Thursday, February 27, 2014

Advocacy with a twist!

So over on the Asiawaitingchild.wordpress.com site we have been advocating for children with burns this week.  We all rejoiced and celebrated when Alex from our waiting child list found his family.  We want every child with this special need to find their forever family.  We hope Anthony will find his forever family too! You can read more about him here.  Interestingly when I posted his picture in the advocacy groups one of his friends who was already adopted came forward and said he was nice and wanted a family.  I love this advocacy where one person starts and others pass it on.  Our power is so much greater as a community acting for these kids.



I am posting Anthony's picture here so you can all remember him.  Now here in lies the twist.  For a special need that is hard to place, I reach out to other agency's, advocacy groups etc.  Do they have anyone who has this need they would like help advocating for.  This time we only found one child that anyone brought up. I reached out to the advocate and she was happy to supply info but all pics needed to be behind a password protected site.  Hmm!!  How do you advocate without a picture. Well here goes.  Lets figure this out together.  These kids are too important to let something like this limit what we as a community can do for these children.

I am going to share what I do know.  You can read the post here http://wonderfulwaitingkids.com .  You will need to be a site member to view his post.  Cory is 13 years old and has burn scars on his head and face. he has two other special needs and you can read more about that in his post.  He was doing so well in orphanage school, that he now goes to public school.  He is super smart and sweet and dreams of having a family of his own.  We want that for Cory too!

So here is the twist on advocacy.  Please share this and pass along to your friends. Its not such a big deal to fill out a form and get into a site.  This boy is totally worth it.   This advocacy is harder because you can't see his smiling face. It is incredibly moving to stand on the other side of the world and hold the hand of an older child who asks, "can you find me a family?". This is a question no child should ever have to ask.  I've had this experience many times and it still brings me to tears.

We speak as a community about what to do for these children.  Here is something we can do from the comfort of your own home.  Share these children stories.  Please remember Anthony too!  He needs a family so much just as Cory does!

Need more information, contact me at patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Opperation Oh Suzanna!

 About two years ago a mom from a Shanghai facebook group asked me a question.” Who is this girl who is my son’s friend?  Now I get requests like this often.   Sometimes I get an answer, sometimes I too am left to wonder.  So, when someone asked me to find out who was in the picture, I was surprised at the answer we got.  A beautiful girl with Kristal bones.   Well, that is not a US diagnosis.   A further investigation revealed that this was a girl with Osteogenesis imperfect, aka brittle bone disease. 

This expanded into a two year search that culminated in finding out there were two children in with this issue, there was a younger and older child.  Both girls. Now as a Pediatric Physical Therapist, I have worked in a major center and know what this means.  This child can fracture a bone by picking up a pencil.  They can be doing a perfectly normal thing or take a fall and fracture a bone.  Here is what I know as a PT, these kids do great!  They generally are of normal intelligence and are just totally amazing!

One of our families took some pictures of the younger girl and before you know( not really, it took a long time)  we had a file and now we are advocating for this beauty.

Well, since she is such a beautiful girl, I could not wait to meet the older girl with OI. When we got to her orphanage, she was in the hospital and we could not see her.  L  I was sad and vowed to try to help her on our next visit. Our MD, Dr. Darla went back in this orphanage over Christmas and she was able to see this beauty.  And she got the information needed to advocate for her.  Well here we are and advocacy begins.

Enter the village.  A wonderful advocate I know, Sharon from CHI, messaged me.  Her friend had a slightly used wheelchair to donate and wow, how could we get it there?  I have carried wheelchairs to China before.  Through several cities and in to and out of multiple airports.  On planes and in vans, in cars and it can be daunting.  Well, here more ot the village steps in.  A family offers to take the chair.  Turns out they are a Gladney family and really are not taking it for that reason. They are just great people.  Sharon picks up the wheelchair from her friend. Her husband delivers it to the family miles and miles away from where they live. Now the adopting family has the Wheelchair. They leave in days!  Our hopes and prayers go with them.
We are saying to this beautiful girl, we love you!  You matter!  You are in in our hearts!  So now that you know the story, stay tuned to see the results!  This girl, our Suzanna, is getting a wheelchair but what it means is so much more.  It means that this beauty is in our hearts.  She matters and we will not forget her.  We will find this beautiful child a family.  She will not be forgotten.  She will come home!!!!!



this is Suzanna in her current wheelchair

It takes a village, all of us working together, to help these kids rewrite their own story and make it a tale with a happy ending.  And it is so worth it!



