Monday, October 12, 2009

Children’s Hope Director to Visit Three Sponsor Countries

A few weeks back, Foundation Director Cory Barron broke the number one rule of bicycling; never take a typhoid vaccine minutes before a ride. Halfway through his workout, his body put on an all out assault toward the live strain of Salmonella he had swallowed 45 minutes earlier. With rubber legs, he made the long journey home feeling like he just finished the first workout of the year.

Cory’s vaccinations (many of which our Completed Families have experienced!) were necessary for his overseas trip to many of the humanitarian aid project locations, you and so many donors have made possible.

You can follow Cory and see for yourself what you have been accomplishing.

Simply log on to the Hope’s Purpose – the blog of Children’s Hope’s Field Work.

You can get convenient updates by signing up for blog alerts in a reader or by email, or following along on Facebook or Twitter, too.

Through October, Cory will be posting video, photos and stories from the sponsorship locations in Mekele and Addis Ababa as well as the Bright Hope School mini-farm project in Ethiopia. He will then be in Kakinada, India, visiting the medical clinics, street children feeding stations and schools you have been supporting. The sponsored children will be thrilled to know you are checking up on them. He will end his trip in China. You will meet our staff and partners in these three countries where your generous gifts are making an impact. All of our projects are in need of additional fundraising.

Thank you for following and helping spread the word!

Jennifer Newcomb, Children’s Hope Communications

PS> Here's a sneak peek at photos taken at the Bright Hope School.

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Somebody Waiting for You?

The photos accompanying this article show a few of our CHI placements who were promoted from "waiting children" to fine sons and wonderful daughters. None of these kids were babies when they came home. But now, all of them are laughing and learning and basking in the love of their adoptive families. They go to school, practice music, and play sports. A few of them even have jobs. In fact, one of our boys got married last year! We've been doing this since 1992, after all.

Children's Hope International is currently seeking suitable homes for 29 "older" children from China. They are all waiting in Shanghai. Most of these kids are 5 - 12 years old. Some of them have addressable medical needs. Some have already undergone corrective surgeries. A number of them have no medical problems - their only special need is that they are not babies anymore.

We expect other groups to follow as we find good homes for the children presently assigned to Children's Hope. Current CCAA rules require that adoptive families be married couples in good health. In most instances, the adopted child should be the youngest child at home. The CCAA tells us that they will consider parents over 55 for some of the older kids.

Now - click on the link to see the kids currently waiting to come home. Have your pencil and kleenex handy. Maybe one of these terrific kids will come home to you.

See our Future Stars.


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Friday, September 11, 2009

Melkam Adis Amet!

Today, September 11, Ethiopia welcomes in the New Year and the year 2002!

In Addis Ababa, Children's Hope's staff celebrated with the children at our transition home, the House of Hope. The kids had celebratory food and blew up yellow balloons. There was much joy and a lot of hugs and jumping up and down!

Some interesting background: The Ethiopian calendar is 8 years behind the Gregorian calendar from January to September and 7 years behind between September 11 and January 8, as the country still retains the Julian calendar.

Enkutatash, Ethiopia's name for the New Year, means the “gift of jewels”. When the famous Queen of Sheba returned from her lavish trip to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem, her chiefs welcomed her return by filling her treasury with jewels. The spring festival has been celebrated since this early time and, as the rains come to their abrupt end, dancing and singing can be heard in every village along the green countryside.

Enkutatash is not exclusively a religious holiday. Today’s Enkutatash is also the season for exchanging formal New Year greetings and cards among the urban sophisticated - in lieu of traditional bouquets of flowers. It is a time to express hopes and dreams for the future. Meskerem (September) is seen as a month of transition from the old year to the new.


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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Congratulations to Two Ethiopia Families!

The Ethiopia team is happy to announce the referral of two children; one given yesterday and one today.

The children are both boys, ages 8 months and 11 months. The families waited 12 months and 11 ½ months respectively to be matched. Congratulations to them all!

