In our Kenya adoption program, there are boys and girls from 12 months and older, healthy or with special needs. We have recently learned of a specific need for families that are open to adopting an HIV positive child age 12 months and older. Families that join this program should be prepared to stay in Kenya for around 6 months- we'll set you up with a rented apartment near other adoptive families.
We are so excited to announce a brand new webpage for our Waiting Children Programs! It is our privilege to advocate for children who have special needs as well as older orphans, and today we are making it technologically easier with the official launch of this new site.
From the Waiting Children homepage, you can view the available programs and read a brief description of each one. Click on a country to read more about the adoption process. To view the children's profiles, you will need to request the password. Use the "Request Password for Access" tab and it will be sent to your email. This password has changed from the old site, so each first-time visitor will need to request it. Once you have the password, click "View Child Profiles" to see the waiting children. If you have already requested the password but forgot it, please email your family coordinator as a second password email will not be sent through our system.
You can view full-size pictures by clicking the camera icon to the right. Some children also have videos available (if the video icon is not shaded). We have seen some inconsistencies between browsers on video playback and are looking into this.
A new feature on these pages is the search function. You can search by country, gender, age range, status, and as an advanced search function, by special need (click plus sign to expand as pictured above). There is an email address and phone number on each child's profile to inquire about adoption. We encourage you to be open to these children as you search and read about each one - our desire is that each and every child will be matched with a forever family!
We know many of you look for opportunities to be involved in adoption beyond just your personal adoption. One easy way is to let your Congressional Representatives know that you care about these issues. In less than 5 minutes, you can do just that. This link will let you know who you should contact: Contacting the Congress. When you’ve done this, let us know on Facebook or Twitter what your experience was and encourage other families to do the same.
Adoption Tax Credit
Let your Congressional Representatives know that you hope they’ll co-sponsor refundability bill numbers S.1056 and H.R.2144. A refundable adoption tax credit will allow more families of low to moderate incomes to adopt orphaned children; giving them forever families. For more information, please visit adoptiontaxcredit.org.
CHIFF - Children in Families First Act
Tell Congress you hope they will make the right decision and pass bi-partisan legislation to open up more opportunities for families and orphaned children. Supporting the Children in Families First Act (CHIFF) is one way to let your Members of Congress know that you want your government to make a family for every child a priority! You can see CHIFF’s Cosponsors Here. If your member of Congress is a co-sponsor, write a quick “thank you” note. If your representatives aren’t co-sponsors, let them know you hope they’ll become a co-sponsor.
Waiting child. Special needs adoption.
What came to your mind as you read those words? How did you feel? Before reading any further, think it through- perhaps jot something down or vocalize the reaction that occurred.
If you had a negative thought, or felt fear, resistance, or just said “no,” it’s ok. Allow yourself to experience those honest feelings, as they may be valid according to the knowledge you have about special needs adoption.
This post intends to dispel myths about special needs adoption. If you are still reading, we encourage you to not rule out the adoption of a child simply because of the label “waiting child” or “special needs.” While these terms can be intimidating, it may not mean what you think it means. We urge you to learn about special needs and become educated on what this could mean for a child and your family. Please do not close a door because you don’t feel that it’s the ideal plan- be open! We understand this can be an overwhelming and challenging process, but encourage you to at least research waiting children before you make a final decision for your adoption.
We do want you to make an adoption choice that you are comfortable with, and we also know that there are many misconceptions with waiting children. Part of our advocacy efforts on behalf of these orphaned children is to educate prospective parents on their needs.
By the nature of international adoption, the wait is typically much longer for a young, healthy child. Being open to a waiting child may decrease the wait time for you and the length of institutionalization for the child.
While we wish the wait was shorter for a child to be placed in a home, we know God can open the hearts of families who are already in process to different requests during a long wait. It gives the family more time to research, talk to other families, and learn about needs outside of their request.
What is a Waiting Child? A waiting child is an orphan who has been identified as ready and available to be placed in a home. This means the child is already paperwork-ready and is just waiting for a family to step forward.
There are two classifications of waiting children:
- an older child, typically seven and above, with no known medical condition
- a child of any age with a medical condition or special need
What about mental/developmental/emotional issues? Many of the effects of institutionalization diminish after a child is placed in a home and receives love, attention, medical care and proper nutrition. We require a minimum of 10 hours of Hague trainings and strongly encourage parents to go beyond this using such sources as Adoption Learning Partners, C.A.S.E. and Heart of the Matter Seminars. Though a child may have more of a history due to institutionalization, we have seen many successful placements when parents do trainings such as Empowered to Connect and conduct research on at-risk kids. We can also connect you with parents who have practical advice and real life expereinces to share.
