Two Kids Home from Haiti!

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Welcome Home!

What better way to start off the week than to announce that TWO kids in our Haiti adoption program have just joined their Forever Families!

These incredible families have been waiting for this moment since the day they received their referrals. While they’ve since been able to visit their boys for their bonding trips, they’ve finally reached the moment when they’ll never have to say goodbye again. Their journey up to this point has been absolutely amazing, and our Haiti adoption specialist, Hilary, has loved working with them to help bring their kiddos home. Congratulations from all of us at Children of All Nations, and welcome home!

Visit Hilary’s blog to see her latest post about these kiddos coming home! 

About Haiti Adoption

CAN’s Haiti adoption program has both a “Healthy Track” and a Waiting Child adoption program, making it a great fit for families with various adoption desires. There are countless reasons why our families love this program, from the close proximity to the United States to the ties to past mission trips. If you’re interested in learning how you can begin your Haiti adoption journey, contact CAN today!

Learn more about CAN’s Haiti adoption program
– Contact an adoption specialist

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“Kale” Is Holding on to Hope!

Did you know?
Families in CAN’s Bulgaria Waiting Child adoption program can be matched with a child or sibling group at any point in the process! Visit the CAN photo listing or contact our Bulgaria adoption specialists today to learn more!

Kale is a handsome and outgoing boy who will  be turning 14 years old this month. When he spoke to our in-country representatives, he said he knows it’s unlikely that he’ll find a Forever Family due to his age, but he’s still holding on to hope.

Kale said he has always wanted to be adopted by a family in the United States so that he can begin a new life with the love and support of a family. Throughout the years, he has watched his friends in the group home find their families, and he wants so desperately for him to find a family of his own. When our rep began asking him questions, he was reluctant to speak up because he was worried that his answers would be different than the kids’ who had previously been adopted.

Based on everything we’ve heard from our Bulgaria reps, Kale is an incredibly sweet, happy and kindhearted boy who wants nothing more than to have a family and a feeling of belonging. He has normal physical and psychological development, a good sense of self-esteem, and he’s always happy to help out around the group home.

If you are interested in learning more about Kale or if you would like to see his medical file, photos and videos, please visit our CAN photo listing or contact our CAN matching specialists today!

Resources:

– Learn more about CAN’s Bulgaria adoption program
– Visit the Waiting Child photo listing to request Kale’s file
– Contact an adoption specialist

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Emma is Waiting

Meet Emma!

We are currently advocating for an incredible girl in our Haiti Waiting Child adoption program who recently turned 6 years old. For advocacy purposes we’re calling her “Emma,” but around her creche she’s known as “Ti Manmi” or “Little Mommy” because she loves helping out with the younger kiddos.

Emma has been diagnosed with HIV, and is in need of a family who will be able to provide her with the medical treatment and love that she so deserves. She was brought to the creche when she was just one and a half years old, and has been waiting ever since.

Emma’s caretakers describe her as being a sweet girl who is full of energy and who absolutely loves blowing kisses to those around her! She’s starting to grow out of nap time, so often times she will play quietly while her friends sleep. Her caretakers are so very proud of how well she’s able to listen and obey when they speak to her.

Emma loves to play outside, write, and color. She is an active girl who enjoys being the center of attention. We truly think that Emma will thrive with the love and support of a family.

Please Note – Much of Emma’s paperwork in Haiti has already been completed, so any family that would like to be matched with her will need to move very quickly to get their dossier submitted! If you’re interested in learning how you can be matched with Emma, contact our Haiti matching specialist at hilary@childrenofallnations.com today!

What is HIV?

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus which attacks certain cells in the immune system making it difficult for the body to fight infections. In its most advanced stages, HIV can become AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), however, just because someone has been diagnosed with HIV does not mean that they have AIDS. With modern medicine there are certain treatments which can now help to prevent the virus from progressing.

How is HIV spread?

HIV is spread by coming in contact with certain bodily fluids from a person infected with HIV. In the case of many Waiting Children who have been diagnosed with HIV, the infection is transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy and childbirth.

Will adopting a child with HIV put my family at risk?

Many studies have shown that HIV is not spread through common household activities. For example, you cannot get HIV by sharing food or drinks, using the same bed or toilet, changing diapers, hugging, kissing, bathing or swimming with someone who has HIV.

