Victoria is SO special. How do I know? Because I met her. I walked into her small orphanage in Anhui province to meet some children that the orphanage director had selected. As we walked past the window of the room, I got my first glimpse of her. She was in a wheelchair and she had the most beautiful smile. She stood out to me immediately. We started to interview the kids they wanted us to meet and I quickly realized she was not on the list. When we finished, I asked the director about her and was told that her paperwork was done a long time ago; she had waited on the Shared List for more than 5 years. At some point, her paperwork was pulled, deeming her unadoptable. What? Yes, you read that right... unadoptable. I couldn't fathom it. It was clear that her medical needs are complicated, but equally as clear that she is a gem. She is beautiful on the inside and outside and we were determined to do everything in our power to see that her papers be made ready again and to help her find the forever family she rightfully deserves.
The staff wheeled her back into the room and we took some time to get to know her better. We gave her the advocacy name Victoria, the epitome of gentility and refinement; a name reflecting the image of the long reigning queen. Just like the queen, this Victoria is warmhearted and has a gift for painting and drawing. Victoria is attending school in the orphanage and her favorite subject is painting. She can read and write well and her mental abilities are normal. Victoria is a vegetarian and her favorite food is a tomato. She can eat independently and uses a spoon. Her favorite toys are Barbie dolls and her best friend is a sweet girl who sleeps next to her. She loves the color pink and her favorite animal is a cat. She loves to sing, color, and draw. She hopes one day to be a painter/artist. She is left handed. Victoria also loves to recite poems and tell stories. All of the other children in the orphanage love to listen to her stories!
Victoria understands what it means to be adopted. When we asked her if she wanted to be adopted, she got a big smile on her beautiful face. She is a smart girl who came into care at approximately 2 years old. The staff describes her as quiet, shy, obedient, kind, creative, friendly, and smiley. She has good manners and is very polite. It was more than clear to us that she is a very special little girl with a bright smile and a light in her eyes! We adore her and we desperately want her to find a wonderful forever family!
As for her special needs, her file lists "SPR operation in Cerebral Palsy; Post operation of FES-CCA". The orphanage told us that when she was younger she could move a lot, but now she doesn't like to because her arms are not strong enough. She has feeling in her legs and can move them. She can also sit up on her bed, with support. We took a lot of pictures of her that can be shared privately with a family seriously considering adopting her. It seems to our untrained eye that she had severe scoliosis and will need extensive surgeries and physical therapy. It very well could be a matter of life and death for her. It also appears that she has unrepaired club feet and has a scar on her back - possibly from spina bifida.
She is toilet trained and can tell the nanny when she has to go to the bathroom, but she needs assistance. If she doesn't go to the bathroom quickly, she will have to go to the hospital and get a catheter. She and her caretakers now know that when she feels the need to go, she needs to go right away.
Victoria's hearing and vision are normal and she is receiving therapy and special exercise 3-4 times a day. Her nanny loves her very much and makes every effort to take care of her as best as she can, but it is not enough. Victoria was unable to have surgery in China; Half the Sky Foundation has plans to come in and teach the caretakers how to further help her. We are very concerned that if she does not find a family and get the surgeries and therapies that she so desperately needs, that she will die young. Our hearts break at the thought.
Before we left, we made sure that the orphanage would get her papers made ready again. The director seemed happy that we cared so much about Victoria and wanted to find a family for her. He followed through on his word and now it is our turn. Victoria needs to find a family SOON - it is her only hope. We know God planned for her to be in the room that day and for us to see her. Please share her story and help us find a wonderful family for this treasure of a child!