Hosting testimony; Hosting to advocate

garland“Our month of hosting had its ups and downs; steps forwards, steps backward and many eye opening experiences and self-revelations. We learned so many things. While looking at the hosting photos, we noticed this tall boy with a sweet smile who was about to age out. We wanted to help him before that happened. We started advocating for him right away, speaking at churches and getting the word out any way we could. We were sad that no one really seemed too interested in committing to his adoption. We couldn’t understand why, but hoped that eyes were opened and hearts were stirred for orphaned children. Just a few short weeks before he arrived, we were contacted by CCAI telling us a family in another part of the country was interested in meeting him! In the days leading up to his arrival, fear set in. fear of the language barrier, fear that he was a teenager (something we had no experience with). What were we thinking? Then again, I could not imagine what was going through his head! Once our host son came through security, we all quickly learned to use the translator on our iPhones and iPads. We were so proud of how our boys included him in everything. During hosting, our host son was able to Skype with the interested family. It became very clear that this family was perfectly orchestrated. We were at peace. This family, who plans to move forward, has thanked us over and over again for the opportunity to get to know him. That is what hosting is about! Many families host for the reason we did, to advocate and to help get the kids exposure. These kids are wonderful!  Each one brings their own history and brokenness, but each one has a family waiting for them. I believe that! All children are worthy, let’s help put an end to the word ‘orphan.'”

Hosting testimony: Hosting to advocate

“Hosting was never on our radar. We have three biological kids and one adopted with special needs, so our house is plenty full and lively. Most of my concern with hosting centered around the kids who didn’t end up getting adopted. It seemed unfair to bring them, give them the experience of a family only to return to the orphanage without the hope of getting a forever family. When God led us to host, I was shocked and tried to turn my back. One day, I was skimming through a blog about China’s Waiting Children. I had read these child descriptions many times in the past and always thought the same thing: “How sweet. I hope someone adopts that child.”

This time was different. When I read Fu’s story, my heart started beating out of my chest and I felt an instant connection. I was sitting in the living room with my family and I tried to shut the computer, but my husband noticed… then my daughter noticed and suddenly I was reading his short story to my family. I assumed my husband’s response would be: “How sweet, I hope someone adopts that child.” Instead, he smiled and said let’s pray for him and see what happens.

Before I knew it, our daughter came to us with all of her savings saying she felt we were to host him and wanted her money to help bring him here. It turns out we had very little time; the deadline was fast approaching, but God provided every step of the way. That sweet boy we chose for hosting did arrive and captured the heart of our family immediately. My opinion of hosting changed very quickly after I realized what an impact having him in our home would make. Hosting is not just about what we teach them, but about what they teach us. No longer did I doubt the importance of bringing him into our home, even if for only 4 weeks. The hosting experience was a priceless experience. We were so impacted; I now see the value in the host experience for everyone involved. Finding Fu was one of our family’s greatest joys.”gipe 1

Hosting testimony; Deciding to adopt!

“Having adopted five times through CCAI, we believed we were finished adopting. We then began receiving emails regarding CCAI’s hosting program. Realizing that many of these beautiful children were considered to be “unadoptable,” I knew hosting might be their only opportunity to have a “you matter” moment in their lives. Although we had planned to do other things in the upcoming summer, I found it hard to make plans for anything else as long as I knew these children were out there needing our help.  My heart won over and we applied to host a 12-year-old young man. It was all so surreal to greet him at the airport and simply take him home with us! I am so use to greeting these children via adoption, which takes miles of paperwork before you can call them “yours”!  But yet, at this moment of greeting our host child at the airport, Josh made a quick introduction and then said, “You are free to go!”  Such fun!!!!

Hosting was magical!  Here we were, responsible for this little guy who came from nothing. He was polite, helpful, funny, and a pure joy! Food differences and communication were part of the experience, and just giving him love was enough to break those barriers! To watch this little guy experience “firsts” was amazing.  We tried to expose him to many “fun” things as possible, but it was the little things really… like the time I realized taking him through a car wash would be a treat!  The look on his face as the brightly colored soap devoured the car was priceless!