The following “bodily fluids” are NOT infectious:

Saliva, tears, sweat, feces or urine.

If you’re interested in learning more about Emma or any of the other kids in our Haiti Waiting Child adoption program, contact Children of All Nations!

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3 Reasons to Start Your Latvia Adoption Process

Many of the families in our Latvia adoption program choose to participate in our Orphan Hosting program to get a general idea of what the process is like. It’s a great way to connect with Latvia and get a sense of what the adoption process ahead could hold while giving a child the chance to see what the world outside of Latvia has to offer!

Below are three reasons why you should consider getting started with your adoption process right away, rather than waiting until after the hosting program:

1. The Kids are AMAZING

The kids in Latvia come from various backgrounds but the one thing they have in common is that they are all AMAZING! The kids in adoption range from 9-15 years old. Most don’t have any medical concerns. They come from rough pasts and need someone to give them the chance they deserve. No child deserves to not have a family. Many of the children have some concept of English if they aren’t already fluent! They are charming, sweet, and so ready to see what America is all about!

2. Matching

In the Latvia adoption process, once a family’s dossier has been submitted they are put in line to receive their referral. If your family begins the adoption process prior to hosting, and you do not move forward with the adoption of your host child, you will have the option to receive a referral through the traditional Latvia adoption program.

3.One Step Closer to Bringing Your Child Home! 

With Latvia Hosting, it is common for families to re-host their child if they are hoping to pursue their adoption. Depending on the length of time that it takes a family to complete their adoption, they may end up re-hosting multiple times. If your family is prepared to begin the Latvia adoption process, we encourage you to get started right away so that you can complete the process and bring your child home as soon as possible!

If your family would like more information on our Latvia adoption program, contact our CAN adoption specialists today!

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A Look Inside Latvia

We work with many different countries for our adoption and Orphan Hosting programs, each with it’s own culture and regulations. While in many ways this is ideal as each program has something new and unique to offer, it also means that each program functions in its own way, often times presenting many unanticipated obstacles. Understandably, these obstacles can be very frustrating for our families, no matter how prepared they are going into the process. For this reason, we have reached out to one of the families who has participated in both our Latvia hosting and adoption programs to ask for their thoughts on the process:

I Just wanted to discuss a few things that seem to be common issues with adoptions from Latvia. It’s no fun to talk about, but I thought it was important that everyone be aware of these in order to have realistic expectations when considering moving forward with adoption, particularly after hosting.

During our adoption process I’ve taken the opportunity to do A LOT of research on Latvia adoptions (like, to the point of obsession y’all). One of the things I have noticed across the board for adoptions from Latvia is the amount of hurtles almost all of them must overcome, many unsuccessfully. Again, none of these are related to the adoption agency, but they often get blamed because people are very emotional and may feel like they were ill-informed going into the situation. This seems to be common with families who have hosted and only have interest in the adoption of one particular child or sibling group. I know it can be discouraging to talk about the negatives with a family who is at the beginning of the adoption process, but setting up realistic expectations can be super important with families who go through stress, anxiety, and many times loss, during the journey. All of these aren’t specific to our experience, but again, I do tons of reading and see these complaints most often. At the bottom are my most used resources for info, mostly Facebook pages because they contain up-to date stuff and real life, unbiased situations.

Possible Challenges:

The Children Decide
The children are asked multiple times during the adoption process if they want to go to America with their potential adoptive family. The Latvian adoption court takes their opinion very seriously (even when the child is young). There may be influence on the child to stay in Latvia by friends, family or orphanages or the child may be too afraid of leaving everything they have ever known. It is common for a child to want to stay in America while here, but change their mind after returning home. If their answer is no, then you will not be allowed to adopt at that time. You may be able to host again (if the child is willing) and then re-approach the courts at a later time, but paperwork and fees may need to be resubmitted depending on the length of time that has passed.

Family
Even though parental rights may have been terminated, it may be, that a member of bio family will fight for their rights back when they are informed about an international adoption. If the child is in a foster family, they may choose to proceed with adoption.  The courts will do what is in the best interest of the child, and many times, they view that as staying in Latvia.

In-Country Delays
Delays in the Orphan Court system are common. As in most Eastern European countries, holidays are taken regularly and the courts shut down. Many other factors influence the pace of an adoption!

