy. The majority of clefts appear to occur due to a combination of genetics and environmental factors. A cleft lip is a separation of the two sides of the lip, which can affect the upper jaw and/or gum. On the other hand, a cleft palate is an opening in the roof of the mouth. It’s possible for a child to have a cleft lip, a cleft palate, or both. Also, a cleft lip and/or palate can occur only on one side (unilateral cleft) or on both sides (bilateral cleft).

If a child is born with a cleft, it can be treated with services like surgery, dental care, and speech therapy. In fact, children with cleft lip and palate generally lead happy and healthy lives, and some children will require less intervention than others.

Tips from Adoptive Families

“If you’re thinking about adopting cleft- pray about it, it is so ‘doable’! As with any minor disability- educate yourself, find physicians in your area that specialize in cleft repair.” –There’s No Place Like Home Blog

Down Syndrome

Down syndrome occurs when an individual has an extra copy of chromosome 21. This changes the course of development and causes physical characteristics associated with Down syndrome, including small stature and low muscle tone. However, each person with Down syndrome is unique. They may possess these characteristics to different degrees or not at all.

Most people with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate. However, this doesn’t indicate their many strengths and talents. Although people with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for certain medical conditions, healthcare and treatment of these conditions allow for most of them to lead long and healthy lives. To learn more about Down syndrome, visit the National Down Syndrome Society!

Tips from Adoptive Families

“My biggest piece of advice is to get involved in your local Down syndrome community. Most cities have organizations to support and celebrate people and families with Down syndrome and it’s easy to join and get involved.” –No Hands But Ours Blog

“Make sure you have videos and good information on the child, such that you understand your child’s mental, emotional and physical condition as much as possible. Be prepared for unexpected things, but also be prepared to embrace the love these kids have to offer.” –No Hands But Ours Blog

Congenital Heart Defects

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. This can compromise the heart’s ability to pump blood to deliver oxygen to the body.

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 necessary treatment. However, we’ve seen countless families open their homes to children with heart conditions, and it’s incredible how quickly we see improvement in a child’s condition once they’re home and receiving the treatment they need.

Tips from Adoptive Families

“Choosing to say yes to adopting a child with a severe medical condition means weighing these risks against what would happen if you said no. It is an important decision to consider carefully and prayerfully.” –Adopting with a Medical Expedite Blog

“Ask for help. Whether reaching out to other adoptive parents, hospital social workers, or mental health professionals, be sure to create a network of care around yourself even if you don’t feel that you need it right in that moment.” –No Hands But Ours Blog

Our China and CAN matching specialists are currently advocating for many kids with special needs. If your family is interested in learning how you can be matched with one of these wonderful kids, visit our Waiting Child photo listings below or contact our matching specialists today!

Visit the GWCA Photo Listing
Visit the CAN Photo Listing

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