Hosting was a life changer for us and our little guy!  There were times I wondered if he was homesick or even bored with his experience as we spent life as we typically spend it, which was filled with mundane tasks such as getting kids back and forth to summer school, sports activities and doctor appointments.  However, it was when his China chaperone called him to remind him that he would be returning to China soon, that enlightened me beyond words.  His reaction of pure and raw grief verified just how important this hosting program is. Although it was an extremely heartbreaking moment, I knew that our hearts had met and bonded. I knew this little boy would carry this with him forever… that he was adored, loved and that he was special.

Dave and I had absolutely no intention of adopting again. We did not go into the hosting program to adopt, but once again, to let a little one KNOW he/she is special and to send a message for him/her to never EVER forget how beautiful they are. However, this little boy had such a huge impact on us and through much guidance, thought and prayer, we made the decision to bring him home. His grief as we departed and my grief as he left our home sealed his fate. He will be home forever and ever, and it is my hope that one day he can share his story over and over and perhaps be able to help those left behind.

Thank you CCAI for this wonderful, wonderful experience and for helping these most amazing children!”

CCAI celebrates achievement of summer intern, China adoptee

Maddie receives a certificate of achievement from Lily and Josh for successfully completing her summer internship with CCAI

Maddie receives a certificate of achievement from Lily and Josh for successfully completing her summer internship with CCAI

Staff Spotlight: Maddie Holland

Position: Post Adoption Intern

 

How did you connect with CCAI?

I really wanted to work for the adoption agency that I was adopted through, but when I started doing research, I found out they had gone out of business. I was really upset, so I asked my adopted friend’s mom what I should do. She told me CCAI was a really good agency. I wrote a letter to their Director of Adoptions, who is a certified social worker. I felt a connection to her because that’s what I’m going to school for. I told her my story and asked if CCAI offered any internships. She wrote me back and told me that I had the job.

What is your story?

I was abandoned as a baby and raised in a foster home. Where I’m from, and in the more rural parts of China, I personally think that a lot of foster parents just foster for the money and don’t really care about the kids. I was abused.  When I was 11, I went to live in the orphanage and was so happy. I made friends there and began to get comfortable. It was the most stable environment I had known, especially because so few adoptions of older kids like me were going through. In attempt to find more of us homes, the orphanage took my peers and I to a CCCWA (the government agency that oversees adoption in China) camp for older kids.  They invited American social workers to come get pictures and video to share with prospective parents. Each child prepared a song or poem to perform and it was recorded. As I was up on stage, I began to cry in the middle of my performance. The pressure was so great because I knew my only shot at finding a family very well might depend on my performance and I feared that no one would want me.  A few months after I turned 13, I started to panic because I knew I was going to age out if they couldn’t find a family for me soon. I was worried, so I wrote another letter. This time I wrote to someone at the CCCWA. I told her to hurry up and find me a family and begged her to do it soon. I also told her that China held no future for me at all. She wrote back and told me she would try, but offered no guarantees. I am so thankful for the reality that I wasn’t aware of at that time; that there were people out there who wanted me. My parents saw the video of that performance and said God spoke to them and told them that I was meant to be theirs. They filed their paperwork as soon as possible and the orphanage told me that I was going to be adopted.

Were you excited?

Yes and no. I knew that this would be my only chance at having a decent life and felt like I should be grateful because my wish for a family finally came true, but I had a lot of anxiety about leaving the orphanage I’d been in for the past two years, especially because all my friends were there. That really was my happiest place from my childhood.

How was the transition to the States?

