Thursday, December 30, 2010

Teacher, Thomas update

Thomas is an outgoing boy with a strong sense of responsibility and leadership. Other kids always follow his lead, and he is always the one inventing new games. There was one time, Thomas and other kids are hanging out outside, and it looked like they were bored. Suddenly Thomas saw that the adults were cooking in the kitchen. He asked “who wants to play kitchen game.” All the kids ran to him and wanted to participate. He started ordering “you, go get the pot”, “you, go to the dorm get crackers”… Kids went to get all the stuff he needed. They were playing for a long time. After everybody got bored, he suggested the Police game… He is the most energetic kid in his group. Other kids like to call him “big brother” because he acts like a big brother. He obeys his teacher. He is always the first one to finish his tasks.
There must be a family out there with children who could love a leader like Thomas? I remember thinking how adorable he was during the camp! That little face just melts my heart! Surely there is a family out there for Thomas? There's a new year coming up, the economy is improving and the adoption tax credit/refund has been extended through 2012! Don't wait! Please help find Thomas' family and have them contact me:

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Exciting Updates!!!

Our little elf, Eva, was able to convey to Bao an what kind of updates we would like on the children and this morning we received updates on 17 of the kids!!!!! They are all currently in Chinese, so our other elf, Fei, will be working hard to translate them tomorrow so I can post all of the wonderful stories and information they provided us with about the children. Stay tuned for more exciting posts and pictures!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More From Santa's Elves

Cute Kerry:

All of the boys in this picture are still in need of families!

All of the boys from Shenzhen were very mature and obedient, however Kerry was a happy-go-lucky, outgoing kid! He was the one that seemed most like a kid just enjoying being a kid! He liked chosing his gifts and got right in there, unable to contain his excitement, although he did maintain his politeness:-) You can see the other boys are rather reserved, but this kiddo has personality! Kerry and Warner were both outgoing and asked Susan and Eva (our elves) questions. Kerry is in a foster family with several of the other children. Kerry is a healthy older boy who needs a forever family. Could you or someone you know be that family to make his dream come true?

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sweet Harold

Look at this sweet face!

All of the boys in this picture are still available:

Eva confirmed that Harold still has such a sweet, shy personality. The heart wrenching part of her visit was finding out that the orphanage tried to register him for adoption several years ago, but there was a mishap, so this adorable little boy lost his opportunity to find a family when he was still young and reportedly very cute and pudgy! Nevertheless, we hope to still find him a family. You can see that he does much better with people he knows and in an environment with fewer people. We could barely catch him smiling back in April, but Eva got several pictures of him looking relaxed and smiling. He is also a very bright boy! He is in 4th grade, which is ahead of his age level in China. Susan asked him some complicated math questions and he answered correctly right away! Harold said that he likes to read for fun. Isn't there a family out there that would be a good match for this sweet boy? Contact me if you could be that family:

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Bo and CJ, brothers at heart

Bo and CJ live in the same foster home and truly act like brothers. They attend the same elementary school--Bo is in 2nd grade and CJ is in 1st grade. They share a bed and communicate well with one another, aside from the normal sibling arguments over toys.

Bo has made great improvements since meeting him in April. He helps his foster family with chores and is extremely detail-oriented and a perfectionist. Bo takes his tasks very seriously. When he is asked to do chores with his foster siblings, he sweeps the floor and makes sure it is clean down to the last piece of hair. He gets very happy when his foster mother praises him for his good work. He has learned to care for himself very well now and takes instruction well. When he is corrected for doing something wrong, he listens and tries to do the right thing next time. For example, when his teacher passed out notebooks one afternoon, she left the extras on a table after class ended. Bo put them in his backpack and took them home. His foster mother found them and explained that it was wrong. The next day, Bo took the notebooks back to his teacher and apologized and promised not to do it again. Bo has become a much more open and happy boy. He can carry on good long conversations with people with whom he is familiar. He likes to play with the other kids in his neighborhood.

CJ is a bright little boy who often remembers things after just being taught once. He gets good grades. He is active and lively and can sometimes be a bit mischevious. He is also a very caring little boy. One time when his foster mother was out, his foster brother came down with a fever. The foster dad went to look for some medicine, so CJ went to the bathroom and got a warm, wet towel and put it on his brother's forehead. The foster mother was so touched when she found out because she had once done that to help CJ when he had a fever, and he remembered. He is also very empathic. Once when his brother was crying because he got corrected for doing something wrong, CJ tried to soothe him by saying: "Don't worry, brother, it will be ok, just do better next time." CJ has lots of friends and often takes care of his younger friends.

Both Bo and CJ bring much joy to their foster family. They would make the perfect addition(s) to the right forever family. Could you be that family?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eva The Elf is Baaack!

Eva arrived back at the office today and gave us a wonderful update on the Santa Stopped in China event! Bao an's Sunshine Academy held a Christmas party that day, complete with Christmas tree, Santa hats, gift bags for the kids and candies. Eva brought pictures which she is still uploading of the kids who were all extremely excited to be getting gifts! The backpacks were a hit, along with all of the other goodies the elves brought! Bao an was so gracious and willing to share more information about the children. They were pleased to hear about those who have families pursuing them and more than happy to provide more information about those that don't. Again Eva got the impression that the folks at Bao an truly love the children and want what is best for them.

Eva got some additional information on all of the children. It seems that they have all made tremendous progress since we were there in April! Some of the kids seemed to be completely different in the more mellow environment this time and really came out of their shells. Harley has made incredible academic progress since returning to the more supportive school environment at the institute. It seems that he had a bad experience in public school where the teachers made discouraging comments. He is thriving in the supportive school that the institute provides. Lilah also seemed to be much more comfortable chatting with her foster family than with strangers. She hardly spoke at the camp and is a shy child, but Eva was able to observe her having conversations readily with her foster family. She was a happy, talkative little girl who knew what to say, is definitive and is very capable of taking care of herself and helping with the younger kids and chores in her family. When talking with Eva, she gave very short answers, but when talking with people she knew, she was much more eager and talkative.

