the CCCWA and Waiting Child Quilt

On our long trip to China, my luggage was always over weight. It seems everyone carried something for me. Orphanage gifts, sensory brushes, three hundred lollipops, the list goes on. I take similar items on each trip. What I do not take is an almost Queen size Quilt in my luggage. As you can imagine it added considerable weight. I have posted pictures of the Quilt before. The Quilt was made to say thank you to the CCCWA and to remember all the children who still wait for forever families. We started the Quilt in New York city on the Autumn moon festival boat ride during the CCCWA visit last fall. Many children adopted from China drew beautiful pictures and contributed to the Quilt. We continued the project at the Gladney center Chinese New year party in Ft Worth and the GFA Houston party as well. The final squares were completed at the New York CNY party.

Personally, this was so special to me because I was able to work on the pictures and assist the kiddos. Some of the children I had met in their orphanages in China. To see a child there and now here with their forever family made my heart sing. To have an opportunity to color and draw with those children, was truly amazing. I assembled the Quilt and had it professionally quilted.

After our last orphanage day in ChangSha, we traveled via fast train to Beijing still carrying the Quilt. We met with the director of the CCCWA and presented the Quilt to him. He was amazed, pleased and called the Quilt a beautiful work of art and a gift from all the children. The Quilt will hang in an exhibition in the lobby of the headquarters. We were all so pleased at the reaction. Here are some pictures of the presentation.

 The director of the CCCWA admiring all the beautiful drawings on the squares

One last look at the Quilt.  I hope to get back to see it hanging in the exhibition. 

Children are a gift

As my friend, and fellow Superkids volunteer, Erin Martin says  "going through 12 different time zones and crossing the international dateline can really mess with your system".  I am having difficulty focusing on anything but the Children we met in China.  The fact we are at home with our families and they are not.  We all feel a great urgency that they should have the same joy we have, a home and a family.  The Superkids team spent so much time with these children.  We were able to do Medical and Developmental assessments.   The team was able to get to know them and take literally, thousands of pictures to document their journey. It is amazing how quickly we formed a bond with the kiddos.  They are in our hearts until they are adopted.  We hope every child will find that forever family.  We saw children from three months of age up to 14 years old.  These children had minimal medical issues up to life threatening issues.  They are all beautiful unique and, oh by the way, not at all defined by any medical or developmental need they may have.  They are not "the child with birth marks" or "the child with Spina Bifida", they are the cute 2 year old who likes to play with the bubbles or the four year old who likes to yell when he is happy.

So here are some cuties.  Come on over and meet these children who are just waiting to be your kiddos.

                             " I don't know what this is, but it looks fun to play with"

                                                       "wow, I might like that."

                                                      look at who I made laugh! 

                                                             I like to be tickled

                                                                  IPads are universal

                                                               These kiddos Rock!!!! 

A few special pictures.

I have been home five full days.  I am working on updates and looking at pictures of beautiful children.  I still wake up in the night and do not know where I am.  Which city is this and what are we doing today?  How many sweet children will we evaluate?  Two weeks were too long.  I loved ever day but the length of time away and number of children we saw are making for a difficult re-entry.  I am home, but my head is still in China.  Every person who contacts me about a waiting child,  asks for photos is a small step forward for these kiddos.  I wish I could respond to everyone instantly.  I am still in the stage of creating summary sheets, organizing pics and conferencing with the Gladney case workers.   A lot of work to get organized, then it can be all about the kids.  That is my favorite part.  I want to share some memorable moments from my trip in pictures.
I just love these ears! 
I was trying to see if she could stand on one foot and when I opened my arms to show her how to balance, she hugged me.
                       This little girl really liked Gongzhan and followed him around the rest of the day.

This girl really wanted a family.  Here she is talking with Gongzhan.  She wanted to know, could she go now.  When would the family be here? 

This little boy is so Cute! He was hungry too, so he got a little lunch.
                                     We had so much fun smiling and playing with each other.

