Category Archives: Advocating

Sweet Confidence {Advocating}

When I looked back through all my pictures of the two trips I’ve made to this orphanage in the last year, I noticed that “Kevin” isn’t in too many of them. It’s one of the reasons why I was drawn to him actually.

He didn’t always come running with the other kids to squish his face into the frame whenever they saw one of our cameras come out. It’s not because he didn’t notice or was too reserved to join in. He  was gentle and invested in the moment, focused and content with whatever activity we were doing, engaging his friends in play. Though admittedly, that play did sometimes lead to victory signs and giggles.

Don’t get me wrong; he was interested in all of us foreigners and enjoyed interacted with us. But, when it comes to “Kevin,” there’s a sweetness that pours out of him that draws everyone in. He shares with his friends; he is obedient for his nannies; he is smart, kind, and silly; he’s creative and enjoys performing (especially poems and songs that may involve a little bit of dancing), which perfectly showcases how he also loves to have fun.

 

He isn’t one who will compete for your attention. Instead, he’ll simple capture your heart with his smile.

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Interested in learning more about this sweet little guy whose advocacy name is “Kevin”? He’s currently available for adoption through Madison, a good agency which is offering a $2,000 grant to the family who wants to make him their son. Contact info@sparrow-fund.org to learn more about where he is and our experience with him, and contact Sarah at Madison to request to review his file. We can’t wait to meet the family who gets to make this kiddo their son.

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Erin Garrison has been a pediatric physical therapist since 2010 and was first introduced to The Sparrow Fund through serving on an orphanage trip in October of 2016. It was during this trip that her heart was stirred and she was drawn to a big career change in order to serve children living in orphanages, their temporary caregivers, and families who move forward to adopt them. Her passion is to help equip and train the orphanage staff on developmental and handling techniques to assist in reducing delays. She also seeks to be a therapeutic resource for families as they transition children to home and get connected to the services needed. You can contact Erin directly at eringarrison@sparrowfund.org.

Here’s what we think of him {advocating}

It was a Tuesday afternoon when I met him. He jumped off the school bus with his friends, and they all came running for us. He’s smaller than the others, but that doesn’t stop him from keeping up with the rest of them. His big smile lit up his whole face as he watched the happy reunion between his friends and their former host families. As we greeted each child, smiling and charading our hellos, the nannies pointed to his hands. They wanted to make sure we noticed that his are different.

They didn’t mean it in a negative way really; they just wanted us to be aware. We already were. Admittedly, his hands and his size are the first things we noticed about him. But, we also noticed the concern and curiosity on his face as he awaited our reaction. I wonder what he thought in the half a second he waited. What will they think of me? Will they dismiss me? Will they want to play with the other kids? Will they think I’m weird?

We smiled and waved our hands at the ayi, using the universal charade for no problem, no worries, never mind. And, we turned to him, bent down to look right into his eyes, and said “You’re perfect.” He didn’t know what we said; surely, they don’t teach those words in his primary school English class. But, he knew what we said. The big smile returned to his face, a smile that remained for the rest of the week.

As quickly as we had noticed his size and his hands, we forgot about them. As we played games, made crafts, and painted, he showed us that he doesn’t let anything hold him back. When it was time for fun, he cheered and teased, enjoying the kids, staff, and our team, and being enjoyed by them all. When it was time for crafts, he patiently and carefully held his paintbrush to create his masterpiece.

What we had told him is truth. He is joyfully perfect in so many ways; beautifully and intentionally designed, and waiting for someone to remind him of that everyday. I wonder who will be his reminder.

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Interested in learning more about this sweet little guy whose advocacy name is “Miller”? He’s currently available for adoption through Madison, a good agency which is offering a $3,000 grant to the family who wants to make him their son, with an extra $1,000 grant for any family who says yes to one of their waiting children during the month of December. Contact info@sparrow-fund.org to learn more about where he is and our experience with him, and contact Sarah at Madison to request to review his file. We can’t wait to meet the family who gets to make this kid their son.

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Angi Augsburger was introduced to The Sparrow Fund when her own family received a grant for their adoption. She got further involved with The Sparrow Fund when she was matched with a little boy from one of the orphanages where The Sparrow Fund serves. A year after he was home, she traveled back to China, this time as a volunteer on one of The Sparrow Fund’s teams to serve at her son’s orphanage and then again not long after on a trip to another orphanage where she met “Miller.”

Who will get to see his smile everyday? {Advocating}

“Duncan,” before I met you, I didn’t know too much about the illness we grown ups call “thalassemia.” I knew it had something to do with the blood that pumps through your body and makes everything work. But, I didn’t know much more. I hadn’t come across it in all my years of working with kids.

But, then I came to China, and I met you. One of the grown ups at your orphanage told us you had thalassemia and that quite a few of your friends have it too. No one would know it really if it weren’t for the black bag around your neck, holding your pump.

That’s because you don’t let it stop you. You don’t let it become you. You are you. You are not thalassemia; you just happen to have it. You are strong. You are patient. You are easygoing even though life doesn’t always go so easy. You are happy and are known for your smile.

But, even though you seem so happy where you are, I want more for you. I want a forever family for you. I want a mommy and a daddy to say that boy is ours. I want them to love you and like you and learn from you way more than I’ve learned from you. And, I want you to show them and let them stand by you so you can all show the world that having thalassemia doesn’t mean you are broken or less able but that you are stronger because of it.

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Interested in learning more about this sweet little guy whose advocacy name is “Duncan”? He’s currently available for adoption through Madison, a good agency which is offering a $3,000 grant to the family who wants to make him their son, with an extra $1,000 grant for any family who says yes to one of their waiting children during the month of December. Contact info@sparrow-fund.org to learn more about where he is and our experience with him, and contact Sarah at Madison to request to review his file. We can’t wait to meet the family who gets to make this kid their son.

