Angie {Taiwan}

Sometimes on a Superkids trips we meet a child who is so outstandingly sweet that we all lose our hearts. Most of the time we each have children who we fall in love with. Angie was one of those children we all loved. We just kept talking about how incredibly sweet she is, her personality really shone!



Angie is 12 years old and has developmental delays. She attends school, though it is hard for her. Her favorite subject is English and least favorite is math. She describes herself as lively, optimistic, and helpful. She likes jogging, riding a unicycle, and making others happy. She is helpful and a good worker.



I got out our little makeup kit and we had so much putting on makeup together. She was so proud of her beautiful fingernails and the photo I took and printed of her. She is just such a sweetheart!



Please take the time to really see Angie! She deserves to be seen for the lovely girl she is! She deserves a family to help her reach her full potential.

Could Angie be your daughter? Please contact us mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information. And, as always, if you want to see pictures and videos we cannot share publicly please join our private Taiwan Facebook group.

Rana

This time next year, Rana could be home with your family enjoying the holidays!  Rana is a lovely 5 ½ years old little girl.   She has a diagnosis of cleft palate and mental retardation. Her physical and motor development are similar to her peers.  She can walk, run, jump and go up and down stairs by herself.  She can pass a ball when playing. 



Her language development and mental development are delayed compared to her peers. She is able to say simple words family and peers’ names and use polite words.  She knows the difference between big and small and inner and outer.  At that time her file was prepared a year ago, she was not yet fully potty trained during nap and night time.



Rana is described as active. She enjoys playing with toys, listening to music is quiet and has a gentle nature. She has a ready smile and is energetic.  She likes to play ball and pass the ball to her peers and caregivers. 

Could Rana be your daughter? Contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information about Rana.

Karson {Taiwan}

It is always fun to see the notes various team members write on a child's assessment sheet. I know how it goes there and that people are adding notes without reading what others have written, so it is fun to see when different team members describe a child using the same words. For 5 year old Karson those words are: bright, inquisitive, smart, independent.

And I'm just going to go ahead and add cute! Look at this little guy!



His file indicates that he has ADHD. He definitely was a high energy little guy, but he did focus well on tasks, completing puzzles very quickly and with ease. He is 5 and counted to 100 for us, he also wrote his name. He drew the cutest little person. With fingers and the lines on his little person's palms.





Karson's favorite toys are race cars and spinning tops. He did well with jumping, playing with balls, etc. but he told us he likes to play outside but doesn't like running very much.




Karson needs a family! Please contact mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information.


Roger

Roger is ready to celebrate his next Christmas with your family!  Roger is 2 ½ years old and has a listed need of CHD (PFO), hearing loss in both ears, and growth development delay. His file mentions that he uses a hearing aid.



Roger’s file was prepared when he was 14 months old. At that time, he was rolling over, could lift his head while lying on his stomach, and could follow moving objects.  He expresses joy by moving his arms and stamping his feet and giggling.  He asks for comfort when he cries and when he sees food, he gets excited to eat.  

Roger is described as quiet and fond of listening to music.  He enjoys playing games, and is close to his caregivers and classmates.  His favorite toys are musical toys.



We are seeking an update on Roger and are hopeful to see some progress in his development.

Could Roger be your son? Contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information about Roger.

Family Friday!! {MATCHES!}

It is time to announce matches! Most of theses children are from China, but the brothers are from Taiwan! Help us celebrate today by liking and sharing this post!

I was recently in Mexico and got to watch a baby sea turtle release. We all cheered them on as they instinctively headed toward the water. Something about the way we all stood there cheering them on reminded me of our Gladney Superkids team as we think of the children we advocate for (just stay with me, I know I'm being a little cheesy). We love announcing matches!


Kasper {Taiwan}

Kasper is an 8 year old little boy with one request: He wants a family. What do you say to an 8 year old boy when he asks you to find him a family? You can't say that you will. You stand there, your mind spinning, knowing full well the challenges of finding him one. And you can only promise one thing: you will try. 





He sought me out, dragging an interpreter along, to tell me he wanted us to find him a family. I didn't know if he told anyone else, but when I read through notes we made while visiting with him last month I see that he did. Apparently he wanted to get the message to any of us he thought could make that happen!



