Hi, my name is Sophie and I am one and half years old. My doctor says that I have something called down syndrome but I don’t let that get me down! I’m a cheerful kiddo who loves being teased by my caretakers. Sometimes they’ll walk around with me in their arms, and I get to watch everything that’s going on around me! I can raise my head and roll from side to side all by myself. I’m learning to grab things and I can hold on to my own bottle while I eat. I’m so excited to find my forever family!
Hi, my name is Brooks and I am three and a half years old. I’m a little bit delayed compared to my friends, but I don’t let that get me down! I can crawl around all by myself, and I can even walk as long as there’s someone there to hold my hand! I am an outgoing, playful little guy, full of smiles. When I hear music that I like I happily wave my hands around. I really enjoy cuddling. I can’t wait to meet my forever family so we can listen to music and play together.
Hi, my name is Heidi and I am almost four years old. A couple of years ago some nice doctors operated on me to help with my CHD, and I am feeling much better! I’m still a little bit behind my friends, and my breathing is a little bit fast, but I don’t let that hold me back! My caregivers like to help me get stronger by doing special physical activities with me. I have an outgoing personality and a great sense of humor. I play well with my friends and especially enjoy playing with toys that are bright, colorful and have fun sounds. I love listening to music and dance when I hear a song that I like. One of my favorite toys is an electronic organ and I play with it a lot. I can’t wait to meet and play with my forever family!
Hi, my name is Dashiell and I am two years old. My doctor told me that I have a condition which makes my muscles a little bit tense. I’m not walking yet, but I can sit up and play with toys all by myself. I am a jovial little guy who likes to smile and cuddle with my caretakers. One of my favorite things to do is play on a toy piano. I love it when my caretakers read me stories. Bath time is really enjoyable for me, as I like to pat and splash the water. I can’t wait to meet my forever family.
Hi there! My name is Callie and I just turned 2 years old! My doctor says I have a condition where one of my eyes doesn’t always look in the right direction, but I don’t let that get me down! I’m a gentle little lady and I rarely get upset. I’m a bit delayed compared to my friends, but I love to play with colorful toys and flowers outside! I’m can’t wait to find my forever family!
It’s official! The 2015 Summer Hosting Program is starting off with a big bang! We have already matched some really great kiddos thanks to our VIP families that registered early. We only have 40 spots available and as of this evening there are 36 spots available which will decrease by several over night.
Please reach out to our matching team today if you are interested in being a part of the 2015 Hosting Experience. Our hosting program has so much to offer for those who are looking for a way to give back to these sweet children.
We need families that are looking to host to adopt, or host to advocate. What does host to advocate mean? It means bringing a child into your home for the summer and giving them the experience of a family. But more than that, it’s getting to know them as a person to help in the advocacy efforts of finding them a forever family. It’s sharing that child’s story with your friends, family and community in efforts to find that child’s forever family. It’s committing to that child wholly knowing you will not stop until you find the family that can best serve that child’s needs. It’s being that child’s advocate.
We also need families as back up host families. Unforeseen circumstance occur, and situations present themselves that not everyone can handle. In case of an emergency we need families all over the united states ready to take action in the event the child can not stay the entire time with their original host family.
We need chaperone host families. Families that want to open their home to one of the caretakers that will be traveling with the children. The adults that travel with children also need a place to stay, you could provide that for them at no cost to your family.
We need home safety visit providers, approved individuals that can help families get their home approved for hosting a child.
Lastly we need advocates, we need people like you that are reading this right now because you care about the children, to share the hosting program information with people you know. You can share a child’s photo listing photo on your Facebook, twitter, etc. Help get these kid’s faces out there so we can find their host family and potential forever family!
Hello! My name is Melody and I am 13 years old. I am a healthy girl that needs to find a family fast as I will not be able to be adopted after a couple of months. I need to find a family that has their paperwork ready in China already. My caregivers describe me as outgoing and I love to sing, dance, and draw. I also love sports! I am in the 8th grade and do very well in school. I am hoping my friends at Great Wall can help me find my forever family very soon! Find me on the Waiting Child Photolisting!
Hi! My name is Samantha and I am 11 years old! I have something called cerebral palsy which makes my leg muscles a little weak. Because of this I have difficulty walking. I have been working hard to build up my strength and I can now walk up and down stairs if I hold on to a railing! Due to my other delays I am not attending school, however, I love learning! My caretakers describe me as polite and sympathetic. I hope that I find my forever family soon! Find me on the Waiting Child Photolisting!
