Pete Needs a Family!

Pete needs a family!

Pete is a happy and active 6-year-old boy who dreams of going to Disney World someday. Check out his Mickey Mouse shirt in the photos!

Currently in the first grade, Pete loves drawing and painting. Outside of school, he enjoys attending his dance, theater and music classes, and loves playing with toy cars and motorcycles. Continue reading “Pete Needs a Family!”

Archer Needs a Family!

Archer is an easygoing and active 11-year-old who is well liked by everyone. He came into care when he was a little over a year old.

Archer is currently in the fifth grade and attends public school, where he studies math, Chinese, English, art and PE. He particularly enjoys Chinese class and PE. He also has a very good memory and can recite poetry. Archer likes to help others, and gets along with his teachers and classmates. He is doing very well in school and can do addition and subtraction problems in his head. Check out the video!

Continue reading “Archer Needs a Family!”

Alcohol Exposure: What Does it Mean?

Exposure to alcohol. This may be the most vague and full-of-unknowns special need you’ll come across in the profiles of children waiting to be adopted. It includes a vast array of outcomes, sometimes including no effects at all. However, many parents jump to an extreme when they first read “alcohol exposure” — thinking, “This must mean they have Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD).” Or, families nearly skip over it — thinking, “It’s so common… it must not be a big deal.” An informed approach to adopting a child with alcohol exposure lies somewhere in the middle: informed by research, supported by other families’ experiences, and always with the best interests of the child as the deciding factor.

Continue reading “Alcohol Exposure: What Does it Mean?”

The Loneliest Orphans; Growing Up With HIV in China

Any child who loses their parents suffers unimaginable grief and heartache. But for one population of children growing up in China, the reason they lost their parents adds a whole other level of loss, heartache and isolation — even within their own families. They are not just orphans. They are AIDS orphans. 

The picture that Jenna's son drew that illustrates which family members have passed away. The characters read "I love my mom and dad."
Becca snapped this photo of a hand-drawn picture taped to the wall of her son’s former home in China. The characters read “I love my mom and dad” and above each picture, from left to right, he wrote “Me, Dad, Mom, Grandma.” All of his immediate family has now passed away.

It was as if time stood still.

Everything sat undisturbed — preserved in the moment their son left his childhood home for a new life in the city.

A couple of bikes stood leaning in the doorway, covered in dust. A calendar remained open to November 2016, the month their son moved to his group home. Becca noticed a hat with a flower hanging on the wall.

“I wondered if this was his grandmother’s hat,” says Becca, now mom to the boy who once lived in this cold concrete block home. Becca wondered if his grandmother wore this hat while working in the fields that surrounded their family compound.

Here and there, Becca also caught glimpses of the child her now teenage son once was. The child who left Spiderman stickers and hand-drawn pictures taped to the walls, rollerblades and tiny shoes by the door. The child who created an elaborate chalk drawing of a guitar on the window, and lines on the wall to prove he was growing taller.

Continue reading “The Loneliest Orphans; Growing Up With HIV in China”

Charleson Needs a Family!

I’ve been in this place before.

In March 2017, I visited this same orphanage to help prepare older children for adoption. Those children, both age 13, flipped through photo albums and letters to learn more about their adoptive families. One boy wasn’t yet matched with an adoptive family but looked over the shoulders of his friends as this happened. My heart broke for him and I returned from that trip determined to find a family for him. Continue reading “Charleson Needs a Family!”

Urgent: Cole Needs a Family!

Urgent! We need to find a family for Cole before we lose his release in early December 2018! Cole has malformations of his hands and feet and needs walking aids and therapy that are not available in his orphanage. He is a smart boy who has made improvements in his cognitive, social and language skills.  Check out the video to see Cole in action!

Cole needs a family!

This is not an overstatement: whether or not Cole will ever be able to walk may likely depend on whether a family chooses to adopt him.

Cole came into care shortly after birth and he has malformations of his hands and feet, which keep him from walking. His caregivers say it is unlikely that he will be able to walk unless he can receive walking aids and therapy that are not available at his orphanage. Cole needs a family that can provide for his medical needs. Continue reading “Urgent: Cole Needs a Family!”

What Makes The “Perfect” Family?

Taeyang and his sisters.

Special needs. Older children. Single parent adoption. Kids with unknown medical needs. Just the good ol’ “let the agency choose” path. There are lots of adoption paths — and no “perfect” families — but whatever path you choose, your family will ultimately be the right family for a child who is waiting.

Once upon a time, there was the perfect adoptive family. The mom and dad — both pediatricians — decided to adopt a child with a few medical needs. Their neighbors, high school teachers with a trust fund and awards for their work with underprivileged youth, decided to adopt an older child. Then, their other neighbors, who have never once been afraid in their whole lives, adopted a child with some “unknowns” in his history.

If you already questioned whether this was a “true” story, congratulations! You caught us. Continue reading “What Makes The “Perfect” Family?”