Monday, April 30, 2007

The CCAA Announces Completed Placement for China Adoptions, LID Prior to Nov. 1

The China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) updated the CCAA/Agency Information System on Sunday evening, April 29, with the following document processing news:

The CCAA has finished the review of the adoption application documents registered with our office before March 31, 2006.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before November 1, 2005.
It appears the CCAA has mailed or is mailing the next group of referrals which will include 10/27/05 through 11/1/05 log in dates. Congratulations to the 15 Children's Hope families with a 10/27/05 log in date with China!

Children's Hope also has 17 families with a 11/2/05 log in date. These families are now first in line for the next group of referrals!


Thursday, April 26, 2007

American Idol Touches Families' Hearts, Moves Some to Make Personal Impact

The world listened and was touched by American Idol's two night special, which concluded last night, to help raise awareness and funds for health and education resources to benefit children in extreme poverty in both the U.S. and Africa.

As most of America watched the spotlight on African orphans, Brenda Barker Children's Hope Southeast Regional Director watched from her home, too.

"I couldn’t help but think my future girls could be one of those orphans…" says Brenda, adoptive mother of seven children, and future mother of perhaps two more girls of Ethiopia.

Moved by the development aid work that will change lives, Brenda is glad she can do more through adopting and sponsorship opportunities, making life-changing, individual impacts.

"Like Rascal Flatts sang, 'My wish for you…to know somebody loves you'", while sponsoring a child does provide better meals and educational opportunities for both an orphan and their entire orphanage, it also provides the child with something possibly even more important--the personal relationship they crave through communication with their sponsor.

To find out more about orphan sponsorship or adoption, click here.

Transition Home, a Place of Guardianship for Ethiopian Adopted Children

Since gaining our licensure to facilitate adoptions in Ethiopia April 5, Children’s Hope In Country Coordinator Tsegay Fisseha has been hard at work first acquiring and then staffing and furnishing our transition home in Addis Ababa. This home within the capital city will provide care for a maximum of fifty children concurrently. Once a child is referred to a Children’s Hope adoptive family they will leave their orphanage or community to come into our direct care and guardianship.

Our transition home (unofficially referred to as House of Hope) is located in the center of the city, near the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and the High Courts responsible for finalizing adoptions. Included within the 22 rooms and 7 bathrooms are several large rooms in which adoptive families may stay in lieu of a hotel if they prefer.

The home has space for office, laundry, classroom, infirmary, lounge, playroom, and sleeping quarters for both staff and children. Depending on the size of the room, four to eight children will board in these freshly painted bedrooms.

Once our Ethiopia program is established, all children will meet their families at the transition home. Until the home is fully staffed and furnished, families may meet their children at their original orphanages or alternate locations.

Please join us in celebrating this step in the process of getting our new program up and running. We are very excited!

(The green building on the right will serve as the House of Hope kitchen.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

New Ethiopian Restaurant Opens in St. Louis So. Grand

For all those interested in Ethiopian adoption and ethnic culture in general, a new restaurant Meskerem has opened along the ethnic strip of South Grand in St. Louis. This past Thursday the St. Louis Post Dispatch reviewed the new restaurant regarding the dining experience as a food excursion, but also a "cultural initiation".

Your encounter will include the key ingredient to Ethiopian eating, injera. This spongy round bread with a taste similar to rye will serve as both your tray and utensil, and alternately a shredded ingredient in some dishes. Although liquor and desserts are still on their way to the menu, you may cap off your meal with a densely rich Ethiopian coffee. Common staples you will find on the menu: awaze (spicy sauce), garlic, ground chile, lentils, ginger, and lamb.

Looking for a restaurant with roots to the area? Tareke Beraki of the Queen of Sheba catered a St. Louis Children's Hope parent education meeting this past month. You may find his authentic East African Cuisine on Olive in University City. The Delmar Loop's Red Sea was the first to make its Ethiopian footprint within the city.

Get a palate for ethnic food in your area and get a taste for the culture of an orphan--your possible child of Ethiopia. Happy eating!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Nickelodeon Pushes Diverse Programming with New Series for Hispanics, Chinese, and African American Markets

Children's Hope families may be excited to learn about the upcoming and continually diverse nature of Nickelodeon's programming as the network is set to release a Chinese-American cartoon geared towards pre-schoolers, entitled Ni Hao Kai-Lan. The main character, a 5-year-old Chinese-American girl is written to provide a role model for bicultural youngsters.

The New York Times interviewed the creator of the new cartoon, Karen Chao. Their interview revealed the background and scope of the series.

“Ni Hao, Kai-lan!,” an animated series based on her memories of growing up in a bicultural household with two overachieving brothers, a doting immigrant grandfather and a father with one foot in the Old World and one in the New. Ms. Chao and her mother, Hai-lan (Helen), were outnumbered but unbowed, honoring some gender traditions that dated to Confucian times while questioning others. “Ni hao” means “Hi” in mandarin, and Kai-lan is the Chinese name Ms. Chao was given at birth, later Anglicized to Karen...

Ms. Chao said she wanted Kai-lan “to be a Chinese-American role model, to be independent, to have a voice, to take the initiative and to not always have to follow others.” Ms. Harrington, the executive producer, said she hoped the series would have a special resonance for the estimated 60,000 girls in the United States who have been adopted from Chinese orphanages.
The series is to premiere in fall 2007 and teach viewers simple Mandarin words while giving a perspective of bicultural living.

Details of Nickelodeon's current culturally diverse line-up:

El Tigre, debuted this past March, is an animated series featuring a Mexican-American teenager who chooses between the life of a superhero or that of a villain.

Just Jordan, debuted in January 2007, is a sitcom about an African-American teenager who deals with ordinary “issues,” such as trying to figure out what girls look for in a guy.

Go, Diego, Go!, an animated series for preschool-aged children. In Go, Diego, Go!, bilingual eight-year-old Diego Márquez (cousin to Dora the Explorer) and his jaguar companion Baby Jaguar, set out to help animals in danger. Diego's 11-year-old sister Alicia also lends a hand with her computer whiz skills. Dora makes several guest appearances in the series.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Where is the CCAA in Line--Current Wait Times

The China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA) has finished the review of the China dossiers registered with our office before March 31, 2006.

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before October 26, 2005.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Children's Hope Gains License for Ethiopia Adoptions!

Today the good news finally arrived about Children’s Hope’s new program for adoptions from Ethiopia. With the signature of the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice, Children’s Hope finalized the official accreditation process as an international adoption and humanitarian aid agency in Ethiopia. Children’s Hope is only the seventh U.S. adoption agency to be licensed in the African country.

Sharon Turner, Children’s Hope Ethiopia Adoption Director, says the over 30 families on her waiting list were excited to hear that their adoption process can now move forward.Turner says the adoption process will move quickly for the first several families now that Children’s Hope is officially licensed.

With nearly 4 million orphans in Ethiopia, the need is great. Ethiopia placed 731 orphans in U.S. homes in 2006 that is up from the 289 adoptions in 2004.