Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Galen

Galen is a 9 year old boy with charming dimples! He is described as a quiet, shy child who works hard and pays close attention in school. He is in 3rd grade in a full-day primary school.  He can recite the multiplication tables and is learning double digit multiplication.



Galen has postoperative CHD. He seems to be a healthy little boy.

He is in foster care and enjoys helping with chores around the house such as cleaning the floor and putting the bowls and chopsticks in order. He does not like strong flavored foods such as garlic (don't you just love these cute little details!?) And he also prefers lean meat.



Another little detail I like is that he likes to use his imagination to draw trees and houses. I would like to see one of those drawings, wouldn't you? The Superkids team plans to meet Galen when we are in China in two weeks. Maybe I can get him to draw for me then! We should be able to get updated information and more pictures at that point. Wouldn't it be great if he was matched with a family by then?



Galen sounds like such a great little boy! Could he be your son?

Please contact April Uduhiri at april.uduhiri@gladney.org for more information about adopting Galen.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Grayson

Grayson is an eleven year old boy who wants to be adopted by and be part of a family. He wrote a letter to this effect. He also says, "I like to play badminton and draw. I am not picky and I like to eat all kinds of food."



Grayon has a repaired cleft lip and palate. He went to a special school for a few years but started 5th grade in a regular school this year. He loves to draw and his artwork is often displayed by his teacher on the blackboard. He gets along well with his classmates and is respectful to his teachers.



He is described as a very polite boy who enjoys listening to adult conversation and occasionally adding his opinion.

Grayson is in foster care. He is one of the children the Superkids team plans to meet when we are in China in two weeks (YAY!!!) So we should be able to get updated information and photos at that point.

This sweet boy needs a family. Could he be your son?

Please contact April Uduhiri at april.uduhiri@gladney.org for more information about adopting Grayson.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Meet the April 2015 Team {Tanna}

Hello everyone! My name is Tanna Becker, and I am so excited to be blessed with the opportunity to go to China with SuperKids! I’ll tell you a little about myself first, and then I will explain how I got connected with the program! I am a Junior in college studying Human Development and Family Studies and a minor in Leadership and Management of Non-Profit Organizations. I would love to pursue a career with an international adoption agency when I graduate from college and am also considering the possibility of going on in school to receive my Masters in Social Work. I have four siblings, and I consider my family my very best friends! 




My Aunt Darla played a role in my passion for international adoption. When my aunt and her husband began the process of adopting their daughter, Tessa, from China she introduced me to several adoption blogs. I spent hours reading through the blogs and discovering so many incredible stories of adoption (I still read these blogs today)! Just a few weeks after my aunt and uncle brought their daughter home from China I spent the summer living with their family and helping out wherever I could as they transitioned to a family of six. This experience was a huge blessing, and I discovered even more how passionate I was about adoption.



The next summer I went on a mission trip to Uganda, Africa to work and live in an orphanage for two weeks. It was honestly two of the best weeks of my life, and I truly fell in love with the country. I have now spent time in Uganda in the same orphanage for the past three summers, and my family adopted my two younger brothers from this orphanage. Frank and Vick came home ten months ago and being able to experience adoption first hand has been incredible!  


   


My Aunt Darla first introduced me to Gladney and SuperKids. I found the work she did with the SuperKids to be fascinating! With my interest in adoption she encouraged me to apply for a summer internship with Gladney, and I am excited to be the international adoption intern with Gladney this summer! 




I am thankful for the many experiences I have had with adoption, but I never would have imagined myself receiving the opportunity to go to China with Superkids! I am excited to help the team in any way I can and see adoption through a perspective of a different country! 

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Gorgeous Gigi

Today I'm going to interrupt my normal, scheduled posting to introduce you to a lovely little girl. This is Gigi. Isn't she beautiful!? Just look at those dimples!


Gigi is 7 years old. She is a described as cheerful and easygoing. She gets along well with other children. She enjoys coloring, drawing, and singing. Her favorite toy is a telescope. And her favorite colors are pink and red.

Gigi's special need is multiple hemangioma (disappearing).



Gigi is in a foster home and attends school outside of the orphanage where she studies Chinese, math, English, music, drawing, and physical education. She can count to 100 and do simple addition and subtraction. She is learning to write Chinese characters.


Could Gigi be your daughter? We need a family with an LID (log in date) or whose dossier is very near completion to adopt Gigi.

Please contact April Uduhiri at april.uduhiri@gladney.org to learn more about adopting Gigi.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Meet the April 2015 Team {Nancy}

I am so excited to be joining the SuperKids Asia team – I have to pinch myself sometimes so I know it is for real!  