Availability of Information
If you are adopting a child you have hosted, they may not be on the international adoption list. If that is the case, you will not get information listing your child’s medical history, family history and potential disabilities until the time of your referral, which is just before the first trip. After receiving the referral, you will give your official answer as to adopt the child(ren) or not.

Schooling Upon Arrival
If you choose to take your child(ren) home after the first trip, they will be traveling on a visa that does not permit enrollment in school. You do have the option to home school, or have them ‘visit’ a school for no more than 18 hours a week for subjects like art, gym, lunch, music ect.

Transition from Hosting to Adoption
If you have hosted before, be prepared for things to be different once the adoption is complete. Hosting is a month long vacation and now it’s for real. People treat acquaintances (even close ones) differently than they do family, and sometimes family gets the worst of us. Remember these kids are coming from a place of fear, instability and trauma (even if you didn’t notice any signs during hosting). That doesn’t just go away…ever!

Positives of Latvia Adoption:

On a happier note, I do think there are SO MANY positives regarding Latvia adoption!

Children Are Cared For
The Latvian orphan courts truly care about the well being of the children in their care. Additionally, the children are well taken care of when in an orphanage setting or in a foster family. Whenever possible, foster families are utilized, making adjustment into a family as setting smooth as possible.

Home After First Trip!
Unlike many adoption programs where families are unable to bring their child home until the final trip, Latvia gives families the opportunity to take their kiddo home with them after the first court hearing on the trip so that they can start bonding!

Option to Host
Many older children are available for hosting, so you can get to know them before deciding to adopt.

Children Learn English
Children are taught English in school. Many are fluent, or quickly learn when in the US.

Positives of Hosting

  • Hosting our kiddo has been one of the most rewarding experiences of our lives!
  • We had a connection with our host child right away, despite some language barriers.
  • It’s wonderful to see her experience things for the first time.
  • She learns so much each time she visits (we’ve hosted multiple times) and is completely fluent in English now!
  • We bond with her more and more each trip. She has close relationships with us and our families. She also has friends in the US that she looks forward to visiting each time.
  • We get to provide our kiddo with new experiences and skills like theater class and swim lessons.
  • We also send her home with warm clothes. It’s good to know that we can help be comfortable even when we are far away.

Working With CAN

The CAN staff is friendly and helpful! We have come to know many of their staff members like family. The Latvian Lawyer that CAN uses is a hard worker. Many emails to her are answered right a way despite an 8 hour time difference. She has fought hard for our case and seems to have a great report with our judge.
 
List of Resources
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Haiti’s Waiting Children

Haiti Waiting Child Adoption

CAN’s Haiti adoption program, like many others, has both a Healthy Track and a Waiting Child program. Choosing the program that fits your family’s adoption desires is simply a matter of deciding what you’re open to in terms of age range, special needs and sibling groups. For families that feel a younger, medically healthy child would be the best fit, our Healthy Track program is typically the best fit. For families that have a wider age range, are open to medical needs, or would like to adopt a sibling group, however, our Haiti Waiting Child adoption program is a great option!

Below are a few of the Waiting Children from Haiti that we’re currently advocating for. If you would like more information on any of these kiddos, or to find out how you can start your adoption through our Haiti program, contact CAN today!

Meet the Kids!

Emma

Emma is an adorable little girl who just turned six years old! She was brought to the orphanage when she was just one and a half years old, and has been living there ever since.

Emma is an active girl who likes to play outside and is full of life and energy. She enjoys writing and coloring, and blowing kisses to those around her. She likes to be the center of attention, and is often found helping out with the younger children around the orphanage. Her caretakers say that she is very sweet, and she has earned herself the nickname “Ti Manmi,” which means “Little Mommy” in creole. 

Gavin, Grant & Grayson

These three brothers are as close as can be! They have been nicknamed the “G Triplets” because all of their names start with the letter G. These incredible 12 year old brothers told our representatives that they’re all best friends with the same favorite colors, blue and yellow. All three of them hope to become teachers or pastors!

For more information about these amazing brothers, contact our Haiti Waiting Child adoption specialist, or visit our photo listing to request their files!

Wilson

Wilson is an incredibly sweet boy who was brought to the orphanage seven years ago after being found in a ravine close by. One of our Haiti adoption counselors had the chance to visit with Wilson during a trip to Haiti in early 2016, and she said he is the happiest kiddo you’ll ever meet.

