waiting child spotlight: focus on thalassemia

November 2, 2013 by nohandsbutours advocacy; older child adoption, Children Who Wait, thalassemia 3 Comments

Thalassemia is a genetic disease prevalent in Southern China. It is characterized by chronic anemia, which at its most severe form is treated by regular blood transfusions. Children with Thalassemia may also receive a daily medication to rid their body of excess iron.

Children with Thalassemia are bright, joyful, and a delightful addition to any family. They thrive and lead full lives. There is an extremely supportive community of adoptive parents of children with Thalassemia in the US. They are a wealth of knowledge for anyone pursuing adopting a child with this special need.

The adoption of children with Thalassemia is vital. Treatment for Thalassemia in China is difficult due to a severe blood shortage and the lack of essential medications. The life expectancy for these children if they remain institutionalized is very grim. Would you consider welcoming one of these children into your family?

For more information on Thalassemia read these wonderful resources:
Rainbow Kids
Choosing Thalassemia

Read about these families who have adopted children with Thalassemia:
Linguini or Lo Mein
The House of Payne
For the Love of One
Crazy Life of the Wilks Family

Waiting Children with Thalassemia:


Joshua is an adorable eight year old boy who currently lives with a foster family. Joshua is small for his age, but has no trouble keeping up with other kids.


He is active and outgoing, and attends school where he gets average grades. He likes to sing, and his speech is clear and articulate. He gets along well with other children, and has a healthy appetite. He demonstrated to us his ability to count all the way to 100, to write his name and to draw pictures of rabbits, which he called his friends. He has a charming little smile. Joshua receives monthly blood transfusions to treat his thalassemia and needs a family who can monitor his health and provide the love and attention that every child deserves.

Joshua is on the shared list and can be adopted by a family working with any agency. He was once with WACAP where he had a $4,000 promise child grant toward his adoption which would be honored if a family used WACAP to adopt him.


Emery is an eight year old boy with Thalassemia. He doesn’t attend school because he has to receive transfusions every 1-2 months. Consequently, his development in all areas is a little delayed compared with his peers.

Emery -8 year old boy

When he was six years old he could walk up and down stairs independently, jump off the floor with both feet, walk in a straight line, hold a pencil to draw lines and circles, identify different colors, count from 1 to 10, understand the concept of a week, liked coloring, fed himself and went to the toilet on his own, put on his own clothes, and he liked helping the nanny by getting bottles for the younger children. He was talkative and could carry simple conversations, but some of his pronunciation was not so clear. Emery is a sweet child who needs be adopted to receive optimal treatment for Thalassemia. A family who could also provide for his educational needs would be a huge blessing to him.

Emery is part of Lifeline’s Journey of Hope camp and is designated to their agency. Contact Sarah Haygood at: sarah.haygood@lifelinechild.org for more info.


Danny is also an eight year old lovable boy. He goes to the hospital for blood transfusions every two months for his diagnosis of Thalassemia.


He is described as very strong and never cries when they insert the needle for the transfusion. It is reported that the doctors and nurses like him. Currently, he is in an orphanage and shares his living space with approximately 20 other children his same age. He likes all food and is not picky. He is toilet trained and although he is a deep sleeper, he will get up if he needs to visit the bathroom during the night. Danny is described as a lovely, strong and likable child. Like all waiting children with Thalassemia, Danny needs a family to come forward for him urgently.

Danny is on the shared list and can be adopted by a family with any agency.

Ricky–update: Ricky has been matched with a forever family!

Precious Ricky will turn two in December. He has Beta Thalassemia Major requiring regular transfusions. He can sit alone, walk with assistance, and likes to play with blocks.


As of July when his file was prepared, he didn’t say words but would imitate them, would turn when you call his name, and could wave goodbye. His diagnosis does not slow him down, as caregivers say he is active and smiles easily, as you can see from his photo! The younger a child with Thalassemia can come home the better. Is this sweet toddler your son?

Ricky is listed through an orphanage partnership with WACAP. Please contact LindseyC@wacap.org for more information.

3 Responses to “waiting child spotlight: focus on thalassemia”

  1. Melody says:

    Thalassemia kids are so close to my heart – we were about 3 weeks away from traveling in 2012 when our daughter Abigail, who had beta Thalassemia, passed away in China. We still don’t know if it was from complications of the disease of something else. The sooner these sweet kids come home, the better! If only I could talk my husband into just one more (or four more)!

  2. Nimisha says:

    We hope to spread the word about these remarkable children in China. Our documentary Blood Relative (www.bloodrelative.org) raised awareness about children living with Thalassemia in Mumbai. Thank you for shining a light on Thalassemic children in China.

  3. […] Holden my family found […]

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