This year was a very special year as we sent many passionate teams to China. Each team member carries home the stories of countless children as they seek to advocate and speak up for waiting children. Today, team member Ashley took time to share a story of two special children who have found friendship in the wait.
Robin and Clyde are waiting, but not alone, because they have each other. One of the sweetest experiences I have ever had during my travels to China was this October when I had the privilege to meet these two precious children who wait for families of their own.
Robin and Clyde have several things in common. Both obviously are from the same town in China, but they have also been placed together as foster siblings and this has created a strong bond between the two of them. When you spend any time with them, you will see this is true. During our time with the children in Qiandongnan, we had a doctor and nurse practitioner on our team and they performed assessments on all of the children. Clyde, being a typical four year old boy had no interest in his time being taken up by this, especially when there were balls and balloons to be tossed and kicked! Sweet little Robin seemed to be able to guide him and calm him at times with her tranquil and peaceful little soul, even though she is only six! Robin has the most precious and gentle way about her. She has these big brown eyes that study you, and you get the feeling she reads people better than most fifty year olds. She mimicked rocking a baby after one of our team members played with her. She sang to the little doll as she cradled it in her arms, so gently. She would play balloon toss with us, always returning it to us so we could catch it.
Now Clyde, in typical boy fashion, wanted to kick the ball and see how hard and far it would go! He was also very much into discovering new things and when given the chance on the playground, he was up and down and sideways on the slides, teeter-totter, and bars! If there was something to be pushed or ridden, you would find Clyde. He often made use of the little swing car, sometimes giving his buddies rides. Some of the children we worked with had to use wheelchairs and Clyde would not leave them out of our activity. He would push them anywhere they needed to go, sometime not where they needed to go, but always made sure they were not left in the same place.
Robin and Clyde’s bond doesn’t stop at their being foster siblings. You see, they both have Apert’s Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes some bones to fuse prematurely. In both Robin and Clyde, their hands and toes are fused together. One might look at their mitten-like hands and think this would slow them down, but it doesn’t at all! They are both able to perform daily tasks themselves like eating, drinking, dressing, and washing faces. Neither one of them had an issue chowing down on birthday cake with a fork. Both are able to use crayons or markers to color. Clyde’s coloring is very typical for a four year old, and frankly, he would rather be playing with boy toys! He builds with blocks very well and he pushes cars with the other boys! He listened very well to the nannies and hugged on them. Our guide was a man this time, and Clyde seemed particularly drawn to him, especially when our guide was willing to participate in a game of catch or hugging!
Robin spent much time interacting with everyone once she warmed up to you. She has a shy way about her, looking at you for approval to move into whatever activity you are doing. Longing for a hug or touch, which she would eagerly eat up! She loved one on one time! She played with the team member who rocked the baby with her for a long time. She loved to sit and color with another team member. She loved to watch you talk and then work so hard to mimic whatever was being said in English and she picked up on it very fast! I think one of the things that made me fall in love with her so much was when I was assessing her fine motor skills. I laid down some small beads that can be hard to manipulate and some pipe cleaners down in front of her. She immediately copied me in my actions of stringing the beads on the pipe cleaners with no problem at all. I was blown away at how easily she did this with her little mitten-like hands. She then proceeded to work diligently until she had made a bracelet for every team member, and some of us got more than one!! She is amazing, loving, and oh so precious. I think my whole team would agree that “precious” is the word that sums her up.
Both Clyde and Robin have files that have a lot of medical “stuff” in them. It might even seem intimidating, but I can promise you this, these children are children. Not paper. Not a file. They are unique, loving, playful, precious, and wonderful. My heart longs to see them placed in a family of their own, so they can have all the hugs returned that they give, and all the joy and love that they bring poured right back into them!
Robin and Clyde are both in care with Love Without Boundaries. You can read more about LWB and their initiatives here. We have team members ready and willing to share about them. If you are interested in learning more about Robin, Clyde, or our China waiting child program, email firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out a free pre-application on our website.
Robin and Clyde are special focus children and can be pursued by a family at any stage of the adoption process, even those just beginning to consider the gift of adoption.