Thursday, June 28, 2012

Super-Julian!

This is Super-Julian:



Now this is Julian in his everyday disguise of a gentle, shy little boy, but he still has his superpowers of sweetness:

video


Julian is normally an active boy, but when we met him he must have been a bit overwhelmed by all of the action. He stuck pretty close to his nanny. Later, during his Half the Sky class, I saw him participating in taking turns singing songs and performing. Another day he was playing on a little ride-on toy they had at the orphanage. His nanny convinced him to do a little song and dance for us. Julian knows the names of everyone at the orphanage and seems to be developmentally appropriate for his age. He is also very compliant and obedient. He seems to be very attached to his teachers in the Half The Sky school. He seems like a very mellow boy who is gentle with the other children and very easy going.







Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Joyous Jenner

Jenner is an 11 year old boy who is ready for a family. When we spoke to him he said he's ready to leave. Going to the U.S. is fine. He would like to have siblings as he likes to play with other kids. He said that it's ok if the family isn't rich, as long as he has a place to live. He seems to have a realistic view of adoption.







Jenner loves swimming. He is in the 5th grade in school and he reports that he has lots of friends. His best friend is Tanner and the two are very playful and rowdy together, rough housing and playing superheros by jumping around and tackling each other. It was easy to tell they were good friends. Jenner would really like some treatment for his special need, which doesn't slow him down one bit! He knows a few basic English words, which he willingly spoke for us--hello, good morning, yes, no. He is open to learning more English. Jenner likes spicy foods, swimming and playing gun fights with his friends. He seems like a boy who needs brothers, or a very rowdy father:-) I can only imagine how Jenner will blossom even more when he gets help for his special need. If you're interested in Jenner, please contact me. He is a Special Focus child and waivers may be available: marcisk@asiadopt.org

Monday, June 25, 2012

Adorable Doug

Please meet Doug...




Doesn't his smile just steal your heart? Doug is a playful, calm, sweet little boy. He seemed appropriately wary of strangers, but warmed up to us pretty quickly when I showed him video of himself. Even though we couldn't speak the same language, he made it clear that he wanted me to take more videos or pictures and then show them to him. He quickly learned how to play them himself. He seems to be a quick learner. When we gave him a pen, it didn't look like he had ever used one before, and talking to the foster Mom it didn't sound like they gave the kids access to that kind of thing. He soon picked up the correct grip for writing and drew a rough circle. He loved to play peek-a-boo with me and smiled from ear to ear. He was cooperative and responsive. He has a very calm and easy going personality and is also outgoing, engaging,  delightful, gentle and affectionate with his foster mom. It is clear that he is attached to his foster mom and she is very encouraging with him. Although he doesn't have access to a lot that he would need to learn for the American schooling system, he learns what he can quickly. With the right family who is encouraging like his foster mom and provides stimulation and teaching, I think that Doug would blossom and delight his family in all of his "firsts." Could you be Doug's family? Contact me if you would like to consider him: marcisk@asiadopt.org

Friday, June 22, 2012

Meet Brandon

Please meet Brandon:



Brandon is a sweet boy who is shy and takes some time to warm up, but once he does he is quite charming. Don't you just want to pinch his cheeks? His special need doesn't hold him back and he was able to show off his skills after a while. As you can tell from the pictures Brandon and his foster mom are very attached to one another. It's very sweet to see.

Brandon is an easy going boy most of the time and has been trained to go outside when he gets angry in order to calm down. He seems to learn fairly quickly when given the opportunity and Brandon is very interested in learning. He wants to go to school, but he is only 4 years old. In China, children often don't start school until 7 or 8 years old. Even though a child may be in foster care and reaping the lifetime benefits of that family connection and attachment, they may not be given many opportunities for learning. Brandon soaked up whatever we brought to him and was very responsive. At home he likes to watch a TV show called Xi Yang Yang about a little lamb that is very popular.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012



This is a video of the kids at a group foster home near Changsha. Taryn, Tanner, Greg and Jenner are all included in this video. It's an example of the fun and craziness that went on there with them when we met them. You can also see a bit of their personalities shine through during the games. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Please Meet Yvonne




I want to tell you about some of the children whose files we already have. Please meet Yvonne. You have seen a picture or two of her before. She is quite cute and such a girlie girl! This girl loves dresses and wants to change her clothes 3 times a day:-) She is in a foster home and her foster mother reports that she is very affectionate. Apparently she is also very 21st Century, as she tells her foster father to have fun at work and make lots of money so she can have a cell phone. I don't know many 4 year old's with cell phones! She loves to play pretend and is able to remember parts of stories. Yvonne's earlier pictures in her file were not very good, but she has grown and is quite the cutie now. If you would like to consider Yvonne, please contact me: marcisk@asiadopt.org

Friday, June 15, 2012

Updates

Pattie has been busy going through the tons of pictures I took on our trip to update our password-protected website with better pictures of the kiddos whose files we already have. Videos will also be posted, most likely next week. So, if you're looking for the kiddo that's the right fit for your family, please check our password-protected website again (or for the first time if you haven't seen it yet). The pictures we had really don't do justice to how those kids look now and who they really are. You can find the link to our website on the left side of the blog.

