waiting child highlight: International China Concern

September 19, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

In 1993, a newborn baby girl was brought to a Chinese orphanage. She lived less than 24 hours. She died without a name. Without a family. But her short life touched one man, and he started International China Concern (ICC). That man, David Gotts, thought there had to be another way, a better way, for every abandoned child to lead a fuller life. Since 1993, thousands of children have been helped by ICC- an organization who has been invited by the Chinese government to bring love, hope and opportunity to some of China’s most vulnerable.

ICC’s work is six fold:

Saving lives – From newly found infants with medical conditions to older, handicapped children in state run facilities, ICC either takes these children into their direct care or provides support to elevate the standard of care in the orphanages.

Feed, House and LOVE – ICC treats each child with such dignity that they receive their own bed, food, and therapies. Their family style design to care is a leading aspect of their program. Children are placed in small family units with the same consistent caregivers and siblings. ICC works to have a 5:1 child to caregiver ratio! All this one-on-one attention, love, care and nourishment is so important to building a strong foundation for each child’s life and future attachments!

Finding Schools – ICC advocates for children to attend school when appropriate. They work with teachers and administrations to integrate children into the classroom, and teach others about living with disabilities.

Fund Surgeries – Many of China’s orphans have serious medical conditions, but they often can be treated. ICC works to get children the care, surgeries and therapies they need including sending children to major cities for treatment.

Prevent Abandonment – Countless first families have been made whole when ICC workers have seen or are involved with a child and their first family. Through their Community Outreach Program, ICC has given help though education, respite care, financial aid and helping families seek medical care for their sick child.

Train China’s Caregivers – ICC cares not only about their own children, but also children within the state run facilities. ICC helps by raising the standards of care in the orphanages by using the latest therapies, nutrition and child care techniques including lots of holding, eye contact and playtime.

Like a pebble thrown into water, that precious little girl’s life 21 years ago has created ripples stretching out and touching so many lives. Our daughter is one of those lives touched. She was in ICC’s care from birth to 15 months, and we have seen first hand how this amazing organization, staff and caregivers have made a lasting impact on her life. Consistent, doting caregivers, being in a small baby room, having her own bed, being fed nourishing bottles and meals, having nursing staff who went above and beyond to make sure her China repair surgery and recovery was successful, receiving attentive interaction with adults, both Chinese and Foreign volunteers, gave our daughter a launching point to successful attach and seamlessly integrate into our family.

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It is hard to come up with adequate words to express our gratitude to ICC and the staff for all they do. So in turn, I want to spread the word about the work ICC does and the wonderful children in their care. Maybe your family can be blessed by opening your hearts and arms to one of these ICC treasures who will be well prepared by the staff for adoption:

Gregory is 12 years old, and is one of the sweetness natured kids on earth according to those close to him! He has mild CP and mild learning disability, but these do not hold him back. He is very affectionate and loves meeting others. Besides being charming, he is very inquisitive and keen to learn. Gregory needs a family to help him use his inquisitiveness to blossom into his full potential. Gregory is currently with WACAP and has a $4000 grant!

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Mark is a 4 year old heart-melter with curly hair, dimples and just had a birthday! He is super smart, verbal, a real charmer, gentle natured and very affectionate. He has spina bifida that will require he use a wheelchair, and received a shunt for Hydrocephalus as an infant. The caregivers have observed that Mark is realizing that other children are getting families and he has not. This is quite an observation for a young child to make. You can read more about Mark here, and read about some myths and truths of life with a wheelchair. Mark is a treasure and is so smart, but he needs a family to look beyond his mobility issues. Mark is on the Shared List.

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Timmy is a handsome 11 year old boy who has overcome some amazing odds. He has been in ICC’s care for 8 years, and has grown to be independent, chatty and a good natured boy. He loves to help with household chores! While his China file says he has hydrocephalus, he actually suffered a head injury prior to him coming into care. He has made an amazing recovery, but will need educational support. His caregivers feel he has loads of potential. This sweet boy needs a family who can put a smile on his face. Timmy is on the Shared List.

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Simon is a loving, imaginative and kind 6 year old boy who has low vision. He is currently in Bethel’s care, but is from a home orphanage that ICC operates in. Bethel and ICC are working hard to find Simon a family so that he can receive an education. Simon’s low vision does not hold him back; he is so capable! He can see large objects, dress himself and walk independently. Bethel is working to get Simon glasses to help him even more! Simon is currently on the Shared List.

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If you are interested in any of the above children, you can contact Erin Schmidt to receive their birthdates so your agency can pursue their file.

You can read more about the above children and other ICC paper ready children at China Special Treasures. You can learn more about the work of ICC, watch videos, partner with ICC through donations or sponsorships or inquire about long term or short term volunteer opportunities with ICC.

~Guest post by Erin S

aging out child: Jonathon

September 18, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Jonathon ages out next February and is listed with Wide Horizons. “Jonathan is a sweet and smart boy who is hoping everyday for a family in the United States. Sadly, this wonderful kid only has 6 months to find a family! Under Chinese adoption law Jonathan must be adopted before he turns 14 years old. Can you imagine losing the opportunity to ever call someone mom or dad? When learning about this, Jonathan pleaded “Please tell the families I can do everything. The other kids from here are younger, they can wait, but I can’t wait! I want to go the US!”

He is physically healthy after an esophageal fistula he was born with was repaired. He attends school and is a good student. He is an assistant to his teachers. He acts as a leader among his peers. He loves to help others. Once when a friend at school passed away and his parents were grieving, “Jonathan” offered to be their son and take care of them as they aged.

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There is a $10,000 subsidy to be applied toward Jonathan’s adoption through WHFC!
Contact Wide Horizons for more information.

waiting child highlight: 3 boys with lifeline

September 14, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Please take a moment to view our waiting children that we have highlighted below. We have many children waiting to find their forever families. If you would like additional information on any of these children or a child you see on our website please contact us. We are happy to answer any questions you have and are praying for these little ones each day! Thank you for praying with us!

Douglas – male, 2 years old, special focus (orphanage partnership). Douglas is a precious boy who his nannies describe as “playful and curious.” This little guy won the hearts of our team who visited his orphanage recently! He turns two years old in two weeks! What a wonderful birthday present to get a family!! Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Emily for more information.

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Edmund – male, 2 years old, special focus, deformity in double elbow joints, strephenopodia of both feet. Edmund is a darling little boy with a passionate personality. He is described as an active, lovely and sometimes obstinate boy. Edmund smiles easily and will laugh aloud very happily. He enjoys playing with other children and is said to get along well with others. Edmund is a fun, extroverted little boy that will bring excitement and joy to his forever family! Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Lisa for more information.

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Troy – male, 3 years old, special focus, progressive Muscular Dystrophy. Troy is a handsome little boy with a charming smile. He enjoys playing with toys, riding bikes and playing on the swings. Troy gets along well with others and likes to play games with his friends. This sweet boy is closest with his caretakers and loves to be praised. He is ready and waiting to come home! Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Lisa for more information.

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find my family: Lilly

September 12, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Lilly is an adorable little girl born November of 2012. She is outgoing and loves to play with other children. She greets familiar faces with a smile and gets excited when she hears music. Lilly has some deformities in her extremities and has received multiple surgeries that have increased her mobility. She can stand up but has not yet mastered the art of walking alone. While she faces physical limitations, Lilly is showing improvement and proves to be at the same cognitive development as her peers. With the help of a caring family, Lilly will thrive.

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Lilly is designated to Carolina Adoptions Services. Please contact Ethanie at CAS for more information on Lilly.

find my family: Aaron

September 10, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Aaron was born in April of 2013 and found a few days later. Aaron’s special need is listed as post-operative congenital esophageal atresia revascularization and post-operative transverse colostomy. His adoption file was completed in June 2014 when he was 13 months old. They report he is living with a foster family within the institute and receiving education through a Half The Sky Infant Nurturing Program. He is said to be extroverted and active and likes playing games with other children. They say he is gentle, talkative, has a ready smile and is fond of singing.

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Aaron is said to be very clever, his cognition and language expression is very good, he understands the meaning of “no,” responds to the request asking for objects, knows simple words and is expressing sounds common in early language development. He uses simple gestures to express his needs. Aaron likes familiar people and is protective of his favorite toys (balls and blocks). He likes to imitate adults actions, watch cartoons and listen to music. They say when he hears music “he will dance with joy.” Aaron eats a normal diet of congee, steamed bread, milk, vegetables, eggs, noodles, dumplings and all kinds of fruit. Before going to sleep he likes his foster mother to rock him. He has regular defecation once per day, regular urination, and is said to be a deep sleeper.

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For more information on Aaron read this post.

Special Need Highlight: Adopting a Child with Complex Cloaca

September 8, 2014 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

I have to be completely honest from the start. We did not choose this special need. We had never even heard of it! And if we had known what it might entail, I can tell you plainly, we would have chickened out. But God knew that and kept us in the dark so He could give us the extraordinary gift of light, our precious daughter.

Let me set the stage regarding our family. We had five beautiful children the old fashioned way (as my stretch marks will prove). I had to have a hysterectomy and was heart-broken, but my husband assured me we could talk about adoption eventually. One Sunday a multiracial family visited our church and we talked to them to see how they had done it. They suggested we check out the website of a ministry that advocates for hard to place international children. I said firmly, “I cannot afford international and I cannot handle special needs!” They ignored me, gave me the email address, and within 4 days we were in process for a Chinese toddler with complete bilateral level III cleft lip and palate.

What her file did not state was that she was profoundly deaf in one ear and had a brain tumor. We also naively thought that one surgery would do the trick. We are now 11 surgeries in with at least 2 more to go. Yet we were glad that God did not let us miss this huge blessing because of fear….so we went back to China 2 years later for another cleft affected daughter.

Time passed and China’s rules stiffened. We no longer qualified to adopt, but I never stopped looking at the beautiful faces on adoption sites. We began to hear rumors that the rules were loosening up so I began my search in earnest. One day I saw this adorable little girl on the Holt waiting child page. Her file said, “Repaired Imperforate Anus with Ambiguous Genitalia.” We saw pictures of the anatomy that were clearly female and had the genetic test results as well. We sent her file to a local pediatric urologist who said she would need one surgery and to not let anything in that file scare us away. Sounded easy to us………and who could have resisted this face???

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Fifteen months later my 14 year old daughter and I walked into the Provincial office in Changsha and met a firecracker 3 year old who wanted nothing to do with us! Everything looked normal except for a couple of scars! She told us when she needed to potty for pee pee. We were not too concerned that she was constipated some days and had runny stool others. We were giving her a wide variety of food she had never had before so that seemed normal to us.

She fit into our family as soon as she walked into the house. Feisty, brilliant, and so happy! Our hearts were SO FULL of love and gratitude to God for this child and her “easy” special need!

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Our pediatrician ordered a set of X-rays and told us he the report said, “Spinal Dysraphism,” but he did not know if that meant anything. A female endocrinologist examined her and thought we might want to watch what happened to a thin membrane near the vaginal opening. We were still feeling giddy!

All of that changed when we took her to the same urologist we had review her file. Before he even touched her he said, “So, she’s a one-holer.” A what? He repeats the question and adds, “And incontinent, right?” I was insulted, confused, and offended. He examined her, put a numbing cream on her private parts, and left the room. When he returned he sliced a thin membrane that had covered her vaginal opening. And there it was…….one large opening. He “helpfully” drew a picture of her insides on the table cover, told me she probably had spina bifida, first used the words “complex cloaca,” and that he would do a sedated scoping and MRI in one week. Once he confirmed the severity of the problem he would operate in about a month.

What was he telling me? What is the simple explanation of complex or ‘persistent’ cloaca?

The rectum, vagina, and urethra are fused into a single common channel, hence the local urologists crass term, “One-Holer.” When the three separate channels are high up in the common channel, the term is considered complex. It presents one of the most formidable challenges in pediatric surgery. The purpose of surgeries include: anatomic reconstruction, achieving bowel and urinary control, and normal sexual function. Cloacal anomalies occur in 1 per 20,000 live births. They occur exclusively in girls and comprise the most complex defect in the spectrum of anorectal malformations. Read this for an extensive discussion of cloaca, indications, surgical options, etc. Spina bifida and dysraphisim often accompany the diagnosis.

I do not even remember leaving his office or driving to pick up my teenager. I was stunned. Pale. Unbelieving. It was horrible and it was all my fault. My husband is always a glass half full type and he believed the surgeon would not lead us astray. Why in the world would any surgeon do that? But he did. He used the only method he believed in because he was trained in it, and he repeatedly told us that “other” programs would put us through many procedures but we would end up with the exact same result.

Without belaboring the point, my first piece of advice for any adoptive parent who receives a stunning report like this, investigate, investigate, INVESTIGATE! Your local doctor may be perfectly capable for some things, but check out sites like this one, google until your fingers ache, find a yahoo group. Do not settle for the local option quickly! We SO regret letting this man operate on our daughter.