Kasper likes to play with Legos, he is in 2nd grade and can read and write in Mandarin. He wrote his name for us and was very cooperative with what we asked him to do, until it got hard, then he balked a bit. What 8 year old likes to answer hard math facts? :)


Kasper's file indicates that he has ADHD, for which he is taking medication. He also has some difficult things in his background which break my heart when I read them. Some of his behaviors reflect the trauma he has experienced, which is to be expected.



This sweet little guy like hamburgers and french fries and likes PE, especially running, at school. He speaks in complete sentences and had some cute answers to questions we asked him. In one picture children are washing their hands and when we asked him why they need to do that he replied so that they will not get an intestinal flu or virus.



Could Kasper be your son? Please contact mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information!

P.S. Don't forget to join our private Facebook group where we can share photos and videos of the children from Taiwan that we cannot show publicly!

Gratitude on Thanksgiving Day {Family Story}

My family is so very thankful for the gift of adoption. We have seen such a transformation of this sweet girl who walked in to meet her new family July 30, 2018 for the first time. I don’t think any of us knew what to think and we were ALL scared. 



As of today she gets amazing medical care, therapy, preschool, and a family who loves her. I know many tell us how we have changed her life but I can guarantee you she has made each of us better even in these short 4 months. 




Thank you God for showing us the gift of adoption by sending your son, and thank you Gladney for helping us experience love like none other!  We are thankful!

Gratitude on Thanksgiving Day {Family Story}

This year I have been blessed with the most amazing gift ever, my daughter Mia, who I adopted from China this past September. She has changed my world for the better and has put purpose to my life. 




I’m thankful for the people who have been put in my life to make this adoption happen. I’m thankful to have a supportive family who loves Mia unconditionally! These things aren’t coincidental, it was meant to be, and for that I’m forever grateful. 




With the addition of Mia to our family, Thanksgiving had taken on a new meaning. It’s a time to reflect on how truly blessed we are and a time to give thanks. Our family traditions takes on a new purpose, to show Mia the importance of family and friends and the love that connects us. To take the time to give gratitude to those who are with us and to those who are no longer. It’s a time to give thanks to the creator for all he has given to us. 




Mia has added the key ingredients to show us that it’s a time in our lives to slow down and enjoy the little things. It’s a time to give thanks and to be at peace with what god has given to us. These are the moments I hope to share with my daughter! 

An Overview of My Trip to Asia

My trip to Asia was both informative and insightful. I’ve been wanting to join a Superkids trip for a couple of years now and I’m so thankful I was invited to go on this one, with the added bonus of a week in China! Getting ready for the trip, I didn’t really know what to expect. I’ve seen so many children, post placement, that have thrived and done really well and their families have nothing but positive things to say about their experience. But then I also deal with the tough cases and have heard difficult stories our families and their children have had to endure. My hope before arriving was just to soak in as much information as I could but with all of the changes in China, I wasn’t expecting much. I admittedly thought China would just be a good thing for me to experience while mostly looking forward to my second week in Taiwan. However, I was completely wrong. I truly enjoyed my time in both places. It’s actually quite hard to compare the two!






