Thursday, December 23, 2010

Even More Jolly, Merry Christmases!

Happy Holidays from the Baker Family!

Merry Christmas from the Barrette's in Tennessee!

Jonathan is 13 years old and was adopted at 8 1/2 months from Irkutsk, Russia. Jordan is 10 1/2 years old and was adopted at 8 1/2 months from Vung Tau, Vietnam.

- Mike, Patricia, Jonathan and Jordan Barrette

Merry Christmas everyone!

The Brosius Clan - Jean, Ray, Meghan, Devon and Eric

Happy Holidays from the Crowley family!

- Paul, Erin, Sofia & Daniel
Oshkosh, WI

Greetings from Arizona – we will have a warm and sunny Christmas!

Melanie and Grace, both adopted from China as babies, got to meet The Grinch this year at Changing Hands Bookstore. Luckily he was a happy Grinch!

Merry Christmas – and God’s Blessings to CHI – for the best two presents ever!

Love, Pauline, Melanie, and Grace Gray

This is my little Emily. She became my daughter in September of 2008. She was 7.5 y/o at the time and was diagnosed with congenital ptosis. (Her eyelids didn't work...but thanks to an ophthalmic plastic surgeon...she's "good to go".) It was a grieving process for her at the beginning -- as expected. I knew this was a good thing because if she loved before, then she'd be capable of loving once again. The Lord has worked miraculously in her heart as she develops into a lovely little girl. She's truly home! Thank you Children's Hope International for all you did to make our "family" a possibility.

Blessings, Vicki Latham

Sage has been home since August of 2006. This coming summer I am going to be able to return to Chenzhou, her SWI and work for a week, can't wait!

Merry Christmas from Shannon and the Laxton Family!

We adopted Erik & Scott through CHI. They are both doing great!

Thanks, CHI!

Merry Christmas from the Mariani Family!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Kyra and Serena Morris! Kyra was adopted from Tomsk, Russia in April of 2006 and is now 6 years old.

Tommy has been home from Ethiopia since April 2010!!
Merry Christmas from the Pellicciari Family!

A Blessed Christmas & Happy New Year from the Snyder Family.

We are the 1st couple on the left. Our daughters, Lizzie & Clara are the first 2 children on the left. Lizzie was adopted 08/2002, Chenzhou Hunan. Clara, 10/1996, Fuzhou Fujian. This pic is from our annual Gotcha Day reunion, 10/2010, of our Fuzhou travel group. Six out of 16 families were able to attend this year.

"Forever Families and Forever Friends!!!"

Merry Christmas from the Suchanek Family!

Emily is now 4 years old and was adopted from China when she was 14 months old. She has brought great joy to our lives and we're looking forward to another New Year of loving her.

Merry Christmas from theTreiber Family!

We love hearing from our families - it makes our day! Merry Christmas to you and yours from Children's Hope!!


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas from Children's Hope Families to Yours!

Merry Christmas from the Brox family!
Above are our children, Lydia and Anthony. We adopted Anthony in 2008 from Vietnam.
-Amy and Dennis Brox

Merry Christmas from the Williams clan,
We have been so blessed by our family and friends this year but most importantly by our God.

Elijah is in the first grade at the Spanish Immersion School and impressed all of his family in Texas with how much he has learned. He played soccer in the spring and flag football in the fall for the Titans, who were coached by his dad. He is fascinated by science and Legos, and found out losing teeth (2 so far) is not as bad as it seems.

Yonatan has grown so much and continues to amaze us everyday. He is in love with every animal he sees, which makes visits to the zoo exciting and frequent, and prays nightly for them. He loves putting together puzzles and being very active. Yonni will be starting soccer in the spring and is very excited to finally be able to play.

Frances continues to explore her passions and talents. She started a photography business, Frances Williams Photography, this year; and continues teaching piano several nights a week, coordinating the worship services at the church, and of course supporting Scott’s ministry to the students. Frances loves all of these things, but her greatest passion is being a mom and wife.

Scott continues to love his ministry at the Lexington Church of Christ with the students and congregation as a whole. December marks us being at the church for six and a half years. Scott has continued his odd habit of wearing kilts and going to Scottish Highland festivals to throw heavy things. Although he enjoys soccer every year, he really felt fulfilled coaching Elijah’s football team this fall.