It took us a while to recover after making that mistake and seeing our child reap the consequences. Little by little we would find information that would lead us to the next step and the next, until we found Cincinnati Children’s. Then, as I googled everything I could about cloaca, I kept seeing the same names…..Dr. Alberto Pena and Dr. Mark Levitt, both from Cincinnati Children’s with Dr. Pena as the inventor of the most cutting edge and successful reconstruction surgery. We fired the urologist AND the pediatrician, found one who was willing to get educated herself, and waited to be scheduled in Ohio.

I cannot say that I was pleased with the long process of evaluating your child, treating, re-evaluating 3 months later, scheduling surgery 3 months after that, etc. I just wanted my daughter fixed right this minute. One and done. Get me home to my other children. “Have I mentioned that I have 8 of them at this point, folks?” But I surely knew I was in the right place with the right people as I met more and more families from all over the world who had brought their children to this program. Now I am a disciple for their methods and time table. The methodology comes from experience mixed with caution, all the time hoping that the lesser intervention will work. And all the time our child was happy and healthy, so we learned to wait and trust the team that God had given us.

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Our daughter’s treatment has consisted of: 1. A week of bowel management using a daily enema plus testing. 2. PSARVUP-reconstructive surgery. 3. Another week of bowel management, this time with a laxative trial. 4. Local ultrasounds and xrays plus a regime of medications to improve the health of her bladder. 5. The big one: an 11 hour surgery to augment her bladder, reimplant her ureters since she was refluxing urine into her kidneys, using her appendix to make a port in her side for urinary cathing, and a port in her belly button made from bowel for her daily colon flush. 6. A minor scar revision. And all of this took about 2 years from start to finish.

Today she is 7 year old, caths herself! The daily 60 minute colon flush has become a time she bonds with her father. This is called “social continence” and we are VERY happy with the way it has improved her already high self esteem. She can go swimming, to the beach, to classes, to church….all without diapers or needing a parent with her. She is no longer refluxing urine into her kidneys and they are health. She is AMAZING, funny, curious, beautiful, brave, capable, loving, smart….everything we could have asked for in a daughter and MORE!

Did it turn our lives upside down, shake us, stretch us, make us BROKE.. and broken?…..Yes, it surely did. Was it hard to be so far from my family while in Cincinnati? Each stay after surgery was around 21 days. Yes! It was the one of the hardest periods in the life of our family. It has now been a year since her last stay and I still do not think my mind has adjusted to not having a surgery on the horizon anytime soon.

Would we do it again?………..well, we did in a way. We went back to China 18 months ago for a child whose file said repaired IA (Intestinal Atresia), spina bifida, and developmental delays. She does NOT have delays or spina bifida, and will not need any surgery for her IA. She is now potty trained and has just a little glycerin to insure a daily BM.

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A wonderful and loving 4 year old, cute as a button, and a fair match for her sister since they are both “spicy” Hunan girls! But we knew we were taking the chance she had cloaca like her sister. We backed out twice from fear, but God kept telling us she was our daughter. He can be pretty persistent!

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Would we do it all again? You better believe it.

~Guest post by Stephanie

waiting child highlight: twelve is terrific!

September 6, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Archer, born October 2002, is a charismatic boy, who was not shy when our staff (WACAP) saw him on a trip. He seemed to enjoy having an audience, and performed some cartwheels and breakdance moves! Caregivers report he loves all sports, but especially basketball. Archer is deaf, and does not speak. He attends a boarding school for the deaf Monday through Friday, and has learned simple sign language. With orphanage caregivers he uses gestures and body language to communicate. They say he cannot read lips, but he was very skilled at sensing what our staff was asking him to do and responding appropriately. When not at school, Archer lives in a foster family unit in an apartment at the orphanage. A married couple cares for 5-6 children of various ages. His foster mother reports he is a big help with the other children, and voluntarily helps her with cleaning and chores. He is also a carrier of a blood condition, though it is not active. Archer is a happy boy with a great laugh, who would surely blossom in a family of his own.

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Jack, born November 2002, is a tall, handsome boy, who does well in school. Caregivers report he is a helpful boy who listens and obeys when adults give him directions. Currently he lives in a foster family, where he has been since 2004. Though he appears serious in the photos from our staff’s (WACAP) recent trip, they report he has a warm smile that they got to see before he left the room. It is reported that he loves group activities like hide-and-seek and ball games, and also enjoys riding a bicycle. Though he likes to play, especially pretending to be a policeman, this mature pre-teen really enjoys interacting with adults and those older than him. Jack has a sensitive need, which he had surgery for in 2013. It was mostly successful, and he has continued to improve since then. He is determined to make more progress! He has good self-care abilities.

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Both Archer and Jack recently participated in WACAP’s Journey of Hope camp. WACAP staff would be happy to share more pictures and videos of this special time upon request.

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Archer and Jack each have a $4000 grant available to qualified families to help complete their adoptions. For more information, please contact the Advocacy Team or WACAP.

Special Need Highlight: Adopting a Child with Phenylketonuria (PKU)

September 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Phenylketonuria is an inherited metabolic disorder that causes the body not to break down phenylalanine, an amino acid found in protein. In untreated PKU patients phenylalanine builds up in the brain causing intellectual disabilities, seizures, emotional instability, and other severe problems. Treatment for PKU is a combination of metabolic formula, low protein diet (often including special medical foods), and regular monitoring of blood phe levels. There are several resources and support groups for families affected by PKU.

Although PKU is a rare genetic condition, there are several children waiting in China right now with PKU who need families. To help send special PKU formula to waiting children in China, go here.

Waiting Children with PKU

The first waiting child with PKU I would like to introduce to you is Taisha. Taisha has been waiting for a family for a very long time. She is eight years old. She was diagnosed with PKU around 20 months old; they initially thought she had cerebral palsy due to her muscle development; however further testing showed that she had elevated phenylalanine levels.

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She currently walks, runs, and attends school. She is a cheerful child, smiling often, and gets along well with her class mates. She enjoys listening to music and has made progress in cognitive ability through language training and cognitive class. She can use basic living language, identify daily objects, fruits, and vegetables, and some classification. She is able to dress herself and make her bed. She also relishes in picture books! This little one needs a family to read to her and teach her about her special diet. Since she has been waiting so long to find a family of her own there is more information in her file that families interested in her can view. For more information about Taisha please email her agency or call (360)383-0623.

I would love to introduce Jameson to you. This is what his agency shared about him:

“Jameson is a sweet little guy that is not yet 3 years old. He loves playing in a group. In fact, his favorite time is when the nannies gather the children together to play games or sing songs. He can follow the rhythm of familiar songs and enjoys tapping toys together and shaking his body to the music. At 1 months of age he was diagnosed with PKU. He is now on a special diet and doing well. His file also mentions possible bilateral enorchia (absence of testicles) and suggests that further testing should be done. However, photos show that there are no visible abnormalities.”

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“If you would like more information about this child, please fill out a preliminary application and mention his name in the comments section. The preliminary application is waived for all waiting children inquiries and there is no obligation associated with the application. Feel free to contact us with any questions you may have. Our waiting Child Specialist can be reached via email or by phone at 970-775-4683”

Jameson is absolutely adorable with his little chubby cheeks! Jameson is about 2 and half years old. He was diagnosed with PKU around 10 months and changed to a special diet to manage his PKU. At first sweet little Jameson wasn’t very happy to eat low protein foods, but he quickly learned to appreciate them.

According to his update they have continued a modified diet to control the effects of PKU and his hair has begun to turn slightly back to black. Jameson is only saying “mama” at this time. Jameson is walking now, although he is much slower than other children his age. In June I spoke with a friend who was able to meet with adorable little Jameson in China. She was told that he wouldn’t make eye contact, but to her surprise she was met by a very happy toddler who loved playing chasing games! He interacted with her and the other kids. It was so great to see him smiling in her photos. He is not only walking, but running. He made a great game out of running from the camera. He is still on the special PKU diet and appears to be thriving.

The next waiting child I have to share with you is Jonah. This is what Jonah’s agency said about him:

“Jonah is an adorable two-year-old boy ready to bless his forever family with his smiles. He has fair hair and skin, likely resulting from being born with a rare condition in which his body is unable to properly break down an amino acid called phenylalanine. The condition, known as Phenylketonuria (PKU), is most commonly treated with a specific diet, and Jonah receives special foods and a PKU formula daily.Jonah was found near a public square at approximately one year old. Since he has no known history prior to entering the orphanage, it is unknown whether he received appropriate care for his PKU prior to entering the orphanage. At 18 months, Jonah could walk steadily with both hands held and could stand independently. He understands instructions given to him and has good motor development. He can hold a pen and scribble, pick up small objects, and turn pages in a book. He imitates words and will call for his caregiver when he sees her. Jonah’s caregivers report that he is shy, but energetic and smiley. He likes to be cuddled, especially by his “mother”, and gets defensive when other children come near. He loves being teased and played with, and will jump up and down and laugh when happy.”

Unfortunately we are not able to share his photo. For more information please contact Bethany Adoption Services.

I have an amazing little boy with PKU to introduce to you, meet Yves. This is what someone advocating for him had to share: “I know Yves has the perfect family just waiting to see him today! Yves was born in April of 2004 & there is a lot of information on him for interested families. He has been diagnosed with PKU, but it is controlled by diet & is doing well. He is described as a leader & loves to sing, dance & play. Please contact WACAP for more information! A $4,000 grant available!”

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~Guest post by Casey (Contact Casey for more information on any of these children or on adopting a child with PKU)

Find My Family: Rosie

September 2, 2014 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

Adorable Rosie is 7 years old and is listed as deaf/unable to speak, postoperative congenital megacolon and completely precious. This beautiful girl is on Lifeline’s special focus list.

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This sweet child’s file is heartbreaking. When Rosie was 4 years old, she was diagnosed with abdominal distension, which was finally repaired. Her file clearly shows a child who was not doing well before her surgery. However, after the surgery, her file changes to describe a child who is no longer in pain and is now happy, adjusting well to her new foster family, eating and developing better! She is said to be extroverted, kind, polite and sensible with “active thinking.” The difference in her file before and after is amazing.

Just watch her precious video! She will steal your heart and make you smile! PW is rosie1

Adorable Rosie is on Lifeline’s special focus list. Please email Annie for more information.

waiting child highlight: Judah urgent medical need

August 30, 2014 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

Judah, born October 2010, is a quiet child who is afraid of strangers, and likes to play with those he knows. He was found at two years old, he was thin, weak and could walk on his own. Once he got used to the new environment he could say many words, especially when he was happy. He likes to stand on his bed to entertain himself, although he can’t climb due to his health, and gets tired after walking a short distance. He can point out his body parts, scribble with a pen, and wipe his hands and mouth on a towel. He can understand instructions from adults, and will help pick up trash on the ground when asked. Judah is diagnosed with thalassemia, an update is needed to verify his transfusion status.

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There is a $4000 Promise Child grant available for families who qualify to assist with this adoption. Contact Lindsey at WACAP for more information on this darling boy.

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Read more about thalassemia here. For more information on beginning the adoption journey contact The Advocacy Team.

Special Need Highlight: Adopting a Child with Congenital Syphilis

August 28, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

When we were in the beginning of our adoption journey, we wanted a child young as possible, and as healthy as possible. We wanted to see far ahead and be completely prepared for anything. The fear of the unknown was gripping, especially with a first adoption, and let’s be honest, I loved being in control and knowing exactly what the future may hold for anything! Lord please forgive my need to control, ha!

We worked through our home study and began our wait for our match. Our agency would contact us if any children met our openness. During this time I also joined Rainbow Kids and had it set to email us once a child was listed that matched our list as well. (And can we just chat for a minute on how completely awkward that checklist of special needs is to complete? We go between moments of peace and pettiness every time we complete one. I swear I feel like a premed student when I am trying to research that entire checklist!)

One day I had a friend email me a picture of a boy that was posted and I was losing it! I’m completely in love…feverishly emailing my agency asking them why his information wasn’t sent to us. All lights were set to go thinking we somehow missed an email until we heard back:

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Nobody had sent him our way because this was not on our list. We just couldn’t get him out of our minds and reached out to our pediatrician, other doctors and yes, Dr. Google, for help learning more about this. We came to the conclusion that we simply didn’t include this because we had not educated ourselves appropriately on this need. Of course we said yes and our son has brought more love into our lives than we could ever imagine!

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Here is a bit of information about congenital syphilis in hopes that you too will open your hearts to checking this box and saying yes to these amazing children!

What is Congenital Syphilis?

