Tuesday, December 31, 2013

This Year

This year has gone by in a blur.  We are so grateful for every child we met.  They are amazing individuals and such a gift.  Every picture we see, every minute we spent with them was our privilege.  As we look back through the year the blur is made up of small moments. Little bits of time for holding a hand, drying a tear. giving and extra lollipop.  Having a short snuggle or getting a hug.  These little moments are just perfect.  A moment to connect, to give love and to feel that instant of bonding.  All these children are special and so need the love of a family.  So as 2013 ends, we celebrate with the new families of 2013.  Those that were matched or met their children this year.  Here are


click here to see The Children of 2013





From the 2013 Superkids team, Erin, Darla, Chelsea, Gongzhan, Rocky and Pat, and the Gladney team, April, Wendy, Lindsay and Mary,  we wish everyone a peaceful and joyous New Year that is full of the Love of family.  

The Children of 2013

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Exciting news



Exciting news!  Dr. Darla visited Shanghai and visited with our children there this week.  She was in Shanghai and spent the day visiting with our children.  So cool!  She spent her time and all to get great information on the wonderful children there.  Yeah Darla!  You rock!

I am so grateful for our wonderful volunteers this year.  Darla donated her time this Summer and now!   Darla has children, a busy practice and she used her precious time to help waiting children find families.   Erin has the same spirit.  She has five children.  She home schools and has a super busy life.  Her dedication in helping waiting children find families is amazing!  Chelsea our intern has decided to dedicate her adoption. We have another waiting child advocate who is always there for us.  Suzanne has showed strength and dedication as well.  She is always there for the kids.  Volunteers from past trips also showed great spirits and love for the children.  Diane, Karen and Kathy, we are so grateful for all you have contributed.  Dr.  Eileen, you rock too!  You are always there for the children even when you are supposed to be having fun at a picnic and I ask for a consult on a waiting child.  

Many advocates from Internet groups have shared and supported the children by sharing posts and spreading the word about the wonderful waiting children.  So as the year draws to a close, Thank you all. Your spirits are amazing and they make each and every heart sing!  Each child that comes home is a victory.  If we can't change the world all at once, you change the world one child at a time.

Here is a quote to sum up our belief.
     
A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history. - Mahatma Gandhi

Here are some pics from past trips and this years trip. You rock ladies!









Wonderful volunteers, thank you all so much for the care and dedication you show to children.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Reflection

As the holidays are here and the year is drawing to a close, I reflect on all the trips to China we have completed.  We are trying to sum up changes we have made over he past years.  In 2007 when we first started going to China, I was amazed at how many children could be in an orphanage.  I was heart broken for some of our little ones.  I saw so many waiting children with special needs and yet potential adoptive parents, Social workers and the whole adoption community were only talking about the girls in the healthy infant program.   My heart broke each night for the kids with special needs.  How would they ever find families who would love them? I saw much more fear of special needs in those days.

As the times changed and China moved into more of a waiting child program, many of these children with special have found forever families.  In fact I am amazed at the change in attitude about special needs.  Not only with amazing adoptive parents being open to many more special needs but also change in attitudes toward special needs in China as well.  It just goes to show what role education can play in making changes.
On my first trips to the orphanages I noticed children with limb differences or their hand or arm had their sleeves rolled down covering the arm.  I shared through our translator the story of a friend I knew with a limb difference.  She went on to become a doctor.  I asked the nannies to roll up the sleeves of their children with upper extremity limb differences.  I told them this would help the children learn to use both arms and help them do more things for themselves.  The nannies were willing to try.  I have seen a big change in the care of these children.  They are encouraged to use both hands and arms. They side with the difference is no longer hidden under their sleeve.   I have had an older boy explain  his limb difference to me and show me both hands and arms pointing and clearly explaining.  Accepting his body as it is.  Navigating me through the differences without sadness.  It is just how he is.  Perfect in all aspects to me and I think to him too! Its education about you being different yet still able to lead a wonderful and live a productive life that made this change.  

All these things make my heart sing.  More kids finding homes, children more accepted with special needs. A true change in attitude here and in China!  Attitudes change and we grow and explore new challenges education plays such a pivotal role.  We are so grateful for these changes.

Lastly I want to  leave you with a final thought.

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world-  Nelson Mandela    

Here are some pictures of children with limb differences for you to reflect on.








Sunday, December 22, 2013

Advocacy Monday!

 
Today we are advocating for a special boy.  He has been featured in our Guang Ming star email.  We call him Billy.  He met us with his best friend Bea and came in holding her hand.  Many people ask about Bea but not Billy.  We are highlighting Billy because we don't want him to be left behind.   He is at a disadvantage just by being a boy.  Girls get picked first and boys wait and wait.   So here is what we know about Billy.

He is six years old.  He is smart.  He recited a poem. He wrote his name in simple Chinese characters.  He could copy shapes.  He even imitated English words. He completed all the fine motor tasks presented.  He still cannot tie his shoes but is otherwise independent in self care.

Billy goes to the campus school.  they say he really likes school.  The caregivers describe him as a quick learner.  His favorite color is yellow and his favorite animal is a panda bear.

