Monday, September 27, 2010

News from Children's Hope International and YOU!

"Yesterday, my daughter came home from school with the 'Show & Tell' bag. I asked her what she wanted to take for show and tell. She ran to her room and brought out her picture book that we sent her when we passed court back in April. She said she wanted to show the class her family. Then she wanted to know what was wrong with me because I was crying." - Felicia, a Children's Hope mom of a child from Ethiopia

Are you reading the Program Updates for your Adopting County? Check out news from your international adoption program and find stories like Felicia's and much more.

See Your Country's Updates!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Happy 2010 Mid-Autumn Festival!

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival or Zhongqiu Festival is a popular harvest festival. Chinese, Vietnamese and South East Asian people all over the world celebrate the holiday.

The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese Lunar calendar, which in 2010 falls on today, September 22nd. This date parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is at its fullest.


Eating mooncakes, circular pastries (originally designed to look like the moon) filled with lotus paste and an egg yolk, and drinking tea are two of the traditions that take place during the Moon Festival.

One of our Children's Hope families shared their experiences making mooncakes on our main yahoo group.
"I use the following mooncake recipe and the 'cookies' turn out well and everyone that tried them really enjoyed them.

I found recipe on the Asian for Kids website (link). We used sweet red bean paste that we found at our Chinese market. But if you're in a bind, you can use raspberry jam.

Last year we also picked up traditional mooncakes from a Chinese bakery and had those as well as our homemade mooncakes as dessert for a Mid-Autumn Moon celebration. I've discovered that the traditional mooncakes are either "love'em or hate'em" type of item. The traditional cakes are large and can be cut and
shared by several people.

I should also mention that the mooncakes aren't the prettiest cookie when all said and done, but they do get gobbled up!"

-Mary in St. Louis
Cory Barron, Development Aid Director at Children's Hope and father of twins from China, says, "If you try bean paste consider adding some brown sugar if you prefer your desserts sweet. Vary your cookies and try chocolate in place of the paste, too. Let us know how your baking goes!"

The Mid-Autumn Festival is one of the few most important holidays in the Chinese calendar and is a legal holiday in several countries. The American Consulate in Guangzhou was closed today for the holiday and many Chinese officials are on holiday for several days. Children's Hope has 12 families traveling to China to complete their international adoptions this week, their schedules tailored to the holiday.

In country, families celebrate much like Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, as friends, family and relatives gather to share food and give thanks. Children often light bright lanterns creating beautiful landscapes across the country.

How do you celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with your family?

photo by Atlaslin

Monday, September 20, 2010

Resource: "Talking with Teachers" to Benefit your Child's Classroom Learning

As a parent, how do you approach your child's teacher about your child's needs in the classroom? What strategies will encourage cooperation and growth in a teacher's ability to reach all backgrounds and abilities?

Heart of the Matter Seminars, a Children's Hope International partner in parent education, released their newest white paper, a timely read for the adoptive and foster parent community - “Talking with Teachers”.

This paper offers tips and professional advice to help parents work with and listen to teachers to provide support in enriching children's lives through learning.

"Talking with Teachers", PDF

Friday, September 17, 2010

Send Your Story to Joint Council for National Adoption Month

As the kids start back at school, the temperatures slowly drop and the sun begins to set a little earlier each night, fall is definitely around the corner. For those closely involved in ensuring homes, health and hope for children in need across the globe, it means that November and National Adoption Month is just around the corner, too.

National Adoption Month is a great time to celebrate, through big and small actions, your upcoming or completed adoption, mindfully aware at the same time of the children still in need of homes both domestically and overseas.

This November for National Adoption Month, Joint Council on International Children's Services will be highlighting "the stories of those children throughout the world who have yet to be served by adoption and celebrate those children who have thrived in their adoptive family."

From today through October 15, 2010 Joint Council will be accepting stories from families and other concerned individuals who have seen the plight of children who live outside of family care and those who have gained permanency, safety and love through adoption. To submit a story, you may follow the directions below.

Directions for submitting a story:

Email the story of a child who has yet to be served through adoption and/or a story of a child who has thrived in his/her adoptive family to Jason Cohn at by October 15, 2010.

Stories may be:

  • Three minute video
  • 750 words, please include photos of yourself and the child
  • If applicable, please include a release of information for each story submitted.
  • If the child highlighted is living outside of family care, individuals are encouraged to use a pseudonym for the child and send photos with discretion and with the child’s safety in mind.

Questions regarding the campaign and submitting stories should be directed to

Thanks so much for participating and gearing up for National Adoption Month in support of domestic and international adoption!