My name is Nancy Dobson, and I have been a physical therapist since the early 1980’s.  I grew up in Mankato, MN as the daughter of two physical therapists.  My mom Barbara Lee Graham worked primarily with children, and became my inspiration to pursue a career in pediatric PT.  A friend of mine and I dreamed of opening a clinic for special needs children, and in 1991 we established Pediatric Therapy Services!  It has grown from a small one room clinic to a well-established facility in our region with a staff of over 25 (Physical, Occupational and Speech therapists) and support staff.   Every day we strive to “make a difference…one child at a time”.




  

My practice area has been fairly diverse, with more focus on children with CP, Developmental Delays, Musculoskeletal disorders and infants with torticollis.   I am blessed to work with a highly dedicated and skilled team of therapists– and I learn from them every day.  We have absolutely amazing kids and families that come through our door every day.  




I have gone on two mission trips to Panama with Mission Save a Smile (http://www.missionsaveasmile.org/) Although the primary focus is dental care; I was able to work with a few children with physical impairments.  I helped educate their parents on therapeutic activities for their child, and with the help of my handy-man husband Joe, we were able to build a home-made stander from local materials for one little guy.



 
Outside of work, I love to bike, ran my first ½ marathon in 2014, and treasure any time spent with my family.  My 5 “kids” are all grown up now, and I am blessed to have 3 grandkids and inherited another 7 from my hubby.   I have a feeling there will be more grandbabies coming, which of course makes me happy!


I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of this SuperKids Asia team.  I am hopeful and prayerful that God will use me in a meaningful way during our time in China.  

Monday, March 23, 2015

Tessa

Tessa is a timid and shy four year old girl who has a close bond with her nanny. She gets jealous when her nanny holds other children.  



Tessa's file indicates that she has Down Syndrome as well as a cleft lip and palate. On examination by a pediatric physical therapist, the diagnosis of Down Syndrome was questioned. So Tessa needs a family who is open to some unknowns.

She understands what is said to her and responds to questions. She can say "nana". Tessa likes to look pretty and wear pretty clothes. It is noted that she "will immediately smile happily" when you tell her how pretty she looks.



This darling little girl needs a family to love her and tell her how perfect and beautiful she is! Could you be her family?

This sweetie has a very sizable grant of over $10,000 through Reese's Rainbow.

For more information about Tessa please contact April at april.uduhiri@gladney.org.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Meet the April 2015 Team {Keely}

Hello everyone!! My name is Keely O’Dell and I am thrilled to be joining the SuperKids, Asia team.  My first experience with SuperKids was the summer after I graduated from physical therapy school at Duke University in 2009.  A classmate andI traveled with two others to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  In the seven weeks we spent there, our efforts were focused on caregiver and volunteer education to support and increase developmentally supportive care to all the children, especially those with disabilities.  It was such an amazing experience early in my professional career… and I absolutely fell in love!

Caregiver Training Program-- Ethiopia


Since then, I have traveled to Central and South America on several occasions with SuperKids.  In 2010-2011, I spent 8 months working with children and caregivers in institutions in Cali and Medellin, Colombia as well as San Jose, Costa Rica. With the help of my visiting volunteers/therapists/friends, we were able to provide equipment and orthotics for many children. We provided volunteer, caregiver and staff/administrator trainings.  We provided direct therapy to many children and helped the staff create treatment plans to continue the activities after we left. We implemented work programs for teens in the institution.  Throughout this year, though I tried to leave more than I took, I was definitely the big winner.  The amazing resilience, personality, will power, happiness, sadness, and shear force of the children I met was so inspiring—it changed my entire perception of childhood, families, life and  love.

Looking straight and tall in my new braces--Cali, Colombia

For details on the amazing work we did, and the many adventures I had during my time there, please feel free to check out my blog.

I have been back to Colombia on a few shorter trips since that time. On our most recent trip last August, we went to Bogota and met over 30 waiting kids looking for forever families.  For more information on these amazing kiddos, please see the Colombia Waiting Child program.

Between SuperKids trips, I completed a pediatric physical therapy residency in Conway, Arkansas and have had amazing experiences in a variety of PT settings: inpatient, outpatient, home-health, hippotherapy and now I am working in early intervention.  I also am currently finishing a master’s degree in Applied Developmental Psychology—with an emphasis on examining the impact of out-of-family-care on child development.

