Wednesday, February 25, 2009

What She Learned from Returning to Her Orphanage

"Last summer, two friends and I returned to the Wuhan Child Welfare Institute in China to work. This was difficult to do because it is against Chinese law for foreigners to work in a state-run facility. We got special permission because the orphanage was once our home. As the first children to be adopted from China in June of 1992, we were also the first to pave the way to return. This fall, we raised $25,000 through Families with Children from China for heart surgeries for these kids."
Zoƫ Rose Xia Shi Ting Guastella recently wrote a series for the China Connection, a journal for adoptive parents, and the CRLS Register Forum. This week she shared an excerpt with The Cambridge Chronicle. To learn more about her experience and to read the full excerpt visit the Chronicle's website by clicking here.

Your family can follow the example of this young woman. Return to your child's homeland through Children's Hope's partnership with OCDF China Tours and give back to your orphanage with a personal fundraiser. You can even promote your fundraiser through an online web page of your own.

Are You Ready?

Returning to your child's orphanage is an important decision, not to be made lightly. To begin your preparation and to help evaluate your family's readiness, consider researching articles by Dr. Jane Liedtke, founder and CEO of OCDF China Tours, provided below.
* "Returning to China with Your Adopted Child"

* "What's in an Orphanage File?"

* "Walking Down the Village Path"


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Friday, February 20, 2009

Children's Hope Helps Find Homes for China's Waiting Children, Once More

Healthy or disadvantaged, each child deserves a family. Children's Hope always holds this belief and seeks to achieve this goal for children in need. It is in this spirit, we are very proud to announce that Children’s Hope is now back on the CCAA multiple agency waiting children’s list.

As of today, there are only a few children on the list. Families with a current dossier in country, and a home study noting the special needs which they are open to, are being asked to review these children's files. Currently, the children's information will not be posted on our Waiting Child website,

We do have several families reviewing children’s paperwork. If you are a waiting family, you should receive your weekly update today from the China Team, featuring a few details on the children we have an opportunity to help place. Please consult your weekly update for more information.

In 2008, Children's Hope International's China Program completed 171 adoptions; 92 were for waiting children. Our families have a great heart for waiting children and we are blessed to once again help unite these children with permanent, loving homes. Thank you for celebrating with us in this great news!


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A Visit by Our Partner in Tegrey, Ethiopia

We are happy to have to in our company today, and all weekend, the Director of Hope Community Services, located in Tegrey, Ethiopia – Gabe Beyene. Children's Hope partners with Gabe and his wife Connie to further our mission of Homes, Health and Hope for Children in Need, in Ethiopia. We are blessed to have him with us and appreciate his dedicated service to the citizens of Ethiopia, and to Children’s Hope.

This morning, Gabe shared a passage from Matthew chapter 11, verses 28-30. "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." This is Christ's promise to us.

Gabe, a native of Ethiopia, had lived in New York City for 16 years. In his experience, the homeless of New York City are far more prosperous than so many in Tegrey. He acknowledged, however, that we are all burdened as humans, even as our burdens are different from one another's. It is only by giving these burdens to God, that we find respite. How wonderful that this rest is given to us freely.

This week we are happy to have referred 3 children - all boys - to families in our Ethiopia Program. The boys are 3 months, 19 months and 3 years old. Congratulations to the happy couples! Last week, we were blessed with the referral of 2-month-old identical twin boys. As well, two of our precious waiting children from the Special Needs website,, have also been placed. We are thrilled that they now have a place to call home! There are several additional children still waiting, of whom we'd love to say the same.


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Friday, February 13, 2009

The Lunar Festival Concludes Across the Nation and Across the Sea

This week concludes the fifteen day celebration of the Lunar Festival! Happy New Year to all of our completed and waiting families in the China Program; Happy Tet to all those in the Vietnam Program!

Chinese New Year Day and Tet are typically in early February, but due to lunar cycles, this year it was celebrated on January 26. The Lantern Festival, also known as “Yuan Xiao Festival,” takes place on the fifteenth day of the first moon and signals the end of the New Year celebrations.

Last in a series of springtime celebrations, this second New Year is widely celebrated by Asian families all around world. In the Chinese tradition, specifically, the beginning of a new year is marked by a bright full moon in the sky. Accordingly, families hang colorful lanterns for everyone to enjoy.

The traditional celebration dish for the Lantern Festival is yuanxiao, a sweet treat. The balls are made with butter, sesame, sugar and a special rice flour that gives them a jelly-like texture.

A Little Chinese Fun and Trivia!

2008 was an unusual year in China with earthquakes, floods, cyclones, tornados, fire, and the global financial crisis. Discover what 2009 has in store by reading your Chinese Horoscope.

* With your birth year:
2009 Chinese Horoscope by the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs

* With the Chinese Astrology Chart:
2009 Chinese Five Element Astrology for Year of Ox
See for Yourself, in Vibrant Color

View amazing photos from China’s 2009 Lantern Festival Celebration in Taiwan, in Hubei, Shaanxi, Jiangsu, Jilan, Qinghai , Hanoi Provinces and in the cities of Tianjin, Shanghai and Beijing.

Find more ways to celebrate the New Year throughout February!

