Eli: From an Ayi’s Perspective

Those closest to us are often the ones who are experts at highlighting the very best in us. The caregivers in China spend a lot of time with our children and love them dearly. These caregivers are very good at reporting the facts, but they can be very eloquent in their descriptions as well. Eli is a twelve-year-old boy whom is completely deaf. One of his caregivers wrote about him for his file and the way he spoke about Eli was so beautiful we decided to share it with you.

Eli pic 1

*The following report was edited for length and clarity.*

If the world lacked sound, what would life be? Can you imagine: you cannot hear the water flowing, the birds singing, cars ringing; life would be like a silent movie. Eli lives like this.

Eli’s characteristics are a little unique from other children. Since he cannot hear, he depends more on his other senses to observe the world. Eli’s imagination is very healthy—better than most! Because he cannot hear, Eli pays more attention to inner feelings and he has stronger observations and feelings of objects. When you write with pen and paper to communicate with Eli, he will watch you carefully, think carefully about your words, and then write an answer to you. If you use simple communication with Eli, he will observe your facial expressions, speaking, and gestures to guess what you are saying and he will then make a sound and do some gestures to respond. Although Eli cannot use his ears and mouth to find, feel, and record the beautiful world, he can use his eyes.

God closes one gate, and then leaves another window open. We believe that Eli can have a colorful and beautiful life.

Eli enjoys playing with toys, such as jigsaw puzzles, and playing sports, like jump-rope, ping-pong, and badminton.  He also loves computer games, and when he plays them he shows off his impressive coordination in his hands, eyes, and mind. He can set up a QQ image and, like other children his age, he likes games such as “League of Legends” and “Legend of Aoqi.”

Please contact Stacy at spinkos@livinghopeadoption.org with Living Hope Adoption Agency for more information about Eli’s adoption.

Celebrate Thirteen

In October, Liam will celebrate his 13th birthday.  This is a big milestone for most children!  At 13, we celebrate with our own children, nieces, nephews and grandchildren that they are now “officially a teen!”  Their little chests puff with pride.  We attend middle school programs, send them off to sport camps in the summer, watch them run around with their friends, and try to encourage them to stay motivated in school.  We love hard, and wonder how our babies have grown into beautiful, handsome, loving “teens.”

In Liam’s birth country, 13 can be a little scary.  This will be the last year that Liam is eligible to be adopted internationally, something he truly hopes for.  Liam’s caregivers explain that he is happy living in his orphanage, however when he sees his friends being adopted, he is eager for the love of a forever family of his own.

Liam referral pic 3 - Copy

12 looks good on Liam.  He loves sports, especially ping pong!  Liam gets along well with other children, enjoys school, and is known to set an example for the younger ones in his orphanage.  Liam underwent surgery to repair a cleft lip and cleft palate when he was young, and has thrived ever since.

Liam referral pic 2

“Brave”

“Confident”

“Warm-hearted”

“Full of Confidence”

Liam referral pic 1

Liam’s caregivers love him very much, and know he will light up his family’s world.  So much so, that when asked to describe him, they simply chose “sunshine.”  Liam is an artist, friend, and sweet soul.  Let’s make his 13th year something to celebrate.

Please contact Simi at sriesner@livinghopeadoption.org with Living Hope Adoption Agency for more information about Liam’s adoption.

 

The Affects of Adoption

by Elizabeth Fang, Adopted Daughter of President and Mrs. Fang (age 15)

“I believe one of the most sacrificial acts of love adoptive parents can do is give up their preconceptions and agendas about what their child’s views “should” be and be open to hear the conflicting emotions and thoughts their child often experiences”.  – Sherrie Eldridge, author of Twenty Things Adopted Kids Wish Their Adoptive Parents Knew

When I was a little child my mother would tell me that I was a very special little girl, but as I grew up I started to realize what adoption really meant to me.  I started to have a lot of questions so I asked my parents.  They knew some of the answers, and some of the questions I still didn’t understand, and some questions they couldn’t answer for me.  Some of my questions were: why did my birth mother/parents give me up?  What physical and emotional characteristics did I inherit?  When is my birthday?  Do I have any other siblings?  Can I still find my parents?  I knew that some adopted children struggle with rejection at the thought of being “given up” for adoption.  At some point in my life I felt sad, depressed, and lost, and I also sensed that I didn’t belong in my family because we were so different.  I knew that genetic health problems and conditions might be problems for the adopted family.  Children in trans-racial adoptions must deal with being different from their adoptive parents.

Not a lot of families understand what adopted children go through in life.  I interviewed my sister-in-law, Mayu Fang, because she works and has experience with foster children.  Foster care and adoption are almost the same kind of group.  The kids have similar questions and feelings.  They kind of go through the same thing.  Adopted children are different and express their emotions differently. Most adopted children feel insecure at some point in their life and may not know where they truly belong.  Some adopted children feel special, but as they get older and they try to figure out their place in the world, it might become tough for them to know where they belong.  They may find it more difficult to fit in, especially within the family unit and especially if the child is very different from the other family members.  Adults who adopt children need to understand where the adopted child is coming from.  A lot of adults care and understand their adopted children.  They know how to work with them on a daily basis.  They are the families that are ready to adopt.  Some families just want a child in their life and just adopt them.  They don’t really pay attention to the child’s needs and concerns.  The parents might think that raising an adopted child is the same thing as raising their own blood-related children.  Families like that need to understand certain matters.  They need to accept some things rather than try to force the children to change.  Parents should be encouraged to support their children by learning as much as they can about child development and by being aware of how adoption may influence their child’s emotional growth.

There is not a lot of information or history in closed domestic adoption or international adoptions. An adopted child might wonder about his/her parents, background, and genetic result to his/her parents.  All adopted children are different and express their emotions differently.  When the adopted children grow older they might feel sad, confused, lonely, and angry.  They might feel rejected or unwanted as they wonder why their birth mom gave them up for adoption.  I learned that no matter where the adopted children come from they will always have questions.  The majority of the time only their birth parents can answer their questions.

Some adopted children do not act the same as “normal” people, I think that they need more attention and affection from everyone who is involved in their lives.  I learned that adopted children need someone in their life to understand and know what they are going through.  Adopted children should have a good relationship with their family members and some good friends.  If they are lonely and have no one to lean on, then they will have more questions and doubts during an early age. Parents should be prepared for the questions adopted children have.