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!