HARD. My parents were nice, but all I knew how to say in English when I was first adopted was yes and no and a heavily-accented thank you. I didn’t know how to communicate my emotions and needs and honestly, I didn’t even know how to express myself in Chinese either. I became really rebellious, which was my childhood go-to coping mechanism.  My parents were patient with me, even though it was frustrating on both of our ends not knowing how to communicate. We had a lot of arguments and attachment issues, but we survived after years of struggling. I thank God every day for their commitment to provide; I would never be where I am today without them. I now look back and think I made things really difficult for them, but I’m so thankful they were understanding and loved me anyway.

Did you go to public school?

Yes, and that was really difficult. They didn’t even have an ESL (English Second Language) assistant there when I first started so I just sat in classes and didn’t have a clue what was going on around me.

When did it start to click?

The second half of my sophomore year. I finally began to understand entire conversations and that’s when I really started trying in school. I started making friends and things got better from there.

Where do you go to school now?

I’m a junior at the University of Missouri.

What was most rewarding about your internship with CCAI?

Helping other kids who are in the same boat that I once was in. I was able to speak with many older children that were either adopted recently or in the hosting program this summer. Their families didn’t know how to help them and called our Post Adoption department and I was able to speak Chinese to the kids and share my story and hear theirs. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking, but it was so rewarding. For the hosting kids, a lot of times they just listened, but their parents said it really helped. For the recent adoptees, it was my privilege to be able to hear their stories and share my stories with them—to let them know this is a long adjusting process and that they are never alone in this.

What are your career goals?

I want to work for an adoption agency–hopefully CCAI–and be a social work mediator between the US and China.

My parents and I standing at my abandonment place, Temple of Heaven, days before we flew to my new home in the States

Maddie standing with her parents at her place of abandonment, Temple of Heaven, days before they flew to her new home in the States

TOO CUTE TUESDAY: Lai

It’s Tuesday, and we have a little cutie pie that we’d like to introduce! Meet Lai – he is 2 years old and will celebrate his 3rd birthday next month. Please share to help us find this happy, smiley little guy his forever family!

Lai is shy, especially around strangers, but once he warms up he is quite the little charmer! His nannies say that he is “full of wisdom and has his own unique views.” Normally at play time, if a child takes another’s toy, there will be tears and screaming. Lai has his own approach – instead he will walk over and take his nanny’s hand, and will show them what happened.

Compared to other children, Lai’s intelligence is normal. He participates in an early education class and follows his teacher’s instructions very well. Even though Lai has bottom and genital malformations, along with a leg malformation, he can walk independently, go up and down stairs by himself (while holding the hand rail), and can freely change between crawling, sitting, standing, etc. Lai is truly 1 in a million! Please help him find his family so that he can continue to grow!

Lai is a Special Focus child, meaning he can be matched to a family either with or without a dossier in China and may also be accepted along with another child! He is diagnosed with Tailend Duplication Malformation. Please call 303-850-9998 or email waitingchild@ccaifamily.org for more information about this Lai!

Visit http://ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/Waiting-Child-Profile.aspx to see more children waiting for their forever families.

TOO CUTE TUESDAY: Shi

Chang Shi Yan Hosting 2 for web

Hello CCAI families! Here is your weekly dose of cute – please meet Shi! He is 9 years old. Shi had the opportunity to participate in our Winter Hosting Program 2015.  He loved living with his host siblings, and would really love to have his own siblings some day! Please share his story to help this sweet boy find his family!

Here is what his host family shared with us:

Chang Shi Yan Hosting 8“Shi is a typical boy – he loves to play basketball and with matchbox cars. The only thing he dislikes is arts and crafts. Currently, he is running around the house with a flashlight hunting for monsters under our beds. He doesn’t let his skull abnormality keep him from participating in games. As the Nerf darts were flying around the house, he went and put on his helmet before I told him to. He is not a picky eater. He will choose healthy foods over sweets. Our dentist praised his teeth brushing habits, and Shi had no cavities. He loves to take bedtime baths. He sleeps well and dresses himself.

