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Benefit for Burundi: 30 days to $3,000

In 2017, we launched a Benefit for Burundi fundraiser in hopes of being able to help an orphanage in Burundi that is near and dear to our hearts. Unfortunately, this orphanage does not have any financial assistance. Because of this, they are many months behind in rent and have minimal supplies.

At the close of our last drive, we were able to send funds to help this orphanage pay rent, buy supplies and much more! However, the orphanage still needs our help. In our continued efforts to find something more sustainable for this orphanage, we are asking you to help us raise $3,000 in 30 days. All proceeds raised will go towards the orphanage’s needs.

By purchasing a shirt or making a contribution, YOU will directly be impacting the lives of many children who did not choose for this to be their story. Thank you for helping us help them!

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New Haiti Referral

We’re excited to announce that we received a referral for a family that’s adopting from Haiti (a 4-year-old girl)! A referral means that a child has been selected for a family, and it’s an incredible milestone in the adoption process. Congratulations to the family from all of us at CAN! The next step for them would be to travel to Haiti to meet and bond with their new little girl. We look forward to following the rest of their adoption journey!

Haiti Adoption

CAN’s Haiti adoption program has both a Healthy Track and a Waiting Child program. Our Healthy Track program gives families the opportunity to be matched with a medically healthy child, while the Waiting Child program helps find homes for older children, sibling groups, and children of all ages with special needs.

Each year there are a limited number of spots available in the Healthy Track program, and they typically fill up very quickly. We are now accepting applications for our 2018 program, so now is a great time to get started! If you’re interested in learning how you can be matched with a child through CAN’s Haiti adoption program, visit our website or contact our Haiti Adoption Counselor Hilary at hilary@childrenofallnations.com or 512-323-9595 ext. 3062.

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Haiti Valentines

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! This year, we want to send love to all the kids at our partner orphanages in Haiti. We’re accepting Valentine’s cards and stickers at our office until February 5, 2018, and we’ll send them to the kids for Valentine’s Day.

If you’re interested in sending cards or stickers, please mail them to:

Attn: Hilary Clemons
Children of All Nations
248 Addie Roy Rd.
Suite A102
Austin, TX 78746

If you have any questions, please contact our Haiti Adoption Counselor Hilary at hilary@childrenofallnations.com. Thank you for showing the kids how much we love and care for them!

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New Haiti Referrals

We’re happy to announce that we’ve received TWO new referrals for families that are adopting from Haiti (a boy and a girl)! A referral means that a child has been selected for a family, and it’s an incredible milestone in the adoption journey. Congratulations to the families and their new kiddos from all of us at GWCA and CAN, as they are one step closer to being united. We are incredibly excited for them, and we look forward to following the rest of their journey home!

Haiti Adoption

CAN’s Haiti adoption program has both a Healthy Track and a Waiting Child program. Our Healthy Track program gives families the opportunity to be matched with a medically healthy child, while the Waiting Child program helps find homes for older children, sibling groups, and children of all ages with special needs!

Each year there are a limited number of spots available in the Healthy Track program, and they typically fill up very quickly. We are now accepting applications for our 2018 program, so now is a great time to get started! If you’re interested in learning how you can be matched with a child through CAN’s Haiti adoption program, visit our website or contact our Haiti Adoption Counselor Hilary at hilary@childrenofallnations.com or 512-323-9595 ext. 3062!

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Vacation for Our Hearts

In December 2017, a group of staff members, adoptive families, and other passionate volunteers traveled together to Haiti to support the orphans there. For our Orphan Care Team, it was a life-changing experience. One of the volunteers shares her experience below:

“The primary reason we chose Children of All Nations to facilitate our international adoption was the representatives’ passion for Haiti. From the very beginning, we always expressed an interest in visiting the country, and our desire to keep our adoptive baby’s culture and heritage was both understood and fostered by CAN. To Children of All Nations, Haiti isn’t just a Hague country providing Americans the opportunity to adopt a child in need: it’s a beautiful, beloved country that will adopt us as a family.