The Ethiopia Team


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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

"Future Stars" - Special Needs Children in Need of Immediate Homes

If you have been researching adoption, you may be familiar with Waiting Children Programs, working to place children that are older or have special medical needs with forever families. Perhaps you have seen pictures, medical reports, or even have read growth reports that detail a child's care, favorite gestures and eating habits.

But until you see a video of the child, you may have never truly seen the child. Through video you see how small their needs really are and instead how big their hearts are. They are precious children. Their futures are bright, but they need a family to help them shine.

In a new dedicated list, we are introducing "Future Stars". See a preview below, then click here - - and enter your name and email to see these wonderful children.


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Monday, August 17, 2009

Article: NCFA Speaks Out on CDC's TB Policy for Adopted Children

In China and Ethiopia new tuberculosis screenings are required for adopted children, 2 years and older, prior to their entering the US. As these screenings are given after the child is a legal US citizen and could potentially delay the child's homecoming and cause travel changes for adopting parents, the National Council for Adoption (NCFA) is calling upon the Centers for Disease Control to exempt internationally adopted children from its new regulation.

To date Children’s Hope has not had any children test positive for active TB in either the Ethiopia or China programs.

Visit the NCFA's webiste for additional links and an interview with the Washington Examiner which provides further insight.


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Friday, July 31, 2009

Eight China Adoption Referrals in July!

Rhonda Phillips of St. Louis was one of Children's Hope International's eight referral families for March 22, 2006 log-in-dates. That means that Rhonda and seven other families saw their new daughters for the first time on Tuesday, July 21!

The eight little girls are all from Shangrao in Jiangxi Province, and range in age from 10 -15 months old. On the same day we also received 2 Seeking Confirmation Letters, which are official referrals for China Waiting Children. Congratulations to all the proud parents! Our next log in date is March 27, 2006.

China Program Director Tina Qualls was thrilled to share Referral Day with Rhonda. With Rhonda are Aunt Karen (left) and Aunt Darlene (middle). Congratulations to the whole family!


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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tina Answers Your China Adoption Questions on This Week's "Creating a Family"

Update: Listen now for China adoption news, answers to special needs adoption questions and more from CHI's China Program Director Tina Qualls on this week's Creating a Family radio.

Thanks for spreading the word!


Children's Hope International's China Program Director, Tina Qualls, will be a guest on this week’s "Creating a Family" radio show, Wednesday, July 29. The "Creating a Family" podcast is featuring the future of international adoptions from China. The show aims to answer the questions: What’s happening to Chinese adoptions? Is the wait increasing and why? What is meant by special needs adoptions? How do you adopt a preschool or elementary age child?

You can send any of your questions to host Dawn Davenport to use during the show, by emailing Dawn at Thanks for listening!

Listen to the show Wednesday, July 29, 12-1 Eastern Time.


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Thursday, July 2, 2009

Happy Fourth of July!

Happy Fourth of July weekend and many congratulations to new American citizens! We would love to share your red, white and blue family photos from your holiday. To submit, email your pictures to


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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Registration Begins Today for Joint Council Adoption Webinars

Joint Council has gathered some of the most renowned adoption experts to present adoption related topics in a webinar education series. Registration starts TODAY for prospective adoptive families, adoptive families, and adoptees.

When & Where

Webinars will occur on the first Tuesday and the first Thursday of each month at 7 PM EST and participants will gain access through submitting a nominal fee of $10 per webinar. Joint Council is excited and privileged to offer this unique opportunity to hear directly from adoption experts and to pose questions to these experienced professionals. For detailed information, including the webinar schedule click here.

Register Today!

Adoptive Parent Webinars registration begins today and will continue throughout 2009. To register now, click here!