Shi is a sponge! He was able to pick up English so quickly! We are a family of 12 and within one week the clever boy knows all our English names.  He is a sweet boy with a good temperament and he really loves hugs! He is sensitive boy with just a pinch of naughtiness added. He is always curious and up for any challenge. He likes to run with the older boys and when they are tired of playing he is content to play with our 6 year old daughter. Shi is so bright! He is able to look at directions and build complicated Lego 1_Shi_web_picture_3figures without any help!

Shi would be a wonderful son and brother in any size of family. He can be a snuggle bunny and we have fallen in love with him!”

Shi’s host family is willing to talk with families that are seriously interested in adopting him! Please ask the Waiting Child Department for more information.

 

Shi is a Special Focus child, meaning he can be matched to a family either with or without a dossier in China and may also be accepted along with another child! He is diagnosed with Head and chest malformation, poor development of right clavicle, and missing parietal bone. Please call 303-850-9998 or email waitingchild@ccaifamily.org for more information about Shi!

Visit http://ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/Waiting-Child-Profile.aspx to see more children waiting for their forever families.

TOO CUTE TUESDAY: Kun/Quinn

 

Dang Yi Kun Hosting - eating 3

It’s time for another Too Cute Tuesday! Meet Kun (you might also recognize her as Quinn from Journey of Hope!) This silly, fun-loving 10-year-old girl always has a smile on her face. Please help us share her story so that she can find her forever family!
Kun likes to sing and dance, and she sure likes to talk too! She has learned to express her needs and takes the initiative to say “hi” to visitors and play games with the younger children. Quinn also comforts other kids when they are sad by sharing her own toys. She can help nannies with chores and loves to help others.

Kun was hosted in the US this last Winter as a part of our Winter Hosting Program! Kun’s host family shared some of their favorite things about her with us:

Dang Yi Kun Hosting - eating“Kun is a cheerful, cuddly girl who loves to giggle and be silly and loves attention.  She is definitely a girly girl and likes having her hair brushed (and to brush others) nailpolish and chapstick, and the prettier the dress the better.  She loves playing with shape puzzles, building toys (like legos and magnetic shapes) and especially play-doh.  She LOVES to sing and could never get enough of swing dancing with one of us in the living room.  She enjoys chores and took it on herself to do things like sweep, wash windows, break down boxes, and fold clothes – she has an amazing work ethic.  She has good self care skills – can bathe (though I stayed with her at bathtime) and dress herself and can go to the bathroom on her own.

Dang Yi Kun Hosting - sledI feel she was very timid and a bit scared when arriving but left fearless.  She was very scared of our two dogs at first – to the point that she couldn’t even look at them (we kept them confined by a baby gate in another room at first).  But halfway through her stay she really warmed up to them, and really seemed to enjoy being around them and feeding them.  Also at mid visit she just took that attitude with everything else – and threw herself into every activity from sledding to sleigh rides to horseback riding.  It was neat to see her petting one of the big draft horses just a week after she was terrified of a dog.”

Please help us find Kun’s forever family!

TOO CUTE TUESDAY: Jun

Happy Too Cute Tuesday! Please meet Jun – a smart and friendly 8 year old who is looking for his forever family!

ZhangJun  (4)ZhangJun  (3)Jun is currently studying in the special education class and is doing well. His nannies say that he is ahead of some of his classmates in school, and that he is able to express himself very well through language. Jun likes listening to music and playing at the sand table in his classroom. He gets along well with other children and is helpful and polite toward his nannies. Jun can manage most tasks on his own – he can eat alone and go to and from school alone, though his motor development is a bit delayed. Jun has a bright future ahead of him – please help him find his forever family so he can continue to grow!

Jun is a Special Focus child, meaning he can be matched to a family either with or without a dossier in China and may also be accepted along with another child! He is diagnosed with Club Feet and An Upper Limb Deformity.

Please call 303-850-9998 or email waitingchild@ccaifamily.org for more information about Jun!

Visit http://ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/Waiting-Child-Profile.aspx to see more children waiting for their forever families.