Prior to meeting our CAN specialists, we had researched Haiti and were astounded by the history of the island and its people. Haitians are no strangers to strife and have experienced a tumultuous past, seemingly always struggling to overcome obstacles. It is not an island for the faint of heart. We decided quickly that today’s Haiti cannot be read about in a book; it must be experienced. We wanted to learn. We wanted to see where our child’s history will originate, the sights and sounds our child will first experience, and how we can best serve our child in continuing their growth as Haitian-Americans based on the country’s culture, beliefs and values. We felt it was the very least we could do to begin our journey as a transracial Haitian-American family.

When CAN introduced the organization’s idea to coordinate an orphan care trip to families in process, we applied the first day the program was open. This was the opportunity we’d been waiting for. Visiting Haiti requires organized, tough leadership with thorough knowledge of traveling there: the community, currency, political stability, lodging, direction, even down to the location of the closest market and ‘Haitian Home Depot,’ as we called it. CAN exudes that confidence. Our representatives were dependable, knowledgeable, informed, and connected. Honestly, it was as if they were residents. And they were so courteous and allowed each traveler to experience Haiti and the orphanage in their own way, on their own time. So while we adhered to a loose schedule to keep our days full and productive, we had plenty of time to reflect on just what we were experiencing there in an orphanage that might be our baby’s current home. It was profound. And, having our representatives to rely on for all of the essentials provided us the opportunity to have a vacation for our hearts. Since returning to the United States, that’s exactly how my husband and I have described it to our loved ones.

Haiti is a dramatic land. It’s a place of extremes, certainly. I knew of the heat; I knew of the poverty; I knew of the earthquake; I knew of the hurricanes; and I also knew of its beauty. What I didn’t know; however, was of the children. Truthfully, never in my life have I witnessed such positivity, spirituality, hope, and gratitude in stark contrast to the environment and circumstances. The children are cared for, no doubt, and they are loved, but their existence is, like Haiti, tumultuous and rough. The children taught me so much, but mostly, that they have no time to wallow in what they might not have because there’s so much life to be lived. I can only aspire to achieve the attitude of optimism they possess.

Our orphan care trip with CAN was an indescribable experience that one can only appreciate by visiting. The smells, the sounds, the touch of holding a child’s hand are experiences so unique to the orphanage and the island that they very quickly intensified the love I have for the child we have yet to bring into our family. I cannot tell you how highly I recommend putting your trust in CAN and making this trip a reality, prior to your prospective match. My ONLY reservation is, candidly, if you think you are anxious now about the length of this process prior to homecoming, just wait until you experience the love and gratitude for your visit in each and every child’s eyes. It was a few days for the orphans, but it will last a lifetime for us. It’s an experience that has changed our lives for the better, especially as an adoptive family to one of Haiti’s littlest blessings.”

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Helping Haiti

In December 2017, a group of staff members, adoptive families, and other passionate volunteers traveled together to Haiti to support the orphans there. For our Orphan Care Team, it was a life-changing experience. One of the volunteers shares her experience below:

“When I first heard of this opportunity, I was just so excited to return to Haiti, as I fell in love with the country and the people my first time around. However, I had no idea how rewarding and encouraging this trip would be in relationship to my adoption process.

I was fortunate enough to get to bring my husband this time, and to show him this place in which I’d loved. Meeting our agency rep was especially helpful because we were able to ask several questions during the trip. We were so happy to learn that she was compassionate and fully invested in what was best for our family and our future children. Of course we’d assumed this before based on previous interactions via email, but this was much better.

Perhaps one of the most helpful parts about this trip was getting to talk with other potential adoptive parents. The adoption process in Haiti is so difficult to explain to others who aren’t involved. It was nice to be around people who understood! We’ve made lifelong friendships on this trip!

What I wasn’t anticipating about this trip, was its ability to eradicate some of my worries about adopting from Haiti. I had previously met some children who are not in a currently accredited creche and I was very worried about whether or not I’d be able to welcome into my family, children I hadn’t previously met. That worry was quickly removed upon visiting this new orphanage I hadn’t seen before and seeing all of the beautiful children that I could easily see joining my family someday. My other prior concern was that I would be taking these children from the place they were meant to be and that that would be selfish of me. Haiti is a beautiful country with beautiful people and exquisite culture. I didn’t want to remove that. But after talking to several older children at the orphanage I realized that they truly did want families. They did want to come to America. And I realized that we can continue to take trips to Haiti as a family in order to keep their heritage alive.

