Story Behind The Photo {China}

How sponsors care for children before they are adopted.

When Adam and Stephanie Baird first met their adopted 2-year-old son, Landon, at a hotel in Taiyuan, China, it was not a fairytale beginning. Many people think that the first time adoptive parents meet their child, it’s full of tears and smiles and overwhelming laughter. While that is often true for the parents, who fully understand what adoption means, it’s not always true for their toddler-aged child, who might be scared, sad or simply indifferent.

Landon was sitting on a window ledge in a carpeted hotel lounge, looking out at the smoggy city from 30 stories up. When Adam and Stephanie entered the room to meet him, he barely registered their presence. He quietly and shyly kept looking out the window as Adam and Stephanie knelt next to him on the ground. After about 30 minutes, Landon willingly took a toy car from Adam and began rolling it back and forth — passing it back to Adam, his dad.

Some adopted children need days, months or even longer to open themselves up to their adoptive parents. Some grieve very hard with tears and fear and behaviors normal for kids facing trauma. And, many respond like Landon — a little shy at first.

That’s why this photo is so special. Just 24 hours after Landon joined Adam and Stephanie, the sound of his beautiful, high-pitched laughter rang out on a bus trip to finalize some immigration paperwork. Then, his smiles and laughter never stopped. Here, Landon giggles as Adam makes funny faces with him. For the many children waiting for adoptive families, sponsors provide the caregivers, medicine, food, clothes, blankets, diapers, formula and other care they need until they join their parents. Thank you for helping children have the greatest gift in life — family.

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