2009 Adoptive Family Webinars Schedule

Tuesday, July 2nd
Eastern European Orphanages
presented by Todd Ochs

Thursday, July 7th
Developing Cultural Competence in Adopted Children
presented by Patricia Irwin Johnston

Tuesday, August 4th


Thursday, August 6th
Journey to Me
presented by Heather Forbes

Tuesday, September 1st
Medical Special Needs Children
presented by Todd Ochs

Thursday, September 3rd
Understanding and Managing Loss in Adoption
presented by Dr. David Brodzinsky

Children's Hope is a proud member of Joint Council.


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Monday, June 22, 2009

Congratulations to Three Ethiopia Families!

The Ethiopia Program is happy to announce that Children's Hope has placed a sibling set on our Waiting Children list last week and today we were honored to give two referrals to two families, a sibling set of a 3-month-old boy and 4-year-old girl, and an infant boy. The families are thrilled!


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Friday, June 19, 2009

Children's Hope Spring E-news, Available Online Now!

In this spring edition of the Children’s Hope E-news:

Choosing to Love - Adopting a child of toddler age or beyond takes creative parenting and lots of love. Experienced parents, Todd and Gretchen adopted their adorable six-year-old daughter Selah from Ethiopia in January of this year. For Gretchen, their bonding is about choices.

A Vision of Their Future: Adopting a Child with Visual Impairment - A mother to three children with visual impairment, adoptive parent Velleta Scott is an expert in training in ophthalmic disorders and parenting the once unknown. When Velleta adopted her first child, she had questions. Now she has answers.

Read these stories and program updates from each of Children's Hope's countries by clicking here.

Have something to share with fellow Children's Hope families for next month's e-news? Email with your recent photos and story ideas. Thank you for sharing!


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Friday, June 12, 2009

Interview with Andrea Napa: Red in the Flower Bed (Children's Adoption Author)

Andrea Napa is the author of the new adoption-themed children's book, Red in the Flower Bed. Andrea is the mother of an adopted Vietnamese daughter named Leah. She is a registered dietitian at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Red in the Flower Bed is for recommended for readers ages 6-8. This interview was conducted over email in June 2009. Thank you for sharing, Andrea!

1. When and why did you begin writing Red in the Flower Bed?

When my daughter was 4 months old we brought her home from Vietnam. She understood from an early age that she was adopted, and sometimes would cry that she missed her birth mother. She would also ask questions that we didn't have the answer to, as we were not given any info. as to who her birth parents were or why she was given up. Her saddness and my inability to answer her questions was inspiration for writing this story. I started writing it when she was about 3 or 4, and from time to time I would work on it. The story just wouldn't leave me. Then just when she turned 5 years old she was diagnosed with Ewings sarcoma, a rare form of childhood bone cancer. (After major surgery and 8 months of chemotherapy she has now been in remission for 2 years). The concept of the seed's journey took on even more significance, as it seemed that she had already journeyed very far (both literally and figuratively) for a little girl. She was taken from her birth place half way around the world as an infant and then fought cancer a few years later. Furthermore, I couldn't help wondering if she had "landed" in the right place, as we live only 20 minutes away from the best children's hospital in the country, if not the world. I also happened to work there. It seemed more than coincidence that she ended up with us.

2. In Red in the Flower Bed, the poppy seed flower is beautiful but does not look like the other flowers in the family garden. Although it is not mentioned in the text directly, this story is an illustration of interracial adoption. How old is your daughter now and how does she react when you read your book to her?