Congenital Syphilis is simply syphilis that is present in utero or at birth in babies born to a mother already with this condition. Left untreated, syphilis can adversely affect pregnancy, causing prematurity, stillbirths or miscarriage and could also adversely affect infants resulting in deformities, delays in development or other issues associated with premature birth. There is not a lot of information here in the United States as this is very easily treated and it is rarely seen anymore, but it still exists with frequency in other areas of the world. Treatment is a very simple 10 day course of penicillin with no further follow up except blood test to ensure all titers are good. All babies who are taken into care are tested for this and treated with penicillin. If treatment occurs, there are no further issues noted. If syphilis goes untreated, these children can develop latent syphilis and other bodily systems can be affected such as teeth, bones, eyes, ears and brain. All children have this test as standard in their lab work, so there is no question when reviewing a file whether this has been tested or addressed.

What is the follow up? What lifelong concerns come with this diagnosis?

When you get home with your child, you will do the same blood work you would normally do. If syphilis has been treated successfully, there are no continuing follow ups, no transmission risks, no special precautions. Once treated, there are no lasting effects beyond any pregnancy/birth complications that might have occurred. Our son has to be on asthma preventative measures as his lungs were affected
from his prematurity complications, however, this is the only ongoing issue we’ve encountered. His life expectancy is the same as anyone else.

So what’s the big deal? Why haven’t I heard much about this need before?

While we were able to get properly educated syphilis, like many other blood or infectious conditions, can carry with it an unnecessary stigma. Many folks out of lack of information or common knowledge do not include this need. In other parts of the world, this need carries an even greater stigma, and unfortunately can result in pinning a negative label that adversely affects this child long after treatment is given and no affects remain. Also due to its sensitive nature around these issues, children listed for adoption may have “sensitive special need” or “blood disorder” as their special need instead of the actual need.

Wow, I never knew any of that. What is something I can do?

If you are already in process, find your special needs list and make sure to tell your agency to include syphilis in your accepted needs! As said before, you will not see syphilis noted clearly on any agency list due to privacy issues, so they can let you know if they have any children matching this need. We’ve also included 4 amazing children below that are on China’s shared list with this need. You do not need to be with any particular agency to request their files and any agency can work with you to bring them home! The last little guy is designated to an agency.

Five Beautiful Waiting Children with this Special Need:

Susanna was born August of 2005 and is described as very playful and curious about everything. She loves being outside and learning things hands on. Her file is outdated and needs a family to request an update to learn more about how she is currently doing! Susanna’s file is currently on the shared list.

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Brett was born August of 2006. His file is very outdated and needs more current information. His file lists a developmental delay, however, he seemed to be meeting goals during the last report, which was unfortunately over a year ago. Brett is overdue for an update on how fantastic he’s doing! Please ask about this handsome boy. Brett is on the shared list.

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Tenley ages out in November and desperately needs a family to move forward for her. Tenley’s special need has no effect on her daily life. On a recent update, she lists liking to watch tv, play school, ride her bike and wear beautiful clothes…just like any other 13 year old out there! She gets along well with other children and has watched too many of them be adopted into forever families while she continues to wait. Due to her age, she must be with a family by November 2014. Don’t miss out on this sweet girl, she is on the shared list.

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Ewan was born December of 2001. He has some updated information that can be translated for an interested family. His last report described him as extroverted, lively and quite the artist! I’ve seen pictures of his work, it’s incredible! Interested families can request his file along with the new translated information on this energetic boy! Ewan’s file is currently on the shared list.

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Shane is two years old and listed with Madison Adoption Associates via an orphanage partnership. He was listed as LID first. Shane is diagnosed with post-op right indirect inguinal hernia and syphilis. Shane can eat with a spoon, speaks well, and has good understanding. He likes watching cartoons, outdoor activities, and going down the slide. He is active and smiles easily. Shane is attached to his caregivers. His file says that candy or a hug can calm him down if he is having a temper tantrum. For more information or to review Shane’s file, please fill out a free PAP Waiting Child Review Form, which can be found here.

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For more information on this special need or about any of these waiting children, please contact The Advocacy Team.

find my family: Quinn

August 26, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Quinn, born May 2010, is adored by everyone because of his sweet smile, chubby face, and polite manners. When he sees a caretaker who has been gone for a few days, he will tell them how he missed them.

A curious child, he wants to learn and explore new things, and asks lots of “Why” questions. He often surprises adults by saying something more mature than his age, such as “How come my teacher is not here yet? Maybe she’s sick? Or is visiting her mother?” Whatever he does, he is completely focused, whether it’s a craft, playing with a toy, or listening to a story.

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He’s very good at remembering landmarks, and knows where he is by identifying a building or statue. He loves to play outdoors on the slide and swings, though his favorite activity is soccer. Currently he knows colors, shapes, and names of common objects. He can count to ten, and tell a story by looking at pictures in a book. He is also getting English lessons one-on-one with a teacher, and has learned the names of some animals, colors, and objects. Quinn has a sensitive special need.

Currently, Quinn’s file is with WACAP and has a $4000 grant for qualified families. Please contact the NHBO Advocacy Team or WACAP to learn more about Quinn. He is an amazing little guy!

find my family: Jessee

August 24, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Jesse is a very handsome and likable boy who turned 8 years old in June, and is new to the agency list at Heartsent Adoptions. Jesse was born with arthrogryposis, which mainly affects his wrists, elbows, and ankles. He had surgery on his legs in 2010, which was very successful. He can walk and is able to take care of all his needs.

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Jesse is a smart boy, who attends school at the orphanage. He gets along very well with the other kids, and is well loved by the adults there. Jesse is able to write, and likes to do crafts. He also enjoys sports! He is talkative, and has a happy personality. Jesse is described as optimistic and energetic. He is currently 48.6 inches tall, and weighs 48.5 pounds. Jesse is a delightful boy, who longs for a family of his own.

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You can see his info at Heartsent Adoptions. Contact them for more information or to view his file.

find our family: Sisters

August 22, 2014 by nohandsbutours 3 Comments

It is very rare to see siblings available for adoption from China. This is a unique opportunity to bring home this set of beautiful sisters. They were born in March of 2004 and March of 2006 and they both state that they would like to be adopted and have a happy family. They must be adopted together. They both are HIV positive and on medication and they are listed with CHSFS in Minnesota.

“L” is the older sister described as being quiet but likes to interact with peers. She is enrolled in school and can complete her homework assignments, gets along well with classmates, writes and reads simple paragraphs, recites poems, completes math problems and draw creative pictures. She likes to express herself although her speech can be slow and unclear.

“N” is described as polite and always having a smile ready. She likes to sing, dance and skate. “N” attends the same class as her older sister and has good study habits, gets along well with peers and can clearly express herself. Both girls receive medication for HIV.

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Please contact CHSFS for more information on adopting these sisters. Eligible families may qualify for a grant through LSS/CH and Brittany’s Hope Foundation.

find my family: Sammy

August 18, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Sammy just turned 5 years old and we are praying this is his last birthday as an orphan. Sammy’s file is on the shared list, which means a family working with any Hague accredited agency can pursue his adoption. He was able to attend Bring Me Hope camp once again this summer. This is what his counselor had to say:

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“I was Sammy’s buddy at Bring Me Hope Summer camp both in 2013 and this past summer! He is currently on the shared list and is diagnosed with cerebral dysplasia. To me he is just a healthy, very energetic little boy. From spending 2 weeks with him I saw no signs of him having any brain malformations and he is not on any medication for epilepsy. According to the Nanny that came to camp with the kids, he does not suffer from seizures and she was shocked to hear he had “brain abnormalities”, she thought he was healthy and I would say the same. He is a smart boy who loves to sing, dance, color, play soccer and run around. Last summer (2013) he had trouble following instructions and had some bad ‘orphanage’ behavior but this year he was so much better! He has grown up so much since the first time I have met him and he is developing into a great kid! I know he would make a wonderful addition to a family who will provide him the love, discipline and stability that he needs! And one who would allow him to eat ice-cream would be awesome too, as that’s his favourite food! I would love to share more pictures and videos with anyone who is interested!”

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Contact Ciara for more information on adopting Sammy.

Find My Family: Robert

August 16, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

2 year old Robert is an active boy with an easy sweet smile. He enjoys learning and playing with balls and sharing toys. He is able to communicate well with others and is actively engaged in all activities. He is described as sensible, cute and obedient with a strong curiosity . He has had surgery to treat his special need of meningocele and had a VP shunt placed. He is simply precious!

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Please contact Lisa at Small World Adoptions for more information .

Find My Family: Clover

August 14, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Clover is outgoing and friendly but she prefers familiar people. She is playful and super smiley and when her favorite teacher scoops her you will hear her contagious deep belly laughs! Clover enjoys animals, books, moving toy cars and balls. She understands simple instructions, gestures to show “good-bye” and “hug” and understands the meaning of “no.” She likes to imitate adults and is able to communicate by speaking. She likes learning to sing songs and playing with other children. She especially enjoys the outdoor playgrounds and slides. Clover likes running and climbing high, riding her bike and playing hide and seek. Her report describes a little girl who is on track developmentally for fine and gross motor skills.

Clover was born in July 2011 and has been diagnosed with Down Syndrome and Congenital Heart Disease (VSD, PDA). She is currently living in a loving foster family in a very nice apartment within the institution and receiving preschool education through a Half The Sky Foundation program.

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This little girl is not only adorable but she is sweet, and smart and oh so loving. Her smile lights up the room and I will rejoice when a family moves forward to adopt her! Please see Clover in this video.

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Please email Rebecca for more information. View this post for more pictures.

Find My Family: Braden

August 6, 2014 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

This cheerful 5 year old has such a sad story! Braden was abandoned just last year. Almost immediately, he was placed in a kinship home, where he has done very well. He is smart, learns well and has good common sense. He has done very well in kindergarten! He has exotropia and deformed feet. He wears a brace on one leg, which he can take on and off. He is independent with his care. Nothing slows him down! Check out his video.

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He is in a partnership orphanage with BAAS. Half the Sky is involved and it looks like the children there are very well cared for! Please contact Xiaoqing for more information.

Find My Family: Briana

August 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Briana is a beautiful little 3 going on 4-year-old girl. She is in a group foster care type of home. Briana is able to take care of many of her own needs and is toilet trained. She speaks in long sentences. Briana’s special need is developmental delay, but she does very well! She can run and jump. She loves bouncing a ball and chasing after it. She enjoys playing with bubbles and likes to look pretty. Her favorite color is red. She feeds herself and enjoys many different foods, she is just learning to use chopsticks! Could this little beauty be your daughter?

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Briana is designated to Gladney through an orphanage partnership. For more information about her please contact Patricia.

a family for Lee Lee

August 2, 2014 by nohandsbutours 2 Comments

This is Lee Lee.

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She was born in late 2011 with Down’s Syndrome and wears that extra chromosome well! She currently resides in an orphanage in northeast China where she gets lots of attention and love from the orphanage staff.

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She was very curious and apprehensive of us as I’m sure she had never seen any Americans. It took her a couple days to warm up to us but when she did we had a lot of fun! We never once heard her fuss or cry, she’s a very sweet little girl.

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It may take her a while to smile, but it is a precious little smile when you get it! She shares a room with four little boys who treat her like a baby sister – part rival and part friend. She can not yet walk. We did see her pulling up to stand in her crib so walking is not out of the question.

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When we asked about her file and whether or not she was on the list they told us that if we found her family they would prepare her file! So, here we are, searching high and low and however we know to get this sweet little girl’s face in front of everyone we know so we can find her forever family!

If you would like more information on Lee Lee please email me, Lori McMurphy.

Hoping she will be ONE LESS very soon!

waiting child highlight: older children

July 30, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Please take a moment to view the older waiting children with Lifeline that are highlighted below. Lifeline has many children waiting to find their forever families. If you would like additional information or have questions regarding any of these children or a child you see on the website here, please contact Annie Hamlin for more information.

Hanne

Hanne – female, 8 years old, special focus (new hope journey), delayed psychomotor development (cerebral palsy). According to her file, this sweet child was abandoned at 6 years old and when found, was weak and unable to walk or talk. Precious Hanne did however, like to be held on the nannie’s laps. She is now said to be receiving therapy at the orphanage rehab center and is cooperating well with the therapists. Hanne is stated to be a smart girl who “follows teaching and practices well” and is making good progress. Hanne is said to be an out-going and cheerful child who loves music, toys, games, and reading books. She is stated to love to talk, but without clear enunciation. She can manage some simple daily words to communicate with nannies and she gets along well with the other little children. She is good with her hands and she can fold paper airplanes, pick up small pieces of paper and various toys. Hanne usually sits in her wheelchair or special chair to do activities because it is difficult for her to straighten her legs.

