Adoption advocate Keely Farkas has travelled the globe promoting developmentally supportive care for children in institutions through pediatric physical therapy and developmental psychology. She's not afraid to get on the floor and connect one-on-one with every child she evaluates. It is safe to say at the end of the day she knows these kids. Today, Keely shares with our RainbowKids community a little bit about Gil, a sweet-silly-rough housing-smart-funny-absolutely adorable young man with the hopes that we can all advocate and help him find his family. Please share Gil's story!
He is little, but he is mighty
Gil may be a little guy, at 7 years old he stands about 3 ½ feet tall, but his personality is mighty. Somehow he manages to simultaneously be calm and rowdy, silly and serious, shy and outgoing. One minute he is fully engrossed in the picture he is coloring, the next he is flopping around in the ball pit. One minute he is hamming it up for pictures—tilting his head to the side, flashing the peace sign, and grinning ear to ear—the next he is on the floor intently doing a puzzle. And during it all, he just has this endearing nature. His sweetness draws you in.
But his quirkiness keeps you interested. There are so many facts about Gil that will make you love him even more. For example, his favorite food is Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC). He attends kindergarten at the orphanage and his favorite subject is drawing. But his favorite activity is playing outside with balls. He will happily perform song and dance routines to the many songs he has learned at school. He loves looking at himself in the mirror and seeing photographs of himself.
Our team has met Gil many times. We have been pushing for his paperwork to be prepared. We have felt the urgency, not only because of his medical condition—Gil has Beta Thalassemia—but also because he has a light the world needs to see.
Gil has obviously been to the doctor a lot. He gets monthly blood transfusions. He is definitely not a stranger to being examined by doctors. He’s a pro. So when our Superkids medical team met him during our most recent trip, he was patient and calm throughout the exam. As they finished he gestured towards the nurses equipment. He picked up the otoscope (the light the doctor uses to see in the mouth/ears), sat in front of the nurse, mimicked opening his mouth very wide saying “aaaa”, and he thoroughly examined her throat. Satisfied after several seconds, he moved on to me. Gently turning my head from side to side, he looked in my ears. Then again stretching his mouth open, instructing me to do the same, he looked at my throat. After evaluating several others in the room, he brought the light back and joined his buddies, rough-housing in the ball pit.
Superkids is so happy to finally be able to spread the word and advocate for this little guy to find his family. While he is currently receiving regular blood transfusions, his treatment is not sufficient and the ramifications of his diagnosis are progressing. This sweet boy needs a family who can fight for him. A family who can make sure Gil is getting the comprehensive care that he needs. A family who will see past his medical needs and see Gil’s light.
Don’t you dare underestimate Gil. He is little, but he is mighty. He is a fighter—a sweet, silly, rough-housing, smart, funny and absolutely adorable fighter.
Watch a video of Gil here!
Please contact April or Keely to learn more about Gil.
Keely Farkas is member of the Gladney Superkids team. As a pediatric physical therapist and developmental psychologist, she has worked with orphanages in Ethiopia and Colombia to promote developmentally supportive care for children. Currently, as part of Superkids China, she works with the medical team to gain insight about waiting children's medical and developmental needs to promote accurate child-centered advocacy and preparation of adoptive families.
Read family stories about adopting a child with thalassemia:
The Sea in our Blood
Seeing the Child before the Special Need
Hope in Adoption
Top Ten Questions Families Ask About Thalasssemia
Founded over 135 years ago, The Gladney Center for Adoption is a Hague accredited, adoption agency with international and domestic adoption programs. With adoption programs in Asia, Gladney is able to help parents adopt children of all ages. In each region that we work, we are excited to offer International Waiting Child Programs to help children who are part of a sibling group, who may be older, or have a medical need, to find a loving family and a permanent home. Gladney is able to work with families residing in all 50 U.S. states and provides individualized casework services to each family throughout the adoption process.
If you are considering adoption from Asia and would like information about our Superkids program, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.