Child adopted by Ken­tucky fam­ily ig­nites in­ter­net with love

China Daily (USA) - - ACROSS AMERICA - Chang Jun Con­tact the writer at junechang@chi­nadai­lyusa.com.

AChi­nese say - ing has it that “Love knows no bound­aries”.

I’ve seen many real-life ex­am­ples of un­con­di­tional love and com­pas­sion since I started writ­ing sto­ries four years ago about Amer­i­can fam­i­lies with adopted chil­dren from China.

Although each story is unique, one re­cent adop­tion is par­tic­u­larly heart-wrench­ing and joy­ful. It raises a ques­tion for all of us — par­ents, ed­u­ca­tors and so­ci­ety alike: How much can re­spect and faith achieve?

Angela, a mother of four in Ken­tucky, de­cided to adopt a child from China in 2015 and was matched with Rosie Ru, a 4-year-old who was di­ag­nosed with Down syn­drome and aban­doned by her bi­o­log­i­cal par­ents at an or­phan­age in Hengyang, Hu­nan prov­ince.

Angela flew to China to com­plete the pa­per­work for the adop­tion on Dec 28, 2015 and brought Rosie back to meet the whole fam­ily on Jan 7 of this year.

Hop­ing that giv­ing Rosie her first bath out of the or­phan­age would be a cleans­ing and re­ward­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, Angela wrote that she was “wash­ing away the old la­bel of or­phan, and re­joic­ing in the new iden­tity of daugh­ter.”

“I still am sur­prised by how well Rosie did that first day — she blew all my ex­pec­ta­tions out of the wa­ter! She is so smart, and un­der­stands so much more than she can ar­tic­u­late back to you,” wrote Angela on her blog This gath­ered nest, which now has 224,000 fol­low­ers.

In­stead of treat­ing Rosie as a spe­cial needs preschooler — which, by tra­di­tional stan­dards, usu­ally trans­lates into ex­tra pity and sym­pa­thy — Angela and her hus­band and kids ap­ply re­spect to the daily rou­tine, try­ing to push the lit­tle girl to walk out of her com­fort zone, adapt to the new en­vi­ron­ment and be her best self.

Al­ways dress­ing Rosie in care­fully-cho­sen out­fits and hair­dos, Angela en­cour­aged the child to learn to swim, share in house chores, read sto­ries and make friends — any­thing that a typ­i­cal 5-year-old would do.

“It’s funny. Some­times she looks more like a 2-year-old. Then other times, like in the photo be­low, she looks like a lit­tle girl. I can’t wait to watch this girl blos­som and grow,” Angela wrote.

The amaz­ing job Angela and her fam­ily have done of pre­par­ing Rosie for new chal­lenges, and the dif­fer­ence it has made for the lit­tle girl, have ig­nited mount­ing en­thu­si­asm among fol­low­ers of Angela’s so­cial net­work ac­count. Praise and cu­ri­ous ques­tions keep pour­ing in, and Rosie has sud­denly be­come an in­ter­net celebrity.

Angela said she uses her posts to raise pub­lic aware­ness of the spe­cial needs group among the chil­dren adopted from China. “Our sweet Rosie is spe­cial, she has an ex­tra chro­mo­some, and let me tell you, it hasn’t seemed to slow her down,” said Angela.

Rosie and ap­prox­i­mately 100,000 other Chi­nese chil­dren have been adopted by Amer­i­can house­holds since China started its over­seas adop­tion pro­gram in 1992. In the San Fran­cisco Bay Area alone, about 2,000 Chi­nese chil­dren live with Amer­i­can adop­tive fam­i­lies.

At a re­cep­tion last De­cem­ber hosted by the Chi­nese con­sulate in San Fran­cisco for adopted chil­dren from China, Con­sulGen­eral Luo Lin­quan said he deeply un­der­stood the diffi of rais­ing a child and thanked the Amer­i­can par­ents for their “en­dur­ing love and self­less de­vo­tion to the Chi­nese chil­dren, tak­ing them (in) with warmth and hap­pi­ness”.

“When you grow up, I hope you will sup­port and care for your par­ents in the same way. I also hope you will de­velop the Chi­nese spirit you were born with and keep learn­ing the Chi­nese lan­guage. In this way, you will build bridges of friend­ship be­tween China and the US with a cross-cul­tural back­ground,” Luo said.

Now a kinder­gartener, Rosie is able to com­mu­ni­cate in sim­ple sen­tences.

“Please know we are in no way down­play­ing her con­di­tion, and what the fu­ture may hold for her. But we love this sweet girl, and are ready to walk down those roads with her…side by side,” said Angela.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from China

© PressReader. All rights reserved.