Wilson can always be seen with a smile on his face, and he doesn’t let anything get him down. His caretakers said the following about him:

“Wilson does really good walking with his walker, he tries so hard. He is a very happy boy and just lights up a room. He is a favorite with all the teams. He loves to play and be outside with the other kids. He loves school! He eats well and sleeps well to. He has a new nurse that helps him and the other special needs children. She does a great job caring for the children.”

We are so hopeful that Wilson will find his forever family very soon. Contact CAN to learn how you can be matched with him through our Haiti Waiting Child adoption program.

Is your family open to adopting a child with HIV?

One of the creches that Children of All Nations is partnered with recently informed us that they’re looking to place a child who has been diagnosed with HIV. If you’re open to adopting a child with HIV and you’re interested in learning more, contact hilary@childrenofallnations.com for more information.

Haiti Adoption Resources

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A Family Perspective – Haiti Adoption

family

Why Haiti?

There are many factors which families take into consideration when choosing a country to adopt from. For some it’s a matter of where they’ll be able to find a child who fits their desired age range and level of medical needs, while others may be looking for more of a connection to their heritage or cultural beliefs.

The Lobeda family found themselves drawn to adopt from Haiti when they saw the need brought about by poverty and realized that they could make a difference for one child.

Our family is so excited to be adopting a son from Haiti! We feel called to adopt from Haiti because of the significant need. Haiti as a country is so poor and there are so many children in need of homes and a family. We feel we can make the greatest impact in adopting from Haiti and can’t wait to be matched with our son! We’re so excited to give love, family and a home to the child God chooses to bring into our family!

We have known for a long time that international adoption was in our future and we are so excited to finally be starting this journey. We believe that through adoption, we will complete our family with the son God chooses for us. It means we get the opportunity to love, care for and make a world of difference in our future son’s life.

Learn more about the Lobeda family’s journey here!

The Lobeda family is currently in process with our Haiti adoption program and working towards submitting their paperwork. We are so excited to continue following their journey as they get closer and closer to bringing their son into their family!

Haiti Adoption

CAN’s Haiti adoption program has both a Healthy Track and a Waiting Child program, making it a great option for families with varying adoption desires. As such, families in this program are able to be matched with younger healthy children, sibling groups, or children of all ages with some sort of medical need.

Each year CAN has a limited number of spaces available in our Haiti adoption program, and our spots for 2017 are already almost full! If your family is interested in pursuing an adoption from Haiti, visit our website or contact our CAN adoption specialists today to learn how you can begin your journey!

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12-Year-Old Triplets Waiting in Haiti!

Over the past several years, CAN’s matching specialists have advocated for these incredible brothers with the hope of finding them their forever family. They are incredibly sweet boys who we feel would truly thrive with the love and support of a family. If you’re interested in learning how your family can be matched with these boys visit CAN’s Waiting Child photo listing to request their file or contact our matching specialists today!

The Why’s of Adoption – by Hilary (CAN’s Haiti Matching Specialist)

I have a lot of moments during my day where I question why the adoption process is the way it is, who I could potentially connect with to help get our kiddos out and why there is not more urgency to unite children with their forever families. Working with 6 different countries has taught me a lot, and not just about international adoption but the various structures in different countries. Now, of course I realized early on that the structure of Haiti would be more of a no structure situation but with the amount of help stateside I am always hopeful that we can help contribute ideas, develop more structure for adoption, and simply co-exist together in a more beneficial way to create a streamline adoption process on behalf of the children.

When the adoption process has hiccups or delays it means sibling groups like the G-Triplets (Gavin, Grant and Grayson) must wait even longer to find a forever home and family.  I met this amazing 12 year old trio and I can personally say that they are some of the sweetest and well mannered boys that I have ever met. They showed me around their creche, introduced me to their friends, and we even practiced speaking English!

These brothers have been waiting for a long time to be adopted and even after seeing their friends leave the creche year after year they remain hopeful that the planes they see flying above might be bringing their family to them.