So stay tuned, because there is going to be LOTS more pictures and information on the kids to come! What a wonderful gift!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Santa Stopped in China

Our little elf, Eva, delivered the gifts to the Hope Journey children and the other children living in the orphanages there. We have not heard any specifics yet, but we do know that they wound up with even more donations due to the generosity of many last minute donors! They were able to buys lots of gifts for each child so they will have a wonderful Christmas!!! Each of the kids in the Hope Journey program will get their very own backpack. The little elves were also able to buy 40 bounce-on animal gym toys to help train their core and balance (and they're also fun!), pens in various styles, stickers, watches, finger puppets and hair accessories. There was enough money left over to give to the orphanage to have them buy shoes for each child! It will be a very Merry Christmas, indeed! Stay tuned for more information and pictures in the coming days.

You may have also heard of our current fundraiser, Give the Gift of Family? We have had several extremely generous donors for that as well and are continuing to raise money to help unite children and families. It truly is the season of giving and we appreciate all who are helping to unite children and families! If you're considering an end-of-the-year donation, please consider giving the Gift of Family. Happy Holidays to all!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

For the Love of Boys

Marci is off enjoying a nice vacation with her family and she asked me to post a few thoughts about adoption.

My name is Joy and I'm an adoptive mom of two lively boys, age 5 and 7, who were born in South Korea. A couple of days ago it was my eldest son's "Gotcha Day", so I've been thinking about those early days when we were working towards becoming parents. Since it was our first adoption, we told our social worker that we would accept either a boy or a girl. Like any new parent, the gender didn't long as it was healthy...although we couldn't say that either since we were adopting a child with special needs. But when that fateful day arrived with our son's referral information, we fell in love with him immediately! As we waited for our approval to travel, I proudly showed his referral picture around, decorated his new room in blue, bought cute boy-themed clothing and in general tried on my new role as "mom".

Fast forward a couple of years and we began yearning for a sibling. This time around, our social worker told us that if we wanted to request a girl, we could expect to wait a couple of years for a referral -- even for a girl with special needs. We decided that having a girl wasn't as important to us as having a sibling pair that was close in age. Plus, it seemed the right thing to do since there were so many boys available, and, besides, we already had all the equipment for raising another boy. A couple of months later, I ws scrolling through the Waiting Child list and zing! fell in love once again.

Even today people are surprised to learn that we actually chose to adopt a boy the second time around -- surely we would have preferred one of each? But this concept of somehow making our family "equal" wasn't a priority and having two boys was the perfect fit for us. I love the fact that they keep me active as I try to keep with their boundless energy. I love listening to their sounds of gratitude as they gobble up my homemade meals with their big appetites. And I also love seeing the world through their eyes every day. So looking back, I wouldn't have changed a thing...well, except maybe that I would have adopted sooner.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Santa's Coming in a Whirliebird

Santa has landed in Guangzhou and will be making her way to Shenzhen on the 16th when she will deliver gifts to the children in our Hope Journey II program. We wound up with a whopping $850 to buy presents for the children! Santa will also be delivering some very special gifts to children who are being pursued by families! One day those families will be able to tell those children that it was they who sent those very special gifts! If you wanted to contribute to the Santa Stops in China Campaign, but didn't get a chance to, you can help children with the gift of family by donating through the paypal button to the left. That money will go to helping to unite waiting children with families, which is the best gift! We hope to get pictures and more information about the Hope Journey kids after Santa delivers the gifts on the 16th.

Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Boys, Boys, Boys!

We've been talking about boys on ASIA's facebook page and I've featured all of the boys left on this blog, so I thought I would just do a little spread to remind you of who is left. Aren't they adorable? We have Thomas, Harold, Edward, CJ, Peter, Shawn, Michael, Henry, Warner, Kerry, Harley, Bo, Gene, Parker, Fabian and Jeremy. Don't their little faces just melt your heart? Can you imagine one of them calling you "Mommy" or "Daddy"?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Hopeful Heather

Heather is an active and happy little girl. When she came to the orphanage she had no hearing or language. However, now she has received hearing aids and it has opened her world up to communication. She can now write numbers and pinyin and her verbal vocabulary is growing. She loves to dance, draw and color. She also likes outdoor activities, like basketball, bike riding and playing on the playground. She is well behaved and likes to help other kids. She is also very helpful to the teacher and is actively engaged during class. She likes to play with other children and is very friendly. Doesn't she have a cute smile?

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Season of Giving

The season of giving is upon us. It's that wonderful time of year when family becomes priority (if it isn't all year) and children light up with the magic of the holidays. We have already seen so much generosity with the Santa Stops in China Campaign. We have $845 to buy gifts for the children of Bao an and Shenzhen orphanages! But truly the greatest gift anyone can give an orphan is that of family. 16 of the children in our Hope Journey II program will receive that wonderful gift of a forever family. As of right now, that leaves 19 children who will watch their friends leave with families to start a new life. All children deserve families. If only there was a magic wand that could grant that wish for every orphan who wanted it! Instead we'll have to search far and wide to find the other end of that red thread for each child. If you have a place for these orphans in your heart, please help us find their families.

If you're thinking of adopting, don't wait until the new year! Take a break from the business of the holiday season and pursue those dreams! ASIA will be raising our fees very slightly in the new year, so if you want to save a little, apply now. Take one step closer to helping your dreams come true, as well as a child's dream of a forever family. Happy Holidays!