We will also be getting more files soon, so get your application in and dossier ready if you're looking for the child for your family. Young children with minor needs will only be available to families who have their dossiers ready, so don't waste time! I hate sounding like a car dealership, but I do want families to have all of the facts. We met a lot of adorable kids on our trip who will probably go into the Non-Special Focus category, which CCCWA has designated as only available to families who have completed dossiers. So those kids I've posted like the girl in the white dress, or the kids who are brother and sister in the same foster home may be designated Non-Special Focus for dossiered families only. Here's a few more pics of kids we may get who will probably be Non-Special Focus:





We also have plently of older kids or kids who on paper seem to have more significant issues, but when we met them they really didn't seem as bad as they sound. So stay tuned for more adorable kids to come...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Never Too Much

Well, I just got back from China and have been busy trying to transfer all of the pictures, videos and documents that we got in Changsha onto our server here so I can sort  it into each child's file (when they come). I have filled two thumb drives and still have more to transfer! So if you've inquired about a certain someone, please give me a little time to sort through it all:-) There's never too much information, but we sure have a lot of pictures and video that we gathered! I will try to post more pictures tomorrow.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

As We Say Good Bye







As we were saying good bye to the kids yesterday and explaining that this would be our last day here, but we would be working to find them families and making sure they are good families, I found myself surprisingly sad to say good-bye. I've been missing my daughter who is at home terribly, but saying good-bye to these orphans was hard. My heart wants to scoop them all up and take them with us, but my mind knows I can't do that. It's a pull of the heart and/or a leap of faith that leads people to their child of the heart. I feel like I have a lot of children of the heart. Only, my job is to work to find them good families who will love and care for them forever. There's always a few children who I bond with on these trips and those are particularly hard to say good-bye to, so for them I'm putting together of montage of their pictures to keep my end of the deal and try to find them good families:





Wednesday, June 6, 2012

We Also Have Potential

Today I noticed that the wall facing the entrance to one floor of the orphanage had the wording: "We also have potential." I thought that was an appropriate title for this post, because I believe that to be true. Each and every child has some sort of potential just waiting to be discovered. These kids may have special needs, but they also have potential! I see it in them when I watch them in school or at play and someone discovers their strengths.

Today I want to feature two children who I think have tremendous potential, but it may be difficult for everyone to see that. Both children use wheelchairs to get around, but both children are very independent.

Tania is 11 years old and has been with a foster family for most of her life, but they are getting older and won't be able to keep her much longer. Tania is able to walk with a cane, but would do much better with a walker, I believe. She can get in and out of her wheelchair independently. She is an extremely mature young lady, emotionally! She doesn't want her foster parents to have to take care of her and although she loves them, she realizes that difficult decisions have to be made and she has made the decision on her own to want to be adopted and have a forever family. She says it will hard initially, but that she will adjust and she is willing to learn English so she can communicate with a new family. In fact, I think she knows more than she lets on, as her foster father speaks excellent English and tries to teach her. We talked with Tania for quite a while because we wanted to make sure she really understands what adoption means and make sure that is what she really wants. Tania was very sweet and responsive and I see a tremendous amount of potential in her. She is a bright girl who could go far with a family behind her cheering her on. Tania likes purple and pink, but is not a girlie girl. In fact, she prefers to play action video games and doesn't like girls who are too emotional or dramatic.She might do well in a family with no kids or with brothers.



Finley is another child that has a lot of potential and also uses a wheelchair to get around. However, Finley can transfer himself from his wheelchair to the floor or bed and back. He is very strong. He also is able to move his legs, so there is probably some potential to develop that strength more and perhaps give him some more abilities.The boy even did a somersault for us!!!! Finley is also a smart, rambunctious boy who can be shy with people he doesn't know well, but he really got into dressing up in costume and rough housing with the boys and trying to scare the girls. Finley would like a family with a Mom and Dad and brothers.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Ying & Yang

The Chinese have a philosophy that Ying and Yang(female and male) must be balanced. That philosophy needs to be applied to households, too. If you've adopted a girl or girls before, it may be time to consider adopting some Yang :-) We have lots of Yang to go around!!! The Chinese have managed to begin to apply that to their homes, and they are now starting to feel that girls and boys are more equal, and keeping many of their girls. We met a foster family today who felt exactly that way.

