Wednesday, December 17, 2008

And the Referrals Keep Coming...

For more than one dad, mom, grandmother and brother - referrals are making this Christmas season bright. Congratulations to eight Ethiopia families!

Kevin, Heidi, grandmother, and brother Grant take their first look at their Ethiopia referral, Tuesday, December 16th. After a positive court decision, the 2-month-old boy whose photos elicited tears and awe will have two brothers, Grant, 8, and Garrett, 6.

On Tuesday, December 16th, Children's Hope Ethiopia Program received three referrals for our waiting Ethiopia families. Then today, Wednesday, we have received five more! The referrals given on Tuesday were for boys, ages 7 weeks, 2 months and 10 months. These three young infants are from Numan Orphanage. Congratulations to the happy families!

The referrals given today were for two boys and three girls. The boys are 2 months and 5 ½ months old; the girls, 2 years, 19 months and 2 months. Two of the children were abandoned and 3 were relinquished by a birth relative. We rejoice today as these children have an opportunity to find a loving, forever family to nurture them as they grow.

Congratulations to each of our families! What a great Christmas present!


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Friday, December 12, 2008

Two Sibling Group Referrals, and a Welcome Home for Two Ethiopia Families

There is a lot to celebrate this week. Children's Hope International's Ethiopia Program is happy to welcome two of our families back from Ethiopia with their children. Congratulations to the families and Merry Christmas!

Also we are happy to announce four referrals were received for Ethiopia waiting families this week - two sibling groups. The sibling group referral we received yesterday was for 2 identical 4-year-old twin girls. Today, too, we received a sibling group referral of 2 children, one girl and one boy, ages 1 ½ years and 2 ½ years. Of course the families are overjoyed, and we are overjoyed for them. Congratulations to them all!


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Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Children's Hope Recieves Hague Accreditation!

We are thrilled to announce Children’s Hope International is Hague Accredited! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers!

Our Hague accreditation signifies that CHI meets an international standard of practice based upon a treaty, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. The Hague Convention has been ratified by 2 of the countries Children’s Hope works with for international adoption – China and Colombia (and likely Vietnam when it reopens). The treaty establishes protection for children, birth parents and adoptive parents while it also endorses the concept of international adoption as a means for homeless children to receive permanent, loving families.

Join us in celebrating this great news! We will begin accepting applications in China and Colombia, effective immediately.

Since 1992, Children's Hope has created forever families for 341 orphaned children from Colombia and 4,036 orphaned children from China.

For helpful links and to view our letter of approval visit our Hague Convention web page.


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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Children’s Hope International Christmas Open House

Live in the St. Louis area? Join us in celebration of the season at Children's Hope International's Christmas Open House.

When: Saturday, December 6, 2008

Where: Children’s Hope International Office

11780 Borman Dr.

St. Louis, MO 63146

Time: 10:00 am to Noon

Join Children’s Hope Staff and other adoptive families at an open house to celebrate the holidays. Please bring a plate of cookies and/or some kind of drink to share with one another. Santa Clause will be present and mingling throughout the morning. Don’t forget to bring your camera for photo opportunities. Christmas videos will be showing throughout the morning and coloring activities will be available for the children. We can’t wait to see your family!

No RSVP necessary.


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Ethiopia Program Sees Referral Consistency with More Families Receiving Referrals!

More referrals have come for families in the Ethiopia Program. Last week the program saw a flux of infant boy referrals; this week families seeking to adopt girls are now receiving the blessing of referrals!

The Ethiopia team is thrilled to announce yesterday's receipt of 5 referrals, 4 girls and 1 boy. The girls range in ages from 2 months to 3½ months. The little boy was placed on our Waiting Children’s website today. Families, please view this site and pray for all of our Waiting Children, that they might find their forever homes soon.

Yesterday's referred children are from 3 different orphanages. The families waited 7 months.

Earlier this week, we were also able to refer a 2-month-old boy for one of our Ethiopia Program families as well. Congratulations to all of the families!


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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Congratulations to Ethiopia Referral Families!

The referrals keep coming in for the Ethiopia program. Today Children's Hope International received 4 more - all boys. The boys' ages are two at 2 months old, a 7-month-old and a 19-month-old. Families waited anywhere from 3 months to 6 ½ months from their dossier submission in Ethiopia. They will travel in approximately 2 months.

