#StaffSpotlight: Meet Heidi!

This month we are so excited to give all of our families the chance to learn a little bit more about Heidi, one of GWCA’s China adoption specialists!

1. What is your job title and description here at GWCA/CAN?
International Adoption Counselor – China Home Finding Team

2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
I love my job!  I love getting to help children who don’t have parents find their forever families and I love helping families find their future child in China!  My favorite thing is when I can help get an aging out child matched with a family.  Recently I helped two children (April & Jonathan) who are aging out this coming Fall get matched with their future Forever Families and it was the highlight of my year thus far!  Older children, especially boys, are the hardest to get placed and once they turn 14 they no longer can be adopted according to China’s laws, so they desperately need to be adopted by families.

3. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
The most difficult part about my job is not being able to help all the children I advocate for get adopted.  You can try and try to get a child placed, but at the end of the day it just might not happen.  It’s especially hard to see the huge amount of children with down syndrome not get matched, as there are hundreds, if not thousands of these precious little ones who have active adoption files and are just sitting in their orphanages, waiting for their forever families to find them.

4. How have you grown personally from working at GWCA/CAN and with their families?
I got to travel to China last year and met over 100 children at 6 of GWCA’s Orphanage Partnerships.  This changed everything for me as an adoption counselor because I really got to see first hand how amazing and resilient these kids are.   It made me realize more than ever that these children are not their special needs, but that their special needs are just a small part of who they are.  These kids are so funny, kind and full of life and love.  They want to be adopted and have parents so badly!  They yearn for the love of a family!  I became an infinitely better Adoption Counselor after my trip to China because I actually understood the true nature of who these kiddos are and how important helping them find families really is.  You can read more about my life-changing trip to China here: https://chinaadoptionlife.wordpress.com/2016/04/20/china-part-i/

There are so many incredible families I have gotten to know over the years of working at Great Wall and I am so privileged to have helped them find their child in China.  Nothing brings me more joy than getting to call a family up and tell them that they have officially been matched with their child.  I also love getting to follow family’s on Facebook and on their blogs because then I get to see their entire adoption journey unfold.  I love getting to see when the families post about picking up their children on “gotcha day” and bringing them home!  There is nothing more rewarding for me as an Adoption Councilor than seeing a child come home with their forever family and experiencing what it is like to receive that unconditional love they have been waiting for their entire lives.

5. Why do you love adoption?
I love adoption because you are taking a child who was abandoned and left behind and saying “I choose you” and bringing them into your family.  It is the most beautiful picture to me of what love can look like.  There are so many children already born into this world that need families and even though they are not your biological family, you choose to make them your family.  Family is more than DNA.  Family is about choosing to love someone and accepting them no matter what for the rest of their lives.  Adoption to me is what family is all about.

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