Billy's medical need is differences in both his hands and in his right foot.  These differences do not slow this handsome boy one bit.   He is so sweet and so cute and so smart.  It would be so great to find a family who would work to keep Billy and Bea together.  We do not want Billy to be left behind just because he is a boy.
Could you open your heart to this boy with limb differences who is so smart and sweet?

If you have any questions about Billy, contact me at patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com

Friday, December 20, 2013

All They Want

As the holiday approaches we are all thinking how different daily life is for our children who wait in a country on the other side of the world.  Our waiting children are in cold orphanages.  They will not wake for a holiday and get a special breakfast.  They won't be held by Moms and Dads.  They will be alone without family.  Their day will be roughly the same as every other day.  The same bowl of congee, same snacks, baths, same toys. Nothing different.

Here we celebrate and a new year will begin.  We hope it will not be more of the same for these beautiful waiting children.  Every one is so special, amazing and unique.  They deserve to be celebrated, cherished and loved.  We want the New Year to bring Hope for each and every waiting child that they too can have a forever family.  Doesn't it make you want to run there and scoop them up so they could be Home for the holidays?

These beautiful children wait.  Could they be part of your family?









If you want more information about any of these beautiful waiting children, contact me at patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I Have Found My Family!

Actually the Ding, Ding Ding Ding happened a little while ago.   We were so caught up in sharing children's stories, we never celebrated publicly.

This little beauty found a family who transferred to adopt her.  They knew she was their daughter, we knew they were her parents.  I am so happy for them both.  So is the whole team!  So our Princessa( our little nickname for her) now has a forever family.  Ding Ding Ding Ding!!!!!




Yeah Princessa!  We are so so happy for you!!!


Sunday, December 15, 2013

All They Need

Hi everyone,

If you are joining me from Erin Martin's blog for the first time, Welcome.  We are doing a special joint advocacy joint post today today.  Erin and I both have a heart for waiting children.  As the Holidays approach, it makes us dwell on home, family and the joy that a forever family can bring.  We know how much these children need a forever family.  They all have the same special need.  That need is Downs Syndrome.  These beautiful children need structure, routine and consistency to maximize their potential.  We want to help them find their forever families, live life to their fullest potential and not spend another Holiday in an orphanage. They are such happy children.  Their happiness is contagious and they made us happy just spending time with them.  The thought of any of these precious waiting children coming home gives a whole new meaning to being Home for the holidays. So help us advocate for these wonderful children.  Share the post and send positive energy.  We hope they will all find forever families.



Charlotte is a beautiful girl who is 5 years old.  She is described by her caregivers as playful.  She speaks in long sentences and talks a lot with her friends.  Charlotte was able to stack cups and place larger objects in smaller objects.  She had a good pincer grasp.  She liked to draw shapes but she could not write her own name yet.  She can walk and run and really enjoyed playing with our van driver, Mr. Li.  Charlotte attends Kindergarten outside the orphanage.   


Alan is a sweet boy who is almost three.  He is just learning how to walk and does so by holding the caregivers hand.  The caregivers say he rarely cries.  He holds onto the table and cruises along.  He likes to play by himself.  He plays with the stacking cups  Alan can move from his back to his belly to sitting on the floor.  He crawls with his belly on the floor.  His favorite foods are rice and fruit.  



Amelia is a beautiful one and a half year old girl.  She was making simple sounds and turned when she called her name.  She had a scar by her right ear.  She has low muscle tone and a bit of a tongue thrust.  She enjoys being cuddled.  She likes to be fed first in her room.  She is sitting with support and tried to belly crawl but could not move forward or backwards yet. 

It takes a special family with an amazing heart to guide these precious children on their Journeys.  Are you a parent who can open your heart to any one of these children?  All they need to be happy is a forever family!
If you have stopped at the Superkids blog first, click here to go to Erin Martin's blog to read about the other three children we are advocating for.  If you would like any more information about these children, feel free to contact me at patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com or Erin at  erinmrtn@yahoo.com

Friday, December 13, 2013

Matching Thursday

I know, it's Friday but I wanted to tell you a little about our Thursday meetings.  Thursday is an amazing day. The Asia Program staff meets to discuss, our children, our families, questions we have gotten over the week and Gongzhan gives us updates from China when needed.  So for families and children, your names cross our lips every week.  We think of every one of you and every child who will come to us and every child we met.  So Yesterday was a great day!  We had a special guest, April(former waiting child case worker) who came by with her new baby! April is on maternity leave and will return part time in the new year.

So Yesterday was a great day in more than one way.  We reviewed some matches that have just been sent to China.  I also remembered I did not highlight some of our matched children.  They are ALL so special to us. So look for upcoming blogs that focus on this.  I want to share the joy for these special these children and their families.  

So for now, Matching rocks!  Family's rock!  Our wonderful kiddo's rock!

I leave you with some pictures of amazing children who are in our hearts.








Keep up the positive energy everyone!  One of these beautiful children has found their family.  I'll let you know who next week.


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I have found my Family!

I know its a cliche, but Ding Ding Ding Ding!!!!!!!!