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Erin Garrison has been a pediatric physical therapist since 2010 and was first introduced to The Sparrow Fund through serving on an orphanage trip in October of 2016. It was during this trip that her heart was stirred and she was drawn to a big career change in order to serve children living in orphanages, their temporary caregivers, and families who move forward to adopt them. Her passion is to help equip and train the orphanage staff on developmental and handling techniques to assist in reducing delays. She also seeks to be a therapeutic resource for families as they transition children to home and get connected to the services needed. You can contact Erin directly at eringarrison@sparrowfund.org.

My niece’s neighbor is ready to come home {Advocating}

It’s hard to understand why some children get matched right away while others wait and wait and wait. There’s no sense in it really.

Three years ago, in a little room full of babies in the middle of China, a boy captured my heart. He captured all our hearts actually.

We noticed him right away. He looked like a typical 6-month old baby, lying in a crib, sucking his fingers, intently watching the happenings in the room, particularly these strange women with big noses who were smiling real big and laughing with his caregivers. His eyes lit up and his smile was as big as ours when we’d simply turn and talk directly to him. His whole body got excited when he was picked up, which made all of us and his caregivers giggle back.

His “next door neighbor” was a sweet baby girl doing much of the same, a little girl who became my niece. Two years ago. My niece Ava has been home two years. She’s loving life in a family. Meanwhile, the boy who laid beside her in that room still waits.

Last year, when volunteers returned, he was in a new room where children were no longer laying in cribs but running around the room and playing on colorful mats. He is both entirely different from when I met him and entirely the same. He’s full of energy. Responsive. Bops to the beat he constantly makes with his toy instruments. Runs. Thinks he’s jumping. Feeds himself. Scribbles with a marker. Puts puzzles in place and celebrates when he does.

Whoever created his file and prepared his papers for adoption knows him well. They described him as a handsome boy who is obedient and clever. They said he is active, loves to play outside, especially in the little car that he can drive around. When he is spoken to, they said he seems to have a mischievous expression when he answers. They said his hands and feet that are different than other kids are why he’s there. They are why he waits. Yet, they aren’t holding him back. He carefully builds block towers, taking a block in and out of a cup, and carefully turns pages of a book.

He’s so ready to come home and be someone’s boy.

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Interested in learning more about this sweet little guy? He’s currently available for adoption through WACAP who is offering a $3,000 grant to the family who wants to make him their son. Contact info@sparrow-fund.org to learn more about where he is and our experience with him. Contact wacap@wacap.org to request to review his file.

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Jennifer lives in Louisville, Kentucky with her husband John and their three children Maddox, Evangelyn, and Harper. She is a stay-at-home mom who volunteers with Love Without Boundaries. They believed their family was complete after the birth of Evangelyn, but the Lord had much bigger and better plans. After Jennifer traveled to China in 2014 to volunteer in orphanages, and she knew that they had a daughter in China. In May 2017, they brought their youngest daughter Harper home. Jennifer’s heart was broken for children without families and those without a voice; ever since, she has been advocating and sharing their adoption story.

Wayland {China Trip – Advocating}

I’d like to introduce you to a precious 7 year old boy.  His name is Wayland, and he’s amazing.  He delights in simple pleasures and always has a smile on his face.  He is joyful, friendly, affectionate, thoughtful, social, tender, and incredibly patient.  And he’s waiting for his family to find him.

I had the immense pleasure of meeting sweet Wayland.  He had such a positive attitude and a palpable zeal for life.  He smiled and laughed and looked into my eyes warmly.  He sought me out and called me ayi without prompting.  He affectionately hugged me and sweetly laid his head on my shoulder.  He talked to me during our time together, despite my limited understanding of Mandarin.  That didn’t hold him back though.  He taught me new words while patiently repeating each syllable over until I got it right.  Such a smart boy and a terrific teacher!  When he wanted something, he used words to ask respectfully, but accepted no when I couldn’t say yes.  He asked me to pick him up so he could get a better look at new sights, and he was curious about everything that he saw.  Handsome Wayland was a complete gentleman during our time together.

His repaired congenital heart defect does not hold him back – he is energetic and runs everywhere!  He has way more energy than I do!  He can dress and feed himself, use the bathroom alone, and understand directions.  He also sometimes helps the nannies with chores.  He goes to school at the orphanage, and is taught by a wonderful teacher who really cares for the children.  He is working on typical age-appropriate skills, and can speak in complete sentences.  He can sing preschool songs and loves to join in with games.  He appears to be at age-level for most skills.  He seems well-attached to his nannies and loves being social with the other children in the orphanage.

Sweet Wayland needs a family!  I truly feel that whoever has the privilege of becoming his family will be incredibly blessed.  He is a precious boy, but needs the title of son!  He is designated Special Focus and is currently with Madison Adoption Associates.  They have video and more pictures to review.  Also, up to $2000 in grants are available for his adoption fees!  Please, if you are at all nudged to find out more about Wayland, email Sarah Hansen at Sarah@MadisonAdoption.org.

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NicoleNicole is a daughter to the King and a wife to an amazing man. She is a classical homeschooling mama to four, by birth and adoption. She is a part-time newborn photographer, a founder and adoption photographer at Red Thread Sessions, a contributing blogger at No Hands But Ours and an advocate of orphan care and adoption. When she’s not with her family or behind her camera, she loves to blog, create, give life to old furniture, spend time at the beach and read. She strives to live her life to glorify our Heavenly Father.  With His love, all things are possible.