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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