    

Friday, February 21, 2014

I have found my family!!!

Yes this is good news here.  Our little sweetie has found his family!!!  We are singing and laughing and ringing that bell!  AND I have  met his Mom and Dad,  And they are just as amazing as this little guy is cute!!!!!

Yeah!

Ding Ding Ding Ding....Ding!!!!!!!

I HAVE FOUND MY FAMILY!!!!!



WE are so excited for our little guy and his family. Imagine the joy of looking into this little face every day!!!  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Adopting our Blessing- A Family Story

We are sharing a sweet story from a mom who I hope to meet in the future.  Jo is a source of strength and inspiration for me.  She is sharing her story of adopting these two sweet kiddos.  I caught a picture of her daughter in an orphanage on one of my trips to China, just by accident, and I think we have beeen in touch ever since. Thank you so much for sharing Jo!


 

Adopting our Blessing

Before we began our journey to our son Dalton, adopted from China in 2012, I had not done a great deal of research into his special need of Spina Bifida. I had been warned during each pregnancy to take folic acid to avoid spinal cord defects in my babies, however,  I was very uneducated into the intricacies of Spina Bifida, what we learned opened our eyes to a whole new world of special needs.

Spina Bifida blessings can range in function from completely unaffected in their physical ability to fully reliant on a sweet set of wheels to get around.  They can be fully continent to incontinent of the bladder and bowels, which is called neurogenic bladder and bowels.  They can have hydrocephalus and rely on a shunt to regulate cerebral spinal fluid or have club feet.  Each blessing is affected differently.

Dalton's file had been viewed and turned down multiple times.  The main reason, beside the fact that he was meant to be our blessing, was his neurogenic bladder/bowels. 

It's a very private subject, obviously, but its, also, reality for so many blessings who continue to wait because someone is nervous about a child's lack of bathroom function.  It's a moot point for our family. Our son is a joy and is never slowed down by his medical needs. We have a bowel protocol that is done in such a way that he does not have bowel accidents. He uses catheters to use the restroom just like you or I. These children live fully capable, fully joyful lives! We are so glad we, as parents, did not shy away because we might get squeamish about poop talk!

When we pursued our daughter,Analina, adopted from China, also, in 2012, she didn't walk until a few months before we brought her home because she has a repaired clubfoot and, also, she has lower body weakness due to her Spina Bifida.  At some point, we know she will be reliant on a wheelchair. It was, honestly, not what we signed up for and not what we were expecting, however, we are grateful that our eyes have been opened to this special need. 

As we learn more about what her future holds we know that she will learn to do everything the other children do but she will learn to do it HER way.  She can swing but, manages just fine...her "running" is an adorable hobble, but even that hobble slows way down as she tires. She falls frequently, too frequently, at times.

The main reason we did not shy away from the special need of Spina Bifida is because we would never turn away from our birth child if they were born with such a special need as this. We would advocate for our child to receive all the medical care he would need. We would navigate all the aspects of the medical and educational worlds to be sure our child's needs are met.

If we would never turn our backs on a homegrown child with a special need why would be turn our back on an orphan with Spina Bifida? They are always a blessing and never a burden!

Jolene and Devin 

Jolene blogs at homespunheritage.net you can pop on over and read her blog.  the blog is inspiring and gives us a glimpse into her big family.  Thanks again Jo! 

Friday, February 14, 2014

For Those who Wait

Here we are celebrating Valentines day!  So many sweethearts are waiting for their forever families in China.
We love you all and look forward to your home coming!  You are in our hearts and we are waiting for you!!!!