Hello, my name is Silas and I am turning 2 years old very soon! My doctors tell me that I have retrolental fibroplasia of my right eye. They also said the iris of my left eye is thicker than other kids, however I don’t let this stop me from doing anything! I love to build towers with blocks and can follow instructions given to me. I am speaking and like to interact with others. I am a little picky when it comes to mealtimes, but I love rice! I love to move around and hope to find my forever family soon!
Hi! My name is Atticus and I am 4 years old! My doctor says I have something called Favism. Because of this condition I have to avoid eating certain foods, but I don’t let that get me down! I’m an active little guy who loves playing with toys. Though I’m physically developing well, I am still not communicating verbally. I can understand what my caregivers tell me to do and am always happy when it’s time to eat! I can’t wait to meet my forever family so that we can play together!
Hi there, my name is George. I am almost 5 years old and have cerebral palsy. I am one determined little guy! I was sent to a rehabilitation center right before my 2nd birthday. Upon entering the facility, I could not hold things, sit up on my own, or speak though I could understand what I was told. Now, I can stand and walk with support, sit up on my own, and my hand coordination is perfect! I eat on my own, wash on my own, and love to participate in activities. In 2013, I was sent to live with a foster family but insisted on continue my training! I am speaking in simple sentences and love reading. I also love animal and car toys! My favorite times of the day are bath time and dinner time because I love to stay clean and to eat. I am a very outgoing little man who is hoping to find my forever family!
Hey! My name is Cy and I am 2 years old. My doctor tells me that I have something called PKU. This means I need special formula and have to have my diet monitored by my caregivers at the orphanage. Other than that I am an active little boy who likes to move around! I am good at following directions and am speaking using simple words. I am able to run and jump just like other children my age. I love playing with blocks and laughing. Hopefully my friends at Great Wall can help me find my forever family!
Hey there! My name is Miller and I am 4 years old. My doctor tells me that I have scoliosis and clubbed feet. I also have an inguinal hernia. Otherwise I am an active and talkative little guy who loves music and to play games with my friends. I am able to walk if holding onto something or someone. I get along well with others. I love to eat and my favorite food is bread! Hopefully my friends at Great Wall can help me find my forever family soon!
Hello! My name is Tad and I am 3 years old. I have cerebral palsy, but I don’t let it keep me down! I am receiving rehabilitation training to help me grow stronger. I love to play with toys and with my friends at the orphanage. My file says that I can’t sit up, but look at my photo I can stand! My friends at Great Wall are working on getting some current information on me. I hope to find my forever family soon!
Hi! My name is Colette and I am 7 years old. I had surgery to repair my spinal meningocele and my hydrocephalus. I received training to strengthen my lower limbs after my surgery, however I am not able to stand or walk on my own. I love riding around in my wheelchair though I am an active and clever young lady. I am in school and love to sing songs and recite poetry with my friends. I even know some English! I love listening to music and can even play the piano. Hopefully, I can find my forever family soon!
Wow, five days of interviewing children, what an exhilarating and exhausting experience. We met with over 100 children this week, visited three different orphanages, and met children from close to 20 different orphanages. We have seen some really great things, and seen some things that just make you cringe, but all in all, the goal is to get these kids out of these orphanages and into their forever families. We are walking away with a new refreshed perspective. All of these kids deserve a chance at life, some have only known the life of an orphanage, others wound up there at an older age and don’t know why. There was a constant that we saw in all of these children and that’s the lack of that sparkle in their eye. Now don’t get my wrong, many of these kids were full of life and personality, but deep in their eyes you could see where there is a missing piece. You could see the longing to be a part of a family, a longing to have those people they can count on, day in and day out. Many were asked what their New Year’s wish would be and most answered to have a family in the United States. We had one little guy today that just came ‘crashing ‘ into the room. He had a killer smile and was mister personality, he had hope in his eyes, but through his rough and tumble I caught a quick look from that sought approval from us and fear of the unknown. He charmed us with his adorable demeanor and killer basketball skills. He’s going to be heart breaker for sure! Look at this precious smile!
Wednesday is the last day for for VIP registration. We encourage all families to register now to guarantee priority matching. Out of all of the children there are far more boys than girls and the average age of host kids is about 11. The photo listing will go live for all Monday February 16th. For the families that register by Tuesday February 10th, they will have access to the photo listing beginning February 11th. Sign up today so we can bring these kids home and give them the family that they are longing for.