Please read this from her file: She is kind and spreads joy to others. She likes to greet strangers when she sees them and under the care of her nannies she is happy every day. Update from 6.3.14: She can hold her bottle and drink water, she can walk with assistance, she knows some familiar fruits, other things, her teacher and other young kids. She does not have any medicine. Please watch her sweet videos on Wonderful Waiting Kids HERE.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Josiah

Josiah – male, 8 years old, special focus (new hope journey), congenital cataract (both eyes blind) and HGB low. This adorable little boy was found with a “plastic bag beside him with a bottle, half sack of “yashili” grape sugar, 1.5 sacks of milk powder, Johnson floral water and shampoo, prickly-heat powder, an allover cloth hat, a silver pendant with DOB on it inside the bag. There were also 16 pieces of clothes and a wind coat in another bag.” This sweet boy was more than likely well-loved and I pray he will be able to find his forever family and know that love again. Josiah is said to be introverted. His file is outdated but it states that at 2 years old, he likes to be held and played with. He is said to be active and clever and likes to smile. His post on Wonderful Waiting Kids is HERE.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Ruthie

Ruthie – female, 7 years old, special focus (new hope journey), postoperative congenital cleft lip and palate; bilateral alveolar cleft. This precious child is described as polite, quiet, and fairly shy; however, in more familiar environments, she is fairly “active and restless”. Ruthie is also said to get along well with other children and really likes chocolate. A girl after my own heart! According to her file, following her surgery, “her physical state is stable, she developed well in language and cognition” and her “growth development index is close to that of normal peers”. In September of 2012, she joined the “senior class in kindergarten”.

From Ruthie’s file: Due to postoperative congenital cleft lip and palate, she can’t speak clearly; but she can express herself and can talk to adults well. Ruthie is a quiet and smart little girl. We believe that she would make great progress by her efforts in future. The link to her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids is HERE. Videos posted.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Harriet

Harriet – female, 10 years old, special focus, postoperative cleft lip and palate. Sweet Harriet is said to be bright, understanding, and “not obstinate” with “good life skills”. This precious child is stated to like sports, is energetic, and “adapts well to new things”. There are wonderful videos of Harriet included in her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids HERE.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

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Rosie – female, 7 years old, special focus, deaf/unable to speak, postoperative congenital megacolon and completely precious. This little one’s video will make your day! When Rosie was 4 years old, she was diagnosed with abdominal distension, which was finally repaired. Her file clearly shows a child who was not doing well before her surgery. However, after the surgery, her file changes to describe a child who is no longer in pain and happy, adjusting well to her new foster family, eating and developing better! She is said to be extroverted, kind, polite and sensible with “active thinking.” Just watch her precious video! She will steal your heart and make you smile! PW is rosie1. Her post is linked HERE.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Hans

Hans – male, 3 years old, special focus, Down syndrome. Our China facilitator met this little one and felt like he was doing really well and functioning on a very high level. Hans’ file states that from the nineteenth to the twenty second month, he could distinguish acquaintances and strangers and would not respond to strangers. From the twenty second to the twenty sixth months, Hans was said to be able to he walk easily. He is also said to like to play with his foster sisters, can draw lines, cooperate with his foster mother to dress up and when having a bath in the bath tub, he likes to splash in the water. He is stated to be a lovely and energetic boy. Please read what our team wrote about him when they met him in May of this year: High functioning child with Down syndrome. Very curious personality. Can speak relatively well. Not fully potty trained, can alert caregiver when needed. Very healthy, never sick. Eats very well. He is really cute and has good personality. Favorite toy is said to be karaoke, loves to sing. He also have some stomach problems with spicy food. Strong willed but overall very sweet.

From another team member: “He is the sweetest little boy! He is extremely smart! He has a very extensive vocabulary, and he is potty trained. At three years old, he does not seem to have many delays at all. He is currently in a foster home, and it seems that his foster mom treats him as a child with no special needs. He is extremely high functioning for a child with Down syndrome. He likes to talk, but he is shy around those he does not know… this little guy stole my heart!”

Hans is posted at this link HERE on Wonderful Waiting Kids.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Zachary

Zachary – male, 6 years old, special focus, postoperative repair of congenital bilateral complete cleft lip and palate. This sweet child’s file states that, “He is make us happy, his expression and motion make fun, as he appear always make us laugh.” In 2011, he was said to have slow language development but was in Kindergarten, learning to play games and teaching the nannies and other kiddos upon returning. The link to his post on Wonderful Waiting Kids is HERE. Videos posted.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Olivia

Olivia – female, 7 years old, special focus, possible delays. This sweet child is said to be gentle and polite, greeting people well and appears to have made good progress from her first few years in the orphanage. Her file states: “Her self-esteem is strong. Once somebody wanted to adopt a child and asked about her, I said slow reaction and some problem on her brain. She listened and depressed very much. When I saw this and regretted. We took her to do the CT test: no problem.” The link to her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids is HERE. Video posted. Her video is SO much cuter than her pic.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Liza

Liza – female, 10 years old, special focus, listed as both healthy and as having cerebral palsy. Please read from her original file done in 2004: “Liza is stated to have normal physical development. At the age of 2 months her motor development was said to be good. She had begun to laugh, her cry was loud and at the age of 3 months, she would respond to her name. Liza’s file states that she is very beautiful and lovely, with a ruby complexion and eyes that are big and bright. She was said to seldom cry and to like being close to people. Her file states that she is active and extroverted, especially liking being teased by other kids.” From her updated video, it appears that this precious one may indeed have cerebral palsy and will need a very special family to love and care for her. Please watch her sweet videos HERE and please let me know if your heart is moved for this beautiful child.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

waiting child highlight: WACAP

July 28, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Two precious children – who don’t even have a specific special need – waiting for their forever family to find them. Both are on WACAP’s designated list and have a $2000 grant for qualified families.

Juliet, born April 2002, can be a little shy in unfamiliar settings, but once you get to know her she warms right up! She is talkative with people she knows, and loves to share her unique opinions on things.

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She is attending school, and her handwriting is neat and beautiful, however, she does have trouble focusing in class sometimes. Caregivers feel she is smart, but sometimes “tunes out.” She does keep up in class, and is learning more and more Chinese characters, and doing well in math. Though her test scores aren’t the best, she finishes her homework on time. She is independent in daily life, and hasn’t had any major illnesses.

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Elliot, born May 2005, is a bright and clever boy, who laughs often and gets along well with other children. He is attending primary school, where he has learned to write more than 50 Chinese characters and do addition and subtraction within 50. He was found at two months old, and sent to a foster family in December 2006.

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A sensible and obedient boy, he often helps his foster parents with chores. As a baby he only liked sweet food, but his tastes have expanded, and he’s no longer a picky eater, enjoying rice, noodles, and all kinds of meat and vegetables. Though his file initially listed a diagnosis of repaired cleft lip, an update from earlier this year clarified that he was not born with cleft lip! He fell in March 2007 and split his lip; his foster parents put medicine on it and it healed in a few days, but left a scar. He is considered otherwise healthy.

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For more information on Juliet or Elliot, please contact the NHBO Advocacy Team or email WACAP.

waiting child highlight: Oh, those boys!

July 26, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Many people not familiar with China adoptions are surprised to find out that approximately 75% of children waiting to be adopted in China are, in fact, boys. There are many factors that have caused this staggering number of boys to wait…some of them for a really long time. As the mom of 3 amazing boys, that saddens me. Yes, boys can be stinky, loud, rambunctious, grocery-eating machines! But they can also be compassionate, loyal, protective and hilariously funny! Yep…those stinky boys totally have my heart!

Brayden, born November 2012, is a quiet little boy, but he loves listening to music! You can hear him laugh out loud, especially when playing with toys that make sound. He is a good sleeper, and has begun to have other food with his milk at meal times.

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As of September 2013, he could raise his head while lying on his stomach and roll over on his own. He could pick up small objects like beans, reach for toys beyond his grasp, and pass a toy from one hand to the other. He would also turn when his name was called, and express “no”. He was able to differentiate between strangers and caretakers, and react appropriately to adults’ facial expressions. Brayden was born with a cleft lip on one side, but no cleft palate, and a heart condition. He also has one eyelid that droops.

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Ezra, born May 2008, is outgoing little boy with a great smile! He can be a little shy in front of strangers though. He was born with a difference in one leg, but he can stand without support, and moves himself around easily by jumping on one foot while using his hands to push off the ground.

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He has excellent language skills, and can ask questions and express his needs. He has been attending classes at the orphanage, and gets along well with other kids, though he’s occasionally stubborn. He likes watching cartoons and playing on the swings. WACAP staff saw Ezra in 2011, so there are many extra photos and videos of Ezra!

There is a $4000 grant available to a qualified family that chooses to use WACAP to complete Ezra’s adoption.

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For more information on Brayden and Ezra, please contact the NHBO Advocacy Team or email Lindsey at WACAP. What a joy these boys will bring to a very special family!

waiting child highlight: Lifeline

July 24, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Please take a moment to view the 10 children highlighted below. Lifeline has many children waiting to find their forever families. If you would like additional information on any of these children or a child you see on the Lifeline website, please contact any of the Lifeline social workers listed below.

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Elias – male, 8 years old, special focus (new hope journey), epidermolyssis bullosa simplex. Oh my… this little guy looks to be such joy! He is said to be loved by all that meets him. He likes see-saws and trampolines and playing outside is his favorite. We also have some pictures of his art work. This guy has many talents waiting to be developed and appreciated by a family that loves him. Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Amy Hart for more information.

EstherEsther – female, 9 years old, special focus (new hope journey), mild retardation. What a beautiful girl with even a prettier smile! She has a good relationship with her teachers greeting them every day. If there is a problem she will go to her teacher for help. She is said to be a lovely girl with a bright smile. She likes playing outside. Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Amy Hart for more information.

Ezekial
Ezekiel – male, 7 years old, special focus (new hope journey), cerebral palsy. He is said to adapt well and can maintain a normal living schedule. He is said to get along with others in his environment. Look at that smile! He shines. Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Amy Hart for more information.

TuckerTucker – male, 1 ½ years old, special focus, congenital heart disease, tracheomalacia. Tucker is described as a shy boy with a ready smile. He enjoys outdoor activities and playing with colorful toys. He is close with his caretakers and when he sees someone familiar he will become very happy! Tucker is a sweet little boy with a lot of love to give! Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Elyse Ellingboe-Hoots for more information.

Troy
Troy – male, 3 years old, special focus, progressive muscular dystrophy. Troy is a handsome little boy with a charming smile. He enjoys playing with toys, riding bikes and playing on the swings. Troy gets along well with others and likes to play games with his friends. This sweet boy is closest with his caretakers and loves to be praised. He is ready and waiting to come home! Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Elyse Ellingboe-Hoots for more information.

MonicaMonica – female, 3 years, special focus, CHD (severe). Monica is described as a lively and cute child who likes to play with other children. She is very sweet and conscientious of others; when she sees another child crying, she will comfort them, bring them cookies and will alert her foster mother asking her to care for them. Monica is also very helpful and even though she cannot clean very well, she still tries to help her foster mother by sweeping the floor. She has loads of personality and will dance and sing along with those on the TV. This darling little girl is full of joy and she is waiting to share that joy with her forever family! Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Elyse Ellingboe-Hoots for more information.

Pamela
Pamela – female, 13 years old, special focus, cleft lip and cleft palate, blood WBC is slightly higher, postoperative cleft lip and cleft palate repair; no obvious abnormality of other examined items. Pamela is said to be a clever, active, and outgoing child, who likes outdoor activity, games, and watching TV. She is helpful to others; she respects older people and is very polite. She is stated to have average grades but her teachers feel she could do much better if she tried harder as she has won several awards at school. When asked about foreign adoption, this is what her file states: returning to the family is her desire, she wants parents who belong to her, and she wants a warm family, now if she can be adopted by foreigners, she will be very happy, and this is beneficial to her growing, so she would like to be adopted by foreigners. Please visit this link on Wonderful Waiting Kids to view her wonderful video in which she plays the piano: http://wonderfulwaitingkids.com/2014/pamela-2/. Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

Benson
Benson – male, 4 years old, special focus (orphanage partnership), congenital deafness. Meet Benson! Benson a little boy who loves to play games and has a ready smile. He is described as observant of his surroundings and flexible as a monkey! He is active, clever, and energetic. He likes colorful clothes and is ready to share with others. He has been fitted for hearing aids. Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Emily Flynt for more information.

Derrick
Derrick – male, 6 years old, special focus (orphanage partnership), ear deformity. Derrick is a happy boy who likes to be independent and helpful. He enjoys learning and has a creative imagination. He is in the Half the Sky program at his orphanage. Although he has some trouble speaking clearly, he has no difficulty communicating, and his cognitive development appears on track with his peers. Derrick is a darling little boy who is ready for his forever for family to bring him home! Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Emily Flynt for more information.

Addy
Addy – female, 3 years old, special focus (orphanage partnership), skull deformity. Addy is an outgoing, talkative little girl. She loves playing outside with the nannies, singing, and enjoys bright colors, especially purple. Her caregivers say she is ready to smile, is helpful, and is known to give other children massages. Addy has a skull deformity as well as shortened forearms and fingers. Addy is waiting for her forever family! Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Emily Flynt for more information.

Find my Family: Dexter

July 22, 2014 by nohandsbutours 7 Comments

All it takes is one photo to cut you to your very core, and little Dexter’s photo has done just that for many.