We can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in 2011 and prays that He blesses you this Christmas and in the New Year!

Happy Holidays from Kris, Staci & Marley Hansel!!!

Merry Christmas from the Ramer Family!

Merry Christmas to all at Children's Hope from the Coblentz Family to yours!

Merry Christmas from the Epley Family!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you!

Above is a picture of our beautiful Russian princess in her snow flurry costume. Our daughter Hannah Olya has performed in the Nutcracker every year for the past five years. A crowning moment for Hannah was the wonderful opportunity to perform in the Nutcracker with the Moscow Ballet in Jefferson City, Missouri in 2007. She was an angel in that performance!

Duane and Dana Whaley, dd Hannah Olya Whaley b. 3/24/00 a. 9/24/02, Moscow

Merry Christmas!!

- Jason, Stacey, and Jadalyn Cashion

Wishing Everyone A Very Blessed Christmas!!

Kurt & Evan Westra
Isabel, Ruby, Dillon & Finn
Montana, USA

Children's Hope loves our families! Seeing children unite with loving parents makes our hearts' soar. There is no greater gift. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to each of you!

(Send your Christmas card or holiday greeting to and we will share it here.)

Help an Orphan Just By Applying for your Visa

This holiday season Go To Russia Travel will donate $10 for each full visa service to Children's Hope Orphan Care. Place your online order before January 14, 2011, and choose Children's Hope International as the non-profit you wish us to make a donation to. Add Children's Hope to "where you heard about us" in your order form and help start the new year with making a difference.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

BOGO Free Tickets to Ethiopia!

When you book your airfare with Ethiopian Airlines by Christmas, you can take advantage of their 'Buy One Get One' fare to Ethiopia! If a family you know is set for February travel to Ethiopia for their international adoption, share this deal and they will fly for under $400 per person. (What a steal!)

See this deal.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Vietnam Signs International Convention on Adoption

The Vietnaemse government signed onto the Hague Convention today!

"This is one great step in the right direction. This does not however mean that adoptions are open again or that the US has approved US citizens to adopt from Vietnam at this time," verifies Nicky Losse, Children's Hope International's Vietnam Program Director.

Prior to Vietnam international adoption program's re-opening, Vietnam will need to launch a central authority and, unless the country ratifies the Hague, the US and Vietnam will need to sign a new adoption agreement.

As reported by Vietnam News


The Adoption Tax Credit Impacts Families from 2005-2009

From Voice for Adoption (VFA – develops and advocates for improved adoption policies)

Did you know?
The federal adoption tax credit was made refundable for the first time! Meaning you can claim it for a refund even if you owe no taxes. Families who adopt a child with special needs from foster care can claim the credit without needing to incur or document expenses. The credit per-child is now $13,170 for adoptions finalized in 2010.

Now that the credit is refundable many more families will benefit; even families who adopted earlier than 2010, but didn’t have enough tax liability to access the credit in previous years. Families that finalized adoptions in 2005-2009 can carry forward unused tax credit to their 2010 return and claim it as a refundable credit. Be informed when preparing your taxes or visiting your tax consultant this year, visit the resources listed below.

Since this is fairly new, some tax consultants may not be aware of the changes; help to educate them of the recent updates to the federal credit by referring them to the IRS instructions for Form 8839 and NACAC’s fact sheets. To learn more about the adoption tax credit and how it might benefit your family, visit the following resources:

*Visit the IRS (Form 8839)

(You will notice that this currently links to the 2009 forms; the IRS will update the forms to 2010)

Voice 4 Adoption's PDF
*Visit the website of NACAC (a VFA board organization) for helpful fact sheets

*Contact Voice for Adoption at or 202.210.8118 or

The information listed here is not intended to be professional tax advice, please check with a professional tax consultant.


Tuesday, December 7, 2010

China’s Orphan Database Made Possible by Florida Software Company

The creation of a nationwide orphan database in China is now nearing completion thanks to a sizable gift by ASG Software Solutions of Naples, Florida, a worldwide leader in business solutions for global enterprises. As a partner with Children’s Hope International, ASG provided computers, scanners, digital cameras, software and training for hundreds of Chinese orphanages over the past three years.