I deliberately did not use the word adoption in the story so that the reader can interpret the book in their own way at their own pace according to their age level. My daughter is now 7 1/2 years old. She loves the idea that I wrote a book and asked me to read it to her second grade class and is hoping that I will end up on TV! Her favorite page is the last page with the rainbow. I think she interprets this to mean that she is wanted and needed in our family, even though she does not look like us and is not a birth child like most of her friends. She also seems to be comforted by the mother poppy being sad, as it helps her feel that she wasn't just thrown away by her birth mother. Also, I made the seed turn into a red poppy flower like its birth flower, since when my daughter asks what her birth mom looks like I can say with some confidence "she looks like you", which she loves to hear. She is proud of her Vietnamese background and always answers that she is from Vietnam whenever someone asks where she is from (even if they just mean what state). I hope that she will never feel ashamed of looking different from her family or classmates. In this story the seed retains its identity no matter where it lands since its heritage can't be ignored or denied. Note that the garden flowers accepted the seed for who she was even before they knew what kind of flower she would be. The seed blossomed into her full potential because she was given the care and love she needed.

3. What are some good questions / statements an adopting parent might add to this story to further relate to their child?

Questions to prompt the child to think about the story could include: Why do you think this story is called Red in the Flower Bed? Even though the poppy did not look like the other flowers in the garden, was she still part of its family? Who did she look like? What did the seed need to grow in the garden? Do all flowers need this? How was the garden changed by the poppy flower?

4. Can you explain the choices made in the illustration technique?

My main goal was to attract the attention of young children with colorful, eye-pleasing pictures. In children's books it's important for the pictures to bring the words to life. I was inspired by the art techniques of Eric Carle and Lois Ehlert, two of my favorite children's book illustrators. One adult reader commented that the collage style using different prints makes that point that "we are all one and can come together to form a single family".

5. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I think that it's important to accept your child unconditionally for who they are, and to acknowledge your child's place of birth and heritage. It will always be a part of them. It is also important to respect your child's desire to know their background. It is their right to know. Allow them to talk about it and ask questions, even if you don't know the answer. Be honest.


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Friday, June 5, 2009

From Our Ethiopia Families - One Year with Mari

As a single mom, what does the first year of life as a family look like? In January 2008, Jill had the opportunity to discover the answer firsthand with Mari, born in Ethiopia.

“Mari and I met on January 2nd, 2008 - a great start to the new year," says Jill. It was a year of firsts together. Month by month, she documented her experience on video and shares it with you.

View it here, Jill's Expedition to Ethiopia


Program News: To today's Ethiopia referral family, congratulations on your 7-week-old female twin referral and the conclusion of your wait!

The Children's Hope Ethiopia Program received a total of 23 child referrals in May to match with families. Some of these children were placed on our Waiting Children’s website and several have found their forever families. Yet there are a few remaining children who desperately need a home as well. Please visit to view the waiting children. Congratulations to those matched!


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Learn more about CHI's Ethiopia Adoption Program

"And Then There Were Four...": a Colombia Adoption Story

Parents Beth and Charles traveled to Colombia to adopt a brother and sister in May 2008, creating a family of four siblings. Their story is one of a couple's love for children, a stranger's heart and compassion, and four unique kids all aware of sibling love.

"Our community has completely embraced our mulitcultural family," says Beth. "From the beginning our family and friends from our community have offered such support and love that all we can do is thank God for allowing us to be used to promote adoption and His love."

The Hollis Family shared their story with their local paper. Read more about their family's creation by clicking here.


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Friday, May 29, 2009

Children’s Day

From Guest Blogger, Kathleen Carscadden

Children’s Day – what day ISN’T Children’s Day? That was my first thought when reading about this “lesser” holiday. But the more I thought about it, the more I truly have come to appreciate this day.

International Children’s Day is celebrated in many countries and usually, but not always, on June 1. The reason that the first day of June was chosen to celebrate children is unclear but the story I like the most is that the Chinese consul-general in San Francisco gathered a number of Chinese orphans to celebrate the Dragon Boat Festival in 1925, which happened to be on June 1 that year, and also coincided with the International Children’s Day conference in Geneva.

I suppose since my daughter is Chinese the story of the date being set, including Chinese orphans, touches my heart.

Traditionally (in China) children do attend school but there are no classes that day. Instead they take time to honor students with notable achievements and participate in parent-child activities and games. It is a festive, child centered day. Other countries have other traditions but the common thread is a child centered day of fun and parental bonding time.

