Friday, November 13, 2009

China Foster Care

GG received incredible care from a very loving foster family for his first three years in China. Until recently, I believed that his foster placement was financed by our adoption agency and the Chinese government. (Information we were given in China led us to believe this.) Then, through a series of fortunate internet connections, we discovered that his foster care was supported by a private, non-profit agency. The "U.S. arm" of the agency, Grace and Hope, hooked us up with his actual sponsor in Scotland, Hope 4 China. Grace and Hope is sending us information (photos, reports, etc.) from GG's past that they collected and sent to the people who sponsored him. We are so excited to be able to get a few more glimpses into his past.

But that's not the reason for my post.

I know there are a lot of "good causes" out there, but if you're looking for one that will make a huge difference in the life of a child, consider sponsoring a child in foster care. Grace and Hope's website includes a photo listing of children who currently need sponsorship in order to move them OUT OF THE ORPHANAGE and INTO FOSTER FAMILIES. I cannot fathom how different GG's life would have been if he had spent the past three years living in an orphanage with ever-changing caregivers. Instead, he has a whole family in China who love him intensely.

To put it in perspective, I've been thinking about what a month of foster care is equivalent to:

* a tank of gas
* a mail order child's Halloween costume
* a Wii game (a Wii "Starter Set" pays for almost a year of foster care!)
* one meal for our family to eat out
* a family night at the movies (probably without popcorn!)
* one family trip to a museum
* photo Christmas cards
* the stamps for mailing Christmas cards

Kinda crazy when you think about it. I'm happy to forgo the Wii. Thrilled to invent our own Halloween costumes (or reuse the ones we have.) What "extras" in our comfortable N.American lives can we trade in so that more kids can have the amazing start that GG had?

BTW, it would have been excruciatingly difficult to choose a child to sponsor off that photo listing if not for one thing. A name. Many of you know that our niece, Selah, died a little over a year ago, just four months after being adopted as a newborn. So when we saw a Chinese baby from GG's orphanage who'd been named "Selah," it was a no-brainer. What are the chances? :)

P.S. If you'd like to help children from GG's orphanage, look for Guangxi: Nanning.


AmyP said...

Very interesting! Will you be able to contact the people in Scotland who sponsored him? Wouldn't it be remarkable if you could tell them how wonderfully GG has done, especially from the perspective of someone who knows the difficulties on the other side.

richmomma said...

We sent an email with an updated photo to the Scotland agency, but haven't heard back. I don't know if he was sponsored by a single donor, or by collective donations. Whatever the case, I'm immensely grateful!

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