Actually, the foster homes we went to today were in stark contrast to the last ones we visited. These foster homes, or at least one of them, was sponsored by some organization and they are incredible! They have a large play room with a lot of toys accessible to the children, a classroom and all the rooms are painted with colorful murals or either cartoons like snoopy, or cute animals or friendly insects (the actual mosquitoes weren't so friendly, though). Not only were the homes impressive, but the foster families themselves were clearly very well prepared and educated. The children knew so much more than the kids in the other homes we visited. They could recite poems and songs, they knew their names, ages and where they were from, they could count and they learned to draw smiley faces very quickly. They had clearly had access to pens or pencils before, which has seemed to be rare so far here.

The sad part about this one was that there were two children that may have been forgotten about....we had a list of the kids we were supposed to visit there and it turned out there were these two extra. I'm so glad they were there! They live in the same foster family together and they are adorable! They act just like brother and sister. They're smart, cute and we hope to get them on our list and possibly have them adopted together. But that will depend upon whether they are Special Focus or Non-Special Focus. Take a look at this adorable video and pictures of them:



video

Monday, June 4, 2012

Zhuzhou's New Facilities

Today we took the drive out to visit the new Zhuzhou Children's Welfare Institute compound. Yes, when I say compound, I mean compound! They just moved into these new facilities a week ago and they are beyond phenomenal! I don't even know what all the different buildings are for, but they have sensory rooms, rehab facilities, a small apartment complex for foster families with very nice apartments set up, classrooms, dormitories and a building at the back for the kids that have either aged out or are disabled and will need help until they become eligible for senior living. The grounds are beautiful! They have indoor gardens, outdoor playgrounds and landscaping and Fei said the bathrooms are better than what they have at her kids' kindergarten! They are quite nice and currently spotless:-)

 I'm sending a video for you to see their sensory room. I wanted to play in it:-) In the video, you can also see a girl who will be on our list who is deaf, but can clearly hear some sound. They are trying to get her a hearing aid. She seems very bright. She signs, can speak a few words and seems to have a close relationship with her teacher. She makes good eye contact when she knows someone is trying to communicate with her. She can lip read as well. She actually can hear people call her name if they say it loud enough and she looks up right away to see who is talking to her. She goes to a boarding school for the deaf during the week and is reported to be very well liked there. On weekends and holidays she goes to live with her foster family. Enjoy the video! I think you have to see the facility in person to get the true picture, but this will give you an idea:

video

Sunday, June 3, 2012

June 3rd, ICC

Today, as most days visiting an orphanage are, was a bit of a heart-wrenching day. We visited ICC, which is a specialized foster home set up like an orphanage....I would compare it to a group home in the U.S., only it has a tremendous amount of resources in many ways. They will be moving to the new building where Changsha #1 will also be housed on the same property as Changsha #1 currently resides. Anyway, we met with all older children and a couple of younger children who were either wheelchair-bound or had other issues going on as well. All of the children really want to be adopted and we talked to them about what that really means. They seem to understand. Two children in that group really stood out that I will tell you about now.

Taryn is going to be 13 soon and she is a beautiful, tall, slim girl who could be a ballerina. In fact, she loves to dance what looks like Jazz or modern dance. She performed a short piece for us after some persuasion. When we first arrived, she was meticulously putting her hair into a bun in the mirror. She is also extremely nurturing and takes care of one of the children who is wheelchair bound and cognitively delayed. She seemed very tender-hearted with her and was always trying to include her in the activities, or turn her away when she got overwhelmed. We talked with Taryn for a long time and she told everyone of us that she really, really wants a family. She is worried about being alone if she ages out. She has lived in a family before for a short time and told us she loved it. She is interested in having siblings and would be great with either older or younger siblings. She is in 6th grade. Her favorite thing to do is dance. She can say a few simple words in English and thinks the U.S. is a better living environment than China. Has your family been looking for a child like Taryn? She is a Special Focus child and we have her file, so inquire today!




Tanner is turning 12 this summer and he is quite a character! Tanner is one talkative, active, rowdy, rambunctious boy who is also very sweet and bright.Oh, and did I mention that he plays piano beautifully? I'll try to send a video of that. Tanner has lived in a foster home before and understands family. He really wants a family, and is not picky about anything as long as he has a parent. He went through a list of everything that was ok--a single parent, poor, rich, siblings or not, it's all ok with him! Tanner is bright, but has trouble paying attention in school. However, he told us that he really doesn't need to pay attention in most of his classes because he has a good memory and can pass the tests without paying attention! He does like English and Music, though, so he makes a point of paying attention in those classes. When I walked into ICC, he was the first one to come up to me and engage me in a conversation in English! He speaks clearly and says that he has lots of friends. I witnessed him rough housing with the other boys at  ICC after we let them have a go at the costumes. They went crazy, pretending to be Superman or skeletons and role played for quite a while. Tanner also likes to play ping pong, basketball and soccer. I have a feeling that if Tanner had a family that helped him apply himself at school, he would have quite an impressive life for himself. Certainly there is a family that Tanner would fit perfectly into? Tanner is a Special Focus child and we have his file now, so don't delay in contacting ASIA for more information!