Earlier this week a family seeking to adopt two siblings was referred healthy male twins - 3 months old. Fantastic news!

Congratulations to all of these referral families!

Click here to learn more about the Ethiopia Program.


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Friday, November 7, 2008

India Fire Burns 300 Huts to the Ground, Leaving 1500 Homeless

* Update 11/20/08

Children's Hope India has conducted 18 food programs in a week's time, serving 5400 Kakinada citizens. Four mobile medical clinics treated burn victims with free medical aid. One hundred twenty-five children received blankets as they faced winter weather, now homeless.

From our India Director, Paparao: "Help is badly needed for these victims. The government is just looking at them without giving any help."

If you are moved to give, visit or choose "Give Now".

Yesterday, a fire raged in Children's Hope region Kakinada, India. Three hundred huts were completely burned, leaving 1500 homeless. Immediately, our India Director Paparao dispatched aid with food and medical programs for these people.

Yesterday in Kankinada, India

Children's Hope food outreach will extend for 7 days and 4 mobile medical camps will dispense first aid.

"This is a big accident. Mainly, the children are suffering as the winter has come. They need blankets," says Paparao. "I need your prayers and help for these affected people."

Prayers are needed, as are funds.

Two sponsored children were affected by this tragedy. The children are safe, but their house has been destroyed. The family will be helped through Children's Hope's ministry. If you are a sponsor and were not notified, your sponsored children are safe, as are their homes.


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Thursday, November 6, 2008

Children's Hope China Families Receive Referrals!

Children's Hope International is proud to announce yesterday's arrival of 8 referrals for our 02/17/06 log in date families. All of the referrals were beautiful little girls from the Jiangxi Province that ranged in age from 8 to 13 months, with one referral being 3 years, 5 months old. The referrals also included one set of twins! These families waited 33 long months from log in date to referral. These happy referral families to travel in approximately 8 weeks.

Congratulations to these families and all our China families who have moved up in line! Children's Hope International's next log in date is 03/02/06.

The China Team
Tina Qualls, Rebecca Davis, and Christina Ortwein
Children's Hope International


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An Answer for our Longest Waiting Ethiopia Family

Children's Hope received a referral for a long awaited sibling group on Tuesday!

Congratulations to the happy couple, who waited just shy of 12 months
for their referral. The children are an 18-month-old boy and a 4-year-old


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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Colombia Assignments and Ethiopia Referrals End Long Waits


Children's Hope International's Ethiopia Program was pleased to announce the referral of 5 children Tuesday, October 28, and one child on Monday, October 27.

The children are 3 girls and 3 boys ranging in age from 6 months to 6 years old. More specifically, the children are 6 months, 11 months, 13 months, 20 months, 21 months and 6 years old. These referral families waited between 3 to 7 months for their referrals after submitting their adoption paperwork.

Unfortunately no sibling groups were included with these referrals. Families requesting siblings from Ethiopia seem to be waiting the longest at this time in the Ethiopia Program.


Children's Hope Colombia Program has had an exciting week, with 7 families receiving assignments! These children are:

Siblings, 9 and 4 years old, from Medellin
Girl, 6 years old, for a Colombian family in Tunja
3 siblings, 8, 7 and 5 years old, from Florencia
Baby girl, 11 months, for a Colombian family in Ibague
Toddler girl, 20 months, for a Colombian family in Ibague
Infant boy from Pasto
Infant girl from a private orphanage in Colombia
Congratulations to all of these families and a special congratulations to those that had been waiting for 3+ years for their assignment of an infant!


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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Cough & Cold Medicines Not For Children Under 4

A Message from Nichole Deal, Children's Hope Social Services Director

New guidelines warn parents of risk in younger children

The drug company industry announced new voluntary guidelines this week regarding over-the-counter pediatric cough and cold medicines. According to the new guidelines, such medicines will now not be labeled for use in children under the age of 4.

Last year, a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel said children ages 2 to 6 should not use cough and cold medicines because their effectiveness has not been studied in kids, and the risks outweigh their benefits.

Last year's advisory panel vote came a week after major manufacturers agreed to pull from pharmacy shelves cough and cold medicines for children under age 2, citing the potential for misuse.


Also, a reminder: November is National Adoption Month!


