“Magandang Hapon (Good Afternoon) from April in the Philippines! Would anyone reading this believe I’m in the midst of a tropical storm in Philippines after being chased by a typhoon in China just a few days ago? In Texas they call me the “tornado magnet” (you can imagine why), but in Asia the team is calling me a “typhoon magnet!” I’m getting out of here first thing Saturday morning so these poor Filipinos can get a break from the rain! On the way to visit two orphanages today to interview the host children, we got stuck in floods that eventually reached the second floor of one orphanage, and the roads were blocked off to the other! The word is that the children are OK, and apparently everyone here is used to this. Unfortunately this caused me not to be able to interview the children today (I’m a “slave to the fatherless” up until I have to swim through garbage-filled street water to interview them, then the social workers get a call instead).
However, one lovely lady that I had the pleasure of meeting yesterday brought a huge smile to my face. She is a previously hosted child from this summer who was not adopted by her host family simply because they were doing a relative adoption already in Philippines, and they were hosting to advocate for her. So far, she has not been matched, and her eyes LIT UP when I asked her if she wanted to go to the U.S. again. She said YES and told me her favorite thing she learned this past summer was how to swim. She also LOVES to play badminton. This 13 year old girl has a heart of gold, and when I asked her to show me her favorite place in the orphanage, she brought me to the babies room! She said she loves babies and immediately picked one up and cuddled him and played with him. Her caretakers said she loves helping care for the babies and also loves helping them cook meals. I asked If she had any special talents, and she decided to sing me the song “Let It Go” from Frozen. It made my day!
If you would like to host a caring, sweet, athletic and smart young lady from the Philippines, contact us for more info on her! To have VIP matching priority, apply by TODAY (Friday, 9/19) and be the first to be matched with one of our Filipino children. (Note: you must be residing in TX or GA to host from the Philippines.)
Day 3-5: The team is wrapping up their interviews with one day left. It’s like they’ve been running a marathon! There is a Typhoon Warning in Guangdong so that’s keeping their trip a wee bit interesting. We got lot’s of photos over the weekend and even a cute video! We can’t wait to see all the kids that will be participating in the Holiday Hosting.
“Today we wrapped up our interviews in our first orphanage and we spent hours deliberating which kids to select for hosting. They ALL stole our hearts, but unfortunately we could only select about half for the program! After all, we still have kids from 2 other orphanages who deserve a chance to have a life changing trip to America this winter. As we bumped along in the car on the way to orphanage number 2, the three of us American-sized bodies squeezed into the backseat of a Chinese-sized compact car, we finally settled on the sweet kids from orphanage 1 we will match with our families.
I could not have asked for a more amazing, talented, intelligent, dedicated and fun interview team. “Dr. G.” and Alex, our program coordinator, are superheroes for these kiddos. Of course, the only thing we’ve argued about this whole trip is which one of us would host our “Karate Kid.” (We finally agreed we should let one of you guys host him, because we just couldn’t decide who would be lucky enough to have this honor among the 3 of us.) Here is how our interview went with him:
“Bruce” (honorably nicknamed after Bruce Lee), walked in with a stoic and serious look on his face. He was ready to get down to business. He promptly obeyed every task we asked him to complete and matter-of-factly answered each question. Oh, he was aiming to please! We kept asking him things that would get him to show personality, and he certainly took initiative to do things like write his name. Finally, we got to the “what would he like to learn to do?” question. All of the sudden he lit up and said, “get better at martial arts!” And he immediately proceeded to perform and entire sparring routine, complete with perfect form, “hi-yas”, and ended with a bow. Then he posed like a real karate kid for his hosting photo! He was so proud to impress us, and thanked us for letting him show off his skills. And we just have to add that he is incredibly handsome for a 9 year old, so watch out ladies, this little Cupid will be on the looseSeptember 20th, so get your applications in before that for a chance to be matched with our sweet Bruce!
Ni Hao from The interview team in Guangzhou! We’ve had two amazing days interviewing the sweetest, fun loving, most beautiful children we’ve ever seen! We can’t wait to share their smiling faces with you in a few days. As we prepare their bios and photos for our first 40 VIP families (still a few spots available!), you can look forward to some cute stories and photos from the trip.
(Part of our team interviewing one of the children.)
Here’s our favorite interview story of the day:
Little “Caleb” walked in with a big smile and kind eyes. He waved and said “ni Hao” and was so happy to see us! He had a look like, “it’s finally my turn? Can I draw a picture for you?” One interview technique we use to evaluate he kids’ cognitive abilities is to have them draw a face or person. He eagerly drew a face, and looked up at our “Dr. G.” Seeking approval for his drawing after each feature: eyes, nose, mouth… As we asked him questions, with a sheepish grin he shyly but willingly answered. Favorite color, red; favorite food, spicy! Then came the question where he melted our hearts with his answer: “If we could grant you one wish, what would it be?” And his answer was, “I want to go find some parents in America, and then come back every three years to visit my foster mom and friends.” We looked at each other, and “awww” was a universal word for all of us, both Chinese and English speakers.
You can look forward to seeing him and others who expressed their interest in visiting the US to live with a family very soon! These kids are already stealing our hearts and we are barely halfway through the interviews! Check back tomorrow to read about our favorite “karate kid”!
Below is our Interview Team with the Director of the Guangzhou Orphanage.