This photos, some of his newest, show a little boy whose round face has given way to noticeable weight loss, his kissable lips, dry and cracked and his intense eyes now show tired. Such contrast to an older photo showing a little boy who was engaged had a round face and kissable full lips.

In the beginning…

Dexter came into care as an infant, at just two months old. His medical need was determined to be limb differences affecting both his wrists/hands and his weight was a healthy 9.7 lbs.

He was described as baby who was adored by his ayis, had a good appetite, and loved to play while lying on the floor soaking in the sun light. A little man with a ready smile, quick reaction but wee bit shy.

Known to be a sensitive little boy who could easily read the faces of others, he too would get upset if he would see someone who was sad. Oh, but smile at him and he would smile and giggle right back. And loved to snuggle, he would crawl up to his ayis and hold onto their legs looking up at them with happiness.

But now…

The sparkle in his eyes is fading. He looks tired and frail. He is too weak to keep us with his friends.

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His hope…

The last line of one of his developmental report reads “We hope he can quickly find a home and have a loving father and mother as well as an even healthier and happier childhood.”

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My hope for him is just that. To again see that sparkle in his eye, for that intelligent little boy to have a smile on his face and most of all for Dexter to have his family, one that will hold those two specially made little hands in theirs forever.

Some resources for parenting children with limb differences can be found through these links:
Yahoo Adopt Limb Difference Group
Super Hands
Limb Differences.org
Amniotic Band Syndrome
Amputee Coalition of America
Helping Hands Group
Shriner’s Hospitals

Dexter is looking for his family with the help of Great Wall China Adoption. You can email Katherine, or you can learn more about this sweet three year old here.

waiting child highlight: Lifeline

July 20, 2014 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

Please take a moment to view the 12 children highlighted below. Lifeline has many children waiting to find their forever families. If you would like additional information on any of these children or a child you see on Lifeline’s website, please any of the Lifeline social workers listed below.

eliEli – male, 1 ½ years old, special focus, postoperative hydrocephalus. Eli is an active little boy who gets along well with others. He enjoys listening to music, playing games, and being cuddled by his caretakers. In May of 2013, Eli underwent surgery for a vetriculoperitoneal shunt. The surgery was successful and he was reported to be in stable condition after the shunt was inserted. Currently his development is a little delayed compared to his peers and he will need further coaching to improve his development. Eli is a darling little boy who is ready for his forever for family to bring him home!

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Elyse Ellingboe-Hoots for more information.

StevenSteven – male, 1 ½ years old, special focus, congenital club foot of right foot, vertical talus, neural tube deformity. Steven is a handsome little boy who is sure to melt your heart! He is described as a smart and lovely child with a ready smile. Steven enjoys being around people and likes to communicate with those around him. He will kick his feet and clap his hands when his caregivers talk to him. Steven is such a cute little boy who will bring lots of smiles and joy to his forever family.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Elyse Ellingboe-Hoots for more information.

AmeliaAmelia – female, 2 years old, special focus, congenital dislocation of the right hip joint, spina bifida. Amelia is described as a clever and lovely little girl. Her caregivers state that she is a smart girl with a ready smile. She enjoys playing with toys that make sounds, engaging with her caregivers, and really likes to take baths. Amelia is an energetic little girl who has thrived under the care of her grandmother and nurturers. These women state that they hope that Amelia is adopted soon so that she can grow up happily in a loving family.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Elyse Ellingboe-Hoots for more information.

OliviaOlivia – female, 7 years old, special focus, possible delays. This sweet child is said to be gentle and polite, greeting people well and appears to have made good progress from her first few years in the orphanage. From her file: Her self-esteem is strong. Once somebody wanted to adopt a child and asked about her, I said slow reaction and some problem on her brain. She listened and depressed very much. When I saw this and regretted. We took her to do the CT test: no problem. Here is the link to her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

RuthieRuthie – female, 7 years old, special focuse, postoperative congenital cleft lip and palate; bilateral alveolar cleft. This precious child is described as polite, quiet and fairly shy, however, in more familiar environments; she is fairly “active and restless”. Ruthie is also said to get along well with other children and really likes chocolate. According to her file, following her surgery, “her physical state is stable, she developed well in language and cognition” and her “growth development index is close to that of normal peers”. In September of 2012, she joined the “senior class in kindergarten”. From Ruthie’s file: Due to postoperative congenital cleft lip and palate, she can’t speak clearly; but she can express herself and can talk to adults well. Ruthie is a quiet and smart little girl. We believe that she would make great progress by her efforts in future. Here is the link to her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids. Videos posted.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

HarrietHarriet – female, 10 years old, special focus, postoperative cleft lip and palate. Sweet Harriet is said to be bright, understanding and “not obstinate” with “good life skills”. This precious child is stated to like sports, is energetic and “adapts well to new things”. There are wonderful videos of Harriet included in her post on Wonderful Waiting Kids, here.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie Hamlin for more information.

NixonNixon – male, 3 years, special focus (orphanage partnership), epilepsy, left ear defect, limb difference, mild hydrocephalus. Nixon is described as a tender-hearted child who loves trains and playing with other children. He is a precious little guy!

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Emily Flynt for more information.

DarlaDarla – female, 3 years old, Down syndrome, thalassemia minor, special focus (orphanage partnership). Precious Darla is sure to win the hearts of everyone who meets her! Darla is a sweet little girl with a contagious giggle and is generally healthy! Darla does not require blood transfusions for her Thalassemia, and is participating in a great program in her orphanage that provides lots of cuddling and one on one attention for this sweet girl!

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Emily Flynt for more information.

DanaDana – female, 2years old, special focus (orphanage partnership), thalassemia major. Meet Dana! Dana is a little girl who loves to play on her rocking horse and likes to talk! She is described as extroverted and happy, and is looking for a family of her own! Dana is in preschool and is a quick learner! She can walk and speak in 2-3 word sentences. One of her favorite words is “Coca Cola!” Dana is a deep sleeper and enjoys fruit and candy.

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Emily Flynt for more information.

Update: Dana has a family!

EllieSueEllie Sue – female, 10 years old, special focus (new hope journey) Down syndrome. What I love most about this awesome girl is her zest and zeal. If you watch her video her personality jumps off the screen and makes you smile! Her teachers say she is very cute and outgoing. She is not shy, she is an extrovert. I feel sure she would bring so much joy to a family that would bring her home!

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Amy Hart for more information.

NatalieNatalie – female, 12 years old, special focus (new hope journey) and has “humpback”. She is a precious girl that has waited way too long. Her file says she loves to sing, read books, and play with other children. She is said to be a “good” girl. Won’t you consider asking to see her file or watching her videos to prayerfully consider if this could be your child?

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Amy Hart for more information.

NickNick – male, 9 years old, special focus (new hope journey), sensitive special need. He has personality plus! Her is said to have normal development. He is active and outgoing. He is clever. They say when he is with people he knows he likes to show off and act like a “spoiled child”. I am thinking that translates to confident!

Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Amy Hart for more information.

waiting child highlight: WACAP

July 18, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Oh the cuteness of these sweet little ones!

Taylor, born October 2012, was found at one month old. He was sent to a foster home in December 2012 where he developed well. By November 2013, he could crawl quickly, can stand while holding onto something, and pick up small items with his thumbs and fingers. At that time, he wasn’t speaking yet, but caretakers felt he was still young and would learn in the future, and that his cognitive development is normal.

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He’s outgoing, but occasionally shy. An easygoing child, he’s happy when nannies play with him, and will smile at them while tilting his head to the side. If he is unhappy, a cuddle from a nanny calms him quickly, as cuddling is his favorite thing! Taylor has a 45 X karyotype and a sensitive need.

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Taylor’s file is currently with WACAP. There is a $4000 grant for families who qualify to assist with this adoption.

And look at these cheeks! This is Grayson, born November 2012. He is a quiet little boy who is fond of his caretakers. He had some muscle tension when he was first admitted to the orphanage, but after treatment that is much improved. When he was 11 months old, he could crawl on his hands and knees, and would play on the ground with other children. When in the baby walker, he can get quite far! The nannies feel he needs exercise, and have him practice crawling often.

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He knows the caretaker who takes care of him the most, and will call “dad” though it’s not clear. He’ll smile when nannies tease him, and loves to be held. When they introduced solid foods he had indigestion, so at 11 months he was still just having milk. Grayson was born with a form of spina bifida, as well as hydrocephalus, and has had surgery for each when he was just a few months old. We’d love to request an update for an interested family to see how he’s doing now!

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Grayson’s file is also with WACAP. There is a $2000 grant available to families who qualify to assist with this adoption.

Please contact the Advocacy Team or Elizabeth at WACAP for more information on beginning the journey to bring one of these precious boys home.

Find my Family: Joseph

July 16, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Joseph is JOYFUL! Can’t you see?

Every picture seems to capture the way his whole face lights up when he smiles!

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Joseph recently turned 5 years old. He is active, extroverted and energetic. The fact that he is a happy boy and gets along well with others has been notated in his file more than once. Joseph loves to play outdoors. He also enjoys looking at picture books, playing games, and playing with toys. An electric car tops the list as his favorite.

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Joseph was born with cleft lip and cleft palate. He has already received surgery for his lip, however his palate has not been repaired. Although his pronunciation is sometimes unclear, Joseph is on track with his language development and has a good vocabulary. His hearing is normal, and he has had no ear infections. Some of Joseph’s teeth have been affected by his cleft.

You can read some information about CL/CP as well as a list of informative, real life blogs right here on this site.

Joseph is currently on WACAP’s designated list through an orphanage partnership. He is considered Special Focus. WACAP actually met Joseph during a recent visit, and they have more pictures available to interested families. They would love to request an update on his development for a potential family as well! Please contact the Advocacy Team or Elizabeth for more information on beginning the journey to bring joyful Joseph home.

waiting child highlight: small world adoptions

July 12, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

All of the following children are listed with Small World Adoption Agency. Contact Lisa for more info.

Matthew, male, 2 ½, is listed as having CHD, VSD, complex heart condition. He is able to do lots of things, stack objects, throw balls and understand simple instructions. The orphanage staff says he is a very smart and cute boy. He can be shy with strangers but will warm up quickly if they are friendly. Matthew has already undergone heart surgery and has recovered well. He is a sensitive child who needs more care.

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Ruby, female, 9 is listed as having limb, trunk deformity and language delay. Ruby has been delayed in her language development but has made great improvement in this area. Because of this she has gained confidence and has a ready smile. She is described as easygoing, loving, passionate, and ready to help others. She likes running, jumping, swinging and riding a bike. She attends school now and enjoys it and continues to gain new skills. She is a part of a Love without Boundaries education program and they report that she is doing very well.

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Luke, male, 36 months, is post operative Lumbosacral Meningocele. He is described as an active, clever, perservering and very happy boy who loves to play with toys. His caretakers say he loves to play with blocks, build towers and laugh when they fall down. They say he is very funny and curious boy who is not afraid of strangers. Post surgery he has been working on walking and has been in therapy every afternoon and can walk while holding he handrails or with one hand held. This little boy is in need of loving family that can further help him develop and grow.

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Robert, male, is 2. His special needs are post-op spinal meningocele, post-o ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. Robert is an active child with a ready smile. He enjoys learning with his nannies, playing with balls, sharing his toys, and coloring. He is able to communicate well with others and is actively engaged in all activities. He is described as sensible, cute and obedient with a strong curiosity. He has already undergone a successful surgery.

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Alex, male, 22 months, has complex CHD. He is described as a cute and active boy who is timid. He can be frightened by loud noises but enjoys being soothed by his caretakers. He is interested in books with bright colors and pictures and likes being in the rocking chair. Because of his complex CHD he has some weakness and therefore has some delayed motor skills. He is in need of a loving family that can help get him the medical care he needs so he can grow into a strong young man.

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Find My Family: Snow

July 8, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

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Snow is a sweet nine year old girl. She was born in September of 2004. She was found abandoned in a hospital and was admitted to the orphanage in September of 2007. Her special need is listed as intracranial injury (postoperative left temporoparietal skull surgery, defect is about 7ⅹ6cm). Watch Snow’s video here.

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Please contact BAAS for more information or to review her file. Contact the Advocacy Team for information on beginning the adoption journey from China.

Aging Out Child: Pamela

July 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Pamela is 13 years old, listed as special focus with postoperative cleft lip and cleft palate repair, blood
WBC slightly elevated higher; and otherwise healthy. She is designated to Lifeline Children’s Services. Pamela is said to be a clever, active, and outgoing child, who likes outdoor activity, games, and watching TV. She is helpful to others; she respects older people and is very polite. She is stated to have average grades but her teachers feel she could do much better if she tried harder as she has won several awards at school. When asked about foreign adoption, this is what her file states: returning to the family is her desire, she wants parents who belong to her, and she wants a warm family, now if she can be adopted by foreigners, she will be very happy, and this is beneficial to her growing, so she would like to be adopted by foreigners.

