The National Council for adoption has released a helpful, practical guide to the adoption tax credit. The Adoption Advocate No. 21 entitled, “Tax Benefits for Adoption: The Adoption Tax Credit includes a complete explanation of and examples of how to apply the tax credit, as well as details on: the history of the tax credit; current status of the tax credit; and pending legislation to extend the tax credit. Please Click Here to read Adoption Advocate No. 21. Families who have questions on the tax credit should contact their tax advisor as America World is unable to provide tax advice. Families are also welcome to contact their representative and ask them to work to increase the tax credit for 2011 and the years to follow as it is a very important resource for many families. You can find your representative’s contact information at https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml.
America World Associates are hard at work and planning spring seminars. We now have 20 seminars scheduled and dozens more in the planning stage. Keep an eye on the AWAA Events page (www.awaa.org/events) for seminars in your area. If you are considering adoption, this is a great opportunity to learn more about the process. If you are an America World family, we welcome you to join us and encourage others. Seminars are currently scheduled in California, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin. Register and get details on the Events page!
While our office is catching up from the huge snowstorm last week, I want to make a special mention of the China Waiting Children Program that was able to process over 20 referrals during the time our office was officially closed. Thanks to Melissa, Aimee and the whole team who went above-and-beyond once again. This team has helped complete over 50 referrals since the first of the year!
In many of the states where we’re licensed, we are seeking to add adoptive families to the Board of Directors. If you live in CA, FL, KS, MN, NC, NY, OH, PA, or WA and would be interested in joining the state office’s Board of Directors, please contact Julia.Norris@awaa.org. This only requires a few hours of commitment a month.
As of late last week, we have another family home from El Salvador – I spoke with the family and offered my congratulations on their new son. Other families are still waiting to be matched and we’re working with the government to make this a reality. I will be traveling to El Salvador and Honduras again at the end of this month to continue to follow-up on the initiatives we have in both countries.
“But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” -Galatians 4:4-6
Congratulations to the 22 families who accepted a referral from the latest shared list that was released on February 8th. We are so excited for these families! The referrals that were accepted were for boys and girls, ages 10 months- 5 years old with a variety of special needs. Some of the special needs include cleft lip/palate, heart conditions, club feet, multiple special needs and other diseases. There continue to be many shared referrals available for review. There are also quite a few AWAA referrals available for review through this Thursday February 18th.
Families who are interested in joining the WC program should contact their Family Coordinator for more details. We continue to match families who are open to boys almost immediately upon joining the program. In general the wait time for a referral will vary based on the family’s age, gender and special needs requests.
The snow is finally being cleared away from the DC Metro area! Because of this, America World's corporate office will be open today, Friday, February 12th; however, will not open until 11 AM, in order to provide more time for snow removal from the surrounding roads and to ensure the safe travel of all America World employees.
Dillon International hosts heritage events for children who were adopted internationally. Our events are open to all families regardless of the placing agency. Please feel free to forward this email to families or anyone who might be interested in attending.
For 25 years, we have provided opportunities for adoptees to learn about their birth heritage through our annual camps. Our experience over the years has taught us that adoptees who have a greater awareness and appreciation of their dual heritage grow up to become well-rounded adults who are better equipped to succeed in life. We invite all children who are in the family to attend our events, not just adoptees.
This has been an unprecedented week for D.C. with well over three feet of snow! We closed early last Friday and the office will be closed through Thursday, February 11th - we follow the federal government's guidelines regarding inclement weather and office closings. It looks like we'll be open again on Friday the 12th. I managed to get one of the few flights out of Dulles on Tuesday to attend a Saddleback Conference in California. The conference focuses on many different things; I'm participating in the orphan and adoption segment. One of the things we're doing is meeting and discussing ways in which we can help the children orphaned in Haiti.
The situation in Haiti remains desperate. It's sad to know that with all the attention on Haiti's orphans that our government, the government of Haiti and the UN are not taking any tangible steps to help Haiti's orphans find families. This devastation highlights the importance in changing our government's policy toward orphans. As a country, we have been leaders in numerous issues: democracy, fighting HIV/AIDS, stopping sex trafficking, etc. Why can't we do the same regarding caring for orphans? Instead of USAID funding tens of millions of dollars towards building orphanages, why can't they spend the same money to work towards permanency for orphans? As I've blogged about in the past, this highlights the need for Congress to pass the Families For Orphans Act.
While in California, I've also visited our new office and met with our social worker, Maureen, in California. We should be getting licensed by the state of California sometime in the next few weeks. At first our license will only be based in the county surrounding our office, but we're hoping to eventually be licensed across the state.
I was reminded of a great organization while I was out here, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). CASA is a great program that helps foster youth in the United States. They help organize people to serve as advocates for foster youth and work with the court system to ensure that the foster youth are given an opportunity to have an adult who can objectively help to make decisions in the foster youth's best interest. For more information about how you can volunteer, visit www.casaforchildren.org. I hope some of you will consider this opportunity.
Due to changes in the CCAA’s Waiting Children Program referral policies, the CCAA has asked all agencies to return any agency specific referrals that have been assigned to the agency for over 3 months as well as any referral files that are not currently under review by a family. Therefore, America World will be returning these referrals on Friday, February 19th, 2010. All China Program families who are waiting for a referral and participating in the WC program will receive an email today with information on the referrals that are being returned. Any other family interested in learning about these referrals can contact firstname.lastname@example.org no later than Thursday February 18th by 5pm, in order to learn how to review the referral information.
In addition to receiving the referral information in an email today, all WCP families will also receive details on other recent changes to the CCAA’s referral policies. We look forward to continuing to assist families accept their referral through this program. We anticipate there will continue to be many adoptions though the WC program as the CCAA and AWAA are committed to helping waiting children find their forever families.
The federal government has just announced that it will be closed again tomorrow, Thursday, February 11th, and it looks as though this may be the last day that it will be closed.
Today's blizzard ended at around 4 PM EST in McLean (a little later in surrounding areas), and the road crews will be working overtime to clear the interstates, primary and secondary roads, as well as residential streets over the next day.
We will once again be working remotely as much as possible, in service of AWAA families and staff.
Additional shared referrals were posted on February 8th for the Waiting Children program. America World’s China staff has continued to work during this week, even with inclement weather office closures, to review and match families. We will be sending all WCP families an email tomorrow to highlight additional information regarding the Waiting Children program.