Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Children's Hope March E-news, Available Online Now

It's a story you may not often have the chance to see - that of 'The Other Family'. When Claire became a part of Children's Hope China's Waiting Children Program. Two families fell in love with her. The second family, the Gours, will travel to make her their own in May... Although it may be that little Claire was meant to be a Gour all along.

“I wondered at the time why [the first family] decided not to pursue her adoption but I did not think I would ever know,” says Chelsea. “Now I do.”

Discover how these two families became uniquely intertwined through their love for Claire, in Chelsea Gour's story in this month's E-news.

Children's Hope Russia Program is flooded with travel arrangements and preparations, and many of our families have become practiced paperwork professionals as they update their documents. Shannon Frederick made her paperwork fun with a few photo ops in this month's Blog of the Month.

Let's go fly a kite! Spring is here and April 4 begins a 3-day Tomb Sweeping holiday, celebrated in China and Vietnam. The holiday serves a dual purpose: honoring ancestors by attending to grave sites and flying kites during the day – and at night - to celebrate the season of new bounty. No matter which country is your child's first home - you can make your own kite to celebrate the day known as Qingming (China), Tết Thanh (Vietnam), Clear Brightness Festival or Spring Remembrance (English) - in the March Kids Corner.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, March 28, 2008

Blogroll Additions and Family Transitions

Blogs New to the Blogroll:

The Brandts--MS Russia for 3 (Completed)
The Carleys--GA Ethiopia (Waiting)
(a familiar family with a new address, and a new country!)
The Westenbergs--OR Russia (Between Trips)
Waiting Families No Longer, Families Beginning Their Travel:
The Gebhardts--IL Russia T2 DOT 3/31/08
The Mains--IL Russia #2 T2 DOT 3/30/08
The Millers--MO China SN DOT 3/26/08 - New!


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Countdown Begins: the Olympic Torch Travels the World

The 2008 Summer Olympic Torch Relay began its tour around the world this week, as an official jump start to the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympic games. The torch relay began on Monday in Olympia, Greece and will soon be traveling through Almaty, Kazakhstan on April 2. From start to finish, the torch will travel 8500 miles through 20 countries on its way back to its final destination in Beijing, China.

As most parents adopting from China already know, the Olympics will be celebrated from August 8 to August 24. Travel and hotel accommodations will be more difficult to obtain during this time.

Some interesting trivia:
The mascots of the 2008 Summer Olympics are the five Fuwa, each representing one color of the Olympic rings. The Fuwa were inspired by the Chinese elements or phases: Beibei (water), Jingjing (wood), Huanhuan (fire), Yingying (earth), and Nini (sky). Each of the Fuwa's names were chosen to resemble a child's knickname. When linked together, however, the five names form the phrase "北京欢迎你 Běijīng huānyíng nǐ" which means "Beijing welcomes you".

A 100-episode Olympic-themed cartoon series featuring the Fuwa was released in China on August 8, 2007.

Download a Fuwa wallpaper for your computer desktop, here.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Beep, beep, beep... The New Sound of an Easter Egg Hunt

Three-year-old Acer made his local paper when the state police helped him celebrate Easter. A dozen beeping eggs were the result – their sound leading Acer, who is visually impaired, to his hidden and hunted Easter eggs.

Acer Bowman was adopted from Children’s Hope – China Waiting Child Program by parents Bill and Heather of Michigan. “He’s a joy, but a joy salted with screeches and everything else!” says Heather. The couple is currently paperchasing for their second child, a daughter who also shares Acer’s special need.

Photo by David Dalton of The Macomb Daily
Acer's story is also in C&G News, here, and AdvisorSource, here.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Are Three Boys a Handful?

Karen and her husband Dan Baker added three Colombian brothers to make a family of seven. From handstands to smiles to backyard romps, the boys make the family complete.

The Indianapolis Star gave an inside view of the Baker family workings. Find their article online at

Pictured: The whole Baker Clan! (L-R) Back row: Bethany, 20, Jonathan, 22, mom Karen, Andrew, 2, and dad Dan.
Front row: Maicol, 8, Juan, 6.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, March 21, 2008

Offices Closing for Good Friday

All Children's Hope International offices will be closed on Friday, March 21 for Good Friday. Children's Hope wishes you and your family a wonderful Easter holiday!

Pictured: A special Children's Hope Easter bunny and China's Waiting Child/Special Needs Program Specialist Leslie Broome wish you a happy holiday, too.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Blogroll Additions and Family Transitions

Blogs New to the Blogroll:

The Severns--IL China SN (Waiting)
The Yeatons--PA Vietnam (Waiting)
(a familiar family with a new address)
Waiting Families No Longer, Families Beginning Their Travel:
The Anzaldis--NY China SN DOT 3/25/08
The Komnicks--IL Ethiopia DOT ~ 3/23/08
The Millers--MO China SN DOT 3/26/08 - New!


