OneSky Hero Joshua Morris: Giving Back to Help Children in China

For the past year, Joshua Morris could hardly wait to receive his weekly allowance — so he could give a portion of it away.

Paying it forward felt natural to Joshua, age 12, who donated part of his overall 2021 savings to OneSky, to help orphaned children in China. Children who, like him, had come to orphanages from difficult places.

“We adopted Joshua from China. He was the recipient of OneSky’s services and loves those memories. So, he set aside 10 percent of his allowance last year to give back to other children like him,” explained Joshua’s mom, Amy, noting that he was adopted in 2015 and moved to the U.S. when he was 6 ½ years old.

Joshua was discovered as a baby by the police outside of a Women and Children’s Center in Guangzhou, China. He was given the Chinese name, GuangSheng, which means “born in Guangdong province.”

After being taken to a hospital for treatment of a cyst on his brain (causing a vision impairment called nystagmus) he was relocated to a nearby welfare institution before being placed in a caring foster home as part of OneSky’s Loving Families Program.

Every morning his foster parents would walk him to the nearby welfare institution’s OneSky Infant Nurture and, later, Preschool Programs where he would spend the day with his dedicated teachers. At the end of each day, they would be there, waiting to take him back home.

Joshua still has vivid memories of making dumplings and doing art projects at the welfare institution’s day programs. He said he also has fond recollections of a favorite teacher: “I liked that teacher a lot. She was so nice to me.”

He now lives with his forever family in Texas and has an older sister, also adopted from China. He enjoys playing viola, swimming, and reading — the cyst on his brain no longer an impediment, after working with an ophthalmologist to improve his vision.

Joshua said he is proud of his Chinese heritage and spends time learning to improve his Mandarin-speaking and reading abilities. He also enjoys looking back on old reports from his former orphanage: “I’m glad for the effort that OneSky put into telling us about my young life. I like to read the words and look at the pictures and remember my life before.”

“As soon as we came home from China after the adoption, I submitted a request online to OneSky for Joshua’s file. When I received reports detailing his development, I wept. I couldn’t believe the care OneSky had put into documenting and translating the developmental stages of a single child. Our extended family was so grateful to see his journey to us, too. We have printed out the pictures and reports and created a book for him. They tell him his story when we cannot,” said Amy.

OneSky was founded in 1997 to provide high-quality responsive care for children like Joshua who began their lives at welfare institutions in China. Today, OneSky offers three primary interventions for orphaned children: Infant Nurture, Preschool, and Loving Families, providing permanent foster families for children whose special needs often preclude their adoption. Read more about our work in China, here.