Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Great Wall China Adoption's New China Guide

GWCA decided to redo their China Guide and we were asked to give our testimony, so Jason and I sat down and wrote a testimony.  Needless to say, four families testimonies were put into this new China Guide and we were one of them.  Our testimony is on page 24-25 of the Info Guide (page 14 on the pdf).


This is basically what is in the Guide:

The Story of Ashlyn by the Barton Family:

At the time that we had decided that we
wanted to adopt a child from China, the wait
for a healthy, non-special needs child was
going on 5 years, and we just did not want to
wait that long. So we looked into what they
considered “special needs” children, where
the wait was about a year. Now when most
people think “special needs,” they think cerebral
palsy or down syndrome. So does China,
but they also categorize lots of medical issues
a child has as “special needs.” I, myself,
was born with two congenital heart defects,
one which with surgery has repaired. So, according
to China, I would’ve been classified
as a “special needs” child.

So, knowing the broad spectrum of “special
needs,” my wife and I sat down and listed
what types of medical issues we felt we could
handle. I was definitely honest about it and
did not worry about what other people or
my wife thought, and she did the same. After
reading up on a lot of medical conditions,
my wife and I decided that we could handle
a child that had certain heart defects and/or
cleft lip and palate. We contacted a cleft lip
and palate team and a pediatric cardiologist,
and had them on standby when a referral
would come in. We also did the most
important thing: praying to God for Him to
match us with His ideal child for us. You see,
we had decided that we were going to adopt
a child 3 years and younger. We met a family
while on a Disney cruise that had just adopted
a VSD special needs child that looked about 4
years in age. We later learned after speaking
to them that it had only been 6 months since
the adoption and she was actually 6 years
old. After talking with them about their
adoption, we disembarked the very next day
and saw that a new list of children had come
out while we were on the cruise. We looked
over the list and saw a 6 year old child that
was post-op VSD and we just knew it was a
sign! We contacted Great Wall and told them
to pull Huang Xiang Ling’s file and then we
contacted the pediatric cardiologist. After
looking over her medical records, he gave
us the news that she seemed healthy and
normal. We knew at that moment that we
were to be her forever family, so we started
the paperwork to go and bring her home.

Five months later, we flew to China to adopt
Ashlyn Xiangling Barton and bring her home.
She was so scared when we first met her, but
as soon as we left the “Gotcha Day” room to
head back to the hotel, she instantly became
happier, especially when we brought out the
M&Ms! She started instantly bonding with us
and we felt that God had brought us to her
and that we were meant to be her forever

Since being home, we have dealt with
some difficulties with schooling and the
transition to the English language, but with
the help from the school and tutor, and a
lot of hard work at home, she has come
a long way in just over two years. We have
also found some other fixable, minor special
needs that she had, such as another heart
defect, a submucous cleft palate, and a
cholesteatoma (cyst in one of her ears caused
by untreated ear infections). The pediatric
cardiologist has given her the green light to
be able to do everything a normal kid can do
with her other heart defect, and we just have
to monitor her throughout her childhood
and into her teenage years when she may or
may not have to have another minor heart
surgery. We have put her in speech therapy
to help overcome the difficulties of speech
due to the submucous cleft palate. She is now
understood by her peers. We have also had
two surgeries to remove the cholesteatoma
from her left ear, and the doctors have
reconstructed her bones of hearing, thus
improving the hearing impairment she had.

In spite of all we have been through with
the medical stuff, we are very blessed that
we got to bring home our daughter from
China, and we wouldn’t have it any other
way. She has such a wonderful spirit about
her and has brought joy to not only our
family, but to all who come in contact with
her. Everyone is always telling us that she will
have a testimony to tell one day and that she
will do great things. I encourage anyone that
is considering to adopt a child with special
needs to just think about what it would mean
to make a difference in a child’s life; to not
only bring them the medical attention they
need, but also what it would mean for them
to be loved and have that forever family they
could call their own!


  1. lOVE your testimony it made me cry.

  2. So sweet! I got tears too...it's amazing how much you have all grown as a family with Ashlyn!

    Love all of you!