Monday, December 31, 2007

With a New Year, Six China Families Prepare to Welcome a New Daughter

On December 31, 2007, six of our families adopting from China received referrals, each for a beautiful little girl. These girls, all from the Guizhou province, range in age from 14 months to 4 years old. The girls’ new families waited 25 long months for this day, from their adoption paperwork submission to China on December 19, 2005. We expect these families to travel in about 8 weeks. Congratulations!

With UPS closed for the holiday on New Year’s Eve, referral photos and each child’s medical information were quickly translated, scanned and e-mailed directly to the families to bring in the New Year with much celebration.

What a great start for 2008!

Pictured: Excited parents, William and Susan Osborn, drove 3½ hours from northern Illinois to receive their referral in person in our St. Louis office. Social worker Julia Wheeler-Jenkins was honored to be with them and share in their joy!


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Friday, December 28, 2007

"A Long Awaited Christmas Present"

Home just in time for Christmas, the Nelsons celebrated the holiday as a new family of six. See the family together in their first week home, after their completion of a long awaited international adoption through Vietnam...for Jake.

CBS, Local News Channel 5


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Blogroll Additions and Family Transitions

Blogs New to the Blogroll:

The Kelleys--PA Kazakhstan DTK 3/19/07 (Waiting)
The Hansens--GA Vietnam (Waiting)
Welcome Home! A Newly Completed Family:
The Cristofolettis--FL China SN
The Fricks--WA Ethiopia (posting on their travels now)
The Nelsons--AR Vietnam
Children's Hope Families—Between Trips:
The Wilsons--MD Russia Waiting for T2


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Friday, December 21, 2007

Offices Closing for a Merry Christmas

All Children's Hope International offices will be closed on December 24 and 25, and January 1 for the holiday season. Children's Hope wishes you and your family a blessed Christmas and New Year. Happy holidays from all of us to all of you!


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Children's Hope International's Russia Accreditation Is Official!

Children's Hope International is happy to announce that as of December 14, 2007, we were officially accredited in the Russian Federation!

Last Friday we received the official order #355 from the Ministry of Education, signed on December 14. We also received an accreditation certificate #31 (pictured left), issued on December 19, 2007, granting us authority to place children for adoption within the territory of the Russian Federation. This accreditation will be non-expiring.

"Thank God for this Christmas blessing and our families for their patience through the accreditation process. Congratulations to our families! May you have a happy holiday season." - the Children's Hope Russia Team

Pictured: (above left) Children's Hope International's Certificate of Accreditation. For the certificate's English translation, click here.
(above) Children's Hope Accountant in Russia, Marina; Representative General, Ludmila; and Travel Coordinator, Natalia.


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Blogroll Additions and Family Transitions

Blogs New to the Blogroll:

The Farmers--IL China #2! (Waiting)
The Herndons--ID Kazakhstan DTK 6/1/07 (Waiting)
The McNabs--MN Kazakhstan DTK 8/8/07 (Waiting

Waiting Families No Longer, Families Beginning Their Travel:
The Catletts--VA Ethiopia DOT 12/31/07

Welcome Home! A Newly Completed Family:
The Dumas--MT China
The Shuchat-Marxs--NJ China
The Walls--MO Vietnam


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Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Christmas List Fulfilled

In the midst of last minute Christmas gift purchases, Liana Jackson sent her Christmas List to Children's Hope International's Executive Director Dwyatt Gantt... But unlike many seen this season, this list was written and fulfilled for China's orphans.

Liana, adopted from China in March 2000, is a Children's Hope Junior Ambassador. Click the photo to enlarge Liana's letter and visit our Junior Ambassador page to see the hearts of more children grow in their goal to reach orphans.

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Liana!


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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Family, United: A Vietnam Homecoming

After receiving photos and phone calls for two weeks from Vietnam, new second time mother Ali Rankey met her daughter for the first time today at the St. Louis airport. So did sister Julia.

Julia came armed with gifts. As Jenna is a fan of lollipops, Julia had chosen a Dum Dum sucker and a Care Bear for her nearly 3-year-old sister, adopted only this week in Vietnam by her father Matt. ...It's a good thing Dad has two arms.

