Long Road to China - Our Adoption Story

Trustmark National Bank account set up:

Donations can be made nation wide at any Trustmark National Bank through the account:
Phillip Smith or Niki J. Smith's Adoption Account

If you would like to mail a donation, please mail it to
Phil or Niki Smith
P.O. Box 332
Rienzi, MS 38865

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

What happens IF she "ages out?"

This week I had a question asked to me. I want you all to know I'm glad to answer any questions concerning our adoption!  I'm glad you feel comfortable enough to ask us the questions you want to know because we do not get offended by questions.  We feel that the best way to learn about something is to ask the questions you want to know!  I cannot think of anything that we wouldn't be comfortable answering but if we don't feel comfortable, we will let you know.  Also, the orphans are where God has broken our hearts!  We are not the know all by any means but we will tell you what we know to the best of our knowledge/understanding.  I do not know where I've actually typed out a post dedicated to this question so I thought it would be a good one to put on our blog.  This is the answer to the best of my knowledge!  I often tell people and fail to write it in the blog - not on purpose.  I'll share what was asked to me

"I'm sure you've been asked this and have probably addressed it but I can't find it so I'm asking now... What happens after she "ages out?  If she is just turned out on the streets what's stopping her from just "moving" to the US with a family? I guess what I'm asking is could you and Phil not be in China after her birthday with a passport and just bring her home after she walks out? I know, it sounds way too simple so I know there's a catch...just wondering what it is."  

Honestly, I cannot say for sure what would happen to Guan Ya!  I can tell you that she will never be adopted to know the love of a forever family!  The rest I can to the best of my knowledge tell you what I've been told by people when we were in China & others in the adoption community about what is likely to happen when these children age out.
My response:

  • No unfortunately the law does not allow this. The law would not let us take a minor out of the country and after she is old enough she would have to apply as any other non-citizen to try and become a citizen of the US. I wish it were that easy. I even have a friend that married a Chinese native and they had to go through so much to get her to the US and make her a citizen. There was nothing illegal, it just took a lot of time, paperwork, etc. and they were married. I don't think an orphan with no reason to enter the US (us being her family because we tried to adopt her doesn't stand up in law) would ever be allowed citizenship.
    Sadly, most orphans are turned out to the streets between the ages of 16-18y/o with little to no education.  It's so different there that I cannot even explain. It's hard for us US citizens to understand! 
    The orphans NEVER lose their orphan status and orphan. Getting a job with little/no education AND being an orphan is almost impossible. You know how hard it is to get a job here? Imagine always living below our middle class and fighting for jobs with 1.3 BILLION people in China. The orphans do not get issued a birth certificate like the other Chinese non-orphans. When they go for jobs, they are automatically known as an orphan. Even when/if they wed, they do not lose their orphan status .
    We've told too many female orphans turn to prostitution to try and provide a living and they often do not live long after released. GuanYa is deaf so I doubt anyone on the streets could communicate with her. They don't have a welfare system or anything like that in China that helps these children.
    There have been some organizations that have tried to go into a few cities to provide living quarters and to try and educate but they can never remove the orphan status. However, there are very very few of these places (I only know of 2) and of course the Chinese gov't dictates everything so they have to agree and oversee everything. Yes, you would think they would want the help but remember, they do not recognize these precious lives as we see them in the US. It's a very sad situation!
    We saw many orphans that had been turned to the streets that would be going through garbage cans looking for left over food, drinks, etc. So many are poor that it isn't just the orphans, but you could see this at almost any garbage can for just normal citizens.
    • Phil and I have said IF she ages out without us adopting her, we will support her as best we can. However, there are so many questions on how we could do this - where would she even get mail? People will take complete advantage of the orphans. You would think things are cheap there, but they are NOT! The prices of food was = to that in the US. The price of living was WAY more than we pay here. That is why they don't have a middle class. If they try to "purchase" they do not even OWN the property, but only own it for 30 or 40 years depending on their payments/agreement with the govt. We were told by our guide to "own"a small apt size place cost between $250,000-$300,000   

      I hope that helps you to understand what we know.  We really do not know what would happen to our daughter if she ages out.  The situation seems grim to us about what might happen to her.  We also know it is very unlikely that she would come to know Christ's love for her living on the streets of China. However, there have been so many completely Awesome people that have reached out to us & continue to reach out to us so that's not even going to happen! :0)  I've just been lost for words the last few weeks at the love everyone has shown toward Guan Ya! Each act of love people does really helps & so appreciated! We've had some dark days during this process but we are at peace with God's will today!  You have forever touched our hearts in a way I cannot even explain!  YOU are part of bringing Guan Ya home and assuring she does not have to worry about the '"what ifs" & not worrying about not knowing her forever family!  We have 28 days and with your prayers, encouragement, sharing, donations, time, etc. we will give our daughter the love she deserves!  Thank you for being a part of there being one less orphan!  We could NOT do this without our Lord and each of YOU! 


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