Wednesday, May 19, 2010

First Come Pictures

When one of our children is matched with an adoptive family, we do our best to prepare the child for what lies ahead.  Oftentimes, we give them pictures of their adoptive family and begin telling them what they can expect. 

We never really thought about how this must look from the child's perspective, until yesterday...

This is Philip and Matthias.  They've been foster brothers for several years and are brothers in every sense of the word.  Matthias has been matched with an adoptive family and will be leaving soon to join them.  We've begun preparing both boys for the coming transitions.

Ganlu, our staff photographer and website designer, often gives the children pictures of their new families, as the families usually want us to take pictures of their child seeing their faces for the first time.  As a result, Ganlu is the one common person in almost every child's first encounters with their adoptive families.

We were asking Philip and Matthias some questions about Matthias' upcoming departure, to help them both begin to process and understand this new season of life.  In the course of asking questions, someone asked Philip, "Will you be going to America, too?"

Philip cheerily replied, "No!  I can't!  Ganlu hasn't given me any pictures yet!!"

His perspective made us laugh, but on a deeper level, made us long for the day when we can present him with a photo album of his family. 


  1. I'm his name Aaron, or Matthias, or Joseph? I'm mostly asking because it seems like maybe the adoption agency renamed him, and then how many times to the adopted families rename them again? I'm just curious, if this is an issue, especially for older kids? I'm new to all of this...maybe there is some other obvious point i'm missing!

  2. Oh what a sweet face! I hope he soon sees photos of his new family.

  3. Dear Sarah: It is kind of confusing! When the children first come to the foster home, we give them an English name. We named Matthias "Aaron." But when the children are matched with adoptive families, the adoptive family often changes the child's English name. So, in Matthias' case, his family chose the name Matthias. We begin calling the children by the 'new' name, to help them get used to it, but sometimes on the blog we still use the "older name" for the tag because the older posts were done under the first name... It is a bit confusing, but not terribly uncommon for our little ones to end up with more than one English name. To be honest, though, it isn't as confusing for the children, because most of them primarily go by their Chinese names while they are here! So until they are a bit older and in preschool, they don't even really know there's been a change. Aaron/Matthias was never Joseph. So, I'm not sure where you saw that name... anyway, hope that helps!

  4. Oh that breaks my heart. Praying for sweet Phillip...may he find his family soon.

  5. WOW, what a wonderful job that Ganlu has! Praying that Phillip receives his pictures soon! These children are simply amazing & it brings me such joy to hear that good things are happening and hope is still alive and strong! :)