Welcome home to the Rankeys. Thank you for sharing this day with Children's Hope!


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Breaking news from Russia!!

Children's Hope International is happy to announce our representative general is invited to the Ministry of Education to receive Children's Hope accreditation this Friday, December 21, 2007! As soon as we receive the documents (order from the Ministry of Education and the accreditation certificate) we will publish this on our website. Please visit us again soon for the update.


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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Maci's Attachment Story Hits Inflight Magazine

When she was adopted from China by Donald and Gina Farmer in December 2006, the then 11-month-old Maci might have found discomfort in her long flight home to Illinois. Instead, she found her comfort and security in the airline's provided passenger blanket.

An attachment story of a different kind, find Maci's story in the September issue of Continental, the inflight magazine of Continental Airlines.


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Friday, December 14, 2007

A Holiday Weekend for Kazakhstan

December 16 marks the 16th anniversary of Kazakhstan's independence from Russia in 1991. The New York Times' Travel section featured an interesting article on the country's continuing economic development, "Oil Money Flows, and City Prospers" (Emerging Destination - Almaty, Kazakhstan).

Happy Independence Day, Kazakhstan!


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Blogroll Additions and Family Transitions

Blogs New to the Blogroll:

The Baggetts--AL Russia Waiting for T2 (Between Trips)
Waiting Families No Longer, Families Beginning Their Travel:
The Fricks--WA Ethiopia DOT 12/16/07
The Walls--MO Vietnam DOT 12/6/07
(I missed this family's travel notice last week. What great pictures!
Congrats on your G&R!)
The Wilsons--MD Russia DOT 12/16/07
Welcome Home! A Newly Completed Family:
The Cousineaus--NY Colombia
The Marlowes--AK Russia
Children's Hope Families—Between Trips:
The Clarks--WA Kazakhstan
The Martins--TN Russia Waiting for T2
The Vaughns--TN Russia Waiting for T2
This section is new to the blogroll and will accommodate those families adopting from Kazakhstan and Russia, who are waiting for further travel dates.


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Thursday, December 13, 2007

An Update on Hague Accreditation and What the Hague Convention Means to CHI Adoptive Families

Two news sources, The New York Times and, covered December 12’s US ratification of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. What will the Hague Convention mean to families of international adoption and particularly Children’s Hope families?

Indented below are several important paragraphs taken from these two news stories, The New York Times' "U.S. Joins Overseas Adoption Overhaul Plan" and's "U.S. Joins International Treaty on Adoptions". Following these paragraphs, unindented, is further explanation and details from Children's Hope Dianna Briner, who has worked closely in our application preparation for Hague Accreditation.

"This convention establishes international laws and procedures for intercountry adoption. Cases involving the Hague Convention are to ensure that adoptions occur in the best interests of the children." (State Department spokesman Sean McCormack) ...

The treaty calls for authorities to make sure that birth parents haven't been persuaded to give up their children in exchange for money, urging countries to take "all appropriate measures to prevent improper financial or other gain in connection with an adoption".

The new rules may create delays in finalizing adoptions, especially adoptions from those countries that have also approved the Hague convention. (CNN)
Sometimes adoption processes need to be slowed down. In countries, such as Guatemala, the adoption process is often highly regulated by attorneys only, as opposed to orphanages or local government. A slow down in this country would allow guidelines and precautions to ensure the best interest of the children, birth parents and adoptive parents.
Several countries that are common points of origin for children adopted by Americans have not agreed to the treaty, including Vietnam, Russia, Ukraine and Ethiopia. (CNN)
This does not affect Children’s Hope relationships with these countries. Adoptions will continue as the country remains open to international adoption. Our families will have a level of assurance that Children’s Hope operates within government oversight. Countries we work with who have jointly agreed to the Hague will operate with mutual oversight, under the same rules and regulations.
Each nation names a central authority — here, the State Department — to establish ethical practices, require accreditation for the agencies handling the adoptions, maintain a registry to track complaints and create a system for decertifying agencies that do not meet the standards. ...

