Child adopted by Ken­tucky fam­ily ig­nites in­ter­net with love

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

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.

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