video







Saturday, June 2, 2012

Changsha #1, June 2nd

Today we met with a group of older kids at Changsha #1. Unfortunately our time with them was limited as the orphanage was strict about letting them have enough time to complete their homework for school. Many of them go to public school outside of the orphanage (in fact, we saw several walking home the other day), and it is very demanding and strict. So, we did a short camp with them to get to know them a little before we jumped into evaluations. As you can see, we had costumes for them, which they really got into (both literally and figuratively). They goofed around for a while, we played the hokey pokey and a few other games and then had to get down to business. We let the kids play around while we interviewed and evaluated them individually. We met some real dynamos today! Wow!



video


One boy who is deaf has won the national championship for drawing at his grade level. He is quite incredible at 9 years old. He was also quite bright and engaging. He knows sign language and I saw about 3 teachers and nannies at the orphanage who also know sign. He lip reads a little bit. He wants to be adopted and go to the U.S. He is interested in riding in planes and driving them! Josiah impressed us all. He is also quite good at math for his age and grade level.

Fei and Josiah arm wrestling


Josiah's championship art project
There were quite a few of the older boys who impressed us. One that really tugs at my heart is Cuyler. Unfortunately he ages out in December. He is a very sweet boy who is timid until you get to know him and find out his strengths. This boy is a math whiz! He was able to do multi-step math problems in his head in a split second! Once we started quizzing him, we could see his confidence emerge. He was also very sweet with the younger children there and we could see that he is a very helpful boy. We often see him on the floor below, helping with the younger children. If there is a family out there looking for an older boy to adopt, this is your boy! Cuyler actually remembers his family, and it is clear he has formerly had attachments from the way he lovingly interacts with the younger children. He is in the 6th grade in school and is interested in having a big family with a mama, papa and a sister. He is ok with leaving the orphanage and China and only returning to visit. We DO have Cuyler's file.



He is on our waiting child list now, so if you're interested in either Cuyler or Josiah, please contact Vicki or Pattie at ASIA. Since I'm working from China, my response time is a little slow:-) I will send some pictures to be posted of both Cuyler and Josiah, as well as some video from the camp. Enjoy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Happy Children's Day! 儿童节快乐!

Hello, ASIA friends and family!  Happy Children's Day! 儿童节快乐!Marci sent a video and two photos of the Children's Day celebration in Changsha. She'll write more later, but for now, enjoy:

video

Hi Folks! Sorry for the silence the last couple of days! They have been action packed, fun-filled and exhausting! Children's Day was heart-warming in a Chinese kind of way where it's filled with Indiana Jones Theme songs and such. Kids from outside schools and activities came into the perform for everyone. The Mayor was there as well as a whole bunch of media, which you can see standing in front of my video! The video of the boys doing martial arts is mostly boys from the orphanage, which is why I chose that performance to highlight.


After the festivities were over, we had to do two evaluations of children that live in foster homes that came in especially for Children's Day. They needed to get back, so we did their evaluations right away. Those two kids absolutely stole my heart! I would snatch either one up in a heartbeat! Whitney was one of them, and you literally would never know this little girl has a special need. At under 5 years old, she can skip, jump on one leg, hop, dance and sing at the same time, write her name, draw, and just about anything else you can think of. She is beautiful and girlie, loves dresses and frilly things and wants to have her clothes changed several times each day. She asks why she doesn't have a mama and a baba like other kids, so we hope we can change that for her. I will send pictures to be posted. We don't have her file yet, so hurry up with your dossier if you're interested in sweet Whitney.



We also met with little precious, giggly Cade. This boy is under 2 years old and also has a very minor special need. He's happy, healthy and extremely ticklish!!!! He can walk, run, squat quite impressively and climb onto and off of riding toys. He went bonkers for a little ride on car at the orphanage and became a little jealous when one of the other kids got on it. He has the cutest smile with little dimples and pudgy cheeks to die for!!!!! He's cuddly and funny and a little tease. What more could you want in a little cutie? We don't have his file yet either, so whoa Nelly! Focus on that paperwork to be eligible for him when his files comes.




After those two evaluations, some of the higher up staff in charge of adoptions at Changsha #1 took us out to lunch. Then we headed back to the orphanage for eight more evaluations of kiddos, which all went well. More on those kids in the coming weeks:-)

As usual, we were then informed that our plans for the next day would have to be adjusted a bit. I'll fill you in more on June 2nd in next post....