Sweet Mary Beth recently turned 7 years old – such a fun age, yet Mary Beth has experienced such loss in her young life. Mary Beth spent her first five years with her parents, turning up at an orphanage in December of 2014.
It is unknown whether her gender or her special needs caused her parents decision, but it is heartbreaking regardless. In October of 2016, Mary Beth was moved from her orphanage to Harmony House, where she is getting great care while she waits for her forever family to see her and bring her home. Meet Mary Beth!
A quiet child, Mary Beth is very sweet and polite. She manages her own needs well and is beginning to make friends and acclimate to the other children at Harmony House. She is being evaluated for school, but has already demonstrated she can do simple math. Her medical needs include issues with her right temporal lobe and distension of her right ventricle, both which affect the left side of her body. She also has esotropia of the left eye. Harmony House already has her wearing glasses to help with that. Mary Beth experiences limited usage of her left arm and leg. Although she is able to walk well, running is more difficult for her.
March 2017 Written Update:
1. How is her mental ability compared to peers the same age?
Her mental ability is good and no delay compared to peers the same age.
2. How does the special need affect her health?
Half of her body was effected- right hand and right leg, but she walks well and it’s hard for her to run, but she still can. She gets a massage every day and we’re training her to use her right hand too.
3. Is she toilet trained during the day and the night?
4. Please describer her personality in details.
The first time I saw her in the orphanage and said hello to her, she didn’t see me one second and didn’t say hello to me. Then she was sent to our house. For the first few weeks, she was still quiet and not close to us, so I talked with her several times and brought her with me to do something she has never did before to make her happy. Now she looks like a flower –blossoming now. She is very sweet, adorable, listens to us, plays with the other children, etc. You can see she is a very happy girl. It is hard for her because she was abandoned when she has 4 years old. One time she told me she remembered she has a sister, but she can’t remember her family name. So the first several times when I asked her: Do you want to be adopted? she didn’t tell me anything-she was just quiet. She has already seen several children adopted through Harmony House, so she told me she wants an adoptive family too. I can see the changes. She longs to have parents who will love her.
5. Is she well behaved and obedient?
6. How are her gross motor skills? Any limitations?
I think her motor skills are good. She can do many thing she wants, no limitations. She looks like a normal child if her right hand was better.
7. How are her fine motor skills? Can she draw or scribble on paper? Can she pick up little things with her fingers?
To me, all her motor skills are fine. I’ve never treated her like a special needs child. I ask her to do the same things a healthy child does. I take her to a paint class once a week. The teacher told me she is good at drawing pictures and she can gather toys to help clean classroom. I think she didn’t get help from her family and orphanage for her right hand because she is now aware of how to use her right hand.
8. Is she in any kind of school? If so, how does she do? What is her favorite subject? Her least favorite?
Our nanny teaches her at Harmony House- she learns simple math, poems and simple English. Volunteers come to teach English too. She is doing good and she is starting to write. She said she enjoys learning English.
9. How is her emotional development? Is the child attached to anyone? Who is she closest to? Does she care for other people?
Emotional development is good I think. She is close to her friends like Audrey and Marlene. She cares for other people.
10. How are her social skills? Does she get along well with other children and adults? Who is she closest to?
Yes, she gets along well with other children and adults. She is a very good girl. She is closest to Audrey and Marlene and she also plays with other children too. She is an easy girl.
11. When did she come into the care of Harmony House?
Oct. 10, 2016
12. How is the language ability of the child? Does she speak in full sentences? Is she easy to understand? Is her language comparable to other children her age?
Her language ability is good. She speaks in full sentences and is easy to understand. Compared with other children, she is good and same as others her age. She spoke Cantonese before, so she is still improving with her Mandarin.
13. Can the child follow multi-step directions from adults?
Yes. She got good practice when I took her with me to the Great Wall and market to buy vegetables, to KFC, etc.
14. Is the child on any medication?
15. What does she like to eat and drink? Anything she really dislikes?
She likes meat.
16. What are her favorite colors?
17. Anything else you’d like to share or that a family should know about?
She said she likes painting and prime transformers.
A family visiting Harmony Home recently said this about Mary Beth: “When I first overheard her talking with other kids in clear Mandarin with her provincial accent, I was rather impressed. She had only arrived in Beijing (where Mandarin is the main language instead of the provincial dialect) for a couple of months, and I was told that kids from her state orphanage often have language delays. Another thing that struck me about her was that she’s not like most of the orphans I’ve met. She didn’t seek excessive attention from adult visitors, yet she interacted beautifully with both adults and children — she just didn’t “feel” like someone who’s been institutionalized for a long time. Turned out my feeling was right — she was abandoned at 5 years old (right before Christmas two years ago) and still remembered her family members, like her sister, grandmother, etc. She has learned attachment and probably good language skills from her birth family.
Unlike other orphans of her age who’d jump at the idea of having a mommy and daddy, when asked if she wanted a family, she often looked perplexed and refused to say anything. She probably thought she’d had a family. But they terribly failed her. I can’t imagine the loss she’s felt in her heart, the feeling of betrayals after being loved by the birth family, and the utter confusion about the meaning of “family.” This grieves my heart — how I want to tell her that they didn’t do this to hurt her, but were hoping to give her a chance of a better life. How I want to promise her that there will be a family coming for her, a family that can help her with the special needs (they are honestly not that much and can probably be managed by mere glasses and physical therapy), and who are willing to walk her through her heartbreaking past and reintroduce the meaning of family to her, only this time, it’s forever! Will you be that family?”
Mary Beth is newly listed with Madison Adoption Associates. There is a $1,000 agency grant with Madison Adoption Associates for Mary Beth’s adoption. There is an extra $1,000 grant for Mary Beth’s adoption if a family moves forward in March, making her grant with Madison now $2,000. Other grants may be available based on the adoptive family’s circumstances. Agency grants are awarded as agency fee reductions. MAA also partners with the Brittany’s Hope Foundation for matching grants, which are given out twice a year (January and July) and to families that are matched with a child.
If you are interested in reviewing Mary Beth’s file or in adopting Mary Beth, please fill out a free PAP Waiting Child Review Form, which can be found here: MAA Prospective Adoptive Parents – Waiting Child Review Form