We could not be happier.  A little girl has found her family!   Our very special sweetie has found a family to love her forever.  She is just amazing.  Full of life with smiles and giggles to light up a room.  Ainsley is going to a wonderful family who transferred to Gladney for this sweetie.  So, so cool!  You guys rock and so does this little one.  Actually I usually say boys rock and girls are cool!

So Ainsley, you are cool! You wait no more. Hope you can feel this wonderful families love on the other side of the world.  So with out further delay,


I have found my Family!!!!



There are tears of joy here for this beautiful girl, her amazing family and how this all worked out!
Yeah, you are both cool!!!!!!  
      

Monday, December 9, 2013

Advocacy Monday

This September when the CCCWA was visiting, we had a outdoor lunch at the home of a wonderful Gladney Family.  I met a remarkable girl during the outing.   Her name is Mattea. She told her story of being adopted from an orphanage and having a best friend in the orphanage.  Mattea was adopted but longed to see her best friend have a family too!  She desperately wants to see the friend again.  To have her experience the love of a family.  She told her story in Chinese and the officials from the CCCWA were very moved, many in tears.  It broke all of our hearts.

Now sometimes fate deals a good turn  This little girls mom, Vickie, is a Physical therapy assistant and was able to meet the child.  She has a Special focus issue but it appears this may not be the case.  Now those that have worked with Superkids know that I get very upset when this happens.  Files are so important because often its all potential adoptive parents get to make a very difficult decision.  They might turn down a child because of a label that might not be correct.  On the parents side, they must make the decision with the info they have what is best for their family.   So, I would like to share with you the information on this sweetie.

She has been called Lauren by other advocates. She is 12 years old.   That means she has just two years left to be adopted.  Her medical need is congenital high myopia, Strabismus and Downs syndrome (which the mom who met her does not believe she has. )  Now you know there are no guarantees. She is currently living in foster care.   She is independent in her self care.  All her gross motor milestones are present, like standing on one foot and hopping.  She has goods fine motor because she is able to eat with chopsticks, button and zipper.  She can use advance language to describe things and her feelings.  Reportedly, from the file, Lauren has better expressive abilities than receptive.  She requires repetition to learn.  She completes her homework on time and knows when she cannot understand something to ask the foster mother.  She is described as a delightful child who makes friends easily and is very cooperative.




Vicki had this to say about her. " She has a ready smile and likes watching TV.  She loves to sing and dance with music.  She enjoys computer classes and playing games on the computer, but also loves being and playing outdoors.  Her favorite color is yellow.  She is currently in 6th grade.  This sweet girl really wants a family!"

Vickie has been privileged to conversations between her daughter and Lauren. She is articulate at level we don't often see. She does not seem to have the characteristics of Downs syndrome. She is a beautiful girl who needs a family. 

I believe in Advocacy and in a chance for this beautiful girl to find a forever family if she has Downs syndrome or not. So today share about Lauren please.  I have faith she will find her forever family.  Surely there is a family with a heart big enough to give her all the love she needs to grow and reach her full potential.

If you want more information about Lauren, please contact me at patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com.  I can pass you on to Vicki who has met Lauren for questions she can help on.  It would be great to make Mattea's and Lauren's wishes come true. 

  

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Matching Rocks!!!!!

Today was the happiest of days.  Yes, Gladney families and friends and everyone who has ever reviewed a file,  matching rocks.  Matching meeting was today and I am incredibly happy to announce this beautiful amazing child has found her family.


Every child who finds a family, we celebrate.  So  Ding, Ding, Ding, Ding.( I am the official bell ringer.)


I have found my family!!!



We could not be happier.  She is amazing!  We are celebrating with her forever family!  She is beautiful on the inside and outside.  And now she will have a family.   The family that she has deserved for her entire life will be hers. Wow!

Yes, a very good day friends!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Advocacy Monday


Xin Xin is a beautiful almost three year old girl who is waiting for her family. She has a smile that could melt your heart.  Her sweet personality lights up the room.  She likes toy balls and can crawl on hands and knees.  She has good fine motor skills.  Xin Xin's medical need is Osteogenesis Imperfecta , brittle bone disease.  As a physical therapist I have worked with this disease extensively.  These children are treated with a supplement to make their bones stronger.  They can also receive surgery to place rods in their long bones to decrease the likely hood of fracture.  Exercise is helpful to continuing to build bone strength.  I consulted recently with a pediatric orthopedist about Xin Xin.  His main concern is that everyone be aware that children with issue are of normal intelligence and can achieve a full and meaningful life. For children with OI fractures tend to slow down as they reach puberty and then adulthood.

This beautiful little girl is protected from fractures at the orphanage.  They try to keep her off her feet.  It is a big deal for a child to have a fracture while in an orphanage.  It must be set in a hospital and care giving is an issue with a cast.

Xin Xin needs a family to love her.  She is waiting for someone to step forward and be her Mom and Dad. To help her live her life to her fullest potential.   To say that she is so much more than a medical need.  She is a little girl waiting for a forever family who has a heart big enough to accommodate a few casts or broken bones in her lifetime.  To help her dry her tears, love her forever. Could she be your daughter?

For more information, contact me patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com