A Week in the Life: My Daughter Has Cerebral Palsy
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UPDATE: Lincoln now only has 6 months before he ages out!! PLEASE SHARE!
Thirteen-year-old Lincoln's smile may be familiar to many of you. His file has been floating in and out of the shared list tide for several years. Although he has been listed under several different names throughout the years what hasn't changed is the deep connection he has forged among the advocates who have met him. Lincoln is an EXCEPTIONAL young man with a gifted musicians heart.
Recently America World Adoption Association's Hope Journey team travelled to China and spent some quality time with Lincoln. In their words:
From Jodi: There is a song I love to sing that has this line in the chorus..."Break my heart for what breaks yours." Being here in China with these amazing kids breaks my heart in so many ways. I think about the surgeries they went through with no mommy and daddy to hug and comfort them. I get teary when a beautiful young lady slips a handmade bracelet onto my wrist. But next to the heartbreak is so much joy. The laughter will take your breath away. The trust these children give us as they climb into our laps and onto our backs is nothing short of a miracle. They don't know us, they've never met us, but they let our love in and multiply it one thousandfold when they give it back to us. All day long there are smiles across the room, hands slipped into ours, and our hearts break a little more every time as we realize our time with them is slipping away.
Our prayer time is full of crying out to God for families for them, to open hearts of moms and dads to draw them to adoption, to put these image bearers of God into forever families.
This trip is such a gift. It is a chance to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the least of these. I feel honored and humbled to have been given this time with them. May God never put my heart back to the way it was before.
Today we want to introduce you to Lincoln. He has kept our team roaring with laughter. Lincoln lives in a foster family and has attended Half the Sky's education program beginning in 2008. He enjoys attending a school for blind children and is spot on with his cognitive development.
From Heather: I met the most amazing young man. He entered the room carrying his baritone horn case. He sat down in front of our team and a few of the foster families and commenced to perform a wonderful song on his instrument. It was obvious he had been practicing diligently for his anticipated performance for our team. He was quite pleased with himself as we applauded for him. In an impressive show of responsibility, he carefully put his horn away as the staff and his foster family told us a little about him….He loves music, goes to school, loves to learn, makes beaded jewelry, and he is very responsible and independent.
Later in the day, I had the privilege of sitting down for some one-on-one time with him. He was very talkative and outgoing, inquisitive, and very bright. His intellect and personality shine brightly. As we sat, we strung beads on to pipe cleaners and then onto string. He assured me that the task at hand was “very easy” for him- as I could plainly see for myself. It was very evident from our conversation that he desperately wants a family and that is where he could thrive. He then insisted I listen to him play a few songs on the keyboard in the next room. In another show of responsibility and self-sufficiency, he plugged the keyboard into the wall, removed the cloth cover, turned the keyboard on, and showed me how he knew several songs.
I asked him where he learned to play, and was truly amazed when I discovered that he taught himself. His foster dad said that he will sing or hum a tune, then sit down to decifer the correct notes. He obviously enjoyed playing with the different settings on the keyboard and the sounds and rhythms it made. I sat there for quite some time listening and watching him play.
I couldn’t help but think of the incredible potential this sweet child has because of his passion for music. He is a child who has determination and persistence. He has such a sweet and funny disposition and has one of the greatest laughs I have ever heard!
Oh, did I mention he has been blind since birth? I don’t think I have ever been more impressed than I am with this incredible young man. What an honor it has been to spend time with him! His story has only just begun…
From Kristi: Lincoln has kept us laughing nonstop!! He is funny and quick-witted, energetic, and very happy. In talking with our translator, Lincoln has expressed his deep desire for a family. What a blessing he would be! Though he cannot see, he gets around without assistance. Lincoln has excellent fine motor skills and enjoyed beading bracelet after bracelet today. He was one of the first children that we met....and we were honored to watch him play the baritone horn. Everyone in the room was moved by his perseverance and persistence. I am not sure I've ever encountered such "drive" and motivation before. One moment he will play with one of us and have us in stitches and the next....he will sit down at the keyboard and begin to play a song. For a long while today, Lincoln would find a balloon, laugh as he squeezed it, pull his lapel pin out of his jacket, and poke it into the balloon...to pop it! We would laugh and laugh, and every time he would get ready to pop the balloon, I would say, "Nooo! Uh oh!" What a kick he got out of that! I was laughing so hard I cried....and he was giggling equally as much!
EVERY moment spent with Lincoln is pure joy!!
We are praying a family will step forward for Lincoln quickly, as he is twelve years old and will age out soon.
Important Note: We strongly encourage those interested in Lincoln to inquire with America World Adoption Association staff if desiring to review a file. We are currently collecting a large amount of updated information, photos, and video from our teams who are on the ground in China. In order to provide the most accurate representation possible for his condition, abilities, development, and other important information, it is our desire to have all updates obtained and reviewed by our staff before a family be given a child’s file to review. This will aid both a family and any social workers or medical professionals who will review the file.
Avoiding the Pitfalls
Worth the Wait!
Part One of Two
A realistic look at International Adoption
Practical tips for new adoptive parents
"I think there was nothing random about the events of that day.."