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Why CAN Loves Burundi

Each of our GWCA and CAN matching specialists have programs that they hold close to their hearts. For Shelby, one of our CAN matching specialists who works with several of our programs around the world, that program is Burundi. We have been overjoyed to see so much movement with this program lately, as several families have recently been matched with their kiddos and are preparing to travel to meet them. This blog will tell you a little bit about why Burundi holds a special place in Shelby’s heart. If you’re interested in learning if this program is right for your family, contact CAN today!

Being one of CAN’s international adoption counselors is by far one of the most rewarding and unique opportunities I’ve had the privilege to experience. Working with several different countries has truly opened my eyes to the differences in people and cultures all around the world. For almost a year and a half now, I’ve had the pleasure to work with many of our amazing in-country representatives to achieve our common goals of finding forever families for our kiddos.

Although I thoroughly enjoy working with all six of my countries, our Burundi program has always held a special place in my heart. Between our fantastic in-country staff, the simple and straight-forward adoption process, and the beautiful children, it’s no wonder Burundi has remained my favorite program since day one. Once families have submitted their paperwork to country, they can expect to receive a match within 1.5 years. As more and more Burundi orphanages begin to open up to the idea of international adoption, we anticipate the wait times to be matched will decrease. All of the children we have previously matched have been happy and healthy and are so eager to meet their forever families. There is an array of ages available, including very young kiddos under the age of 2 which is not commonly seen in the majority of the programs we work with.

I can honestly say that each one of our in-country staff members is willing to go above and beyond to help advocate and match the available kiddos. The passion and dedication they have for the children is phenomenal. Our representative is in constant communication with CAN as well as the Ministry in country, which makes it incredibly easy for us to get the most accurate and up-to-date information. If I can ever make my dream of visiting Africa into a reality, you can guarantee I will be visiting our rep to give him a huge hug for all of his hard work on behalf of the children!

I’m often asked about the safety of Americans traveling to country – it’s no secret that Burundi is a poverty-stricken country that continues to struggle on and off with political protests. The protesting has not affected the adoption process thus far and has not proved to be a huge impact to any family that has traveled to country. Additionally, our rep acts as a guide and translator throughout the entirety of a family’s visit; families will never find themselves alone while they are in Burundi. Although our family’s safety is CAN’s number one priority when traveling, I also think it’s crucial for families to experience firsthand the country and culture where their child was spent a portion of their childhood.

If you have longed to adopt a child from Africa, are curious to learn more about our Burundi program, or simply don’t know how or where to begin your adoption journey please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’m always happy to talk your ear off about the ends and outs of the international adoption process.

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#StaffSpotlight: Meet Shelby!

This year, in order to give all of our families the opportunity to learn a little bit more about our devoted staff, we will be featuring different team members in our Staff Spotlight series! Since the majority of our interactions with families take place over the phone or through email, families rarely have the opportunity to put a face to the name they know so well. Our Staff Spotlight series is a great way for each of our families to understand a bit more about who we are, what we do, and why we hold adoption close to our hearts.

For our very first #StaffSpotlight, we’d like you to meet Shelby!

1. What is your job title and description here at GWCA/CAN?
I am an international adoption counselor for the CAN department, which essentially means I wear several different hats! I am a case manager for 6 different CAN programs and work with a revolving caseload of families in the referral department, as well as inquiry families who are just getting started with the adoption process.

2. How long have you been working at GWCA/CAN?
I have been working in the CAN department for just about one and a half years!

3. What do you enjoy most about your job?
Although there are several amazing and rewarding aspects of my job, I have to say the absolute best part of my job is making the phone call to tell my families they have been matched with their kiddo! The genuine reactions to my exciting news never fails to get me all choked up with happy tears!

4. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Families typically spend the majority of their adoption journey with me in the referral department – waiting. Although this means I get to spend more time building a relationship with my families, the wait to be matched often times becomes very difficult for families. It’s hard for me to see my families struggle and to not be able to simply snap my fingers and have their child’s referral in my hand.

5. Why do you love adoption?
I love adoption (especially international!) because it helps children all over the world find their forever families.

6. Fun facts about you:
– I could live off caffeine and mac ‘n cheese.
– I have a very talkative, very furry orange kitty named Oliver.

Shelby’s current featured adoption programs are Burundi and Latvia! Keep an eye out for the next blog in our Staff Spotlight series to learn a bit more about one of these featured programs. In the meantime, if your family is interested in learning more about adopting a child from Burundi or Latvia, visit our website or contact Shelby today!

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