My first stop in China was Shanghai. After a full day day of travel, I was exhausted yet strangely unable to sleep... I knew jet lag would be tough but really, I had no clue. I woke early and we were off to Shanghai Children’s Home to meet with the director. We had a really great meeting where I was able to ask any question I wanted and felt the director answered them honestly, which I really appreciated. I found out they have 600  children in the orphanage and another 800 out in the community, in foster care. That is such an alarming number to me when you consider it’s only one orphanage. After our meeting, I was able to go on a tour. First I saw the baby rooms, lined with cribs and occupied by several young ones sitting around tables eating their bowls of lunch. I peeked in their small wash rooms of large buckets and all the tiny little washcloths hanging up, instantly flashing to bath time at my house and how different of an experience the two are. Next we toured some play areas, classrooms, the library and a common area for the older children. The hallways were filled with children’s art work, so colorful and unique. Then I saw the cafe/store that the older children run in order to learn skills that will help them once they are living on their own. All in all, I was impressed by not only the size of the place but by how nice it seemed inside. They told me they have many donors, such as Disney, and it was apparent with all of the colorful artwork, toys, and Disney characters located throughout. I will say, it was quiet for such a large amount of children. I was told many of the children were at school but I couldn’t help compare to my home of four young boys and the extremely rare moments of quiet. We talk in Pathways about the “quiet” and lack of asking for your needs to be met, but it really drove the concept home for me to actually experience it. However, even with the quiet and silly comparisons, I was overall pretty impressed. I was expecting the dark, uninviting, impoverished building and it definitely wasn’t that. Yet it still puts into perspective all of the things we take for granted. After Shanghai, we traveled to Beijing and then Nanchang. I met with more officials and the orphanage director in Nanchang. I feel like I met almost everyone at CCCWA, although I know that’s not true, I was able to meet with several different departments which was helpful. I met with the post adoption department and saw the archives where I learned they actually do care if there are missing reports and do make them available for those interested to read. I met with the social work department and learned just how new social work is in China and how they want to learn from us to better inform their social workers out in the community and at their orphanages. In both Beijing and Nanchang I met the infamous Rocky and Mary, two guides I hear so much about. I was very excited to finally meet them. Lastly, Gongzhan was an amazing guide the entire week and ensured I got the full cultural experience. We toured some fun places and walked around the cities, eating local cuisine. I even got to see Gongzhan’s childhood home I loved every minute of it! My week in China flew by and then it was off to Taiwan. 





In Taiwan, I was able to join the Superkids team at both Cathwel and Chung Yi. Both wonderful agencies filled with caring social workers and directors. It was apparent that everyone is invested in the children’s lives and truly care about them. We met caregivers, foster parents, and various social workers and you could just feel the difference in care, compared to China. Not that China was notably bad, but Taiwan has so many more adults involved in each child’s case and I believe better resources offered to many of the children. I was thoroughly impressed with the Superkids program and how well it run. The ladies are experienced professionals who make it run so smoothly and obtain such valuable information. We were able to meet several matched kiddos, which I admittedly was really excited to see those that I’d be seeing again after placement. We also saw children that haven’t been matched, and some new children the team hadn’t seen before. Each of the children were different in personality, some extremely nervous and some quite comfortable and outgoing, but each one brought a smile to my face. 






We were able to staff cases at both locations. I was asked about some of the children I’ve seen post placement and how they’re doing...again, they really do care about these kiddos. I was also able to share about Gladney’s post adoption services and what I do with the program. I was able to offer some insight on certain behaviors they see and what to do about it. Overall, it was eye-opening and so informative to know more about the ins and outs of each program and their processes. I also thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the other women on the Superkids team and again, experiencing some of the culture. At Chung Yi, I was able to tour their children’s home. Quite a bit smaller than Shanghai but again, not a dark and scary place I had somehow put in my mind an orphanage would be like. I’m including pictures to be able to show both places I saw. I’m also including some fun photos from my time in both places. I had such a great experience and hope to be able to go back again in the future. 

Kobe {NEW FILE-Taiwan}

One of my favorite things is to get a new file and realize that we just met this child and have so much great information to share about them!

Today we get to introduce Kobe. We met him earlier this month and got to spend some time playing with him. He was a quiet little guy, but not really shy. He enjoyed playing with the little robots and toys in the room and was quite imaginative in his play.




Kobe is almost 4. His file indicates that he is developmentally delayed and has ADHD. He sorted colors with us and answered who, what, why type of questions. He speaks in complete, but short, sentences and, while his speech can be hard to understand, he communicates well.



He can walk, run, jump, kick a ball and do all the other active things 4 year olds love to do. He did well trying to copy shapes with a crayon and he can count to ten.



He likes eating grapes and other fruits and his favorite toys are dinosaurs and robots (I told you he has a good imagination!)

This sweet little guy needs a family to call his own! Could he be your son? Please contact mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information.

River

Four year old River is waiting for you!  She has a diagnosis of congenital cataract in the right eye. This does not stop River from getting to where she wants to go! She is fond of playing outdoors.  River can walk without support and can avoid obstacles when she is walking and is able to locate her bed at night.


River's cognitive and verbal development is delayed compared to her peers. She needs some assistance with feeding and dressing herself, however she can take off her shoes.

River is quiet and has a gentle nature. She is okay playing alone but will play with other children if they are around. She does not argue nor take toys from others. She likes the toys that can make sounds, and she likes outdoor activities.