HOSTING ADVOCACY POST: Luo

LUO NEEDS YOUR HELP – PLEASE SHARE HER STORY! This sweet girl is almost 14, and we need to find her a family before she ages out of her eligibility for international adoption in June!

Luo is a beautiful 13 year old girl. She is able to take care of herself very well, and even helps some of the other MinLuoYan (2)children when she can. Luo’s nannies say she is very strong and brave – it doesn’t matter how far she has walked, or how tired she gets, she will continue. When she walks she will sometimes become unsteady and fall over, but she gets up quietly each time. Her nannies say it makes people admire her strength and will power.

Luo had the opportunity to be hosted in the US as part of our Summer 2015 Hosting Program. She had an amazing time here, and for her, the experience confirmed that she DOES want a family and DOES want to be adopted! Luo’s nannies told us that she has been dreaming of finding her forever family ever since she returned home from hosting. She has watched several of her friends be adopted and often asks her nannies “When is it my turn?”

MinLuoYan (3)Luo’s host family loved having her in their home, but was unable to adopt her. They shared some of their favorite things about Luo with us:
“She is so smart, always wanting to read and learn new things. She tried very hard to teach us Chinese, and she was so eager to learn as much English as possible. And my (host Mom) Chinese was the worst, and we would all end up rolling in laughter.

She is a very talented artist. She loves to draw and paint. She loves music and would sit and play our piano and sing. We loved hearing her beautiful, sweet voice flowing through our home. Her spirit just lit up our home and she has deeply touched our hearts.

Luo always helped around the house. She is very organized and tried to keep us organized. She is very independent, and takes care of herself. She takes care of all of her hygiene and grooming needs herself.

Luo has some difficulty walking long distances, but she absolutely loves going and seeing new things. She doesn’t let anything slow her down. She was always ready for the next adventure.”

Please help this brave girl find her forever family!

 

TOO CUTE TUESDAY: Yong

Happy Too Cute Tuesday CCAI Families! This week we’d like to introduce you to Yong, a handsome, caring, and adventurous 13 year old boy. PLEASE HELP US SHARE HIS STORY – not only will Yong be “aging out” when he turns 14, but CCAI only has a limited amount of time left with his file!

Yong was hostedWangYongGu (1) in the US as a part of CCAI’s Summer 2015 Hosting Program, and his host family has nothing but amazing things to say about him:

“Yong is a bright and happy 13 year old boy who made a huge impression on our whole family, from my youngest child (also age 13) to my oldest son at 21.

Yong is clever, creativWangYongGu (2)e, fun-loving, brave, helpful, sweet and thoughtful.

He showed great courage to come to a country so far away to live with people he did not know.  He quickly adapted to our customs.  He learned to play our games, taught us his own games, ventured into a swimming pool and loved it, splashed in the ocean, ate many different foods, and was game for any adventure.   Simply put, this child is as stronWangYongGu (4)g and confident as he is sweet and thoughtful. Any family thinking about adoption of a young teen would be very lucky to have Yong in their lives!!”

His nannies in China also think highly of him – they say that he is a good leader, responsible, polite, and sensible. He is like a big brother to the younger children in his orphanage – he loves to play with them, will help push wheelchairs or strollers, help feed them, and will even make paper-cut art for them. His nannies say that “no matter what situation, he will allow his little brothers and sisters to go first; he is very polite child.”

After visiting America, Yong is sure that he wants to be adopted. He often talks to his nannies about his desire to have a mom and dad. Please help Yong find his forever family – he truly deserves it!

Yong’s host family is willing to talk to families who are seriously considering adopting him!

If you or someone you know would like more information about adopting YONG, please contact us at waitingchild@ccaifamily.org or call us at and ask to speak with the waiting child department. Please let us know you are inquiring about “YONG FROM SUMMER HOSTING”

If you are unable to adopt Yong, there are other ways to help! Click here to donate toward Yong’s adoption expenses:

https://www.ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/Child-Profile-Details?ChildId=16428