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Friday, October 10, 2008

Referral News for Ethiopia and China Families

This week the Children's Hope's Ethiopia team was overjoyed to offer 3 families a referral; one family accepted their referral today, October 10. These referrals were in addition to the 5 referrals last week.

The children referred this week are two girls and one boy. The girls are 5 ½ months and 7 weeks old, and the boy is 15 months old. Two families waited 6 ½ months for their referral and the third waited 5 ½ months for a referral. We send our congratulation to all of the families and the children! These referral families will tentatively travel for their children in 2 months.

This week the Ethiopia program also received court dates for some families with referrals waiting to travel. Congratulations!

China families - Although there are rumors that the CCAA issued an additional day of referrals, Children's Hope can only verify that the CCAA processed referrals for the month of February 2006 and the cut off date was February 15, 2006. Children's Hope's next log in date for waiting families is February 17, 2006.


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Thursday, October 9, 2008

Orphan Tree of Hope, Church Outreach

In the inaugural year of Children's Hope International's Orphan Tree of Hope Ministry, our Church Outreach teams raised thousands of dollars to support orphan care in 8 Children's Hope countries.

Churches across the nation erected a Christmas tree during November - National Adoption Month - and then celebrated all season long by spreading awareness of international orphan needs. As individuals, church members were able to make a tangible and distinct difference from across the globe, one ornament donation at a time.

Last week over our lunch hour, Children's Hope Foundation staff began loading up the ornaments with opportunities to help an orphan - from medical clinics in India to nutritious meals in Vietnam and school supplies in Colombia. Pictured here, Michelle Howdeshell, CHI Church Outreach Director pauses to read a child's story.

This year, the Orphan Tree project is limited to 22 churches due to the cost of printing. Donations for printing are certainly accepted!

Contact Michelle at for more information on how you can bring orphan ministry into your church this season.


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Tuesday, October 7, 2008

5 Ways You Can Help 'I600A/I800A Transition Case' Adopting Families

Please take action on behalf of the I600A/I800A Transition Cases

Joint Council on International Children's Services is requesting an immediate call to action in support and on behalf of families that may be severely and negatively impacted as they adopt a child in need from a country participating in the Hague. A summary of the current I-600A renewal law and its subsequent impact on families can be found on JCICS's website at Joint Council Position on I-600A Renewals.

Joint Council has drafted 5 Ways You Can Help to help avoid this pending crisis. These listed way have been included below.

1. Today, please read the Joint Council Position Paper on I-600A Renewals at

2. Today, send an email in support of the Joint Council Position Paper on I-600A Renewals to Joint Council at and the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute at

a. Joint Council will deliver a petition supporting an immediate resolution, including all emails, to USCIS on October 18th. To be sure that your email is included, please send your email no later than October 16th.
3. Today, go to Adoption for All: the Fairness for Families Petition and sign the petition.
a. Joint Council, in collaboration with Adoption For All organizers David Yurkovich and Dianne Pearce, will present the petition and all signatories to Congressional leaders on October 18th. To ensure that your signature is included, please sign the petition no later than October 16th.
4. On October 14th, 15th, and 16th, contact your Congressional representatives, both in the House and Senate.
a. Joint Council is working with Members of Congress and seeks their participation in resolving this issue.
b. You can find your Senators' phone numbers and email addresses at
c. You can find your Representative' s phone number and email address at
d. Include the following in your calls and emails.
· A brief explanation of the situation.
· "I/we understand that USCIS is actively engaged in seeking a resolution to the I-600A issue. I/we respectfully ask the Senator/Congressper son to contact USCIS and express their support of efforts to find an immediate resolution to the I-600A Extension issue."
· A kind `thank you'.
5. Stand ready to expand and intensify your efforts if needed. Joint Council may contact you with a revised Call To Action if needed

Please visit the JCICS website for more in-depth information and answers to your questions and concerns.


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Thursday, October 2, 2008

From the CDC - For those travelling to China soon

A Message from Nina Marano, DVM, MPH
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

At the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we are interested in protecting the health and safety of all US travelers who are traveling abroad. Recently the Chinese government announced that the industrial chemical melamine was discovered in infant formula produced in China. Melamine has also been discovered in other dairy products produced in China, including frozen yogurt dessert and canned coffee drink. If consumed in high doses, melamine can caused health problems such as kidney disease.