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Children's Hope Hague Accreditation Status Update

The Hague Treaty on Intercountry Adoption establishes international standards to protect orphans and both their birth and adoptive parents. It aims to prevent child trafficking and other abuses. It also assures adoptive families they are working with an adoption agency that meets these ethical standards.

As early as November 2006, Children’s Hope submitted our application for Hague Accreditation and in May 2007 we completed our self-study. We have been diligently pursuant of this standard ever since. When the Council on Accreditation (COA) published the first batch of Hague accredited agencies, Children’s Hope status was pending. On March 7, 2008, the COA reviewed Children's Hope International's Hague Accreditation case and cited on March 19 that additional evidence is needed to demonstrate our compliance with Hague standards. Our Hague accreditation status is therefore still pending. In the coming months, we will be pursuing our accreditation, working with all constituents involved in the timeliest manner possible.

Additional evidence may be available as early as May 31. Children’s Hope International’s mission is to find homes, health and hope for children in need. This mission is directly in line with Hague standards, and we continually aspire to the highest ethical standing in our placement of children into their forever homes. We do not seek to meet the minimum standards for such an accreditation, we seek to surpass them.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

A Child No Longer Walks the Distance: A Celebration of World Water Day

In some Indian villages, women and children walk long distances to find drinking water - and it is not always safe. With the help of our donors, in 2007 alone, Children's Hope funded wells in 26 different villages in India – giving the gift of clean drinking water to thousands.

Contaminated water is the main cause for diseases like cholera, typhoid, diarrhea, hepatitis A, and dysentery; worldwide, every 8 seconds a child dies from a waterborne disease. You can imagine the excitement then, of seeing hundreds of mothers and children coming to a well to get clean water where previously there was none.

On World Water Day, join us in improving the lives of many by contributing to Children's Hope Wells in India cause, here.

All gifts are appreciated and will be combined together towards digging a fresh-water well for a village in Southeastern India. For more information please visit or, to get your child's school involved, email

Additional Resources:
Reuters Water Fact Box
World Water Day in Photos


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Podcast Regarding Kazakhstan Adoptions, Available Online

Update: The JCICS posted an update on March 25, stating Kazakhstan Ambassador to the United States Erlan Idrissov confirmed that "the temporary suspension of dossier processing by the Embassy is lifted and dossier’s meeting all necessary criteria will be processed."

A podcast aired yesterday afternoon, with President of Joint Council on International Children's Services Tom DiFilipo, addressing Kazakhstan adoptions. For those families who were unable to listen to the podcast live, you may listen to the recorded version of the program entitled "Creating a Family: Talk about Adoption and Infertility", on the Finding Your Child web site.

The archives may be found by clicking the radio page. Please push the play button to begin the podcast. You may also download the one hour show through iTunes, available through the above linked web site as well.

CHI's Kazakhstan Program Director, Karen Carnesciali, summed up the discussion in an update to all families. If you are a Children's Hope family and did not receive this update, please contact your adoption consultant for more information.

The U.S. Department of State is to publish a statement on its Intercountry Adoption Kazakhstan site. At the time of this posting, a statement had not yet been made.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Welcoming in a New Era for Adoption: More Orphanage Staffs Learn Chinese Online System

In late February, the CCAA held their second training session for the CCAA Online Information System for China adoptions, which is greatly speeding the matching of parents to children who are available for adoption and are also harder to place.

The special needs of these children range from birthmarks or repaired cleft/lip palate to those children who are older or have more difficult medical diagnoses.

Special needs children share one of the same needs as those children that are classified as "non-special needs" - they all need loving forever homes. Children's Hope is excited to have been a part of bringing this specialized computer training to Chinese orphanages, through the generosity of donor ASG Co. and Arthur and Carole Allen.

Read CCAA's announcement, here.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, March 14, 2008

Blogroll Additions and Family Transitions

Blogs New to the Blogroll:

The Gours--SC China SN (Waiting)
The Hardys--NH China (Waiting)
The Huertas--KY Colombia (Completed)
(a familiar family with a new address)
The Mains--IL Russia #2 DOT 3/30/08 (Between Trips)
Welcome Home! A Newly Completed Family:
The Cashes--OH China SN
The Kings--AZ China
The Vaughns--TN Russia


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Thursday, March 13, 2008

A Child Waits: Children's Hope International's Waiting Children of Ethiopia Program Just Launched

With the launch of Children's Hope Ethiopia Waiting Children’s program - even more children in need will find homes and hope. This program, available to Children's Hope families, highlights children available for adoption who are older or have special medical needs.