 Happy Valentines Day!  You are all in our Hearts!


Thursday, February 13, 2014

I have found my family!

I dont think we were able to celebrate these children finding their families.  I met the Mom and dad for one of these sweeties last week and I so wanted to say Ding, Ding, Ding Ding!  Adoptive Parents rock!!  These beautiful children are waiting children no more.  They are part of a family waiting  who are so anxious to get to them.  This is part of the miracle of adoption. children and parents wait on opposites sides of the world, soon to be together forever.

So celebrations!! Ding Ding Ding Ding...We have found our families.!!!





Can't wait to see you all here in the arms of your loving family!  Yeah!!!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

A family story - Adopting our child with Cleft Lip and Palate

 Julee is a Gladney Mom who adopted her daughter prior to adopting her son through Gladney.  She has been amazingly supportive and helpful to Superkids.  Her son Henry was an adorable boy we met in China.  Julee has shared he story of Henry's adoption here on the blog and now she is sharing the story of adopting her daughter Leah. We are also sharing another wonderful family story on the Asia waiting child blog today. click here to read the other family story about adopting a sweetheart with cleft lip palate.   You can read the story of Henry's adoption by clicking here.         


  The story of our first adoption began in 2005. My husband and I knew we wanted at least three children and thought (like many couples do) that it would be pretty easy. I had my son Eric, from a previous marriage, and then Noah, a miracle baby, whom we weren’t expecting (we were waiting to do a round of IVF). We wanted another child right away. Weeks turned into months…months into a year. We felt like we were running out of time, as I was soon turning 35. After much discussion, we decided that IVF was not the way to go for us- so we turned our hearts to the possibility of adopting. After talking to an agency and other adoptive families, we decided that was the path we would venture down to expand our family. We wanted a baby girl and were told the wait was about 10 months. As it turned out, we got the paperwork logged into China at the exact time adoptions (in China) came to a grinding halt. Our 10-month wait turned in a 2-3 year wait. We were stunned and saddened.

           

  The next day after the news, I saw an email from our agency titled “Waiting Children”. I opened it and saw about 10 pictures of children ranging from 2 -8 years old. I immediately was drawn to the last little face on the page. A two-year-old little girl from Kunming, China named Yi Li Hua. . Her special need was listed as “ III cleft lip and palate” (severe) with a heart condition- and I fell in love with that little face right then and there and decided to research this special need.
           

  My husband and I reached out to people in the community, doctors, nurses, and families who had adopted “waiting children” (back in 2005, adopting a special needs child was not something that I was familiar with…most people wanted a healthy baby girl) and specifically, a child with the same need as Leah. I admit- I was scared. I didn’t know anything at all about cleft/lip/palate, and the fact that she was a toddler stunned us a bit. But you know what we realized? We never had a clear picture of “who” our child was going to be- just that she was out there- in China. And the fact that this child here, this beautiful child staring at us through the photograph, was here on this Earth, waiting not to be born, but already waiting for a family…well, that was very powerful. And that is when we knew, we really knew, that she was in fact the daughter we had been waiting for.

     
  That was 7 ½ years ago. Since then, Leah has had two palate surgeries, a P-flap surgery, bone graft and nose surgeries. She has had several teeth pulled, gotten braces and is now in headgear to try and correct her under/cross bite. Chances are very likely she will have to have jaw surgery in her teen years, followed by rhinoplasty, which will be her last surgery. Sounds like a lot, right? The way I see it, is that she is the one having to go through the pain (although my heart hurts seeing her go through these surgeries) and recovery due to this birth defect. As her mom, I have the gift of holding her hand, nursing her back from each surgery, until she can run, jump and play with her friends. None of these surgeries have kept her down for long, and with each one, her speech becomes clearer and her confidence stronger. One day, while I was walking her around Green Lake, an older Chinese man approached Leah and me and just stared. He then looked at me and asked if “this was a big deal in the United States (cleft lip)”. I said, “No, not really. We have a team of people dedicated to kids like Leah who will help her every step of the way.” “Well,” he said, “she is very lucky”. “No,” I said, we are the lucky ones. 

