Updates on “Bates” From AWAA Team
Bates is an interactive, charming, intelligent, and athletic 12-year old young man with a compassionate spirit and tremendous potential! He displays kindness, thoughtfulness, and selflessness that is truly exceptional in a young man his age, while also being a very typical little boy who loves sports, electronics, and spending time with his friends. He is well-liked and respected at his orphanage, but he desperately longs for a family and siblings. He would love to come to America, and he aspires to become a policeman when he grows up. A Loving Ambassador Team visited Bates in November and was very impressed by him. Bates has been diagnosed with hydrocephalus and hemangioma of the head and face, but his development is not only considered normal, but he is also described by the team as an impressive, articulate, brave, friendly, and very capable young man. One of the team members, Jessica Bartlett, shares below about her interactions and experience getting to know Bates:
Let me tell you about one very special twelve-year-old boy who I had the pleasure to meet and spend an entire week within China. His name is Bates, and he has a smile that will melt your heart.
I met Bates this past November as part of the Loving Ambassadors team from AWAA. He stood out to me as a bright young boy and a natural leader among his peers.
Throughout the week, I noticed him helping one of his friends that was using a wheelchair. Bates not only volunteered to push his friend’s wheelchair to the dining room but also during our visits to the mall and the zoo. This little boy seemed to have this instinctive desire to be kind without having the need to be recognized for it.
When it was time to eat in the dining room, all of the older boys would sit together at a big round table, which included Bates. Bates would playfully interact with his friends by joking around with them while eating his noodles with toothpicks. Boys just being goofy boys. He reminded me of my own eleven-year-old son back at home.
The most endearing quality of Bates was his gentle spirit. When we first met, he was a bit shy as most kids can be when they meet someone new, but he eventually warmed up to me. In fact, as the week progressed, Bates began seeking me out on his own. If I ever missed breakfast in the morning, he would come up to me later that day and tell me how he was looking for me at breakfast. Bates would then ask me to come to breakfast the next day because he missed seeing me there. I am not much of a breakfast person, but Bates made me a breakfast person that week.
Though I do not speak Mandarin, Bates and I were able to communicate through my translator app on my phone. The last thing I wanted was for anything to be lost in translation, especially when he wanted to share his inquisitive thoughts with me.
Most of the time, Bates would have questions about where I lived and share with me some of the things he knew about the United States like New York City and Washington D.C.
My conversations with Bates were always enjoyable, but the most heart-wrenching topic to discuss with him was about his longing for a home and a family. He would frequently bring up this topic throughout the day, and I would give him comfort with my best words of hope and love to ease his worries.
However, we would also talk a lot about his school work and all the things he liked to do for fun. Bates told me about his love for sports, especially basketball. I actually had the chance to witness his love of sports in his active participation at the sporting events that the orphanage planned for the children. He could run, kick a ball, and do anything all the other boys his age could do. Though Bates indeed had some athletic skills, my favorite quality I witnessed as he played was his kindhearted nature as a team player with those around him. He knew how to compete while also being compassionate.
On my last day with the kids, Bates was asked to give a speech about his week spent with all of us from Loving Ambassadors. I noticed Bates sitting off to the side reading over a paper in his hands. I could not stop smiling when I saw him over there clearly preparing as best as he could to speak in front of all of us. This was the fearless and determined little soul that I got to know over the course of my visit. I was so proud of him for wanting to take on this task in front of this crowd where the orphanage director, many CCCWA leaders, and all the sixty nannies were present.
As Bates approached the front of the big room, I thought about how most people fear public speaking, but here was this young boy choosing to do so. I was nervous just waiting for him to speak.
Bates not only delivered a speech filled with his sweet words, but he also knocked his speech out of the park (which is a fitting sports reference for the boy who loved sports). To be so young, yet so confident in his delivery made for a great speech that I treasured more than he will ever know.
After his speech, Bates and I were able to spend some time together before my departure that day. He told me that even though he understood I was leaving, he would always be grateful for our time together and will miss us all. He began the conversation with his usual happy disposition as well as the excitement of his speech, but as these parting words left his mouth, both of our eyes slowly filled with tears.
In that last moment, I wrapped my arms around Bates and said a prayer quietly to myself that God would provide him with a family where he will be loved more than he ever knew was possible.
To those that desire to give one special little boy a family of his own where he can forever know and thrive in unconditional love, Bates is that child.
I have no doubt he would be a great addition to your family. Bates is a beautiful bundle of potential, kindness, and love just waiting to be given his chance. I pray wholeheartedly that a family finds him soon because Bates will be aging out of the orphanage in about eighteen months. Time is of the essence for him, but I trust in God that Bates will find his new home as soon as possible.
Please pray for Bates and share this post to help him find the home and family God has waiting for him.
Please take a few minutes to consider how God would have you be a part of helping this precious child, whether that is through praying, advocating, or inquiring to learn more.
NOTE: $1,000 China adoption grants are still available to new families adopting from China!