What medical conditions do the children have? The medical conditions are on the spectrum of minor, moderate, to severe. Some conditions we often see are cleft lip/cleft palate (both repaired and unrepaired), heart defects, Hepatitis B positive, hand or foot deformity, hearing or vision impairments, HIV positive, TB and blood conditions, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, spine deformity, spina bifida, developmental delays, and more. Some “special needs” are easily correctable or require treatments that have no long-term effect or impact on the child’s life. For other “special needs,” we may not classify as true medical needs, but because little is known by the country of birth about a particular issue they may automatically generalize the child this way.
What resources are available to learn more?
Christian Alliance for Orphans' Older Child and Special Needs Adoption Resource List explains some of the medical needs we see in internationally adopted children and provides research resources to review. We also have additional resources and training we will help you make an informed decision about a Waiting Child adoption.
You can talk to other parents who have adopted an older or special needs child that act as References for our agency and their adoption program (sort by "Waiting Children"). Or, read adoption stories of families, many of which have adopted older or special needs children, here on the blog.
We welcome phone calls to discuss any questions you have - please call us at 800-429-3369 and we can connect you with the staff of the country you are interested in. You can also recieve the password to view the waiting children profiles online by completing a brief and free pre-application.
If you feel you are not open to waiting child adoption, will you take some time to learn about the children in these programs? Learn their names, look at their faces, and ask God to direct you in your decision-making process. We believe he will match you with the child according to his plan for your family, even if it’s not what you had expected.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’" Matthew 25:40
Are you looking to bless a child who is not your own? Maybe you are not called to adopt, but would like to be involved in international orphan care. Or, perhaps you have adopted, or are in the process, and want a way for your whole family to give back to another child.
We now have a Child Sponsorship program which provides for the needs of orphans in Haiti and Kenya. Your monthly donation will fund the childrens' educational needs, including books, uniforms, meals, school supplies, and activities. The impact of your gift resonates throughout the child's life, community, and teachers.
We invite you to learn more about this important program and consider sponsoring a child!
Please visit the link above or click on the photo and get to know the children we support. You will see a little bit about each child's hobbies, interests, and future aspirations - and you can give towards these hopes. Thank you for your dedicated partnership in caring for the least of these.
Did you know that America World contributes to humanitarian projects all over the world? In Kenya, we are partnering with the Akiba School, an institution founded in 1993 in the Kangemi slum in Nairobi, Kenya, providing education to impoverished school-aged children in primary and secondary school. In 2001, The Falls Church Anglican (TFCA) began a sponsorship program to provide tuition funding for needy students to attend the school. In continued partnership with TFCA, AW began administration of this sponsorship program in 2013. Now, there are over 80 children sponsored!
The Sponsorship Program
An exciting part of this program is that it is not merely about money, but also about developing a relationship with each child. We are convinced that the program is a powerful way to serve the less fortunate, as the school sponsorship fees are not merely impacting the child, but also the child’s family, the school and the teachers. The sponsored child is lifted out of a life on the streets and given hope and a good education, and the Akiba School is given consistent financial support (ensuring that the teachers can be paid). Consequently, the teachers can be active participants in the local economy and send their children to school as well. The program becomes a waterfall of blessing!
It only costs $125 per quarter to support one child’s education. This includes tuition, uniforms, lunch, shoes, a book bag, school supplies, medical treatment (if necessary), computer classes, and stationery/stamps. All donations are tax-deductible.
Correspondence With Sponsored Children
The children are expected to write three letters each year to their sponsors. We hope that all of our sponsors will respond with letters of their own. The kids absolutely LOVE mail from their sponsors and will cherish each word written to them.
The East African Adoption Conference was held a few weeks ago in Nairobi where over 200 people from various countries gathered to discuss adoption. Presentation information can be found on their website, or on the Christian Alliance for Orphans blog. There are many waiting children of all ages in this country– boys and girls who are healthy or who have special medical needs.
America World partners with Kenyan Children’s Home (KCH). KCH works with many orphanages to help children be placed into their forever families. Kenya requires a 6-12 months in-country stay as part of the initial bonding period and the court processes. You can learn more about Kenyan adoption on our website, submitting a free pre-application or calling our experienced staff at 800-429-3369.
We are sending an ACT mission team to Kenya in July-August 2014. The team will be led by an America World Director of Social Services. The team will be chaperoning a team of emancipated foster youth to serve in Kenya. Anyone is welcome to join this team and we invite you to apply today!
Our Kenya/Uganda ACT Missions Team’s last day in Africa is today. They are teary eyed, weary, yet so full and can’t wait to share their experience with the world, so they took the time while they were there to put together this wonderful video last night of a portion of their journey thus far. We hope you enjoy it and remember, you can sign up for our next ACT Mission trip to Uganda this October here.
Read more about their trip on the Team Leader’s blog here- http://joedwilson7.blogspot.com/