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Please visit this link on Wonderful Waiting Kids to view her wonderful video in which she plays the piano. Please keep in mind that several families may be reviewing this child’s file at one time. At any given time, this child’s file can go on hold or be taken back to the Shared List by the CCCWA. Please contact your Lifeline social worker or Annie for more information.

Contact the Advocacy Team for more information regarding beginning the adoption journey.

Training Wheels: Learning to Live with Severe Hemophilia

June 30, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

One year ago I was in China meeting my little boy. When I saw his precious picture on the waiting child list in the summer of 2012, I gasped and immediately requested his file. The blurb next to his picture said that he had hemophilia. I didn’t really know much about this condition, and in true researcher style, I set out to learn everything I could. I discovered that there were two federally funded Hemophilia Treatment Centers (HTCs) near my home (see here for a Directory of HTCs in the United States). So, I called both of them and said, “What would you say to someone who is thinking about adopting a little boy with hemophilia? His paperwork says he has 2% of Factor VIII.” And, BOTH HTCs said, “Oh, he’s a moderate! They’re easy! Do it!” No hesitation. Not even a bit.

I kept reading, and I learned that hemophilia treatment has come such a long way in a short time. Without treatment, these kids are lucky to live to be 24, but with proper treatment, they live to a ripe, old age. Treatment products are safe, and in-home care allows children with hemophilia to lead relatively typical lives. Although 2% of anything didn’t really sound very “moderate” to me, those responses gave me the confidence to move forward. What did I learn about moderate hemophilia? Unlike children with severe hemophilia, moderates didn’t really experience spontaneous bleeds, they got treatment on demand when needed to treat a trauma-related bleed (like a twisted ankle), they didn’t need the kind of regular (2x, 3x, or more per week) prophylactic IV infusions that children with severe hemophilia needed. I could do that. Only children with severe hemophilia needed regular, never-ending prophylaxis. Worries about spontaneous brain bleeds weren’t a concern for a “moderate.” So, I moved forward.

He came home, and the HTC’s initial tests showed that he actually had 6% of Factor VIII, he had mild hemophilia (anything over 5% is mild). He’s a mild! Whew! What a relief! He could be a real boy, and I didn’t have to worry! He ran, he played, and he had his first knee bleed – a hot, swollen painful joint that was clearly familiar to my boy. He knew just how to move, how to crawl in such a way that his excruciatingly painful knee never hit the ground. (And, now I had insight into why he might have had those calluses on the palms of his hands when I met him.) He knew that he needed to ice it, and this precious, just-turned-3-year-old never even whimpered about needing to rest. He just busied himself with puzzles and crayons and books on the couch….with a good dose of Netflix thrown in for good measure (Barney and Daniel Tiger are family friends now).

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Our hematologist noted that his owie knees were not new – this precious boy had clearly experienced knee bleeds before. He said that those were the knees of a child with hemophilia. The x-rays showed no permanent damage. And, we started “temporary” prophylaxis twice per week to help strengthen those poor, battered little knees. (You know, prophylaxis, that thing I wasn’t sure we could do all the time.) An amazing home health nurse entered our lives. She was a gift who understood my son (even as he was learning English) and helped him to take control of his treatment. She had the patience of a saint as he performed the whole infusion procedure on his little bear at every visit. (Thank goodness our HTC nurse gifted us with Bear!) She tolerated all the videos and children’s songs he chose to view when it was his turn. Once he finished bear’s turn, he held out his arm and said it was his turn. That was the amazing part. So brave. He just knew. Three years without adequate treatment will provide that wisdom, it seems. He knew what this treatment did for him, and he still does.

You see, 6 months after we got him home, and our HTCs lab equipment was calibrated, we learned that his Factor VIII levels are actually less than 0.5%. Yes, you read that correctly. This child basically makes no Factor VIII of his own! They rechecked the results. And, they even sent samples to a reference lab to be sure. Yes, my boy has severe hemophilia. And you know what, we kept him alive for 6 months. He runs, he plays, and he gets factor twice per week. Our dear, “Nurse-ah” (who has now become just “Nurse” as English pronunciation has emerged) is still with us. She has migrated to the couch recently, as that is where he is choosing to have his infusions. And, he is choosing to have his infusions. Bear rarely gets any at all – he just lays on the factor tray (covered in old band-aid goo) waiting to be needed. And, my precious boy rarely gets knee or ankle bleeds. On the rare occasion that he does, he tells me, “Knee ow! Like China. No walking. China sad. Home happy. Walking! Factor in…..knee all better!” What wisdom. What a lesson for me.

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What if. What if his paperwork had said, “< 0.5% Factor VIII”? Would he be here? Severe hemophilia had scared me. I doubted my ability to parent a child whose life could be in danger because of the severity of his condition. But, God had a different plan. He knew I could do it, but he knew I needed training wheels. “He’s a moderate.” Then, “No, he’s actually a mild!” And, “They’re easy!” Hearing those words gave me the confidence to let my son live as a real boy. To run, dance, jump, play, fall, get up, and do it all over again. And, he did all those things, under my watch, for 6 months, as a child with severe hemophilia. Right under my nose, and I never even knew it. So, yes, I have learned such a valuable lesson. I can do this. And, I can’t imagine life without him here. He just fits into our family. When he met his big sister, his Jie Jie (Mandarin for big sister), it was as though they had always known each other. My mother says she can’t even remember him not being here. He just belongs. He tells me that he is so happy that he has a big family and a home. He knows he is loved. I am blessed every day to have this wonderful boy in my life. And, I’m so thankful for those training wheels that showed me that I can.

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~Guest post by Kelly

Waiting Children with Hemophilia

Crosby

Crosby was found in 2005 at approximately one year old. Soon after coming into orphanage care he was diagnosed with hemophilia, with a deficiency in the number 8 factor. At that time Crosby began receiving monthly blood transfusions, which decreased to once every few months and are no longer necessary. He joined a foster family in 2006 and adjusted well. His physical and cognitive development progressed appropriately. Crosby returned to live at the orphanage in 2010 to attend elementary school. Today he is in the 3rd grade. He excels academically. Crosby is descried as smart and artistic, strong-willed, helpful and shy with strangers. Overall, his medical condition is controlled with clotting factors that are taken twice per week and he is doing very well. Crosby is currently designated to Holt International, contact them for more information and to review his file.

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Michael

Michael is an adorable, healthy appearing 3 year old boy who has been diagnosed with hemophilia. He is receiving medication to prevent bleeds. His development is reported to be normal, and on target for his age. Michael’s language skills are considered superior. He is very fluent, and has very good receptive language as well. Michael is appropriately shy with strangers, but once he feels comfortable, he is outgoing and interactive. He appears well nourished, clean and cared for. We are told that he is very close with his nannies and affectionate. He lives with a small group of similar aged children and he seems to be part of the group, and gets along very well with the other children. He is playful and interested in coloring. He likes our stickers, and puts one on his forehead to be funny. He has good focus, and an easy smile. He has had no other illnesses and has never been hospitalized. He makes excellent eye contact, and seems clever, curious, and appropriate. He is well behaved and well like by the staff. Michael is designated to ATWA, contact them for more information or to review his file.

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Chen

Chen is diagnosed with hemophilia and microcytic hypochromic anemia. He was born November of 2007. He is listed as special focus with Lifeline Children’s Services. Chen can express his needs. He obeys and is polite. Chen needs a forever family to call his own. Please contact Lifeline for more information or to look at his file.

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For more information on beginning the adoption journey, contact the Advocacy Team.

Find My Family: Hanson

June 28, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Update: My family has found me!

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Hi! I’m Hanson! Due to my epidermolysis bullosa I see doctors and nurses a lot so I have a good relationship with them. Even though I get sores on my body, I rarely cry and I try to be very strong! I can be quiet but I love getting to play with the other children. I can walk with one hand held, and will cooperate when getting dressed. I like to sing and play with toys but I especially love getting to go outside. I understand what my caregivers say to me and I can express my needs as well as follow directions. My caretakers get nervous of me playing with other children due to my condition, but I really like getting to play around. I always have a ready smile and am a very active girl!

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Hanson is listed with Great Wall Adoptions, contact them to review her file.

Find My Family: York

June 26, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Twelve year old York is waiting for a family in China and is listed with Madison Adoption Associates via a Journey of Hope camp. York is a very active and social boy. His caretaker describes him as shy, but friendly. He is a good student who is focused and has great potential. He attends 6th grade, reads and writes, and is very independent. York likes to play sports, including hacky sack, soccer, and basketball. York has a sensitive special need. He has not had any surgeries yet and he identifies as a boy. York has a Journey of Hope Grant of $3,500. MAA’s agency fee will be $3,000. Videos: 1 and 2. Password: Adoptmaa

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From his file: York lives with a foster family. When he reached school age, he was accepted by a primary school near his foster family’s home. After going to school, he cherishes learning opportunities. His academic performance is not great, but he is a hard worker. York has a strong sense of participation in collective activities. He is actively involved in the spring and autumn games and the spring and fall outing annually organized by the school. He will actively take the initiative to take part in the project. In one spring game, York got the group first place in the “relay race” event and got his own personal third in skipping events. During the competition, students and their teachers are all his cheering to inspire him. He felt very happy. Through the games he recognized his value, Which enhanced his sense of belonging and accomplishment.

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He is also very positive and shows concern for the teachers and other students by sharing snacks with them. Everyone likes to associate with him. At home, he can set the table, sweep after a meal, stack his own small quilts, and help take care of the little sister in the family. If you are interested in learning more about York, please fill out a free Prospective Adoptive Parents- Waiting Child Review Form. He has a Reece’s Rainbow Account here.

waiting child highlight: down syndrome

June 24, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Are you ready for this C-U-T-E-N-E-S-S? Recently turned two year old, Frankie is listed with Madison Adoption Associates via an orphanage partnership. He is diagnosed with down syndrome. Frankie can sit alone and can crawl. He can imitate adults’ actions, can bang two blocks together, and can stack blocks. Frankie knows his name and reacts when called. His language development is delayed. Basic sign language would be a great option for him at this time. Frankie is outgoing, cute, and lovely. He likes to lie close on people. When there is music playing, he will shake his hands happily and shake his hips. His favorite toys are cars. Frankie is one unforgettable boy! Video Links: 1, 2, and 3 Password: Adoptmaa

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Madison’s application fee is currently reduced to $250 through the end of September and for every child placed from an orphanage partnership, Madison will be donating $250 to Love Without Boundaries. For more information or to review Frankie’s file, please fill out a free PAP-Waiting Child Review Form.

What a little pumpkin Hester is! Hester will be turning two soon. She is diagnosed with down syndrome and esotropia. Hester was just moved to a foster family in January. She is a good sleeper once she is out, but she likes to play a little bit before falling asleep. Hester is introverted and quiet. She likes music, TV, and toys with sound- her musical toy car is her favorite! At 4 months, she could keep her head up and could grasp things and move them to her mouth. She also began to find other kids. At 6 months, she could turn over and could play with toys near her. At 7 months, she could kick her feet strongly, bounce on the caregiver’s lap, and could turn to the sound source if you called her. At 8 months, she could sit well, grasp things, and pat toys. At 12 months, she was afraid of strangers and could not walk.Now she likes sitting in the walker and rarely cries. She can make the sound of “mama” and “baba”. Occasionally she can call out “mama” and “baba.” Hester laughs loudly when being teased. What Hester needs most is the love of a forever family! Could you be her forever family?

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Madison’s application fee is currently reduced to $250 through the end of September and for every child placed from an orphanage partnership, Madison will be donating $250 to Love Without Boundaries. For more information or to review Hester’s file, please fill out a free PAP-Waiting Child Review Form.

This is 3 year old, Lana. Lana is waiting for a family in China and is listed with Madison Adoption Associates. She has Down Syndrome, postoperative Congential heart disease (perimembranous ventricular septal defect, atrial septal defect, severe pulmonary hypertension), hypothyroidism, and mollification with perforating deformity in right parietal lobe and temporooccipital lobe listed as her special needs. From her file: At the age of 5months, she can smile when teased and can visually follow the moving people; she can grasp a small toy for a moment. At the age of 10 months, her hearing is more sensitive; she can distinguish different sounds and can imitate sounds.

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She is outgoing, smart, and quiet. She likes to be cuddled and play with others. She is fond of listening to music. When there is music, she would be happy to wave her hands. She gets along well with other children and is happy to share good toys and good food with other children. She has sweet smiles and is adored. From a recent update: She cannot talk. She is fed to eat. She is mild and friendly. She can drink by herself. She has a Reece’s Rainbow Account. For more information or to review her file, contact Sara.

For more information on beginning the adoption journey, contact the Advocacy Team.

Bamboo Project Update

June 22, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Today is a very special day… in a few short hours, the first of the Bamboo Project children will be in the arms of her FOREVER family! I’ve gotten to walk along side this lovely family from Georgia from nearly the start of their journey. Let me tell you, they are MORE than in love with their little one! God has truly ordained this precious heart and her extra chromosome into this amazing family. I’m SO STINKING EXCITED for them today and all the days that lay ahead.

