Natasha needs a family
Birthdate: July 21, 2007, Southeast Asia
Shila Ann Henderson is the mother of 10 children, five adopted through Holt, three of whom came home after the age of five. She shares a little about her family’s experience adopting older children, here. “Some people think it’s too late for older children to be adopted, especially kids who have always been waiting,” says Shila. “Some think children who have experienced a harsh life will never overcome the effects. Those people have never met our Lan Lan, adopted at the age of 11, our Ningjie, adopted at the age of 10, and our son, Vu, adopted from Vietnam at the age of five — the sweetest, most loving children in the whole world!”
Today, Shila draws on her older child adoption experience and shares about 5-year-old Natasha, a sweet girl from Southeast Asia who is still waiting for a family of her own.
By Shila Henderson
Have you ever had a tea party with a 5-year-old girl? It’s a blast! It usually includes lowering oneself onto teeny tiny chairs, facing an audience of stuffed bears, and breaking out the special Pepperidge Farms cookies you were saving for company. (Just FYI, the tea is often cold water, but make sure that when you are served you grasp the tiny cup and stick out your pinky finger, then exclaim with great satisfaction that the steaming hot tea is simply delightful!)
Now that you have had your tutorial on tea parties, let me introduce you to little Natasha. Natasha needs a mommy and a daddy! When you read her bio, you might find yourself focusing on her diagnosis and rough start in life. As a parent who has adopted older kids with special needs, I remember those feelings. I urge you to look beyond.
Several of our children had developmental delays when they were adopted—they were older and, like Natasha, experienced neglect. What I’ve learned is that these kids are survivors! Once they come home and have the security of a family, anything and everything is possible. While we accept the fact they might always have challenges, their development in the first year alone always blows our socks off! It’s like discovering buried treasure!
When I look at Natasha, I see a little girl just waiting for her chance to blossom! I see a little girl who will love to play dress-up, and use mommy’s lipstick, and make playdough cookies for daddy. Yum! She’ll be a ballerina in the morning and a ninja by noon. Like most children who have faced challenges, she will need structure, and parents who will be patient as she learns to navigate relationships and emotions. But look at Natasha’s potential! Look at the gains she has already made! Look at that precious face! She has a long attention span, and a huge plus is her attachment to her current foster family. She can attach. She just needs a mommy and daddy to attach to–forever parents who will teach her about love, commitment, and of course, tea parties!
Have you ever had a tea party with a five-year-old girl? It’s a blast!
For more information about Natasha, contact Erin Anderson at firstname.lastname@example.org