Now, I don’t think we are going to get our schools to suspend classes for a day but we can celebrate Children’s Day all the same. My daughter beams with pride when we have lunch with her at school, and showing us her work in the classroom is equally delightful. Maybe you could arrange to bring your child his/her favorite meal for lunch on Monday. Take cookies to the classroom to share with all the children (do this at the end of the school day as to not cause a big disruption) or plan a special after school activity. We will be having lunch with Miss Jess and taking her bowling after school. She typically has homework on school days, but I have arranged for Monday’s homework to be a day late. These are small things for sure, but are all special to Jessica. What is special to your child? Could you work it in on Monday?

If your school has already recessed for summer, all the better – a picnic in the park with your child’s favorite foods – ok in our case that would mean a picnic of marshmallows and bacon – but how great would your child feel when presented with ONLY their favorites?

Maybe it’s too late to do much this year – but that’s what is great about this “lesser” holiday, not much is required to make your child feel like a star for the day and strengthen your relationship.

And as always if you’d like to see what Jessica did for Children’s Day feel free to visit our family blog at


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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Child Behind The Picture

From Guest Blogger, Kathleen Carscadden

We all understand that Chinese adoptions are moving along at – well – a snail’s pace. The long wait time has spurred an interest in China’s Waiting Children/Special Needs program. This is GREAT news for those children who need homes now.

Unlike traditional referrals from China, with the Waiting Children program prospective adoptive parents get to see a picture and a little information as to the child's needs before ever applying to see the file. Wow, that's great isn’t it? You get to see and oftentimes fall in love with “your” child very early in the process. If you have spent any time observing the Waiting Children process you will notice a trend…the pretty kids find homes first. The children that are considered “cute”, no matter how great their special need is, tend to have multiple families ask to review their files or, as is the case with Multiple Agency lists, those files are locked immediately. But what about those that don’t have the cute picture?

Take a look at this picture. This little one was number 20717 on the March 2007 Waiting Child list. The special needs were a repaired cleft lip/cleft palate and the fact that this child was considered “old” by adoption standards at nearly 4 ½.

Is this child a girl or a boy? We are used to seeing boys dressed in pink and “girly” clothes because in an orphanage you wear what they have. But this child? Nothing pink or girly at all.

The March 2007 list was chock full of adorable pictures of little girls and boys. Some of those cute pictures had dozens of people ask to review their files. The way it worked back then was a lottery system – you submitted an application for a child and an applicant was randomly picked to review the file, the pictures were updated with the number of people who had applied to review their file. The phone calls were made and the internet was abuzz with news about who was picked.

Back to #20717. The number of people who had applied to review the file? Zero. Why? The special need was relatively minor. Well, as it turns out that number, zero, was a mistake. One family had applied for this child. Mine. My husband saw something in those eyes, a spark, a hope, a smile that wasn’t on her face.

#20717 is my very own Miss Jessica HuaLiang. You can’t tell by the photo that she is in fact a she. What you can’t tell by the photo is that she has the bubbliest personality; she has a wickedly funny sense of humor. You can’t tell that she is amazingly smart; she has only been home a year and a half and speaks nearly perfect English. She is loving and affectionate. She has her father wrapped around her little finger. She is healthy and well bonded. What you can’t see in that first mug shot is the amazingly delightful little girl she has blossomed into.

Next time you are reviewing the Waiting Children/Special Needs list I want to encourage you to look past the pictures and into your heart, to see the bigger picture. Are you truly only open to a girl? Maybe your daughter is a SON. Maybe your infant is a toddler, or a 4-year-old…maybe he or she is 9? Maybe older.

Look past the picture and see instead the possibility…

Pictured: Six-year-old Jessica loves her hair long. Here, she stands in front of the scroll given to her by her Chinese foster family.


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CHI's China Waiting Child Program