In a ceremony in Beijing, the China Center for Adoption Affairs (CCAA) honored ASG for giving such a significant donation to their new orphan database. ASG’s contributions to Children’s Hope made the purchase of 381 computers possible. The social welfare staff from 430 Chinese orphanages attended one of seven system training courses provided by ASG Software Solutions, as well.

This equipment and training allows far-reaching orphanages the capability to communicate an orphaned child's medical, background and photos to the online database. The percentage of homes found for harder to place children with special needs has gradually improved during this time to 75.6%.

Dwyatt Gantt, Children’s Hope Executive Director along with Melody Zhang, Children’s Hope China Director, attended the CCAA ceremony in Beijing. The significance of this data project was expressed on the CCAA website:

“This work touches thousands of orphaned and disabled children in China, moving children’s welfare into a historic direction.”

The article continued, stating that more and more social welfare homes are using the new operation system in placing children with special needs and other orphans to international adoption.

Thank you to ASG Software Solutions and the entire Allen Family for their generosity in making more possible for homes, health and hope to children in need!

Pictured left: Executive Director Dwyatt Gantt accepts the honor on behalf of donor ASG.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Baby, It's Cold Outside: Join Us for an Online Webinar!

Stay in from the cold and join Children’s Hope in kicking off the first week of December with 3 online webinars. A program director from each international adoption program will give a great overview of the adoption process, the timelines and costs involved and some insights on how adoption might be the right option for your family.

Check out the schedule and share the dates with any friends with questions about Colombia adoption, China adoption or Russia adoption!

See the full schedule and register here.

(There's one today at 1 p.m. CST with Program Director Nichole Deal on Colombia adoption!)

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Little Girl and Her Rockin' Shoe: 12-Year-Old Heart Disease Survivor Re-Designs Nike

2007 - find your forever family - 2009 undergo 5 heart surgeries - 2010 become chosen as one of six to design one of the coolest pairs of Nike shoes ever made: this is Shelby Lee's life.

Photo by Daniel Root
 As a young child in China, Shelby was diagnosed with single ventricle heart disease, a condition her orphanage did not have the resources to treat. Her Children's Hope adoptive parents, Mike and Tanya, brought her home and immediately took her to Doernbecher Children's Hospital, where she later had five surgeries to fix her heart.

Shelby's presence in the Lee family is beyond value; her increased life expectancy, a great gift to her parents. To Doernbecher Children's Hospital, her bravery makes her a hero.

This year, Shelby and five other children were invited to participate in Doernbecher's annual fundraiser - Nike Freestyle - to redesign a popular Nike shoe. In October, Shelby and her family attended Portland's Freestyle Auction at Wieden + Kennedy Center where Shelby’s shoe, autographed by the Portland Trailblazers’ Brandon Roy, and artwork from her shoe were auctioned to a group of 300 special guests.

Photo by Daniel Root
Her large design team in Oregon was led by Peter Townsend, VP of NikeFootwear Design, and Suzi Sharp in manufacturing. Each designer was paired with a Nike team and was allowed to "go crazy" in the materials and design labs. After several drafts, Shelby received the final drawing and then in June she saw her shoe for the first time in a return visit to the Nike campus.

At the auction, Shelby’s shoe fetched one of the highest amounts ~ $8,000 for her shoes and another $5,000 for the artwork created from her shoe. Shelby’s surgeon and cardiologist both came to the auction and bid, but they kept getting outbid!

The October event raised more than $50,000 for Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. Nike also presented a check to Doernbecher for last year’s retail sales of Freestyle for just under $500,000. In the seven years this event has been running it has raised almost $3,000,000 for Doernbecher.

"Probably the most amazing part of the whole experience is what it has done for Shelby’s esteem. She went from 8 years in a remote orphanage in a part of China with 80% unemployment, to designing shoes with one of the most successful companies in the world. She was treated like a celebrity throughout the entire process, including autographing a special book given to guests at the auction," shares Shelby's dad Mike Lee on his family blog.