For our families with CHI Family Net access, our Waiting Children's web site is now available. Once you sign in, simply choose the Waiting Children link on the sidebar to review a child's medical information and an introduction to their story.

For those families who are not yet members of, you may visit the website and join. You will receive a user name and password and full access to the site within 24 hours. This is a secure site and is only available to families who have an approved application with Children’s Hope International. There is only one waiting child featured at this point, but there will be others posted from time to time.

"Please pray with us," asks Sharon Turner, Children's Hope Ethiopia Program Director, "that the children who will be featured here, and in all of our waiting children’s programs, will find their forever families before too long."

These children are in need of and are waiting for a loving home.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, March 10, 2008

7 Herreras- 3 years!

Tim and Judy Herrera of Missouri adopted three siblings from Colombia in February 2005.

In celebration of three years together as a family, The Herreras took a family photo (above) and wanted to send it along with their first family photo taken in Colombia, just 10 minutes after they met! (below)

Judy writes:

It is amazing how much Danny, Angie and Andres have changed. Even Lindsay (now 19) has changed quite a bit in 3 years!

Just for interest, here are some of the other changes:

Danny (11 years old on March 1) has grown almost 6 inches and gained 11 pounds. He has lost all of his baby teeth and is working on his 12 year molars.

Angie (10 on March 15) has grown almost 9 inches and gained 21 pounds. She, too, has lost all her baby teeth and has her 12 year molars. Since joining our family she has broken her arm and put her hand through the storm door window. She also now wears
glasses and has braces.

Andres (8 on March 25) has grown almost 7 inches and gained 13 pounds. He has lost 8 teeth and grown 6 of them back, so far. He has learned to ride a bike and tie his shoes.

Three years has brought a lot of changes for all 7 of us! It has been an adventure that God has been faithful to lead us on!

There have been many surprises along the way, but we are so proud of our family as a whole and each member individually. Each of us has had to overcome and rise above many challenges - and we have!

God bless you all!

A photo of the three young Herreras, at the airport in 2005, graces the wall of Children's Hope headquarters in St. Louis. To a great family - congratulations on 3 years together!


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Friday, March 7, 2008

Blogroll Additions and Family Transitions

Blogs New to the Blogroll:

The Browns--AZ Ethiopia (Waiting)
The Croys--TN China LID 2/12/07 (Waiting)
The Jensens--KS Colombia (Waiting)
The McCulleys--TN Vietnam (Waiting)
(a familiar family with a new address)
The Murrays--FL Colombia (Waiting)
The Panoses--NY Vietnam (Waiting)
The Taylors--NC Ethiopia (Completed)
From "Completed" to "Waiting" - Paperchasing for #2:
The Bowman/Tomlinsons--MI China SN #2!
Waiting Families No Longer, Families Beginning Their Travel:
The Williams--VA Russia DOT 3/8/08
Welcome Home! A Newly Completed Family:
The Wooleys--AR Vietnam SN


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

China Families: CCAA's "Box" Update

The CCAA's Information System, previously known by many as "the box", was updated yesterday evening with the following document processing information for families adopting from China:

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

The CCAA has finished the placement of children for the families whose adoption application documents were registered with our office before January 04, 2006.
Referrals were given to families whose dossiers were logged in to China's processing system December 28, 2005 through January 4, 2006. Unfortunately, Children's Hope did not have any log-in-dates during this period. Our next log-in-dates are January 6, January 13, and January 16, 2006.

Yesterday, seven families adopting waiting children received their official referrals! Congratulations to these families! Two of these families were from the fall 2007 waiting child list and the other five were from the January 2008 waiting child list.

Enroute from the CCAA - travel approvals for our 2/4/08 referral group! These travel approvals should arrive in our St. Louis office later this week.


AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Monday, March 3, 2008

Want to Start a Blog? Blogging Guidelines for Each of Our Countries

Blogging about adoption is great! Not only can you connect with your family and friends, your fellow Children's Hope families, and those adopting from your child's birth country... You also have the opportunity to inspire prospective parents who are exploring international adoption as an option to build their own family.

If you are thinking about starting a blog and are unsure where to begin, check out the new site - Adoption Blogging Tips and Tricks. Blogging guidelines for your country of adoption are published here online. You will also find reviews of different blogging platforms (like Blogger, Journey to Me, Wordpress, etc) which CHI families have personally used for their blogs.

Do you want to see more blogging examples? Search through the CHI blogroll on this site's right sidebar to see what your own blog can look like.

Before you know it, you'll be sharing the stresses of unexpected plane delays and filing for your I-600... and the emotional highs of your child first smiling up at you and the hiding of your first Easter eggs as a family, together.

Once you have experience blogging, share your thoughts on your chosen blogging platform in the comments section, too. We are our best resource. Enjoy!


AddThis Social Bookmark Button