A Family of His Own
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of visiting with an amazing kid. This little boy was adopted from China at the age of 7 through the China Waiting Child program. He had no special medical need, merely on the list due to his age and gender. Having been a couple of years since his placement, it was such an honor to witness how he has adjusted to his new family and life in the United States.
He is an amazing kid. He has a mind for math and stats and can recite off numbers like you wouldn’t believe. He can tell you when the White Sox are playing next as well as their opponent. He knows every single detail of all of the Star Wars movies, thanks to a very loving and patient father who watches them religiously with him. He has excelled in soccer and baseball. He is a great big brother to his little sister, who adores him in return. In fact, she would much prefer to play ninjas with him rather than barbies, her mother informed me. He has developed a love for art and his artwork is lovingly framed and displayed around the house for all to see.
Things were not easy in the beginning. His transition was difficult, and his parents are not afraid to talk about the struggles. Adopting an older child comes with challenges and families need to be prepared for that. This family was a perfect example of how to go at the child’s pace. They never pushed him, but rather knew he would be ready to attach on his time. Two years later, they are so pleased with the progress he has made. He has not only joined this family, but has become an integral member. All one has to do is take a look around the house to see his touches everywhere.
Soccer cleats in the closet. A baseball cap hanging on the door. Lego creations carefully displayed throughout the house. A White Sox calendar on the wall right next to his bed. Artwork on the walls. Smiling family photos.
He waited a long time, but he finally has his family. A family of his own.
Jessica Augsburger holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Hope College and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Dominican University. She is also a licensed clinical social worker in the state of Illinois. Since 2002, she has been working in the field of child welfare with experience in both foster care and adoption. Joining Sunny Ridge in 2005, Jessica conducts home studies for adoptive families, provides post placement services in the international program and currently coordinates the China Waiting Child Program. Jessica is also a certified W.I.S.E. Up facilitator. Follow Jessica on Twitter @SRFCjessica.