River needs a family that will be able to give her one on one attention, help her develop a sense of security and help boost her self- confidence.



Could River be your daughter? Contact us at superkids@gladney.org for more information about River.

Kristoff - Update {Taiwan} Urgent!

If you watched our Facebook live video from ChungYi you heard me mention a little boy who rather urgently needs a family. His name is Kristoff and he is 9 years old. He likes to study computer science in school and wants to cook Western style food when he grows up. His favorite Western food is steak.



Kristoff is a little shy but warms up quickly and enjoys all of the puzzles and games we play with him. He likes reading, especially Chinese history books. He also enjoys outdoor games and playing with friends.

We found out during our recent trip that his file is going to be closed soon. This means that we will no longer see him or get updates on him. He will still be available for adoption, but it becomes harder to place a child without current information. Right now we have pictures, videos, and information. 



Kristoff has a diagnosis of Torettes, though he is going to be re-tested soon since there are several caregivers who doubt this diagnosis. Hopefully we can update this post once we get the results from the testing.

This amazing little guy needs and wants a family. He would like to have a brother, if possible, but the important thing is that he has a family to call his own.

Please contact mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information. And don’t forget to join our private Facebook group where you can see pictures and videos that we cannot share publicly. 


Rae

Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to you. Happy Birthday sweet Rae. Happy birthday to you!



Rae will soon be two!  For her birthday, she would love nothing more than to have a family of her own in process to bring her home!  Rae's initial diagnosis was albinism and delayed development.  She has had some hospitalizations and additional diagnosis that are listed in her file.  We are seeking clarification and an update on her medical needs and development progress since file preparation.



Rae's file was prepared when she was a year old.  At the time, was she described as an introverted child who liked to be alone.  She has normal hearing and low vision- able to see things that are close to her.  She has noted developmental delays and we are hoping that an update will show her progress over the last year.

Interested in viewing Rae's file and being notified when her update arrives?  Contact superkids@gladney.org for more information on this sweet girl!

Avril - Update {Taiwan}

Last week in Taiwan we spent some time with Avril again. We met her the last time we were in Taiwan and introduced her in this blog post. It was so much fun to see her again and confirm our original impression that she is a precocious little girl. She notices everything going on around her and is very bright. She gave some great answers to the questions we asked her, expounding on the need for a helmet when riding a horse with understanding that few 4 year olds have.



Avril has a complicated heart condition. She has had 2 surgeries and has significant clubbing of her fingers and toes and is a dusky color. She needs a family who can get her the medical care she needs.



She communicates very well and uses long sentences with advanced vocabulary for a 4 year old. She likes to be active and had fun riding a little scooter around the room. She also played in the little playhouse in the room and forget hiding anything from her, she is tenacious and will keep looking until she finds what she is looking for.



She has a darling little giggle, which you hear quite often. She likes to eat cookies, I mean, who doesn’t?

Avril needs a family. Could she be your daughter? Please contact us at mary.chapman@gladney.org for more information.

The Final Day in Taiwan... For Now

Our time here is coming to an end for this trip. A final dinner together, a final night in our Airbnb, a final breakfast, and we will be back on our way to the US. We are glad to go back home to our families, but the time here changes you, no matter how many times you have come.





Each of us have tucked away memories that will stay with us and shape our thoughts and actions moving forward.



Some of those memories are precious. The children who are going home, the discussions we have had with staff members here in Taiwan and with each other, and the funny things that happen when you visit a country where you do not speak the language.






Some of those memories are poignant. The brothers who want to be adopted together; when we asked one of the boys what he wants to be when he grows up he replied, "take care of my family." His older brother has some delays and the middle brother looks out for him. I got some pictures of them hugging which I cannot post here, but this will give you a glimpse of the moment we witnessed. The boy whose file is soon to be closed (meaning that we will not see him or get updates on him, not that he cannot be adopted) even though he is only 9 years old and very smart. We do not know exactly why this decision was reached, but we know he deserves a family and that we feel a real sense of urgency to find his family while we have good, current information to share.





We are going home changed, as we always do. Determined to share these things we have seen and heard with you. Determined to tell the stories we have been entrusted with. Determined to change hearts, as ours have been changed.