It was an incredible experience and I would go back in a heartbeat!! Thank you for the opportunity!”

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5 Steps to Start Your Adoption Journey

1. Connect with Our Matching Specialists

GWCA and CAN’s matching specialists are here to help you find an adoption program that’s right for your family. Contact us today to take advantage of our free adoption consultation offer and speak directly to one of our adoption specialists! You can reach us at 512-323-9595 or info@childrenofallnations.com.

2. Review Your Eligibility

Each country that GWCA and CAN works with has its own set of eligibility requirements. These requirements are set by the countries themselves, and not by GWCA or CAN. If you have any questions regarding your eligibility for a specific country, please contact us today!

Here are links to some of the eligibility requirements for GWCA and CAN’s programs:

3. Consider Your Adoption Parameters

One of the most important steps to beginning your adoption journey is figuring out what you are open to in terms of your adopted child’s age range, gender, and possible special needs. Often, the more open a family is in their adoption parameters, the quicker they’ll receive a match!

4. Learn more about GWCA and CAN’s Waiting Children

If your family is open to adopting an older child, a child with special needs, or a sibling group of two or more, our Waiting Child adoption programs might be right for you. Many of our Waiting Child adoption programs provide families the chance to play a role in the matching process (in reviewing a child’s file), and often you can be matched right away!

Visit GWCA and CAN’s Waiting Child photo listings!

5. Apply Today!

Once you’ve found the program that’s right for you, the next step is to go submit your application!

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Rumblings in Latvia

International adoption laws and legislation are constantly changing and evolving, sometimes leaving agencies, families, and children unaware of how things will end up. It never gets any easier to hear that proposed changes can negatively impact the overall welfare of the children. That unfortunately is the case we are seeing with Latvia currently. The political climate in Latvia has been very tense lately, since the Minister has been getting a significant amount of domestic pressure to prioritize keeping the children with Latvian families in Latvia. As ideal of a situation this is, it is sadly unrealistic, continues to build more barriers, and narrows their chances from finding their forever homes.

On December 8th, the U.S. Department of State issued a notice confirming that the Latvian government has proposed changes in regulations of hosting programs and international adoption (full notice can be found here). To summarize what is being proposed, they would like to limit the hosting program to only children living in orphanages who are 12 years old and up. For adoption, they are seeking to limit intercountry adoption to only children living in the orphanage or those living in foster care with serious medical conditions.

We’ll keep you updated on whether or not the Latvian government passes this legislation on our website blog and Facebook page. Even if these legislative changes go into effect, that does not change our agencies’ goal to help advocate for as many children as possible. If anything, this is a call to action to help be the voices for these children. If your family is ready to make a lifelong impact on one of these children’s lives, please consider hosting during our summer program or beginning your adoption process. Contact me today at katie@childrenofallnations.com for more information!

-Katie, Latvia Hosting Program Coordinator and Latvia Adoption Counselor

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Cake Packages

By sending a cake package to an orphanage, you brighten up the children’s day! Imagine their excitement and happiness when they discover that a special cake was gifted to them to celebrate a birthday or another occasion. Anyone can order a cake package and spread joy to these kids! Our staff in the country will arrange for a cake to be made and delivered to the orphanage. Afterwards, you’ll receive photos of the children enjoying the cake. Read below for more details!

Haiti

You can order a Haiti Cake Package for $99. For more information on how you can order one, please contact our Haiti Adoption Counselor Hilary at 512-323-9595 ext. 3062 or hilary@childrenofallnations.com today!

China

Send a sweet treat to the orphans in China by ordering a Connecting Hearts Cake Package! For pricing and other information, please contact our China Adoption Counselor Mallory at 512-323-9595 ext. 3033 or mallory@gwca.org today!

Please note: When making a payment, please select “Adoption fees and services,” select “AMENITIES,” and then choose either “Haiti Cake Package” or “China Cake Package”

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