More than 300 applications have already been filed and others will be accepted until Feb. 15, 2008, when approvals and rejections will be announced. Among the criteria are the size and qualifications of the staff, the agency’s financial resources and its policies, which must include a transparent fee structure and mandatory training for parents about the physical and emotional condition of orphans. (The New York Times)
There are currently three categories of agency applicants to Hague Accreditation, in regard to their progress towards accreditation. Some pursuant agencies have yet to complete their site visit with the accreditation committee, while others have completed their site visit but need to submit further information. Children’s Hope is in the category: Site Visit Completed Without a Request for Additional Information.

Related: Children’s Hope Team Finalizes Report for Hague Accreditation


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Handmade and Heartwarming Cards for Ethiopian Orphans

The Christmas season is upon us! Due to their Orthodox calendar, an Ethiopian Christmas is celebrated on the US January 7. Gift exchanges are minimal in Ethiopia, but children may receive small gifts such as new clothing. Thanks to a young couple's Bible study in Cleveland, OH, children at Children's Hope transition home, House of Hope, and orphanages CHI works within will be receiving handmade Christmas cards.

"The cards are lovely and the fact that they have been prayed over makes them even more special and warms my heart, as I’m sure it will for the children," says Program Director Sharon Turner.

How do you say Merry Christmas in Amharic? Melkam Genna. Thank you and melkam genna to card makers Anna Heinz and friends for making the children's Christmas a little brighter!


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Friday, December 7, 2007

Blogroll Additions and Family Transitions

Blogs New to the Blogroll:

The Shinns--UT Colombia (Completed)
The McConomys--DE Ethiopia (Completed)
Please pray for this family's little girl. She has HIV (as the family requested); the doctors here do not think she would have survived very much longer in Ethiopia under her current condition. God's timing is perfect!
The Abrams--MO Vietnam (Waiting)
The Adelmans--CA Colombia DTCo 10/29/07 (Waiting)
The Crouchs--CA Ethiopia (Waiting)
The Matthews--MN Colombia DTCo 8/29/07 (Waiting)
The Warners--OH Vietnam (Waiting)

Waiting Families No Longer, Families Beginning Their Travel:

The Cristofolettis--FL China SN DOT 12/10/07
The Nelsons--AR Vietnam DOT 12/10/07 (new to the blogroll)
The Rankeys--MO Vietnam SN DOT 12/6/07

China referral!
The Malins--MO China #2
The Hastings--VA China LID 12/13/05


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Thursday, December 6, 2007

Five China Families Receive the Gift of Referrals

Today, Children's Hope received referrals for five happy families adopting from China. Each family saw their first pictures and reviewed medical information for their daughter. The girls range in age from 9-10 months, and are from the Jiangxi province.

These referral families all had their adoption paperwork added to the CCAA's database on December 13, 2005. After waiting 24 long months from log-in-date to referral, we expect these families to travel in about 8 weeks. Congratulations!

Pictured: St. Louis social worker Christina Ortwein happily gives sister Amanda and parents Khristopher and Linda Malin their first look at their long awaited family member.


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Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What's Going On in Ethiopia?

From US ministries to the US Government: people have a heart for Ethiopia. View some of the goings on with the news and media below.

* In the news: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is visiting Ethiopia today for 24 hours to discuss various African crises.

* Two articles are featured in the latest Smithsonian magazine and are available online (Thank you, Melanie, for sharing with the yahoo groups):

Keepers of the Lost Ark? Christians in Ethiopia have long claimed to have the ark of the covenant. One reporter investigated...

The Ethiopia Campaign: After fighting neglected diseases in Africa for a quarter century, former president Jimmy Carter takes on one of the continent's biggest killers - malaria...
* Early this week, Joyce Meyer Ministry's “Enjoying Everyday Life” television program shared Joyce Meyer's heart for Ethiopia in the two part series, Behind the Camera - Ethiopia Outreach. You can view these episodes online (December 3 and 4) to glimpse Ethiopia through the eyes of this ministry.


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