"We also want to thank God for this opportunity. Her shoe carries several elements from her life, all of which tell a story. From the broken heart in China on one shoe, to the mended heart in the US, to the sockliners in each shoe that are a map of her trip from China to her new home. The shoe is a testimony to the work God does in the lives of even 'the least of these'."

Shelby has worn her shoes every day but when it was supposed to rain. You can remember her story and be reminded of this testimony, too. Buy Shelby's shoes and support a hospital that gave Shelby, and children like her, so much life.


Buy Shelby's shoes! They are going fast. Not only do they make a great story of adoption, they also make a fantastic Christmas gift!

This story is a summary from the Lee Family Blog and Nike. Read more about Shelby's amazing journey through her heart surgeries and see some of her 2010 adventures through her photo journal. Shelby has 2 sisters adopted from China, Anna and Lily, and 2 brothers, Jake and Nick.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Thank you for being a family!

To our families -

In celebrating National Adoption Month through November to today, there has been much time to remember how beautiful adoption truly is.

This Thanksgiving I am most thankful for my family, all of whom I have been excitedly anticipating seeing for weeks. As you understand, working at Children's Hope, family is not something easily taken for granted.

Just yesterday, our China Team found homes for 7 special needs children—seven children who will be challenged to learn what it means to be a part of a family. To learn what it means to not be hungry, be disciplined out of love, know their mother will return, day after day, be secure and hopeful for the future.

These are lessons we pray for, that they will be learned well.

We are so thankful for Children's Hope parents who realized they have room at their table, within their heart and in their home for a child in need.

Blessings to you and your family,

Jennifer Newcomb
Children's Hope International

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Pray for Those Who Are Not Yet Orphans

Today, pray for children who are not yet orphans but may only have one parent who may be sick or dying. Pray for the health and safety of their parent. Pray for God's provision. Pray for protection for the children in these households.
(Children's Hope International will be sharing selected prayers from Lifesong's 40 Day Prayer Guide for Orphan Care to celebrate throughout National Adoption Month.)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Share Your Adoption Story with an Audience: Contact Your Local Media

You don't have to be a reporter to share your story with your local media, but that's exactly what Stephanie Vivolo did. After 3 years together, Stephanie's husband "grasped {her} hand, looked at {her} and asked a question that seemed more like a statement: “So, we’re adopting?” Three futures were made that day.

Read this Children's Hope adoption story. ...What's yours?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Share Your Story: Children's Hope Speaks about Adoption on KMOX

"Every month is Adoption Month at Children's Hope International!" says Cory Barron on KMOX this morning.

Cory, Children's Hope foundation director and adoptive parent of twins, shares and gives insight about international adoption, domestic adoption and also foster care--with fellow CHI adoptive parent Debbie Monterrey of Total Information AM. The two parents give a great overview of options available to prospective parents, some of the misconceptions regarding adoptions and more.

Listen to this 6-minute interview, and share what you learn with a coworker or a friend. Take the opportunity to share how adoption has touched your life, too!

Full Audio, KMOX

Friday, November 12, 2010

Celebrate Hands-On by Giving

Prior to families traveling to Ethiopia, either for court or to bring their child/ren home, many are asking what they can take with them to donate to the Children's Hope International House of Hope (HOH) transition home or the orphanage from which Children's Hope children are referred. As of this week, we reached $10,000 in in-kind donations delivered in 2010 to Ethiopia by 31 adopting families!

Throughout the year, families have packed vitamins, baby bottles, over-the-counter medications, art supplies, bedding, books, toys, bikes and piles of new clothing into their luggage for the long journey to Addis Ababa. Thank you so much families for making this sacrifice for the kiddos in Ethiopia.

In-kind donations, worldwide. These woven hats were donated to orphanages in China and were delivered by traveling families.
In celebration of National Adoption Month, find a family soon to be traveling for their adoption and offer to give in-kind donations yourself. It is a great hands-on way to celebrate the gift of adoption and become involved in adopting families' lives.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Did you know? November 7th is Oprhan Sunday

This weekend, November 7th, is Orphan Sunday. Learn more about this national event at