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Leo has a Family!

Posted on Feb 15, 2017 by in I Have a Family |


Leo, a 12-year-old orphan child from China, is pictured in Cottage Grove, Wis., during summer on June 17, 2016. Courtney and Donnie Henry are hosting the boy for a month as they advocate and strive to connect Leo with a forever family in the U.S. to adopt him. (Photo by Jeff Miller,

Professional photos by Jeff Miller,

HOSTED IN THE U.S. – Summer 2016

“In four short weeks, we got to know Leo as a joyful, loving young boy that had a giggle that melts your heart.  And he loves to giggle!  He was a funny boy that had a great sense of humor.” – host family

Leo was hosted in the U.S. in summer 2016. There are photos, video, and lots of info about his month long stay living in a loving family environment. Here is their blog


Leo words

Here is a post about the “firsts”
that Leo was able to experience when he was hosted.


Leo’s host mom on his development:

“As we navigate trying to determine his cognitive and developmental milestones, I will say this:   he has flourished in the short time he has been in a family:   He has moved from fearing a shower or bath to tolerating a quick one without tears.  He has moved from brushing his front teeth for about 3 seconds to brushing his entire set of teeth for a much greater length of time.  He has moved from being terrified of our cat and dog to petting them often and even walking the dog.  He is continuing to grow in our home, but he must go back to China in a week and a half.    The only way he is going to come back to America is as a son of an American family who has adopted him.”
– host mom

Leo with Dog

Leo foot
Leo’s special need:
untreated PKU
Leo needs a family to help him have a correct and consistent diet, so he can be healthy. Because the PKU has not been managed in the past, his new family will want to make sure he hasn’t had any side effects from this once he’s home.

This is his host family’s post about his special need

“When I google “PKU” I get all sorts of scary symptoms.   I can tell you that Leo doesn’t go to this extreme with his symptoms.   I can tell you that he NEEDS to be treated for his condition, and his orphanage is not doing this.   They never will, and if he ages out, he will never, ever, be treated.  And long term, untreated PKU can lead to major symptoms.   Just thinking about that, brings tears to my eyes, and a heavy heart.    He is a tender, thoughtful, submissive boy, and doesn’t deserve this hand he’s been dealt.   What does it mean to “treat” PKU?   It means he needs the right diet:  low in protein and PKU formula (the cost of the formula is fully covered in WI and IL for sure,  I am not certain about other states).   He doesn’t need fancy medicines.   He needs to eat the right food.  That will never happen in China.” – host mom


This is the family’s post the day they had to say goodbye. What a wonderful sign that this sweet boy will be able to attach to his new family.

This is the family’s post 1  month after Leo traveled back to his orphanage. This one really gave me the motivation to fight for this sweet boy! This is the photo of him back in his country. His whole demeanor looks a bit different to me 🙁


Leo has attended Bring Me Hope Camp a few summers as “Yves”. They say he is a delight to be around! So, my question is, why does this amazing boy wait? Is it because families don’t understand that his need is manageable? Is it because he is a boy?

bring me hope camp 11 years old

There is a family who has two boys with the same special need Leo has (PKU). They would be happy to answer any of your questions. Please contact Judi if you want to know more about this special need.