Finishing up!

Well I am home.  My time in China ended in a whirlwind.  I was able to visit New Day.  had some time with the kiddos and in the therapy room.  That was great.  I enjoyed the sweet kids and the wonderful staff and volunteers.  I am hoping for some more time to do some therapy there in the future. 

I was at New Day on Thursday and Friday I flew home.  So here I am. Jet lagged, mixed up days and nights and dreaming of kiddos.  Our days in China went by way too fast but at the same time it seemed like we were in China for a long time.  We definitely packed the most into each day.  Saw the most children we could, spoke with orphanage officials, caregivers, foster parents, provincial representatives and even the CCCWA.  What a trip! 

Next comes the part I like best, helping all these kiddos be united with their forever families. The children we met are all unique, beautiful and individuals who so need a family to love them forever.  When I talk with older children, I try to ask the hard questions.  If they are able to open up its great.  I ask if they know why they are meeting me.  I ask how they feel about being adopted.  It is amazing the answers I am met with.  "I really want a family of my own."  or, "  I don't know how I feel ", or "I am scared.".  I will also ask matched older children, is there something that they want to tell the parents waiting for them. Sometimes I get amazing answers.  Sometimes its love for the parents they have not even met yet.  Sometimes its an acknowledgement that the have foster parents and

now a forever family and they are gratefully for both. The beauty of these children's spirit is greater than words can describe.        

So while I try to process the trip, here are some older kiddo pics.


New Day foster home

I have always wanted to visit New Day.  Today I was able to.  Truly a gift.  Since words are not adequate, enough said!

Trains, Planes and meeting the CCCWA

Well I tried to blog yesterday but the technology was not willing.  Yesterday was a transition day.  Erin Martin returned home.  A flight from Hunan to Shanghai, then Shanghai to Newark.  Then a two hour drive.  She should be landing in Newark about now.

Gongzhan, Rocky, Chelsea and I took the Bullet train from Hunan to Beijing.  Unfortunately it did not move like a bullet.  At times we went fast but mostly slow.  It took over 6 hours to arrive in Beijing.  Gongzhan and I made good use of the time.  We went over the kiddos and discussed how many children we saw.  How each SWI was different etc. all the particulars of the trip.  We have met amazing children wth great potential to grow and develop. 

Last night when we arrived in Beijing, we had a meeting at the CCCWA.  We got to meet with the director and presented him with the tribute quilt for CCCWA and waiting children.  He was very happy with the gift and thanked all the children for their beautiful art work.  They are having an exhibition in their building and it will hang there.

We then were treated to a tour of all the rooms where paperwork goes. Dinner with the Director, both Deputy Directors and many department heads ended the evening.  I was surprised at how many people spoke English.  It was a long day! 

So today will bring some new surprises.  I am going to New Day foster home.  Cant wait to see it and their beautiful kiddos.  I am going to post some pics.  I hope the technology works.

Just because we all love pictures!

ChangSha kiddos

Yesterday was an amazing day.  We visited a very active social welfare institute with a wonderful director.  He has begun alot of new programs and modernized the facilities.  We evaluated 22 children yesterday.  Wow!  A large number of the children were young with minor medical needs.  Some were a bit older or had more more significant needs.  Many were in fostercare and the foster Mom or Dad came in with them.  I cannot say how beautiful and special these kiddos were.  The foster Moms or Dads were able to describe each child's unique characteristics that helped us to get to know them better.  Almost every family was fostering two  children. 

There were several kiddos who stood out.  There was a boy who is a little person.  His smile lit up the room.  He was laughing and playful.  There was a very tiny baby with a serious cleft lip and palette.  The medical needs did not define these children.  They were all kids, all the same.  Their lives consisted of playing, eating and sleep.  A few who were old enough went to school.  Most were under school age.

So yestrday was a great day where we met incredible kiddos.  Forever families get ready, your child might be from ChangSha.