Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Tug at the Heartstrings

I advocate for kids with special needs waiting for a family in China every single day.  I love it.  It's my passion.  Seeing a child find a family is one of the best feelings.

 This is one of my favorite boys I've advocated for and who recently found his family!

I look at hundreds, maybe thousands even, of pictures of waiting kids every day.  I often find myself saying, 'Oh, he's so cute!' or 'She is beautiful!'   I have to be honest- I have a list of boys and a list of girls who are my favorites...ones I'd bring home in a heartbeat.  How could you not when you look at faces like these every day...waiting....waiting....waiting.  Every child deserves to have a family!

Just looking at these faces makes my eyes tear up.  It makes me realize why I do what I do.  These kids all need a family and so do millions of other waiting kids all around the world. 

 But over a year ago, I saw photos and  video of a little boy who was four at the time.  There was just something about this sweet boy.  His smile and his personality just tugged at my heartstrings in a different way than some of the other photos that move me.


I posted photos of him on an advocate group, I shared his information, but yet he waited and waited.  He went from being on the Madison Adoption Associates' list as a part of a camp they held in his orphanage (where the video came from) to the shared list, then to the agency BAAS' list, and back to the shared list.  Then he was listed with  Adoption Advocates International and eventually with Bethany Christian Services.

I emailed Diana with Madison to ask her about him.  Here were some of her words from the first email (this was before we left for China):  "I LOVE JACK!  We came SO CLOSE to placing him, but I do believe he will end up where he is meant to be. I saw Jack this week.  He's as cute as ever...  (Too bad I didn't get him smiling though...See attached!)"

Here's that photo: 
 Think of this child and his precious smile one year ago.  This is what happens to a child's heart when they see so many of their friends find families and many of them leave the orphanage, yet they still wait.

 While Jack was listed with Bethany was when we went to China to bring Lena home.  While in China, he disappeared.  He was no longer listed with Bethany and he was not on the shared list.  While in China, I ordered him a birthday cake and stuffed animal- his favorite animal from a very popular Chinese cartoon.  I felt so sad for him that his 5th birthday had recently passed and no one celebrated it with him, but the other children with families were having their birthdays celebrated.  It wasn't until after we got home that I got the pictures from that celebration.

 I was glad to see that he at least looked a little happier- I was hoping it at least made for a good day for him!

 If you followed our blog while we were in China you might remember that on our last day in China, we drove right past the exit for his orphanage.  Oh how much I just wanted to get off at the exit and go and get him and bring him home!   Now we all know that is not possible and that it just doesn't work that way.....there's paperwork, there' money, and there are visas and passports...none of that had happened so that we could bring him home.  The dreary day was like the emptiness in my heart that I felt for this child who was getting so down about the fact that all of his friends were finding families and many of them were leaving.  The rain on the windows was like the tears that started to fall when I saw that sign.

When we came home from China, I had to inquire about this sweet boy.  I just had to know he had a family!  Weeks went by and I heard nothing.  Then one day, Diana at Madison emailed me....

and the rest of this story can be found here: