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Our Son Ryan

Our Son Ryan

During the first few weeks of our search, we knew two things for certain.  First, that we would choose the special needs path, and second that we would be choosing either a boy or a girl.

We surveyed our current family landscape, and after careful consideration, we settled on the mix of special needs that we felt confident with and comfortable taking on.  We’ve been down the special needs road two times before, so far with very positive results.  Each time we found that we learned some things that may not have been captured completely (or at all!) in our children’s profiles and dossiers.  We have always approached things with a positive yet “eyes wide open” attitude, knowing that surprises are part of the process.

As we navigated our way through the profiles of prospective children, there were three times that we chose to follow-up with a “deep-dive” to learn more that the very general information we saw in the high level profiles.

Our eyes wide open approach has also included our present three children as well.  As we searched, we showed our children the photos, explained the profiles and stories, and tried to relate to them why certain children might be good fits for our family.  This was challenging at times, but in general, we think they understood our reasoning – and even hopefully realized that there were parallels to THEIR adoption stories.  (“Yes, Mom and I did the exact same thing when we searched for and found YOU.”)

After the few ups and downs of our searches (for example, there was a little boy named Kolby that Ashley was drawn to…we hope he has found his forever family) we found a beautiful little boy who we felt might be a good fit for us.  Truthfully, the boy or girl angle didn’t matter as much as we thought it might.  We all just wanted the same thing – the right child for us.

His Chinese name is Zhou Sheng Xiong.  In his referral documents, he is also known as Elliot – a name given to him by his caretakers.

He was born on March 10, 2009 in Dongguan, a city of about 6.5 million in Guangdong Province in Southern China.  He just recently turned six years old.

Dongguan is about 30 miles south of Guangzhou, the provincial capital, and about 55 miles north of Shenzhen.  It is also about 50 miles from Hong Kong.  It’s roughly located at the same latitude as Southern Florida.

Ryan is presently being well cared for at the Dongguan CWI.  <>  The Dongguan CWI has also partnered with The Sunshine Academy  <<http://www.casunshine.org>>.  Sunshine Academy is a non-profit, charity school for abandoned children, that works in partnership with Social Welfare Centers.  Sunshine Academy is supported by friends and organizations who believe in providing a better life for these children.  Sunshine Academy is dedicated to love and educate Chinese orphans: instilling dignity and life skills to enable an independent life.

From what we can gather, Ryan seems to be doing well and is even learning some very basic English.  Interestingly, there are some additional CWI connections that we will explore in upcoming posts (we can’t tell the entire story at one time!)

As Ryan’s story is unfolding, Lisa and are have both been struck by how different things are this time, as compared to our other three children.  With Kyle we knew very little about his early life; with Dylan a bit more information was shared;  and with Ashley (due to her medical needs) we were fortunate enough to have quite a full picture of her first 21 months, with the exception of a key surgical report.  Our journey to Ryan has had many wonderful twists and surprises, and has allowed us to connect with other families in ways that we could not imagine.

(That’s hopefully enough of a teaser to have you come back and visit again to learn more?!)

Be back soon…

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