Wednesday February 4th
We just finished our first two days of interviewing. We have seen over 60 beautiful children and can’t wait to begin advocating for them. We met workers from several different orphanages and it was intriguing to see all of their different styles as they work with each of their children. One of the teachers was unbelievable. Their orphanage obviously uses musical therapy for their children which is beneficial on so many levels. The children were THRILLED to show us their talents, patiently listened to their teacher, and were overall just wonderful to meet. Some of the children have been taught to sing, dance, play instruments, or all of the above. I probably changed batteries in my camera 8 times today because I took so many photos. I also made an interesting discovery that has become quite the comic relief, Chinese batteries are terrible! I am convinced they are fake. My ‘American’ batteries lasted through almost a full day of interviewing, at least 20 children. Today I went through 3-4 children before it was time for new batteries, but it was totally worth it. I can’t wait to share all of the children’s performances. It is late so I am going to keep this short, but for now check out this young lady’s incredible musical talent, and her mad dancing skills. She is sure to fit right in to a family full of music lovers!
Monday – February 2nd
Wow, we made it through the first day of interviews! There were definitely some nerves to sort through this morning. With a new interview team, new doctor, and new province we were prepared to have to find our groove. I guess our team was meant to be because it took no time at all to get moving. We met 29 incredible children today and can’t wait to share them with everyone. We had singers, dancers, artists and more! We know we shouldn’t have favorites but just to give a little sneak peak, you must meet one of our super talented little guys. He is an incredible artist and super cool gymnast. This sweet 11 year old has smile that will melt your heart, he loved showing off all of his talents and responded so well to us and his friends. This sweet little guy is deaf but he had no problem signing with his friends and showing us what he wanted. Check out his art below and watch his video here.
Stay tuned for more updates and featured kiddos from the trip.
Saturday – Jan. 30th
Today was an amazing start to our journey in China. This is both Shannon and I’s first trip to China, so to have some time in Beijing to relax and see the sights before we start our interview trip has been wonderful. We were lucky enough to see the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, and the Forbidden City all on a crisp, cold, but smog-free and clear day.
Although sightseeing and having a day to get over our jet lag has been great, one of the best things about this trip has been getting a corner of the family’s perspective: packing lists, how much money to bring, customs, airport connections, and navigating cultural differences. These are all things I advise on daily, but now had to put into practice myself. Even as a travel advisor, it can take a minute to get past the stress that travel brings. To add an adoption on top of that is a wonderful thing, but also yet another layer of nerves and emotion – sometimes happy, and sometimes more complicated.
Adoption, even from the caseworker perspective, is a lot like something we experienced today: climbing the Great Wall. Standing at the base and looking up, Shannon and I were a bit daunted because it seemed huge. But then we laughed (we both deal with stress through humor) and started, because you can’t get anywhere if you don’t start somewhere. So step by uneven step, we made it further. And then when I thought we were done, Shannon noticed more (even steeper) steps. But then we made it, and it was worth it.
Tomorrow is the big day! Our team departs for the long awaited interview trip. Kayley and myself are checking our lists over and over to make sure we have everything covered. The world travelers of the office have donated their useful items, devices and back up devices have been checked, and gifts for our new friends have all been bought. We are so ready to begin meeting the little ones that have no idea that this initial meeting is the first step of many that could change their life forever.
As I talk to people in my community about what exactly I do, what exactly is orphan hosting it spurs many questions. Why must they go back to China? How do you pick the kids that come? Do they know they are being selected for this? What if it doesn’t work for their family? How horrible, you show them how great life is here, then you ship them back to the orphanage? I have learned to not get so overworked when I hear these questions. I too had these questions at one point. I once hated the idea of hosting. But after closely working with our previous programs I have watched ‘unwanted’ children find their forever families. I have seen older children that have lost all hope for adoption, find their forever families. I have seen the ‘hard to place children’ fall perfectly into sync with their host families and soon to be forever families.
Why must they go back, we are fortunate enough that the CCCWA allows the children to even come for a visit. They must go back on the account that all processes are fulfilled and fulfilled legally. Is that what we want, of course not. We wish to bring them all here to be with their families but the process, the paperwork, the fees, are to ensure that these children will be placed in a safe and secure home.
I wish that every child I meet next week could travel for the Summer Hosting Program, but it’s just not realistic. For many the actual travel could be very difficult, but more importantly for some it’s just not safe. The children travel up to 24 hours straight to reach their final destination and that’s hard on anyone. These kids are so brave they come here to stay with a family they have never met, to speak a language they don’t know, and partake in a lifestyle that is completely foreign to them. We must select appropriately for the sake of the children, their safety, and their growth and development.
