Saturday, March 12, 2011

When a Birthday Isn't So Happy

For most children, birthdays are looked forward to with great anticipation. My kids start bugging me daily--sometimes hourly--weeks in advance of their birthdays, wanting to know WHEN their birthday will be celebrated. It is a time of great excitement for them...as I'm sure it is in your family, too.

In China this week, a young boy had a birthday. What should have been a wonderful day could only have brought devastation.

Why?

He turned 14.

When you are an orphan, as this boy was, turning 14 means that you are no longer eligible for adoption.

Turning 14 means that you have just lost all your dreams of having a family.

It means that no one will invite you HOME for holidays.

It means you won't ever belong to anyone.

It means, in that culture, that you will always be ostracized and it is unlikely that you will find decent employment or a spouse.

While it is sadly too late for young Dalton, it is not yet too late for other children--boys and girls-- who are facing the same fate this year. Please search your heart and ask God if He is calling you to provide a home for just one child who needs a family. Here is one such child:

URGENT: Qiong Needs a Family!

From China. Birthday: September 30th, 1997

August 4th, 1999 – a 2-year-old girl sits along the roadside and waits for her parents….

The little girl tries to stand, but stumbles and falls. She has rickets, and her crooked legs make it difficult for her to walk, let alone stand.

Two locals happen upon the frightened child. They pick her up and scan the nearby marketplace for a clue, any trace of the person who has left her behind. They take her to the local police station. After an extensive search fails to locate the child’s parents, she is brought to the Social Welfare Institute. With no note left beside her on the roadside, she enters the orphanage with nothing but a pretty white coat wrapped around her, blue shorts and the petite red shoes on her feet. She is given the name *Qiong. And a birthdate: September 30th, 1997.

Two years later, at the age of four, Qiong begins preschool. She listens to directions well, and teachers describe her as “active and loving.” She can put her coat and shoes on all by herself and happily assists the other children. When the teachers say, “It’s time to go outside,” Qiong is the first one to line up at the door, an eager smile always on her face.

Caretakers dote on Qiong, and teachers enjoy her helpful and charming attitude. Qiong has a roof over her head and a bed to sleep in at night.

What Qiong doesn’t have is the warmth and love of a permanent family.

At age 5, Qiong can walk, run and jump with great ease, her rickets all but healed. She likes cooking meals with the help of her caregivers and enjoys reciting simple Chinese folk rhymes. Her favorite rhyme is, “Little Tadpole Looking for Mamma.” “Little tadpoles are looking for their mamma,” she delivers with great pride. “Little tadpoles are looking for their mamma.”

Qiong excels in school and is loved by all around her. Qiong has an education, and she has many friends to play with.

What Qiong doesn’t have is a brother, or a sister to laugh with forever.

Four years later, Qiong starts the 3rd grade. She thinks school is just “so-so,” but studies hard anyway. She wants to be a painter someday. “Qiong has a good state of mind and is polite with other people,” her caregiver says.

By now, many of Qiong’s friends have gone home to families in the United States. But Qiong remains at her boarding school, waiting for the day when a loving family will come for her, and she will have a home forever.

“My daughter is very sad Qiong doesn’t have a family yet,” says Beth Flanders, who brought her daughter, Quinn, home this past summer. “Quinn and Qiong grew up together. I met her when I was in China. She’s very bright and friendly. We pray for her to find a family every day.”

Today, at 13 years old, Qiong prays for a family too. After all these years, she still carries so much hope with her. “It doesn’t matter if I have brothers or sisters,” she says. “A family to love me will be very nice.” A few moments later Qiong clarifies her statement slightly: “It would be nice to have a big brother and a father who will protect me.”

On September 30th, Qiong turns 14 and loses her international adoption eligibility. Six months from now, Qiong’s hope of having a family of her own will be lost forever.

“All I want is a family,” Qiong says. “Just a family.”

A 13-year-old girl sits on the steps of her school, waiting for a family……

Share this story on your Facebook page, blogs and other social networking sites. Let’s find Qiong a family…before it’s too late!

*To be considered for Qiong, families must have a homestudy.

Click here for more information on China’s eligibility requirements…

For more information on Qiong, contact Erin Mower at erinm@holtinternational.org

*Name changed

11 comments:

Theanne and Baron said...

Prayers that this young lady finds a forever family soon!

Holly said...

Ah this makes me so very sad. Despite our own experience with adoption out of birth order, my heart still longs to say yes when I read stories such as these.
Trusting Abba for her future....thanks for advocating.
love,
Holly

Trustandobey said...

Oh Karen,
This makes me want to cry. How do these kids ever make it in the world? Saying a prayer for her tonight.
Lisa

Kristy said...

Karen, what a beautiful little girl! I will share this with two of my yahoo groups for adopting older children. Praying she finds a family soon.

Lori said...

Sigh.

Not sure what to say...except, older child adoption isn't nearly as scary as everyone thinks. YES, there are challenges...sometimes HUGE challenges. But there are also blessings galore.

To everyone reading this, please pray about this sweet girl! Could YOU be her family??

Oh and one final note...my Chinese daughter (adopted 1 month before she turned 14) told me the other day that for the kids in her orphanage who were "paper-ready" but didn't get adopted...had to leave the orphanage. That means that YOUNG teen girls (and boys), were kicked out onto the streets.

Seriously? What's up for debate here?

Trust and obey.

Adeye said...

I know, friend, my heart ACHES for Dalton. I cannot even imagine. Gosh. Why the heck did no one go and adopt him???? Why???? I just don't get it. I don't. He waited on a waiting child site for such a long, long time. But no one came. Poor boy.

Standing and believing with you.

When is Jesus coming back?

Adeye said...

Gosh...I just read Lori's comment!

:(

Kristin Ferguson said...

I don't know what to say to be honest. To say a prayer is certainly a start but there's got to be more. I know God wants us to adopt again so I'm praying to be open to older adoption if that's what He wants. Praying, praying, praying!

saVi said...

(Okay, this is really long. I intended it to be an email, but I couldn't find your email address!)

Hi, Karin!

My name is Savannah. I have read your blog for a while (I don't even remember how long, honestly) and I really love to hear what you have to say. I think your kids are absolutely adorable and your stories are part of the reason that I want to adopt when I get older. I am currently far to young as I happen to be a sophomore in high school ;) which brings me to part of the reason that I am emailing you (besides to officially de-lurk).

For World History we were assigned a project to pick a topic and write and essay and make a video and that topic. I chose to do my project on China, specifically the reasons why children end up in orphanages and the healthcare available in China (in a way that relates the two). For the video portion I plan to narrate the stories of some children still waiting and some adopted.

I plan to rewrite them in my own words and have people that I know fill in for the various voices. The reason that I'm telling you this is that one of the stories that I want to highlight is Kate's, using pictures as well. I won't do this if you have any problem since she is your daughter and all. :) Also I wanted to use the story of "Qiong" that you posted just the other day. Please let me know how you feel about this at savie(underscore)psycho(at)yahoo(dot)com.

Thank you so much for your time,
Love, Savannah.

Sheri said...

your blog rocks!

Treva said...

After reading your post I emailed the lady and she informed me that she has been adopted. I was so thankful!