This past April we had several amazing families travel to China for our very first JOY Mission trip. Among these families was an adoptive father who had the pleasure of spending his week getting to know two kiddos, Josiah and Amelia.
Josiah is a 10 year old boy with a heart condition that needs medical attention. The first time I saw Josiah I was watching a video that our hosting interview team had taken of him dancing to music with the biggest smile on his face. This is the second hosting program of ours that Josiah has participated in, as he came to America a year and a half ago for our Winter Hosting program, and we’re absolutely determined to find this incredible boy a Forever Family. In fact, the JOY family that spent time with him in April is so confident that Josiah’s Forever Family is out there, that they have provided him with a $1,000 grant towards his adoption fees! Below is a blog post that was written by Josiah’s JOY family.
If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about Josiah, you can contact his JOY family at the email address listed at the bottom of the post. For more information on the China adoption process or to learn how you can be matched with Josiah, contact our China Matching Specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Empty Cup
What are Josiah and Amelia doing now? As I write this from the end of a sunny, spring, Wisconsin day, they are experiencing another Monday morning of their years of routine behind their walls. A routine I am hoping to free them from, in order to establish new routines with families, who will help them grow stronger.
I came back from China knowing the JOY Program would be different from last summer’s hosting program, when we hosted Jacob. I When I reflect on Josiah and Amelia, and their future, I am not handling the unknown for them well. Conversely, I know that Jacob and Wen have met their new families and will be landing in Wisconsin next week. Jacob and Wen are both finding families who, 12-months ago, were not even entertaining the thought of expanding their families. But there they are, in China, awaiting to bring home two tween boys. They know there will be many challenges. Their families are not doing this because it is easy, but because they had room their cups that needed to be filled for these two boys.
There are people who want to help, have some room left in their cup, to help Josiah and Amelia. It might not be to commit to adopt, but will share the stories to connect two hands. They will give words of support and strength. To enlighten others on the greatest gift that can be given: a forever family.
A lot of friends have asked me what I hoped to gain out of my trip to China. They asked if I had fun. Seeing Josiah smile as he was making dumplings (video below). And seeing Amelia grow with pride as she mastered writing another Chinese symbol or master walking down stairs: that filled some of my cup. But that is not what I was hoping to gain from my trip. I am, and was, hoping to connect these two souls to their forever families. Families who still have room in their cups. Families who will enter into the unknown, but who have the knowledge that I will pass on, about how awesome each of these kids are. The knowledge that these children WANT most line their lives, a forever family. They love. They cried. They wanted. Are you their Forever?
How to Help
I have gotten a lot of questions about how to help Josiah. The question is usually prefaced with comments like “What a great kid he is,” and “… it was amazing he could translate between you and Amelia,” and, “he just needs to find a family.”
Easy right? Well no-one advocating says adoption is easy (neither is childbirth). But sharing the message is. I respond the question of how to help with the answer of amplify the message. But what does that mean?
We all have different circles we run between. We have our social media networks, we have our work networks, we have our neighborhood networks, we have our church networks, and we have our other research networks. Your voice can carry a long, long way if you look at all the concentric circles you go between. But what do you say?
Tell your friends, colleagues, co-volunteers Josiah’s story. It is something to talk about. People like talking about kids. Tell them he is looking for a family. Point them to this blog. Point them to me. And point them to Great Wall China Adoption if they are interested in learning more. Share the information: