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Maria: 13 Years Old and Waiting for A Family

This week, Maria turns 13 years old. In China, this means that she has just one year left to find a family before she is no longer eligible for adoption. To help raise awareness of her situation and the limited time she has left for adoption, LWB is offering a $3,000 Adoption Assistance Grant

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Wisdom Wednesday: Post-Adoption Adjustment for Older Children

For a child who is no longer a baby, the post-adoption journey can look quite different. Today in international adoption, many children who are adopted are considered “older” and are often school-age. These children have a significant history, developed language, friends, and connections to their culture.

Girl Chinese dress Grandma

Upon joining a family abroad through adoption, they lose nearly all of this. Adoption professional and author Regina Kupecky once mentioned a helpful ratio that may help parents prepare and begin to understand their new child’s perspective on becoming part of their family. Read more.

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Worth the Risk

Does the adoption of an older child carry a greater risk for both the child and the family that will be created? This is a question I most certainly asked myself two years ago as I studied the file of a older child living in an orphanage in China, in the city of Changzhi.

Victoria1

Parents often worry that older children will experience attachment issues that will make it difficult for them to bond with their new family. I worried about this.
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An Adoption Grant for Ben!

Some generous donors have stepped forward to provide a $2,000 adoption assistance grant for Ben, the 13-year-old boy recently featured on our blog (“Ben: Waiting a Decade for a Family to Call His Own“). Ben is close to aging out, and these donors want to help him find his family before it is too late. Ben’s orphanage has also agreed to waive half of the orphanage donation fee, making it just $2,500!

In addition to this good news, we also have some short videos of Ben to share. Read more.

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Realistic Expectations: Post-Adoption Struggles

We hope you have enjoyed our series on “Realistic Expectations” and wanted to end today by discussing the realities of post-adoption emotions. If you have found yourself standing in China becoming a parent, chances are it has been the culmination of a many year process of deciding that adoption is right for your family, paperchasing, and then waiting endlessly for the moment you meet your child. And then everyone is supposed to go off into the sunshine to live happily ever after, right? With so many adoption blogs talking about love at first sight and how wonderful those first few months together are, new parents can feel blindsided when they find themselves with an angry child who seems to hate them, or when they return home and have very intense feelings of “what have we done?” Read more.

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On My Own

When many people think of an orphanage, I think they often envision babies and toddlers. I used to be one of those people myself. On my many trips to China, however, I began meeting and falling in love with the older children who have grown up in institutions, many who never had any true chance of finding a permanent home. Their faces and stories are in my heart forever now, and sadly many of my memories of these great kids involve tears. Tears from Jenny, who broke down on her 14th birthday when she realized that she had aged out of the adoption system without being chosen. The final realization that she would never know what it meant to have a mom or dad of her own caused her to fall into a deep depression. Tears from Lily, a 17-year-old girl whom I had given my jacket after she admired it. When she refused to accept it initially, I put my hand on her shoulder and said, “But of course you have to take it because you are like family to me.” And it was at that one word, “family,” that this normally stoic young lady broke down and sobbed uncontrollably, as it is the one thing that she longed for.
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