America World and Christian Alliance for Orphans are partnering together to compile a centralized manual of resources for families that have chosen (or are considering) special needs and older child adoptions. We also hope this resource will be useful for adoption agencies and church ministries who help prepare and support these families.
We would greatly value your insight into resources that you feel are especially valuable -whether books, websites, best practices, topical experts and other resources. Please email if you have recommended resources or feedback to share. Our hope is to have this information ready to share by Orphan Sunday. We are excited at how God will use this project to continue to minister and support these precious children and their families!
Dear AW families,
Recently we received check stock that have errors in the micro encoding. This has caused several checks we issued on August 9 to be returned. If you experience any problems with a check from us on that date please call me at (703) 891-3282 or Mike Mank at (703) 891-3135 or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. We’ll issue you a replacement check including any bank fees you incurred. I apologize for the inconvenience and trouble this has caused you.
Les Gallagher, CFO
We have a special guest post to start this week from adoptive mom Jenn about the purpose and lessons in waiting. Be sure to check out her blog over at Pure and Lasting.
So here we are in our last stage of waiting for Maya’s adoption to be complete. It has been a long road. We applied to our agency, America World Adoption, on May 14, 2010. Our dossier was sent to Ethiopia on November 19, 2010. Our estimated wait for a referral was 7-9 months. We waited 19 months to see her beautiful face. The wait was longer than we ever expected, but worth every moment.
This week, I got the sweetest message from a blog reader. She sent in her paperwork a few months ago and was asking for advice on the waiting stage. I thought I would share our experience here on the other side. When we decided to adopt, I read lots and lots of blogs. I ran across many blogs filled with posts bemoaning the wait, desperate to be on the other side of the wait. Chris and I had several conversations about waiting, waiting longer than we expected. We made a conscious decision to settle into the wait, snuggle up and accept it. Every time it got hard, we would remind each other (ok, HE would remind ME!) that this was a choice that we made, knowing that there would be a wait, knowing that there were so many unknowns and there was nothing we could do about it. Our daughter was in Ethiopia. It sounds so simple, but the way we waited was to just accept that we would wait. Deep down acceptance. Accepting what you cannot change. It is something Chris does so well and I have learned through this process. Don’t let waiting steal your joy. It is one of the many lessons that adopting has taught me.
We also believed that God had a plan for us and for our family. A plan that we did not know. So we had to trust. Either we believe God has a plan or we believe He doesn’t. There isn’t much middle ground. For us, we got the amazing, in-the-flesh, obvious proof that God had a specific plan for us through our trip to Ethiopia/Rwanda and Alain coming to live with us. If we had filled out our paperwork any sooner or if the waiting time had been any shorter, he would not be here with us. It makes me shudder just to think about it. Why we are waiting isn’t always so obvious, but I try to remember in those moments that I cannot see everything. What I think is not always what is best. What God has planned is better.
Waiting has a purpose in the process. Adopting a child is not always easy. Attachment is not instant. Bonding takes time. As parents, we have a lot to learn, to prepare for before our child is home. Waiting is vital to the process. Use this time of waiting to prepare your home, your family, your friends and your heart. Adding a child to your family will begin a new stage in your life, an amazing one, but a new one. Let me encourage you (and me!) not to forget to celebrate the stage that you are in now. The waiting isn’t to be overlooked or fast-forwarded. It can be celebrated. Spend more time with your spouse. Do new things with your children at home now. Visit your parents. Go on a mission trip. Talk to your friends and family about adoption and sponsorship. Keep busy with other things. Read. Learn. Live the life you have now, don’t waste today waiting. Be open to God changing you. I am certainly not the same person who filled out that application two years ago. My heart is transformed. My priorities have been rearranged. My desires are new. Embrace the wait.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.
And because they are the two most beautiful children on the planet and worth EVERY MOMENT OF WAITING!! My sweet boy and his new sister. Melt my heart. This cannot truly be my life :) So blessed!! -Jenn
The Orphan Sunday website has a great feature which allows you to put your event on a map. If you are looking for a service to attend, or a way to get involved, check it out. Add your church's event so others can join you in this unified orphan care movement.
Does your church plan to have an Orphan Sunday event? What did you do last year? Feel free to share on our facebook wall ("like" us here) or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to share experiences or tips with everyone else! We can also send you America World materials to help others learn about adoption.
This is a friendly reminder to please be sure to include a cover letter with any faxes sent to America World. Our faxes are received by a general line, so including the cover letter will help our admistrative staff to pass your fax along to the appropriate staff member with minimal delay.
Important information to remember to include on a cover letter includes:
Your Full Name
Intended Staff Member's Name/Department
Total Number of Pages
Date of Sent Fax
Thanks for helping our offices to run as effectively as possible.