It’s not just about their experience here in the U.S. its the love of a family and the advocacy that can come of a child’s trip to the United States. These kids have been waiting their whole lives to be adopted but because they were born with something that may be different, or isn’t perfect, or a label was placed on them as young child they are deemed ‘unwanted’ and they wait. Some of these kids have been waiting just because they are boys. Nothing against a family looking to adopt a sweet girl, but there are just more families wanting girls than boys, so the boys wait. These are kids that would continue to sit on agency listings for years without the direct human contact they receive through this program. Half of the host families usually adopt, a good portion of the families meet their host child’s forever family while the child is here, and the rest have so much more valuable information about them that make it much easier to advocate for them to find their forever family.
We leave tomorrow knowing that another group of children are about to have their lives changed. I leave with my heart breaking for those we won’t be able to help this go around, but more importantly for each child that finds their family I am grateful, for each family that sacrifices everything to be that forever family, I am grateful, for every advocate, volunteer, and staff member I am grateful. It’s because of all of you that help these kids each day. It’s like the starfish story, we may not be able to help them all but for that one, it matters.
After matching many orphans with their forever family through our Winter Hosting program, we are excited to announce the start of our VIP registration for Summer Hosting!
Our team will be traveling to China next week to meet personally with our host children. Our goal is to get to know the kids and better understand their needs so we can find them them the perfect forever family. By participating in our VIP registration, your family will be among the first who are able to review the information from these interviews.
To take part in our Summer Hosting program, contact our Host Program Coordinatortoday. The photo listing of children will be available to VIP families for priority matching February 11th. For all other interested families the list will be available at a later date. To become a ‘VIP’ family, you must be one of the first 40 families to apply on or before February 10th.
Some of our host families are eagerly advocating for their precious host children. The children return home to China January 12th and we are hoping that by January 31st adoption paperwork will have begun for all 25 children.
The following kiddos are hoping to find their forever family. If you would like to learn more about them please contact our Matching Team, you can also visit our photolisting for more information. The families are happy to share with you their experience and more videos and photos.
“Cody is a very happy and affectionate little boy. He loves music, singing and dogs. He has cerebral palsy but he does not let that stop him. Both feet are turned inward which makes walking unsteady at times but the pediatrician thinks he would do very well with surgery to straighten them. When he falls he gets right back up and is as happy getting up as he was falling down! At the park he is determined to do everything all the other kids do. We took Cody to our son’s swim lesson and he started to cry. We were stunned this happy little guy was crying. It turned out that he had never been swimming before and wanted to swim! He has had 2 lessons and just squeals with delight when he’s in the water. He gets along well with children of all ages though falls behind with the rough & tumble kids due to his unsteady gait. He is picking up English quickly. He counts and says the alphabet in English and is able to express his needs. He is not a picky eater and is willing to try most everything. He is independent with feeding and toileting but needs some help with bathing due to safety concerns and is learning to do a better job brushing his teeth. This little lovebug would thrive in a family.” – Cody’s Host Mom
Josiah is precious. He just turned 9 years old in December 2014. He LOVES being in a family and truly needs and deserves a Forever Family. Your heart will be warmed by his smile. At the age of 2, he had life-saving heart surgery and has done amazingly well since then. You will be impressed to hear him sing his ABC’s, Christmas songs, count to 29, and wholeheartedly dive into the English language with you and others while smiling the whole time. Also, he can say “today is Friday, yesterday was Thursday, tomorrow will be Saturday.” He is appreciative of the smallest of gifts. Of course, being 9, he exhibits the usual stubbornness, sometimes, by pretending he did not hear what was asked of him, but then he will say, “okay.” His host family in the USA has a small dog, and Josiah walked right up to it as if it had been his pet forever. He expresses love easily. He loves eating pineapple, bananas, rice, chicken, pizza, and will let you know when he is “hungry.” And you will smile, too, when you hear him say “so-o-o g-o-o-d. Thank you, Mommy.” -Josiah’s Host Mom
‘Jon Jon Has the sweetest little smile. In his smiles you can see he just wants to be loved. He is 5 years old on paper but developmentally he appears to be more like a 3 year old. He is very smart. He loves to be held and cuddle. He loves riding around town in the stroller and playing with toys that make a lot of noise. He had corrective heart and palate surgery as a baby but is all fixed now. He seems very healthy and would thrive in a family. He has the sweetest little voice. He loves to color, run outside and be held. He really needs a mama that will dote over him and give him lots of love and attention. He wants to know you will keep him safe. Since he is more like a 3 year old emotionally he does have some typical toddler behaviors such as minor tantrums but it is nothing more then I had with my bio son when he was that age. He has one minor special need that doesn’t effect his daily life, Hypospadias.’ -Jon Jon’s Host Mom
Matthew is a sweet boy who is very shy when he first meets people. He is smart and has been showing us how he can count in English. He has learned the word ‘hungry’ and we aren’t sure where he is putting all the food. He gets along great with our other children who are both younger and older than Matthew. He is very helpful around the house and we believe he lives in foster care which explains why he functions so well in the household. He noticed we hadn’t put the ketchup away after dinner and he picked it up and put it exactly where it was supposed to go in the refrigerator. He does have a hard time transitioning away from something he likes doing, like Wii Nascar is his favorite! But he will cooperate with very little coaxing. Matthew’s legs are somewhat ‘floppy’ for lack of a better word from his CP but that does not seem to slow him down one bit. My husband does help him in and out of the bathtub just to be on the safe side but he is very independent and does not really like help too much. Matthew is just a great kid that will make a wonderful addition to a family.
