A Family is All She Knows, and All She Wants

UPDATE: Our China team has identified potential families for Ada, and will no longer be sending out her file! Thank you to everyone who advocated for Ada.

DOB: August 25, 2003, China

Ada (bottom) with her good friend.

On a recent visit to an orphanage in southern China, Holt China staff member Sue Liu had the great fortune of meeting a young girl named Ada*.

Ada is 9. Ada is in fact 9 in every way. She loves dancing and singing and the colors purple and blue. She does her chores when told, but would far prefer to play with her two close friends. When they get together, Ada and her friends draw and laugh together, goofing around as 9-year-olds do. Ada enjoys art and Chinese classes, but is not so fond of math. When she grows up, she wants to teach English. Sue thinks she’ll be great at this, as she’s skilled at language and comfortable in conversation.

Ada is a great dancer – especially Latin dance – but is shy performing before others. During their visit, Sue asked Ada to show some of her dancing skills. “At the very beginning, she was a little bit shy but we encouraged her and then she started to dance very well!” Sue writes. She giggled and jokingly ran behind a chair when she confused her steps, and would only perform again when alone with Sue. But she did let Sue record her dance performance, which she managed to do without a hitch the second time around!

Unlike many older children waiting to find an adoptive family, Ada grew up in a family. Up until five months ago – in September 2012 – Ada lived with her father, who adopted her domestically at a younger age. When her father passed away, Ada came into orphanage care. Very quickly, the orphanage partnered with Holt to find Ada a foster family. Family life is all she has ever known – and all we hope for her to ever know.

Ada says her foster mom is very kind to her, and she has also grown fond of the director at the social welfare institute. She has many friends, and is outgoing and happy in their company. But still, she wants a family to love and support her forever. After Sue shared some photos of other children with their adoptive families, Ada made it clear that she wants the same.

She is also confident that she can overcome the challenges of joining a new culture and family. During their visit, Sue asked what Ada would do if she could not understand what her adoptive family said to her. To this, she responded, “I can draw to communicate with them if they can’t understand me!”

Ada‘s ideal family will be experienced with older child adoption, and also understand the impact of grief and trauma on neurodevelopment, emotional reactivity and social skills. Her family should support the need for older adoptees like Ada to maintain cultural connections throughout their lives.

Ada is in the Special Focus category and may be considered by families who have not yet sent a dossier to China.  To adopt this child, applicants must be 30-54 years old and meet an income requirement of $30,000 plus $10,000 per additional family member, with $80,000 net worth. More than 4 children in the home may be accepted. For complete requirements, click here to view China’s country criteria.

For more information about Ada, contact Marissa Leuallen at marissal@holtinternational.org.

Click below to see Ada as she chats with Sue and other social workers at the social welfare institute:

Ada’s first dance attempt:

Ada nails it the second time she performs her dance:

* name changed


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