VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — At just 5, “J” is a brave little guy. He can’t see or smell, but what really stands out about him is his beaming smile.
“Oh my gosh, it’s huge,” Amanda Giese told KOIN 6 News. “He literally lights up the entire room just by smiling.”
This Chinese orphan has melted her heart. She and her Vancouver family helped bring J to the US for the holidays. He lives in China in an orphanage, and if he turns 14 in an orphanage there, he will age out and be put out on the street.
J was born essentially without a nose due to a rare condition called Arhinia. The family is now working with doctors here in the area to address several medical issues to see if his sense of smell or some of his vision could be restored.
Of the 5 human senses, J has 2, she said. And one of those — hearing — is a little impaired.
“He does not have sight. He does not have smell and he only has 15% or less of taste,” she said. “What he does have is a sense of touch, and it’s phenomenal.”
Despite all his challenges, she said J is as “smart as a whip and so he can learn everything you want to teach him. He just hasn’t been taught it.”
The Giese family, she said, always tried to do things to help others and looks to “make this planet a better planet tomorrow.”
Having J in their lives at this time “brought back what it actually means, the spirit of Christmas.”
They worked through an adoption agency to host him for the holidays. J arrived Dec. 17 and is scheduled to return to China Jan. 15.
Though they’ve been together just a very short time, Giese as his advocate she is also getting a lot back.
“He’s giving me just so much love, unconditional love,” she said, fighting back tears. “He gives me that hope and determination to press on and fight harder and get his story out there bigger and not give up and not take no for an answer.”
She’s certain the right adoptive family is out there for J. It’s just a matter of finding them.
“It’s going to be one incredibly rare, special, brilliant family that opens not only their home but their hearts and their patience and everything that they see what I see in this child’s potential,” she told KOIN 6 News.
She has big hopes for J, also known as Mr. Affectionate.
“I’m hoping for a Christmas miracle,” Giese said. “That is what I want for Christmas for myself, for him, is for him to find a forever family.”
The family began a GoFundMe page for J, aka Mr. Affectionate
To learn more, visit their Facebook page.