Animal Sounds are Fun... So is Evaluating These Awesome Kiddos-- Bogota, Colombia

I have learned so much in my academic and “real-life” experiences thus far, and I look forward to learning more from the amazing crew that has made SuperKids, Asia such an successful program through the years!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sometimes Sad Things Happen...

Sometimes things do not work out like we want them to. We were all so excited that Andy had a family, but hard things happen, and they cannot move forward with his adoption due to personal circumstances.



So Andy is waiting again! There are 75 days left to get to him before he is no longer eligible for adoption. Andy needs a family to step forward now!

Because we are so concerned about him, Gladney is willing to transfer his file to another agency if someone is already in process with another agency or want to add him to an adoption.

Someone please step forward and bring this wonderful, deserving boy home! He deserves a family!

To read more about him please see this post.

To learn more about adopting him please contact April Uduhiri at april.uduhiri@gladney.org.

And please, please share his information. Andy's chance to have a family is running out! I can't stand the thought of going to China and seeing him again without being able to tell him that he has a family coming for him!

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Family For Andy!

We love the kids we meet. Every single one of them. Sometimes one of our kids is moved to the fore-front of all of our minds for one reason or another. For the past little while that child has been Andy. The reason? Andy has less than three months until he is no longer eligible for adoption.



But you know what!? Andy now has a family working hard to get to him before it is too late!!

It is going to be a race to the finish line! But it is doable! I can't wait to see his smile when we show him pictures of his new family!

Friday, March 13, 2015

How Can We Help?

Update: All of the items on our lists have been generously donated or purchased with donated funds!!! A huge thank you to everyone. If you would like to be involved in supporting this trip there is a DONATE button on the right sidebar. Or contact Erin Martin at erinmrtn@yahoo.com for more ideas. Again, thank you to each of you for your support!


So many of you have asked how you can be involved in our upcoming trip that I thought I would post this here. The list of items we are collecting for this trip is at the end, but I thought some of you might find the other information interesting as well


Who We Are
Superkids is a humanitarian aid initiative within the Asia Waiting Child Program of the Gladney Center for Adoption. Our goal: to improve the lives of children in Chinese orphanages via adoption advocacy, medical and rehabilitation services. Starting as a tiny team providing services to special needs children in a single facility in Shanghai in 2007, we've grown to a broad coalition of physicians, early childhood development specialists, teachers and volunteers who've aided 500 children in orphanages across China.

You Say You Want to Help?
As many of you know we have just announced dates for our Spring 2015 Superkids Trip:  April 11-25, 3015! We have already received many kind offers to donate needed items.

Seeking Support in Partnerships
There are so many ways to contribute to Superkids. This past November, we were overwhelmed when friends and families helped us raise over $80,000 in net proceeds for the continued growth of the Superkids program. The thrust of this fundraiser focused on expanding our reach in China. To put it simply, we want to send more volunteers to more orphanages more times a year.


This April 2015 trip is an exciting step in that process. The cost of a Superkids trip is approximately $20,000. We will be using part of the money we raised to pay for the travel expenses of seasoned team members as well as in-country accommodations. In order to keep our overhead low, first time volunteers pay for their travel. The goal is financial responsibility and overall longevity of the program. 

Monetary donations literally help get the trip off the ground (airfare can add up!) but there are many other ways to participate in our mission. Superkids is a collaborative process and we want partners—partners in giving, advocating, hoping, and praying. We want partners in loving these precious children. So we’ve talked to some of our overseas partners in Shanghai, Changsha, Jiangxi, and Hunan and we’ve compiled a list of ways that you can help contribute in a tangible way to the trip this April.

How Have People Helped in the Past?
Families, church groups, Boy Scout troops, and organizations like Families with Children from China have come up with wonderfully creative ways to partner with us and spread joy through gift giving. Just a few examples include finger puppets, hair bows, mirrors, and baseball caps.

Your Hearts are Bigger than Our Suitcases
A typical Superkids trip requires a lot of travel. It’s a planes, trains, and automobiles experience and heavy luggage can really slow us down, so please keep this in mind when you donate. Think small, compact, and light weight. And above all, please coordinate with our staff before you donate. You can contact Erin Martin at erinmrtn@yahoo.com to coordinate your giving.  Below is an illustrative list of some helpful items.  The caregiving items will be delivered to Butterfly Home in Hunan.

I'm removing items as people notify me that they are sending them to keep the list updated. Some of the other items are partially filled too! Thank you all so much!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Amazing Olly

Look at this little fellow! Isn't he too cute? He is not quite two years old and is described as lively and energetic. He loves to laugh and is curious about new things.