This is particularly important for families planning to adopt an infant, as infants may have been given formula or other products contaminated with melamine prior to being placed with their adoptive families.

The following recommendations will help adoptive families protect themselves and their new family members from melamine exposure.

Advice for Travelers to China

If you are traveling to or are currently in China, especially if you are traveling with an infant, you should take the following steps so that you and your family can avoid the risk of melamine exposure.

1) Because of uncertainties related to dairy products in China at this time, CDC recommends that you do not consume any dairy products produced in China, including:

* All brands of infant formula

* Milk or other drinks that contain milk products

* Food, such as yogurt or ice cream that could be milk-based or contain a large amount of milk or milk products.

* Please note that many foods and drinks contain milk products, such as candies, crackers, and desserts. Look for these ingredients on the food or drink label:
- milk
- milk powder
- whey
- lactose
- casein
* It is important to note that dairy products produced in the United States and imported into China for sale are not affected.
2) If you are traveling to China and are planning to bring your infant or child, please carry any needed formula or other milk products with you. Do not use any milk products produced in China.

3) If you are pregnant and have already ingested some of these listed products or you are breastfeeding while ingesting the listed products, discontinue their use. Effects on the unborn child are unknown. Melamine only stays in the body for a few days. The effects on the kidneys of the formula-fed infants in China are thought to result from
continuous use of the products over many days.

4) See a doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms or think that an infant may have any of these symptoms:
- stomach pain
- vomiting
- fever
- irritability or excessive crying in infants or children
- blood, crystals, or particles in urine
- painful urination
- little or no urine
- swelling of hands, feet, or face
While abroad, you can contact the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate if you think you may need assistance.

Consular personnel at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad and in the United States are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to provide assistance to U.S. citizens.

To contact the U.S. Embassy or consulate in the country where you are visiting:
- Dial 1-888-407-4747 if calling from the United States or Canada,
- Dial 00 1 202-501-4444 if calling from overseas, or
- Find your local U.S. Embassy at
5) If you have recently returned to the United States from China and think you or your child may have been exposed to melamine, talk to your doctor. If you or your child has any of the symptoms listed above, see a doctor right away.

Special advice for U.S. travelers going to China to adopt an infant

If you are planning a trip to China to adopt an infant, please carry any needed formula or other milk products with you. Do not use any milk products produced in China. When you return home, please have your child evaluated by a pediatrician as soon as possible and inform the pediatrician that your child was adopted from China and that there is therefore the possibility that the child may have been exposed to contaminated milk products before being placed in your care.

More Information

For more information about melamine and the current situation, see the following links:

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
FDA Issues Health Information Advisory on Infant Formula, September 12, 2008 -

FDA Updates Health Information Advisory on Melamine Contamination, September 23, 2008 -
World Health Organization (WHO)
Questions and answers on melamine -

Melamine-contaminat ion event, China, September 2008 - en/index.html

Melamine-contaminated powdered infant formula in China, September 18, 2008 -

Melamine-contaminated powdered infant formula in China – update, September 22, 2008 -
Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (China CDC)
English language home page -

Chinese language home page –
We thank you for your cooperation in this matter.


Nina Marano, DVM, MPH
Chief, Geographic Medicine and Health Promotion Branch
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Referrals for Ethiopia Families!

On October 1, Children's Hope received 3 referrals for our Ethiopia Program families. Congratulations to these families! These referrals were for an 8-week-old baby boy, a 1-month-old girl and a five-month-old girl.


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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Radio Show Features Expert Information on Adoption and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

This Wednesday, October 1, the Creating a Family radio show will be discussing the issue of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).

Guest Dr. Julian Davies will be discussing FAS symptoms, the risks of adopting a child inflicted with FAS, and which countries have the highest population prevalence.

Dr. Davies is one of the world’s leading experts on both FAS and adoption. Dr. Davies serves as a pediatrician at the Center for Adoption Medicine - University of Washington and at the University of Washington FAS Clinic.

Creating a Family is an interview call-in talk show about infertility, adoption, and assisted reproduction. Host Dawn Davenport, author of The Complete Book on International Adoption, interviews leading authorities in infertility, adoption, and assisted reproduction.

Questions may be sent to

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome in Adoption - Oct 01,2008
12-1 p.m., Eastern Time
Click here to listen.


