UPDATE: We shared Rowan’s story in 2018, but he is still waiting for a family! Since that time, Rowan has continued to work hard in school — especially in math, history and geography. Rowan’s teachers say that he’s the best student in class, and he’s always eager to learn. His love for learning and speaking English also continues to grow — grasping any opportunity to practice his vocabulary.
His health has also improved with yearly checkups and maintenance medication. Still full of energy, Rowan loves to interact with others, play games and dance to music. But he also enjoys being in a quiet space, where his caregivers say that he often reflects about his day.
Rowan looks forward to having a loving, permanent family of his own. One of his favorite memories was when he saw his friend go home with her adoptive parents — hoping that, one day, it will be his turn.
A $7,000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family bring Rowan home!
Rowan gets the joke.
Out of breath, and laughing, he has just demonstrated how easily he can skip on one foot — racing across the dining area in the orphanage where he lives in Southeast Asia. Breathless and thirsty on this humid January morning, he gulps down his cup of water. Still thirsty, he eyes my water and I push it toward him. Once Rowan’s downed his second cup of water, our photographer pushes his glass of water across the table toward Rowan as well.
We all laugh, including Rowan, through gulps of water.
Rowan is 11. He loves PE and English, gets great grades in school, likes reading and soccer, and he wants to be a police officer when he grows up. Rowan came into care when he was 3 months old, and has lived at this small, family-like care center ever since. He shares his home with about 20 older kids, ages 6-13, and when we first meet him, he is sitting around a long dining table beside his friends, eating lunch. The kids are playful and interactive, and they each smile and make the same, requisite peace sign with their fingers for the camera.
But Rowan stands out. He has a certain self-possession that suggests a deep intelligence and thoughtfulness beyond his years. He can say his name and age in English, and when I ask “How are you?” he quickly responds with, “I’m fine, thank you!” He makes me wish I could speak his language so I could have a more in-depth conversation with him — to find out what he really thinks, in his own words.
Rowan seems so mature, but he is also just a boy, full of boyish energy, who loves to goof around and make silly faces. He likes fried chicken and French fries, jumping rope and watching T.V. He’s a kid, like any other kid. And like any other kid, Rowan needs a family to take care of him.
“What do you want in a family?” we ask.
“I want a family of five,” he says through our translator. “I want a dad, a mom, a younger sibling and a grandma and grandpa.”
Rowan would especially like a younger brother. But an older brother — or a sister — would be okay, too, he says.
He would also love a pet — a dog or a cat. “White cat,” he says. “Yellow or brown dog.” Our photographer pulls up pictures of dogs and cats on his phone to find out what kind of dog and what kind of cat. Rowan picks a cat with gray around his temples as his preferred cat, and a little Beagle as his preferred dog. When the screen goes dark, Rowan automatically fixes it — touching the screen with his finger.
Rowan’s teachers say he is eager to learn and has an exceptionally good memory. But you don’t have to see Rowan’s report card to catch how sharp and quick-witted he is, containing his laughter in a close-lipped smile and posing with his finger pointed at the picture on the phone — as if to say, “Yep, this is my dog.”
Rowan has some special needs, including congenital heart disease and abnormal curvature of his spine. When he first came into care, he was severely malnourished, and after receiving heart surgery in 2010, his doctors predicted he would live five years. Rowan is now going on eight years since his surgery, and you would never know that he has any sort of physical limitation. He is so full of life and energy and joy. Meeting this bright and funny boy, you just want him to have everything in life — the opportunity to excel at what he’s good at, to experience life outside an orphanage, and most of all, more than anything, to know the unparalleled happiness and sense of belonging that comes from having a family.
Rowan should know the love of a family, as all kids deserve. Could you be the right family for Rowan?
Rowan needs a family that can provide for his medical needs and help him overcome the challenges that he faces. He has had spinal surgery, but to fully repair the curvature in his spine, he will need additional medical care not currently available in SE Asia. A $7,000 Special Blessings grant is available to help the right family bring Rowan home! To learn more about Rowan, please visit his photolisting profile and contact Holt’s adoption advisors at 541-687-2202.
DOB: 6/15/06 | SE Asia
Robin Munro | Managing Editor
Check out Rowan speaking English!