This story will be repeated this time next week too, as a second Bamboo family just got word they are traveling this Wednesday! (Super short notice, just like with us!) This Michigan family is an experienced adoptive home, but this is their first chromosomally enhanced child… oh, what an adventure lays before them!! This little girl is already so VERY loved and wanted.

Please be praying for these families and their new daughters as they bond, and navigate the cultural, developmental, & medical waters that are before them now. Also for the children that are waiting at home in Georgia & in Michigan; that their hearts will overflow with love for their new sister and their own transition will be seamless with their growing family.

God is so VERY good. He is setting the lonely into families just as He promised. (Psalms 68:6). Thank you to all that have been praying & supporting this incredible project! (Please continue to contend for the five handsome boys still waiting for their new Forever). Four more Bamboo families are due to travel before the end of the summer… let’s get these kids HOME!!

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Find My Family: Ma Quan

June 22, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Ma Quan is a very handsome twelve year old boy. He is currently attending school, Quan has been in care since he was just a baby. Quan is Hepatitis B positive and has had no health issues. He is a happy, smart and developmentally on target boy. He loves to work puzzles and play games. He is a big fan of animation (translation…he loves cartoons!).

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Quan loves to play outside with his friends and gets along well with them. He is an average student. There is a mistake on his medical…they have placed another child’s IQ results (with the other child’s name) on Quan’s medical form. There is no issue with his IQ. Quan is a good boy and school has been very good for him in many ways. They report he is more mature in his behavior now…he probably has some good teachers. Quan has been told of the possibility of an adoption and is very happy about the idea. He stated he would like to have a father and a mother. Quan will be a wonderful son for a lucky family!

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Quan is listed as Douglas with Lifeline Adoption Services, please contact Amy for more information. For guidance in regard to beginning the adoption journey contact the Advocacy Team.

Find My Family: Macy

June 20, 2014 by nohandsbutours 5 Comments

Macy is a precious nine year old girl who has waited for her family to find her for a very long time. Her file has bounced from one agency to another, without ever being chosen. She is currently listed with Heartsent Adoptions.

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Macy has been diagnosed with CHD (VSD after repair) and PH. She has also shown slightly lower growth indexes. At present, Macy has good general health status and shows no signs of tachypnea or purple lips nor does she need to take any medication. As her heart condition was complicated her development has been delayed.

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Her caregivers note that she has made big improvements after her CHD operation. She is active and lovely girl who always has a ready smile. She is very outgoing and gets along well with the other children. She shows good manners and greets the caretakers every morning. Her greatest wish is for a family of her own.

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For more information on Macy, contact her current agency, Heartsent. For more information on beginning the adoption journey, contact the Advocacy Team.

Find My Family: Jenny

June 14, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Update: My Family has found me!

Get ready for a party with Jenny! Five old Jenny was born blind, but being blind doesn’t stop her from living life to the fullest. She sings, she dances, she is the life of the party. Her caregivers describe Jenny as an extrovert and an active playmate. She is expressive and loves meeting new people and learning new things. Her physical development is normal. Jenny will need a family who will advocate for her as she makes her way in the world. She wants a family of her own, and she’d love to meet you! We have lots of pictures and videos to share with you. Could Jenny join your family? “Jenny” is listed with Agape Adoptions and is part of their one to one program. Contact Agape for more information on Jenny.

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Jenny’s $5,500 orphanage donation fee has been WAIVED. Agape Adoptions is also offering a $1,000 grant toward reducing the cost of her adoption.

Contact the advocacy team for more information in regard to beginning the adoption process.

waiting child highlight: older girls

June 12, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Autumn is twelve years old and inching dangerously close to her 14th birthday with every passing minute. She has repaired CL/CP. She loves to sing and dance and is active, outgoing and considerate. She has been spoken to about adoption and says she would love to have a family to call her own! Autumn is listed with GWCA, contact them for more information in regard to adopting her.

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Lydia is a precious twelve year old little girl who has been diagnosed with concomitant esotropia of both eyes. A day after coming into care of the orphanage, she was placed with a foster family in order to ensure that she grew up healthily and happy. Lydia likes to play outdoors and play games with the other children. She always has a ready smile and loves beautiful clothing and playing with the neighbors. Lydia is currently listed with Holt International, contact them for more information.

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This beautiful ten year old little girl is Harriet. She was abandoned when she was about a month old. She is bright, understanding, not obstinate, likes doing sports, is energetic, adapts well to new things. She has a cleft palate, and she has not had the surgery for her cleft palate yet. The orphanage had planned to do the surgery for her cleft palate, but at that time the doctor suggested that she should wait until after all of her teeth grow out, so they did not have her have the surgery yet. She likes beautiful clothes, especially pink. She likes playing with toy blocks or clay. She likes fruits and yogurt. Harriet is on Lifeline’s special focus list but only posted on Wonderful Waiting Kids. Please email Annie to review her file.

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For more information on beginning the adoption journey, contact the Advocacy Team.

Find My Family: Brandon

June 10, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Brandon is a precious little boy who will turn 8 this summer. Look at that SMILE!!

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Brandon is a shy young man who came into care at the age of 3 years old. At first he had a difficult time adjusting to life in the orphanage. But with the help of his teachers and peers, he began to settle in to his new environment. Now he is in a Half the Sky program and lives with his foster parents and 3 foster siblings. New people and situations seem uncomfortable to him. He is hesitant to interact with people he in not familiar with, but he plays well with his family members and is quite talkative with them. Brandon’s original file notes mental delays. However, he has made much progress since joining his foster family. He still does not speak much, but his speech has seen great improvement. And although he rarely initiates conversations, he does respond correctly to questions he is asked. He attends school where is is considered average for his learning and academics.

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A recent update suggests that Brandon is a healthy boy with a ready smile. He has normal motor function in relation to his peers and takes care of himself in day to day tasks such as getting dressed and using the restroom. He enjoys watching TV and playing with toy cars. His original file mentioned that he loved to sing, and he update said the same thing! Perhaps he is a musician in the making!

Some general resources in parenting a child with special needs can be found here:
Love Without Boundaries Special Needs Manual
Rainbow Kids
Comeunity
Yahoo SN Children China Group
Children’s Disabilities Information

Brandon is currently on the shared list, so any agency with a China program will be able to access his file. However, he is eligible for a $4,000 grant for qualified families who choose to use WACAP as their placing agency. For more information on beginning the adoption journey towards Brandon, please contact the Advocacy Team or WACAP.

waiting child highlight: ATWA

June 6, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

The following waiting children are all listed with Around the World Adoptions.

Eve: Female born 1/2011 liver hemangioma, deaf, mild hemiplegia on right side. From her update in April of 2014: She does not respond to sound. She is deaf. Hemiplegia has affected her. She can walk alone now, but her steps are not very steady. She can grab and hold toys with both hands, but she prefer to use her left hand. She got an ultra-sound test on September 5, 2013, it showed that her liver tumor did not develop after she stopped medication. She has heart ultra sound test on April 3, 2014, her heart structure is normal. Her acleistocardia has cured. She is very open and active. She likes to smile. She likes to interact with other people. She is very attached to people who cares about her. If you pay attention to her, her mood is good, and she can take your orders. If you do not pay attention to her, or you can not satisfy her need, she can be impatient and stubborn. Due to her deaf, she can not speak, she does not understand caregiver’s instructions well. Her mental development is about 2 year old. Click to watch videos 1 and 2.

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Leo: Male 3/2012 Diagnosis: the possibility of considering of congenital cerebral porosis is big, communicating hydrocephalus. From his update in April of 2014: His medical condition remains the same as before, no big improvement. He received no new surgery. He is under rehabilitation training from March to June in Zhuzhou City. Mental and language development He can pick up biscuit by himself, he can play toys. He can say “Pa, Ah” and other simple words. He can clap his hands and wave good-bye if you ask him to do. His mental and language development are about the level of a normal 1 year old child. Motor skills development He can grab and hold toys. He can exchange toys between two hands. He can not sit well, he needs hand support when sitting alone. His motor skill development is about the level of a 1 year old child. Social development and personality: He is shy and introverted. He is attached to his caregiver. See his video here.

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Adam: Male 3/2012 Spina bifida (meningomyelocele). From his update in April of 2014: His mental development is normal. He can understand what caregivers said. His language development is improving, he can say “1,2” and other simple words. He can crawl, he can sit alone, he can stand with some support. He can grab and hold toys. He is active and lovely. He likes to smile, he likes to play with other kids. He gets along well with other kids and caregivers. Watch his video here.

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Micah: Male 1/2011 Hydrocephalus. His condition has been stable. He can see, but his sight has affected his learning. He can say double syllable words, he can point to his body parts. His mental development is about a 2 year old normal kid. The motor skill of his right part body is weaker than his left part. His motor skill development is about a 2 year old normal kid. He is open and active. He can be initiative to say hello to other people. He likes to be with other people. Watch his two videos 1 and 2.

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Cody: 12/2007 CHD. From February 2014 update: He had heart surgery December of 2013. He likes very much to imitate, he can recite children rhymes, Chinese ancient poems and etc. He can recognize the red, blue, purple and other colors. He can have simple communications with adults. He can stand, walk and jump. Since he just had heart surgery and is relatively weak, he can not do sports or play games for long time yet. He likes to swing, slip from sliders, and play building block toys. He is open, he likes to be close to his teachers and he gets along well with other kids. Videos 1 and 2.

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Contact Mary with ATWA for more information on any of these waiting children.

Find My Family: Bailey

June 4, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Bailey is 11 and has a postoperative intracranial tumor.

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Bailey has normal body development. She is outgoing and lovely; she is gets along with others well; the warm smile makes her lovable. She is happy to take part in some simple labors and games; she likes to sing, dance and draw; she like to help to do something small what she can do; she is hungry for adult’s support and encouragement; when someone talks to her, she will be very happy. Under the care and loving of everyone, she grows healthily and happily. She has built strong and close relationship with everyone; she is sensible child.

For more information, please contact Kathy. Grant funding available to qualifying families up to $2500.

Find My Family: Andrew

May 30, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

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Andrew is a very polite 9 year old who has been living in a wonderful foster home for the past year. He is deaf. He communicates with his peers and house nannies by pointing to objects and expressing his needs. He has begun learning sign language 3 times a week with an American therapist at the foster home. They are working on identifying objects, things, colors, and people. He is proving to be a quick learner. Teaching Andrew to sign and understand concept ideas has been difficult due to his lack of reading, however they are diligently working through it with the use of picture scenes and acting. He is a very bright and outgoing young man. He is very smart and the therapist believes he has a lot of potential for learning sign language! He has a wonderful sense of humor and a smile which can light up any room.

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Andrew is sweet boy who is described as smart and loving, and always ready to help! He is otherwise healthy aside from his deafness! He is in school and enjoys playing outside and especially loves basketball. He needs a family who is prepared for a child that will be a part of the deaf community.

Andrew is now listed as Bo with Lifeline Children’s Services. Please contact Lifeline for more information or to view his file.

Resources for families adopting children with hearing impairment:
Yahoo Group
Rainbow Kids

Families who have adopted children with hearing impairment:
In The Waiting
Ears To Hear
Our Journey to Luke

For more information on beginning the adoption journey contact The Advocacy Team.

Waiting child highlight: Tisha Urgent Medical Need

May 24, 2014 by nohandsbutours 1 Comments

UPDATE: My Family has found me!

Sweet Tisha is a two year old precious girl designated to Lifeline Children’s Services. She is diagnosed with Beta Thalassemia Major and is unfortunately not receiving optimal care for this special need. She has developmental delays, which are not surprising for her at this time. Her file also mentions anemic heart disease, which is directly related to the poorly treated Thalassemia. She desperately needs a family who can complete a medical expedite adoption and get her to the US to receive proper medical care. A family who already has a dossier logged in with the CCCWA would be ideal, although not required.

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Tisha is described as a strong willed little princess who loves candy and getting her own way! She loves to be outside and is known for her “beautiful brown eyes.” Wouldn’t you agree?! She will require monthly blood transfusions, daily medication and care coordinated by a pediatric hematologist. Follow the links in this post for more information on Thalassemia. This special need can be well managed in the US and her survival truly depends on her being adopted.

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For more information about this precious child, please contact Emily F.

For more information on this special need, contact Fannie. For more information on beginning the adoption process, contact the Advocacy Team.

waiting child highlight: Lifeline

May 22, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

Rider – male, 1 year old. Albinism. Rider is an adorable 12 month old baby boy who loves to eat and crawl all over the place! For more information about Rider, please contact Lifeline.

