His name is Joel

February 16th, 2017



Meet Joel!!

Joel turned 13 last month, so he has less than a year to be adopted.  He is non-verbal, autistic and has epilepsy.

Joel has been with a wonderful, loving foster family in China for years, so there is a lot of information available about him.  This family worked hard to get the orphanage to put together a file for him and are ecstatic that it has finally happened!

So here’s my challenge to you!  Please print out this photo of Joel!  Hang it on your refrigerator or somewhere else that you’ll see his handsome, smiling face every day and be reminded to pray that God would send him a loving family.  We’ll be praying right along with you.

And share this post with the hope and prayer that his daddy and mommy will see him and know he’s meant to be their son.  His life is worth it!  

Thank you, friends!



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2 Responses to “His name is Joel”

  1. Ruth G says:

    The situation is probably more complex than I know, but can you help me understand (knowing you may be limited)? Why can’t Joel’s foster family keep him? Wouldn’t that be good for him to stay with people who already know and love him and speak the language he knows?

  2. Susanna says:

    Ruth, sorry for the delay in my reply. Now that I’m not blogging regularly, I find that I can do nearly every techie thing I need to do with my smart phone on the run and hardly ever sit down in front of my laptop anymore.

    I asked Joel’s foster mom your question and she replied with the following, which I hope to edit and put into a blog post before too many more days pass by.

    “…when a child turns 14 yrs in China…he/she is no longer able to be adopted. at all. Since Joel cannot care for himself —he will be a ward of the government and likely go into a government institution. We have ASKED if we can continue to foster him after age of 14 yrs and his director has not yet given us permission or wanting to even talk about it. The problem with long term care for him here without him being adopted is he cannot travel for medical care or help. This is the problem we had with [another foster son]—we couldn’t get him a visa out of the country to get him medical care. Joel’s seizures need attention and help that he cannot get here. He also needs a school that can help him -he has never gotten the help here that he has needed. We give him love..and what we can —but it’s nowhere near what he needs. Also, we are required to go stateside every couple years and there is NO place for him to stay when we do this —and if/when we moved to the states or to another country-he would again be stranded here in an government institution. This is between you and me, [description of how he was treated at the orphanage].
    There is another boy (5 yrs) here at this orphanage with the same autism and seizures like Joel and they just sent him to a crazy hospital —where he is now locked up 24/7…we have been trying for years to foster him as well —fearing this would be his fate and a few months ago they sent him away and we haven’t even been able to visit him since.

    Joel understands English and Chinese…he is smart and the way he looks at books I think can read both as well. It appears he can read a clock. He is STILL not toilet trained —although the last 2 days he pooped twice on a toilet which is HUGE progress. My mom visited and met him the month of December and she said this yesterday about him: “The thing that made me fall in love with Joel was watching him interact with the three babies you have in the home. When they were on his favorite rug —he would tip toe around the rug and go look out the window or sit on his favorite couch and wait until they moved and was always very gentle and loving towards them —never even accidentally hurting or tripping over them.”

    He does a couple basic signs —one for “all done” —another for “eat”
    He feeds himself.
    He is left handed.
    sleeps in a regular bed and LOVES to have his own bed after years of a porta crib. He sleeps on his back with his hands behind his head and the blankets pulled over his face —very cute :)
    He loves texture and rubbing heads and giving kisses.
    He loves to stim by flipping books —this is his one naughty thing he does is steal a book that isn’t one of his to flip —and he has favorites but usually always exercises self control with those forbidden favorites. He loves to eat and will sometimes steal unattended food or drinks as well (coffee is a favorite! he is not allowed) :)

    He squeals and moans —both happy and frustrated —but is non-verbal.
    He can put his own shoes on and off and wash his hands (with prompting) he will pull up his pants when they start to fall down if we tell him to.
    He hates changes. :)
    He can open doors but usually doesn’t —which is very nice I don’t worry about him going outside or even outside of his bedroom if the door is latched.”

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