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Ethiopia Courts Have Reopened

Ethiopian courts reopened yesterday, September 29th, officially ending the judicial system's rainy season. All adoption agencies have referral families that are awaiting court dates, which will now begin to be scheduled. Court, in Ethiopia, occurs prior to travel and, with a positive decision, finalizes each family's international adoption.


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Thursday, September 18, 2008

The State of International Adoption and Children's Hope

As Children’s Hope continues to pursue Hague accreditation, our agency is also adjusting to concurrent changes in international adoption.

During the growth of international adoption, Children’s Hope also grew to service our families with the support of 16 regional offices nationwide. Over the last several years, the countries Children’s Hope works within to bring homes, health and hope to children in need have increased their qualifications for families to adopt and have reorganized their policies as government programs will do.

By the end of September, Children’s Hope will be completing our agency restructure. Operations and service to our families will be delivered from our St. Louis main office. Each branch office is now working to close our licenses in the states the branch works within and is aiding our families in choosing a home study and post-placement agency as necessary.

This year, international adoption has been affected in these ways:

China adoptions, which once had wait times from dossier submission to referral most often within 1 year from 1992 to 2005, have slowed. The current wait time for referrals is 32 months and still climbing.
Vietnam adoptions continue for those families who have official referrals, but no new applications are currently being accepted by any agency until the US and Vietnam authorities sign a new Memorandum of Agreement for international adoptions to the US.
• Korea is making announcements of its own closure of international adoptions by 2012.
• Guatemala, the second largest destination for adoptive families in recent years, has closed to new adoptions. Many families once interested in providing a home for a Guatemalan orphan are looking into other countries still open to international adoption.
• Most countries have been very slow in giving referrals; in turn, the wait time in most countries has increased, even as interest in their international program continues to grow.

Hague Accreditation and Its Affect on Children’s Hope Programs

Children’s Hope works with two countries which require Hague Accreditation in order to accept new applications. As we have not yet received Hague Accreditation, Children’s Hope cannot accept new applications at this time for China and Colombia adoptions. This change is reflected on the Children’s Hope website. However all Children’s Hope families with dossiers submitted in the country are ‘grandfathered’ in and can complete their adoption using Children’s Hope with a current I-171H; if a I-800 is required, the adoption will be completed through a sister agency.

Our families who are in the process of completing their paperwork for China will be transferred to a sister agency for the submission of their completed dossier in country. Children’s Hope is submitting family dossiers to Colombia, for those families with an I-600A.

Russia, Kazakhstan and Ethiopia are not Hague participants and are not affected by Hague requirements. Russia is slow but moves forward steadily. Kazakhstan is slow and has its own requirements. Ethiopia is growing and stable.

Vietnam is in its own category. The international adoption program in Vietnam does not require an agency to have Hague Accreditation, but is currently closed to new applications from all agencies until a new Memorandum of Agreement is signed between the US and Vietnam. When and if that agreement is signed, it is likely that Vietnam will require Hague accreditation.

Meanwhile, Children’s Hope families on the Vietnam dossier waiting list maintain their position on the list, based on the submission of their dossier. If and when Vietnam decides to return all dossiers submitted with Vietnam’s Department of International adoption, Children’s Hope dossiers will be held in our Ho Chi Minh City office until a new agreement is reached. If at that time Hague Accreditation is required and Children’s Hope has not been Hague accredited, we will work with one or more agencies to smoothly transition families to complete their adoptions.

* All Children's Hope families were contacted with this information during the week of September 15, 2008. If you are a Children's Hope family and did not receive this update, please email to update your contact information.


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Friday, September 12, 2008

Ethiopia's Second Referral Announcement This Week

On the heels of this week's earlier referrals, Ethiopia Program Director Sharon Turner announced last night that more referrals had arrived for families in the Ethiopia Program. The referrals are two infant boys, ages 6 months and 9 months old, and a 6-year-old girl.

These children have come into the loving care of the House of Hope, Children's Hope Transition Home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where they will stay as court is arranged for their official adoption.

Congratulations to these referral families!


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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Two Referrals for Ethiopia Families Admist Rainy Season

On Monday afternoon the Ethiopia program received 2 referrals - two baby boys, 6 weeks old and 9 months old. Congratulations to the families!


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