American family raises money to adopt JiaJia

'Jiajia touched a special place in our heart'
'Jiajia touched a special place in our heart'

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'Jiajia touched a special place in our heart' 03:14

Story highlights

  • JiaJia was abandoned by his family in China when he was a baby
  • A family in Grain Valley, Missouri, is trying to adopt him
  • "We can love him. He can love us," says the father of that family

(CNN)By the end of the year, JiaJia may have a new home halfway across the world.

Jeri and Brian Wilson, from Grain Valley, Missouri, needed to raise around $30,000 to adopt the child, a smiley 9-year-old boy who was abandoned by his family in China when he was a baby. CNN profiled his story this week.
    "We hit our goal within eight hours. It was amazing," said Brian Wilson.
    His wife said they were hoping to travel to China to pick up JiaJia (pronounced "Jah Jah") by the end of this year.
    "He really touched a special place in our heart," said Brian. "As soon as we met him, there was something about him that just really touched us. God told us that was our son."
    JiaJia's parents abandoned him outside a Chinese fertility clinic when he was 3 months old. Botched surgery for spina bifida left him paralyzed from the waist down. The procedure hit his spinal cord nerves, leaving him with no lower body function.
    He lives at at Alenah's Home, a medical foster home in the Chinese capital that cares for 23 Chinese children with disabilities.
    JiaJia is the oldest and longest-term child at the home. He serves as a de facto big brother to the other kids -- pretend boxing, playing with toy cars, and even singing with them.
    A family once promised to adopt JiaJia, then backed out. He has watched many of his friends find homes and then move away.
    The Wilsons have filed the paperwork to adopt JiaJia, and are waiting to hear back.
    "We really just hope that he's going to become a part of our family. We can love him. He can love us," Brian Wilson said.