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Finch – male, 1 ½ years old. Cerebrovascular malformation and mild hydrocephalus. Finch is an adorable one year old boy who loves stacking toys and being outside. He is learning to feed himself and his nannies report he has great language for a child his age! Finch has been diagnosed as having cerebrovascular malformation and mild hydrocephalus, his CT scans are available. For more information about Finch, please contact Lifeline.

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Benny – male, 2 years old. (SN) Meningocele (post-op); hydrocephalus (post-op); scoliosis. Benny is a pure joy. Our Lifeline team had so much fun with this little guy. Some observations from our time with Benny include noticing his constant smile, the ease with which he engaged with others, and his contagious belly laugh when tickled. This little guy lights up when he receives encouragement and is cheered on in whatever he is doing. He seemed to really enjoy learning new things. His nannies report that he is very cooperative and obedient, that he is smart and curious. For more information about Benny, please contact Lifeline.

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Diana – female, 2 ½ years old. Congenital dislocation of bilaterial hips (dysplasia), knees valgus. Diana is a sweet little girl who is adored by her caregivers. She is quiet but able to express her needs. Diana enjoys activities outdoors, playing games and watching cartoons. Diana likes to play with toys, reading books and she especially enjoys playing with dolls. This beautiful little girl is ready to flourish in her forever family! For more information about Diana, please contact Lifeline.

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Dora – female, 3 years old. Congenital ventricular septal defect, patent ductusarteriosus, patent foramen ovale, pulmonary artery hypertension (severe). Dora is a sweet little girl with a fun personality! She has difficulty expressing her needs clearly but has found other ways to express herself. She loves listening to music and will clap her hands along with the melody. Dora loves to have her picture taken and will never miss an opportunity to be in a photo. She is an energetic and active little girl who will bring lots of fun to her forever family! For more information about Dora, please contact Lifeline.

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Bella – female, 1 ½ years old. Bella is a beautiful little girl who is sure to melt you heart! She is a happy little girl and is known to laugh out loud! Bella is a quiet girl who is close with her caretakers. She enjoys listening to music and likes to play with toys that make sounds. This sweet little girl is ready and waiting for her forever family! For more information about Bella, please contact Lifeline.

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For more information about beginning the adoption journey, contact the Advocacy Team.

Waiting child highlight: congenital adrenal hyperplasia

May 18, 2014 by nohandsbutours 2 Comments

Meet Louise! When Louise came into care at 5 years old, she was very shy and quiet. When anyone would talk to her, she would lower her head and rarely speak back. At 6 she was placed with a foster family. She enjoyed this very much and is very close to her foster brother who is wheel-chair bound. After almost 4 years with her foster family, she is a more confident child. She enjoys school and will answer questions out loud in class. Louise loves to help! She will often help her teachers with classroom jobs. Helping her fellow classmates and her foster brother puts a smile on her face! Her shyness has all but disappeared, and her caretakers say she has an “inner heart as bright as the sunshine!”

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And this is Jenni! Jenni has been in her orphanage since she was very young. She is said to be an “extrovert”, but is initially shy with strangers. She attends school at the orphanage and is a hard worker. Concepts taught by her teachers are easily grasped. At age 7, she knew 10 Tang poems, several children’s songs, could write simple Chinese words, and knew simple addition and subtraction. Drawing, however, is what she loves! She likes to draw people and share her works with others. Her teachers and caretakers all like her and praise her as a good helper. Her caretakers say she although she has “deep emotion” for her orphanage, she “hopes to have a real home in which her parents love her.”

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Both of these sweet girls have been diagnosed with congenital adrenal hyperplasia. Their adrenal glands lack an enzyme needed to make certain hormones. This is treated with daily oral medication (typically 3-4 times a day) for life.

There are some wonderful resources available for families affected by this condition. A file review by a pediatric endocrinologist is suggested as well.
National Adrenal Diseases Foundation
The MAGIC Foundation
The CARES Foundation

To read about parenting a child with CAH, check out this family’s blog.

Louise and Jenni are currently both on the shared list, so their files may be obtained through any agency with a China program. They are both eligible for a $4000 grant through WACAP for qualified families who choose to use WACAP as their placing agency. Contact WACAP for more information.

For more information on beginning the adoption journey contact the Advocacy Team.

Exposed to Hope: Girls with Vision Impairment

May 16, 2014 by nohandsbutours 0 Comments

In 2005 we submitted our application for a Non Special Need (NSN) adoption from China but five years later we were still waiting. Afraid that our time would never come, we started discussing Special Needs (SN) adoption. We got all the necessary papers and permissions but struggled trying to figure out what kind of special need we thought we could handle. In the end we decided not to submit our SN application as we felt like we didn’t have what it takes to parent a child with a special need.

In 2011 finally it was our turn. A healthy little eight month old baby girl was waiting for us in China. We were so happy and excited and visualized our future together. We felt our love for her grow day by day and all I could think of was how a longed to take her in my arms, smell her and give her a cuddle.

Two months later, I didn´t recognize our little one when a nanny came in the room with a tiny little baby girl. This little girl couldn’t hold her head up and had to be carried like a newborn. But as soon as I realized that this was my child I was overwhelmed with joy. I couldn’t believe that I finally had my little one in my arms after years of waiting and longing for this moment. She was asleep when we got her and slept most of the time while we were in China, her way of coping with this dramatic change in her life. We were not so worried about her physical delays as we had been prepared for that but what worried us more was that we couldn’t get any eye contact with her. She just looked straight through us. Her medical files stated that she was completely healthy, so we hoped that she would catch up little by little as soon as we would get her home and get some professional help.

Little did we know. After we got home, we took her to a doctor and few weeks later we got her diagnosis: cerebral palsy, cortical visual impairment and hearing impairment. The doctor explained to us that she probably had suffered from a lack of oxygen at birth and that had caused some brain damage. There was no way of saying how she would progress.

We were shocked, disappointed and so afraid. We were afraid of not being up to the task, we were afraid of how our life was going to change and we were afraid of the future. We wanted answers that nobody could give us. We wanted to know if she would ever talk, walk, go to university, get married, have children…

In looking for answers, I spent endless time online, reading blogs written by parents of special-needs children, especially when the children had similar special needs as my daughter. I didn’t get the answers I was initially searching for, but I got other answers far more important. I knew we were going to be alright. That this was not the end of the world and that SN families were just as happy as NSN families. For me it was a turning point when I read this quote written by a mother of an SN child:

“Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, ‘Wow, what a ride!!’“

That day I blogged myself and this is what I wrote:

“This is it. We only live once so it must be much more fun to tackle many different tasks that seem much bigger than you can handle instead of sailing on still waters. Every hurdle I have had to overcome in my life has made me a better person. Now my life with my little girl is waiting for me. Bring it on, I’m ready. I can’t wait to take on this new role, meet new people and learn to adapt to this new reality. I’m going to teach my little girl so many things, but I know that she is going to teach me more. The wait for her was long and difficult but it was so worth it.“

This is how it has been. It has been quite a ride but in a good way. We are so proud of our little girl and we love her to pieces. She has made steady progress although she takes her time. She has learned to sit, crawl on her stomach, walk in a walker, stand up, sit down, eat and drink by herself, uses about twenty words and so much more. Her vision is improving and she is much more aware of her surroundings. She wakes up with a smile on her face every morning and makes me smile when she calls “Mama“ and then grins and claps her hands when I reply. She goes to a normal pre-school. On weekends we do what normal families do. Go for a walk, play outside, go skiing, swimming, and so on. We just have to be a little imaginative and adapt to her needs.

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We were so wrong when we thought our lives were about to take a u-turn when we got the diagnosis. We live the life we had always longed for. A happy family life full of love and laughter.

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~Exerpt from “Exposed to Hope: Stories of Families who have Adopted a Child with a Visual Impairment from China.” The book has been compiled by Bethel China and is a compilation of stories of families who have adopted a child with a visual impairment from China. Parents write honestly and beautifully about the why, the how and the what happens next of the adoption process. Through real life examples, they share their experiences of meeting their sons and daughters for the first time, navigating the medical and educational system for visually impaired children, and what life as a family looks like for them. The book is available here for $2.99, but each time a child is adopted, the price will change to $0.99 for two days. There are 12 more wonderful stories in “Exposed to Hope,” which you can buy here.

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Waiting girls with a visual impairment and possible delays:

Annabelle
Anna/Annabelle is a beautiful four year old girl who loves to be cuddles. She likes playing with other children and adults and she is an outgoing child. She can say some words but not many, and her caregivers do her self-care for her. We are not sure if she can’t, or if she is not given the opportunity to learn how. Her favorite activity is to walk outside and to sit in the sun. She is diagnosed with weak eyesight, but her file says that she can see light.

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Evie
Evie is a little girl who has been waiting on the shared list since she was a baby. She is now 7 years old. She has congenital anopthalmus of both eyes (she was born without eyes). This gentle girl lived in a foster family for her first year, then was moved to Bethel where she lived for 3 years. In January 2013 she was moved back to her orphanage and we do not have a recent update. Evie is gentle, loving and she likes routine. She is also absolutely beautiful!

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Lizzie
Lizzie is a little sunflower. She can see light and dark and she loves to sit by the window and follow the sun. She has a visual impairment and also is on the autism spectrum. Lizzie does not speak but communicates in sign and her teachers and ayis know her routine and help her to stick to it. She can do more and more self-care skills including get dressed, walk to school or home on her own, feed herself, play with toys. She loves cuddles and will always try to keep a hug going for as long as possible! Lizzie loves music, nursry rhymes and the swings and seesaw.

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Naomi
Naomi has the sweetest, most beautiful face. She has a visual impairment, which looks like it can be corrected with glasses, and also cerebral palsy, which affects all four of her limbs. We have very little information about Naomi, but what we do know is that she is a precious child that needs a mama! More information and pictures here.

For more information on any of these girls please contact Chloe Banks.

Find My Family: Colleen

May 14, 2014 by nohandsbutours 2 Comments

Adorable Colleen is 8.5 years old and is diagnosed with retarded growth; deformity of spine. The Little People of America believe that she has a form of dwarfism. Unfortunately for her, she resides in an orphanage that is not very cooperative when it comes to updates so she needs a family who will love her and accept her no matter what her official diagnosis may be. She has a short physical stature for her age. Her caregivers say that she does grow, but very slowly. The doctor at the orphanage says that she has congenitally fused vertebrae and they are short and flat which makes her spine shorter than normal.

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At 5, she was bowel incontinent and wore diapers (she was bladder continent). She may or may not be incontinent and in diapers still. At 5, she could not carry heavy items very well with her left hand, though she could grip things. They said that her left leg and foot are normal. She has normal and clear speech and the caregivers say that she has normal mental development. She can run and likes to play with other children. At 5, she was receiving education at the orphanage. They are not sure she will be accepted for school outside of her orphanage because of her special need. Even though she looked serious when we the agency staff met her, the caregivers say that she is usually a very happy girl. She is currently living at the orphanage and is waiting for a loving family to adopt her. Colleen has waited a very long time. Are you the family that will take a leap of faith for this beautiful girl?

Video from the 2010 Journey of Hope camp.

Update from April 2014:
Colleen is active and extroverted. She is happy and smiles a lot. She gets along well with people. She is receiving special education in the orphanage. She knows some simple English words. She can sing, dance, draw,cut paper, and recite poems. She knows simple Pinyin and alphabets. She can imitate teacher to write her name and some numbers. She can put on clothes, brush teeth, wash face, fold bedding, eat, drink, walk upstairs and downstairs,run and walk. But her left leg is not normal. She is still on diapers, but can change by herself and clean herself. Her left arm function is limited. She cannot lift heavy things with her left arm and it cannot straight either. She likes playing with teachers,caretakers and other children.

Colleen is currently on Madison Adoption Associates’ designated list. For more information or to review her file, please fill out this form.

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Find My Family: Grace with WACAP

May 13, 2014 by nohandsbutours 3 Comments

Update: My family has found me!

This sweet little face belongs to Grace. Although her nannies describe her as timid and shy, she gets along well with others and is said to be energetic. She is six years old. She loves to listen to music, read books, and play with toys,. Dolls happen to be her favorite and she likes to play hide and seek. Grace has been diagnosed with CHD, specifically VSD and pulmonary hypertension. Her height, weight, and physical development are consistent with most other kids with a similar diagnosis. Test results and images are available for her family to see, as well as a video. On paper, her condition can seem bleak. The reality is that she needs a family soon. A family that is willing to love in spite of the risk. A family that knows this child is more than medical test results and papers in a file, but she is their very own beloved daughter.

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Grace’s file is currently with WACAP and she has a $4,000 grant for qualified families. Please email WACAP for more information.

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Plenty of resources and encouragement from families of other heart children are available. The following sites are great places to learn more about CHD:
Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital
Little Hearts
Kids With Heart
Congenital Heart Information Network Resources
China Heart Children Yahoo Group

To learn more about parenting a child with severe CHD, you can check out these family blogs:
His Hands, His Feet
Lori McCary

For more information on beginning the adoption journey, contact the Advocacy Team.