Take a Lump of Clay

Take a lump of clay
Wet it, pat it,
Make a statue of you
And a statue of me.
Then shatter them, clatter them,
Into a statue of you,
And a statue of me.
Then, in mine, there are bits of you
And in you there are bits of me
Nothing shall ever keep us apart.

Kuan Tao Sheng
(Sung Dynasty)



Monday, February 10, 2014

Rainbow Kids Rocks!

This week in New York we had an opportunity to spend time with Martha Osborne.  Let me tell you she is warm, kind and so there for every child who is waiting for a family.  She also advocates tirelessly to help families to find their child. Martha is an adoptee herself.  She kniows the miracle of adoption first hand as a parent as well.  She has five daughters who she adopted and are now her beautiful family.

In 1996 she started Rainbowkids.com. Since then Rainbow kids has grown to be the greatest force in online advocacy for international adoption.  She continues to advocate for children in many countries and with over 67 agencies.  Rainbowkids offers their services free of Charge so that even more children can benefit from having out reach in advocacy.

In person Martha is amazing.  She is warm, kind and an advocate who thinks with her head as well as her heart.  A true out of the box thinker.  So Cool to actually be with Martha who talks so openly about her own adoptions and her life.  We discussed everything from our favorite food to orphanages in China and changes in international adoption.  Wow!

Martha's daughter Kate also came with her on this trip. I so enjoyed meeting Kate as well as spending time with Martha.  She attended Chinese New Year party on Sunday.  Martha helped develop some ideas for the Superkids this summer. Another wonderful minute, Martha, Erin Martin and Chelsea all in the same room.  We missed Darla but we will catch up with her soon.


I think the most wonderful part of the time with Martha was knowing how many more children we can help.

OK,  Martha rocks, Adoption rocks!!!!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday!

These Kiddos have spent a large amount of time occupying my heart lately





For more information please contact patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com

Monday, February 3, 2014

Advocacy Monday- Hua Hua

Today we are Advocating for a little one with a limb difference.  We have just received some updated info on him.  This little man waits and waits.  He has the special need of Limb difference and he has one blue eye. He is a cutie and nothing slows him down.


Hua Hua can do everything everyone else can do but he just does it a little differently.  He is a sweet and serious boy!

Here is what Chelsea wrote advocating for him.
Hua Hua was the last child that came into our assessment room on the first day of our journey. And he changed me. Maybe it was his round cheeks and his one blue eye, or maybe it was how his hands could do all the same tasks though they looked nothing like mine. But really, I think it was a sense that he needed me that created this change in my heart. 
So when Pat asked me to write a post about Hua Hua I jumped at the opportunity. Hua Hua represents so much of what originally drew me to orphan care. There are hundreds of thousands of children—like Hua Hua—abandoned all over the world because of a disability or because of the social and economic burdens of raising a child with special needs. And from now on, whenever I think of these children, I will always see Hua Hua’s sweet face with his contrasting dark brown and ice blue eye.
I sat near Hua Hua that day in the Orphanage and told him how special I thought he was. And as I sat, I listened to our team’s medical volunteers and the orphanage staff discuss whether or not Hua Hua has normal eye-sight (which all signs seem to suggest that he does by the way) and someone mentioned the use of colored contacts to “correct” his mix-matched eye color. This bothered me. I thought to myself—“What a shame.” Why change Hua Hua? He’s exquisitely unique and special and perfect just the way he is.
And that’s the mission of Superkids—to care for children without reservations. Hua Hua doesn’t need to be changed to be loved, but he does need a family. And if you love him, I promise this miraculous little life will change you. I know because he changed me.  
 Well  Hua Hua still waits.  I really don't understand Why.  He is an amazingly perfect sweet and serious boy.  In his update the nannies say they feel he is a bit advanced when compared to his peers.  He has such a sweet serious face.  He needs someone to kiss his tears and hold and cuddle him. He needs a forever family.

For More information about Hua Hua please contact patriciamarcuspt@gmail.com