We would like to inform families that the CCCWA has posted the referral cut-off date for healthy referrals on their internal website today. They have confirmed that families who are logged in, on, or before September 21, 2006, have been matched with a referral. The CCCWA processed 2 Log in Dates for the month of August. Please note that the only information provided on their internal website is the cut-off date. The CCCWA does not provide agencies with the exact day to expect the referrals, nor do they provide a list of each family receiving a referral.
We did not have any families currently in process with Log in Dates (LID) on September 20-21, 2006; therefore, America World will not be receiving healthy referrals this month. The CCCWA matches all agencies with the same dates, even if there are no families at certain agencies who are LID on the dates they are processing. Our next group of families waiting for a healthy referral match are LID on September 28, 2006.
The current wait time for a healthy referral from China is 72 months and increasing by a month each month. This timeframe is based on the time from LID to child match and applies to all families in all stages regardless of when their process began with China.
Chinese Heritage Expedites
Families who are of Chinese heritage and who have dossiers submitted as Chinese expedites, can anticipate a slightly shorter wait time. The CCCWA is currently matching Chinese expedite families who have a dossier logged in September of 2007 as they are now still matching September 2006 LID’s. The CCCWA’s desire is to keep one year apart between the regular matching process and the Chinese expedite matching process. This will mean that the Chinese expedite wait time will generally be 12 months shorter than the current estimated wait time you will see listed each month.
Options While you Wait
Families interested in completing a concurrent adoption, pregnancy, or joining the China Waiting Children Program, should contact their Family coordinator for more information regarding these options.
There has been a lot of news lately regarding the Russian adoption process and many additional requirements that are being added. Despite all of the changes we are pleased to announce that four families have finalized their adoption this summer and are returning home with their precious children. We praise God for His favor and blessings upon these families!
America World has been diligently working to gather information regarding the additional training requirements that the Ministry of Education in Russia has mandated for all prospective adoptive parents. The changes which were outlined in the Russia-US agreement will go into effect on September 1, 2012. We will be providing further guidelines and instructions for all of our Russia families once we are confident of what the officials will be desiring to see in the dossier.
While the changes being implemented can appear quite daunting to families, we do feel it is a positive decision made to ensure that all US families adopting children from Russia are adequately trained on the potential issues and challenges that accompany the adoption and post adoption process. We will simply continue to trust God for His providence in the Russian adoption process as He has not failed us yet.
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:2
America World is gearing up for our fall seminar season, and want to invite you all to join us at a free seminar near you. The Adopted by DesignTM seminar is designed to provide resources for families considering adoption, including a step-by-step overview of the adoption process, a question and answer session, our “Bonding with Hope” video from Mark & Melanie Hall of Casting Crowns, and other helpful information.
To find a seminar near you, visit our Events page and register today. More seminars will be added so please check back often. In the meantime, if you have not already requested a free information packet, you can request one from the America World website or call us at 800-429-3369.
As you know, orphan advocacy goes well beyond the important work of adoption. It also encompasses caring for orphans as they wait for their forever families. As children wait in Haiti, there are several opportunities for you to provide for the needs of orphanages and the children they serve. One orphanage in need is caring for 16 children with special needs. Another is in need of sponsorships to provide for over 100 orphans’ public education and medical care. A third orphanage is in need of support to continue to provide 250 orphans with a child-proofed, secure environment, protected against diseases carried by insects.
The request to care for the needs of these orphans is significant. To pay for the caregivers and the operating costs for the special needs children, the orphanage needs $40,000. The 100+ orphaned students need $3,000 a month ($36,000 total) to sponsor their schooling and healthcare. One of these children, Evens, is 9 years old and has been an orphan since his first birthday. Evens has significant cognitive and physical delays due to his premature birth and is in need of therapy sessions and physiotherapy equipment to assist him in learning at school. A simple gift can make all the difference for the rest of his life.
Our adoption program in Haiti is still in its early stages, but there are already over 30 families moving through the process and we anticipate exponential growth in the coming months! These adopting families will be blessed beyond measure knowing that there are people like you who are caring for Haitian orphans in the same life situations as the children they are working toward bringing home.
Is this an area of orphan advocacy that you have a desire to meet? Will you be the one to provide hope to a child like Evens as he waits for his adoption? We would be honored to partner with you in caring for these orphans!
God has blessed us with so much so that we can be a blessing to others. Thank you for your financial contributions and your continued prayers. You are making an eternal impact in Haiti!
To contribute online, simply go to America World's donation page, designate your charitable contribution to our Isaiah 1:17 Fund and be sure to include a line about "Haiti Orphan Advocacy" in the Notes section of the form.
To participate by sending a check, print and fill out the Haiti Orphan Advocacy form, and return your check to America World's corporate office (address included within the form).
As always, feel free to contact me to discuss orphan advocacy in Haiti or any other area where you feel drawn to help.
Jason West, Director of Development