Houston, Texas
Friday, February 13

Exploring the tradition of the Lantern Festival
The Council of Clubs Room
Lanterns available for purchase.
To RSVP call Tracie Chancellor 281-856-8385/ cell 281-635-0443

San Francisco, California
Sunday, February 15

Chinese Chamber of Commerce/Chinatown Run 10K/5K Run/Walk
YMCA Chinatown

Los Angelos, California
Friday, February 27

Lunar New Year Imperial Banquet
Empress Pavilion Restaurant

New York, New York
Through February
2nd Annual Lantern Installation
Sara D. Roosevelt Park
Lanterns made of recycled materials hung alongside 2008 Year of the Rat lanterns to brighten the park

New York, New York
Every weekend through February, March and April
Cantonese Opera performance
Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Details on this & more NY Chinatown Culture

Contact your local Families with Children from China Chapter for more events!

See How Children's Hope Families Celebrated!

* The Beihoffers with River

* The Carscaddens with Jessie

* The Cristofolettis with Peyton and Spencer

* The Gours with Clair

These are just a start! Find the many Children's Hope families, both completed and waiting, that share their blogs on the Children's Hope blogroll. Find your favorite Lunar Celebration post and share it with us in the commment section, or post your own!

Chuc Mung Nam Muoi! Gung Hay Fat Choy!


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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Adoptions in 2008 Qualify for $300 for Each Child Added in the Family Under New Recovery Rebate Credit*

Recovery Rebate Credit Information Center, IRS

The recovery rebate credit is a one-time benefit for people who didn't receive the full economic stimulus payment last year and whose circumstances may have changed, making them eligible now for some or all of the unpaid portion.

Generally, a credit adds to the amount of your tax refund or lowers the amount of taxes owed. Therefore, the amount you receive for the recovery rebate credit will be included as part of your refund, as shown on your tax return.

You May Be Eligible

People who fall into the categories described below may be eligible for the recovery rebate credit this year:

* Individuals who did not receive an economic stimulus payment.

* Those who received less than the maximum economic stimulus payment in 2008 - $600 per taxpayer; $1,200 if married filing jointly - because their qualifying or gross income was either too high or too low.

* Families who gained an additional qualifying child in 2008.

* Individuals who could be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return in 2007, but who cannot be claimed as a dependent on another return in 2008.

* Individuals who did not have a valid Social Security number in 2007 but who did receive one in 2008.
How to Get the Recovery Rebate Credit

You need to claim the recovery rebate credit on Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. The instructions for these forms will show you which lines to use. Unlike the economic stimulus payment, the recovery rebate credit will be included in your tax refund for 2008 and will not be issued as a separate payment.

The IRS Will Figure the Credit for You in Most Cases

You can let the IRS figure the credit when you file your 2008 Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. If you're filing on paper, simply follow the line-by-line instructions to choose this option. If you're filing electronically, the software will figure the credit for you.

Or You Can Figure It Yourself

Likewise, you can figure and claim the recovery rebate credit on your 2008 Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. Two interactive online tools will be available to help you with the calculation, the Recovery Rebate Credit Calculator and How Much Was My 2008 Stimulus Payment?

The Recovery Rebate Credit Calculator will help you figure the amount you should claim on your 2008 tax return. The worksheet in the Form 1040 instruction booklet can also help you figure your credit by hand. To use the Recovery Rebate Credit Calculator or complete the worksheet, you'll need the amount of your 2008 economic stimulus payment, if any. This amount was provided on Notice 1378, Economic Stimulus Payment Notice, sent by the IRS to taxpayers who received a payment.

You need to know the amount of your 2008 economic stimulus payment to determine if you are eligible for the Recovery Rebate Credit. You will need the total amount of your stimulus payment to complete the Recovery Rebate Credit worksheet that is in the Form 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ instruction booklets. Even if your payment was reduced to satisfy other debts, as would be stated on your Notice 1378, you still need to include the total. If you received more than one payment - and more than one Notice 1378 - enter the total of all payments you received.

If you don't have Notice 1378, you can use How Much Was My 2008 Stimulus Payment? to look up the amount you received.

Has Your Filing Status Changed?

If your filing status changed for 2008, follow these directions to determine the amount of your total 2008 stimulus payment. You'll need to use this amount when you calculate your 2008 Recovery Rebate Credit.
Find the Answers to Your Questions

You might find what you're looking for on our question and answer page.

Related Items:
* IR-2009-10, IRS Offers Tips to Avoid Recovery Rebate Credit Confusion

* Special Edition Tax Tip 2009-2, Four Tips to Help Taxpayers Avoid Errors On the Recovery Rebate Credit

* Economic Stimulus Payment Information Center
Qualifying Children and Dependents

Any child under age 17 who is related to the taxpayer by blood, marriage, adoption or foster arrangement and whom the taxpayer can claim as a dependent for 2008. Dependents age 17 and over do not qualify for the additional rebate. Dependents of any age do not qualify for the rebate in their own name even if they earn their own income.

What's the Maximum Recovery Rebate Credit?

$600 for unmarried persons and $1,200 for married couples. Plus an additional $300 per qualifying child. The credit is reduced by any economic stimulus rebate you received.

* Please see original information with all associated links for detailed information and helpful tools on


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Radio Show to Highlight Issues to Consider Upon Referral

Creating a Family, a weekly internet radio show on adoption and infertility, shares today, February 4, issues to consider when accepting a referral or birth mother match. Today's Creating a Family guest expert will be Dr. Dana Johnson, Director of the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Minnesota and Professor of Neonatology. Dr. Johnson will cover red flag factors, questions to ask, the greatest indicators of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and attachment disorders, and how to interpret the limited medical history available.

You can send your questions to and listen in either during the show (12-1 Eastern Time) or after it has aired on the Creating a Family archival radio page at The broadcast will also be available for download from iTunes.


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