Colin, pictured left, has been home for nearly three weeks. Adopted through WACAP, he celebrated his birthday just last month, but he embraced something beyond his fourteenth year: the family he would have never met if he’d turned even one year older.
WACAP supported Tom and Angie Rylands with an expedited adoption, which was necessary in Colin’s case because in China, age 14 marks the cutoff for a child to be adopted. Recognizing the stakes for Colin, who had only four months before he turned 14, WACAP worked diligently with Chinese and U.S. officials to accelerate the paperwork process, which takes many families about 12 months. With Colin’s birthday on the horizon, Angie and Tom waited patiently but anxiously for travel notification. They received it within a week of Colin’s birthday and — with a wave of relief and joy — on August 12 , they also received a letter from China in Colin’s own hand, just before travelling to bring their son home.
“Dear Mother and Father,” the note began. “I like the name … you gave me…. I read that my grandfather is an American hero…. When I’m able to understand English, you can tell me more stories about Grandpa. I also saw my house…. I am very excited…. I also read that I have a brother [Tommy]. I saw Tommy’s pictures and want to be his best friend.”
With his family now beside him, Colin recalls, “When I first saw mom, dad, and Tommy … I can tell they love me very much.”
Welcome home, Colin.