Walk The Wall Events Around the World raise funds and awareness for abandoned and disabled children in China!
Here is one story from a mom inspired to organize a walk in her community.
Posted by Communications Staff April 27, 2016
Three years ago, Americans Stephanie Richards and her husband adopted their daughter Ashton from Samenxia, China. Ashton was in ICC’s care at the time. Stephanie’s experience adopting Ashton and learning about her care for the months preceding her adoption inspired Stephanie to raise awareness in her Indianapolis community for the work ICC does in China.
We met Ashton the day we were taking her home, which is called ‘Gotcha Day.’ She was 17 months old. Someone from the [government-run] welfare centre and someone from ICC brought her to us. Out of the many families meeting their children that day we were doubly blessed to have an ICC representative there, because she spoke English and could answer our questions and tell us all about our little girl. No one else had that benefit.
When I adopted Ashton, like any parent, I knew I was blessed with this child. However, I knew the extra care and attention she received from ICC was invaluable. I visited the welfare centre where ICC cares for the children and saw how she was in a clean, well loved, and nurtured place. Most welfare centres don’t have that support to provide the basic needs of these children, so I knew how rare something like this was. I knew I always wanted to give back. I didn’t get to care for my child the first 17 months of her life. The Sanmenxia Welfare Centre and ICC did that. And if ICC wasn’t there, I don’t know if I’d have a daughter who is thriving, who is assertive, and is as loving as Ashton is. For instance, it can be traumatic on Gotcha Day. These children leave all they know and go into a stranger’s arms and are now part of their family. They cry. They mourn. Ashton never cried. She was content. She was receiving of our love from day one. She knew what love was and knew how to receive and give it. Not many children know that and have to be taught that. She didn’t.
I always knew I wanted to give back to the organization that helped my daughter thrive the best she could. We had donated items of clothing and bibs and blankets in the past. But this time I wanted to be more involved. I saw on Facebook in one of the groups about hosting a walk. So I reached out and said, "What do I need to do to get this going in my community?"
It has brought several Sanmenxia families together to have our children meet. It’s been awesome. We don’t know if they were playmates in China, but we know they spent some time together with a few months overlapping. So we love that connection. And several families have signed up after the fact to sponsor a child. “I plan on doing one every year, Lord willing! If people keep coming, I’ll keep planning!”
To register for Walk the Wall in your city or find out how you can organize a Walk in your area, visit walkthewall.org.