Where Are They Now: Natalie!

Ever thought about a waiting child you once saw featured on the Holt blog or in the Holt International magazine? Maybe you shared their story with your friends and family on Facebook, or helped advocate for them in some other way. And how exciting it was to hear the news that they finally found their family! At Holt, we are delighted to share updates with you about the children we featured, and you helped advocate for in your community. Remember Natalie, who we wrote about in 2011? Natalie found her family through the Holt blog. And here she is today, now home and thriving in the loving care of her family.

In May 2011, we posted a story about a 6-year-old girl in China waiting to find a loving family to adopt her. We called her “Natalie,” and shared what we knew about her based on staff visits and caregiver reports. We wrote that she likes to read books and draw pictures, and that she is quiet, timid and fairly introverted. We informed prospective families that Natalie has spina bifida, and explained how this affects her daily life. We also urged families to look closer at this beautiful little girl with big, soulful eyes, and see all the potential waiting there.

Natalie two years ago at an orphanage in China.

One family did look closer. That family, the Kazsuks of California, soon became Natalie’s family.

In June 2012, at 8 years old, Natalie finally came home. Recently, her mom, Tracy, wrote to share how Natalie is transitioning into her new family and life in the U.S. She also said we could share Natalie’s update with you!

(Natalie’s real Chinese name is Qiu Ni, which she has kept.)

“Since the day this child was picked up in China, she has been a dream,” writes Tracy. “She is smart, sensitive and considerate. She is artistic, and creative, and has a clever sense of humor… She eats everything nutritious under the sun and has grown 3” and gained 3 lbs. She has fit into our family so well; it is amazing to think she ever wasn’t there.”

The Kazsuks have three other children at home, their youngest adopted through Holt from Korea.When considering a placement for Qiu Ni, Holt’s social workers prepared the family for the potential challenges to sibling relationships when bringing an older child into the family.

Natalie, or Qiu Ni, now home in the U.S.

“I am happy to report that [Qiu Ni] is often seen giggling with her little sister, putting lotion on her sister’s hands, and trading dolls with

her,” writes Tracy. “When she thinks I’m not looking, she washes the little kids’ hands and trades her things with them to make them happy. I have to remind her that they don’t always get to win.”

“As for her medical needs,” she continues, “I am thrilled that we are controlling them… Please, PLEASE, don’t hesitate to send potential parents my way for questions about spina bifida… To think that she might still be waiting due to this ‘need’ is sad and very scary.”

Several months ago, Tracy did talk to a family considering adopting a child with spina bifida – and they were later matched with Donald, a boy we also featured in a Holt waiting child blog!

“Anyway, all this to say we just love, love, love her,” Tracy writes of Qiu Ni.

“Today when I went to the school… she ran to me laughing and hugging and said, ‘I need to go home now. I need to have my Mommy now,’” Tracy continues. “Every night before bed she tells me that I came to China to get her and she loves me. She is music to my ears!!!”

“We are,” Tracy concludes, “more blessed than you will ever know.”

* Tracy’s original letter has been edited to protect Qiu Ni’s privacy

Mom kissing her adoptive son from China on a boat

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