Today we had the pleasure of hosting Director Lu from the Dongguan Social Welfare Institute and Dr. Huang from the Civil Affairs Office in Dongguan. We are so grateful for our growing relationship with Dongguan and hope to continue working closely with them. We had so much fun meeting with them today. Orphanage partnerships are so crucial to the matching of children and their forever families. We look forward to watching this particular partnership grow.
Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, the 25 children from China made it safely to the U.S. for our Holiday Hosting Program. They are all safe and sound with their host families and we can’t wait to hear stories, see photos and help all of these children find forever families.
Look at some of the photos from our airport arrivals!
The China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption released an announcement stating that they will be making some changes regarding family eligbiltiy beginning January 1, 2015. The changes are to ‘better help children in need find suitable families and improve the quality of management and service.’ GWCA is excited for these changes and the impact they will make on our current and future families. We look forward to working closely with the CCCWA in their efforts to help more orphans find their forever families. Below are the main changes made by the CCCWA. (Please note the following information only reflects the new changes, all other requirements have not changed.)
Eligibility Requirement Updates
Single parent families are now eligible to adopt what is considered an ‘LID’ child or a child that is not listed as special focus. are eligible to adopt either a non-special focus child or a special focus child. Single applicants may submit a dossier to China prior to being matched with a child. There must be no more than a 45 year age difference between the age of the parent and the age of the child.
Singles may have no more than 2 children in the home, and the youngest child should be older than 5 years old. Singles cannot adopt if there are already 3 children in their home under the age of 18.
Singles and couples over the age of 50 are now eligible to adopt either a non-special focus(LID) or a special focus child and can submit their dossier to China prior to being matched. There may be no more than a 50 year age difference between the age of the younger parent and the age of the child.
Couples with more than 5 children living in the home are now eligible to adopt either a non special focus(LID) or a special focus child and can submit their dossier to China prior to being matched.
Families must be free of medical conditions that affect their life expectancy or parenting ability to be eligible for an adoption from China. According to the CCCWA, the following conditions could make a family ineligible: intellectual disability, positive for HIV or other contagious infectious disease, schizophrenia, blindness, poor vision in both eyes, non-function or dysfunction of limbs, incomplete or deformed limbs, severe facial deformity, and Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater.
Mental disorders, such as mania, anxiety, phobia, depression, obsession, etc. will make a family ineligible for adoption, except in the case of a couple if the disorder is minor and well controlled by medication.
Diseases that require long-term treatment and affect parenting ability will make a family ineligible, except in the case where one parent is completely healthy and the other parent’s condition is well controlled after treatment. According to the CCCWA, the following conditions fall into this category: malignant tumors, lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, an organ transplant within the last ten years, etc.
Parents with severe hearing loss/deafness or loss of language function may adopt a child with the same condition.
In an adoption by a couple, if one parent is completely healthy and the other parent has one of these conditions, the family will be eligible to adopt.
GWCA encourages families that do not meet all of the China requirements to still reach out to our International Adoption Consultants, we can always try for your family and the possibility of exceptions are sometimes available.
The CCCWA requires that families have a minimum income of $30,000 plus $10,000 per child living in the home (including the prospective adoptee). Minimum net worth for couples is $80,000. Minimum net worth for singles is $100,000. However, if a family lives in an area where the local cost of living is lower and they have above average income for their area, an exception to these income requirements may be made.
The following crimes on a background check will make a family ineligible for an adoption from China: history of domestic violence, sex abuse, or abuse/abandonment of children; drug use including opium, morphine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, etc; and history of alcohol abuse less than ten years old. If the parents have 3 or fewer minor criminal records more than ten years ago or five or fewer traffic violations with no severe outcomes, they may be eligible to adopt from China.