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In An Adoption Advocates Own Words: A Family for Kit

Waiting Children Adoption Advocacy Boys Hope Gallery Cerebral Palsy China

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  Written by Penny Phillips on 24 Dec 2015

Adoption advocates are so much more than adoption service providers.  Adoption advocates are people like you! Holt ambassador Penny Phillips and her adoptive daughter, Joy, recently travelled to Beijing, China to meet some of the wonderful children who are waiting for their adoptive families. Now back in the US, it is Penny's purpose to advocate for the children who touched her heart. These are Penny's own words after spending quality time with the amazingly confident incredibly creative Kit.     

What we noticed first about Kit [when we met him last month] was his sweet smile. He is quite handsome, has a soft, steady voice and a wonderful laugh. When he is sitting next to you, his cerebral palsy (CP) diagnosis isn’t at all apparent; he is like any other kid his age. He is engaged, happy and sociable.

We first met Kit when he was performing a prepared song, complete with hand motions, along with a large group of 30 other children. He performed just as well as the other children as he stood with his walker. Only his legs are affected by CP, and in video recordings of this performance, it is clear that he has ability in his upper body.

During this same performance, Kit was the only child to stand alone in front of a large audience — many of them strangers — to recite a very long poem from memory about moonlight over the city. His performance was beautiful. It was set to music and recited with confidence and poise.

Kit had to have two surgeries in 2011, one in March and one in May, to help relax the stiffness in his lower limbs. He can now walk without assistance using a walker and can stand still on his own. He wears leg braces that fit into regular sneakers to support his feet and ankles. He can even run with assistance from his walker! Towards the end of our trip to the Beijing Zoo, we saw him running, pushing his grown friend in the wheelchair that Kit had abandoned earlier. These two boys were clowning around, having fun together and showing off for the others in the group.

Kit became fast friends with my 10-year-old daughter, Joy, who enjoyed being his buddy for the four days we were together. Kit will make an excellent brother to any sibling, younger or older. He is genuinely friendly and happy to be with other kids. In every activity we did over that week, he fit right in and participated along with all the others. His ease reminded me very much of Joy in the way she fit right into our family and bonded with everyone.

Kit enjoyed playing video games on Joy’s iPad. Subway Surf and Angry Birds were his favorites. Joy recalls that after a while, he passed several game levels and reached a pretty high score at Angry Birds. He also liked to use the iPad to take lots and lots of pictures. I can imagine him becoming a photographer someday. He is very artistic. The three of us spent time coloring and his artwork was completed with great care. He became disappointed in his work when the paper got a little bit wet, but with some encouragement he finished coloring his castle and we took a picture of a smiling Kit with his finished work.

Like the other children we met, Kit is studying in the orphanage and he is reported to be an age-appropriate learner. He is able to care for himself, is very social and gets along well with the other children. His favorite activity is playing cars and games with his teachers. He also likes to play outdoors with his friends. Kit pays attention to detail and is very careful with his work. He also has an excellent memory and will remind you of past circumstances and events if you forget.

Needless to say, we were heartbroken to leave Kit behind. When we ate our last meal together, he turned his head away from us and leaned towards his caregiver to hide his tears. She tenderly consoled him. His caregiver is a lovely woman whose only child is grown and away at university. She seems very devoted to Kit and the other children in her care and there is a strong bond between them. It was comforting to know that she was there for him after we said our goodbyes.

Since returning home, Joy asks for extra hugs and comforting. She has unique insight into our journey as it was her first time returning to China since we adopted her four years ago at the age of 7. She remembers her own China home and imagines how hard it is for Kit to say goodbye, not knowing what his future holds. Working together with Holt, we hope and pray every day that his permanent, loving family will soon be found. Our dream is to advocate for Kit until his homecoming with his forever family — wherever they may be.

Penny Phillips | Holt Beijing Ambassador

To learn more about Kit and the eligibility requirements for adopting him, contact Jessica Zeeb at




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