Learning to walk! Sept. 2014
June 2014


June 2014

He likes to listen to music. Olly's favorite toys are a rocking horse and balls. He gets along well with other children and will share toys with others. He is walking well and running. He understands what is said to him and is learning to speak.

Sept. 2014
Olly's special need is congenital laryngeal stridor (a developmental issue with the cartilage of his respiratory tract and he is now doing fabulously!) and retarded growth. Even though he is small for his age he is catching up and developing well. Here is what one of his nurses says about him, "He is still small for his age, but growing fast and putting on weight. He has periods of being wheezy on and off, but generally it doesn't affect him, he runs, plays and participates in games like any other child!"

"Where is my family?" June 2014
The Superkids team met Olly in June of 2014 and is looking forward to getting to see him again in April. I expect we will scarcely recognize him if these pictures from June and September tell us anything!

Olly is a darling, loving little boy just waiting for a family of his own! Could Olly be your son?

For more information about Olly please contact April Uduhiri at april.uduhiri@gladney.org.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Meet Miles

I have a cute little boy to introduce to you today. Miles is almost six years old. His favorite toys are small cars.




Miles is a quiet little boy and is closest to his caregivers. Miles is deaf and has CHD. He had heart surgery and it is noted that he recovered well.

Miles is unable to communicate much with others due to his hearing condition. His file says that he is a smart boy.


Sweet little Miles needs a family who will help him learn how to communicate and express himself. He needs the love and support of a family who will help him to thrive.

For more information about Miles please contact April Uduhiri at april.uduhiri@gladney.org.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Family Story Friday {Adopting An Older Boy}

The following story was written by another one of the great families we have the privilege of learning to know. We are so happy to see Kai learning and growing and happy with his family!


Our four year journey to adoption took us to some dead ends and on a few very sharp curves but here we are, making it official in July 2014, with our son Kai!





We have two biological kids, Cody age 7 and Kelby age 5, and  “planned” to adopt a younger child.  However, in the summer of 2013 Superkids met Kai in China and shortly after that we heard his story and knew that it was God’s plan for Kai to join our family.  Once we made the decision and moved forward things went amazingly smoothly and before we knew it we were on the way to China to meet Kai. 

Adopting an older child is scary in its own way, do you hug him when you meet?  Will he want to call us mom and dad? How will we communicate?  Somehow we made it through those fist few crazy weeks in China.  Kai knew almost no English, he could only say “apple” (Thanks, Steve Jobs) and “Oh my God” (Thanks pop culture).  The first few weeks we were home we couldn’t believe how often we went somewhere and ran into someone who spoke  Mandarin and could speak to Kai, dramatically helping his transition.  He started learning English quickly and then our exchange student from Beijing, Bridge, moved in and became our amazing live in translator.



Kai started 5th grade at a private school less than three weeks after coming home.  It was very hard for him but he is amazingly light hearted and as the months have gone on he has been able to become more and more integrated with his classmates.  Since he came home, Kai has learned to tie his shoes, ride a bike, swim, share, take turns, play on a soccer team, and use American table manners.  All while learning English!  



He can almost read in English, he is great at math and he loves art class.  He is such a cheerful person and we can see his resilient spirit every day.  He had so much fun experiencing the holidays from Halloween to Christmas.  In January he celebrated his first ever birthday party!  




We are excited to see what is in store for Kai!





Wednesday, March 4, 2015

More Matched Children and Other Great News!

As always, my favorite posts to write are the ones announcing that our children have families and are coming home!

First, the matched children. We are thrilled to say that:

Aiden
 And...

Anderson
Have families! 

And we have families in China and families leaving to meet their children. (A lot is happening in the Superkids world!) 

Look at all of these beautiful little faces! They are now, or very soon will be, with their families.









They are why we do what we do. All of these beautiful little faces. Each one of them a precious child. Now a treasured son or daughter. May you all be blessed beyond measure!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Calling All Advocates

We have a young man who needs us. He ages out in three months. This means that he will no longer be eligible for adoption and will forever lose the chance to be part of a family. In three short months.



So, what can YOU do?

There have been several posts written about him. Share one or all of them. If you have blog, share on your blog. Share his story on Facebook and Twitter. Any other place you can think of to share his story? Go right ahead!

The posts about him are here, and here, and here.

We are at the point right now that if someone steps forward to adopt him the entire adoption could still be completed before his birthday, but that time is running out.

I've personally met Andy twice and I'm so hoping to tell him that he has a family coming to meet him when I see him again in April!

Do what you can for this deserving boy today!

For information about adopting Andy please contact April  Uduhiri at april.uduhiri@gladney.org.