Ever since I can remember, when anyone would ask me what job I would like to have, I could never pinpoint a specific profession, job, or title. All I knew was that I wanted to be able to help people. I wanted to be passionate about my work. I wanted help enrich people’s lives. I wanted to leave an impact. Working here at CAN, I get to do all of those things – every single day.
Even after doing a ton of research on Burundi, it’s drastically different to read statistics versus hear the actual stories of the children. It really hits home and brings it into perspective the kind of struggles they face daily, which we would never have to worry about. Burundi is one of the three poorest countries in the world – let that sink in. I constantly find myself trying to grasp the concept that Burundians on average live off of $2 a day, and yet we don’t even think twice about spending $4 on coffee in the morning.
I’ll never forget the day our rep told me about the orphanage needing assistance, since their main donor left the country. He went on to explain the dire situation they would face if they do not get funding. One can only imagine how this would impact not only the kids, but also the workers there who are already extremely underpaid. Hearing him talk about the conditions of the orphanage, the children’s daily lives, and how some of the children ended up in the orphanage put into perspective how lack of funding would negatively influence these sweet children’s lives.
Proceeds from Benefit for Burundi will go directly to this orphanage in Bujumbura, where many of our kids come from. Any contribution goes such a long way to support their needs, from housing to food to other basic necessities. Our first Benefit for Burundi will be our T-shirt drive that starts September 5th! Our goal is to raise $300 in 30 days, and all proceeds raised will go towards covering rent for the orphanage. By supporting housing for the children, this ensures that the children will have a safe place to live until they find their forever homes.
-Katie, Burundi Adoption Specialist
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!Read More
What an exciting time this has been for our families that are adopting from Africa, as we’ve recently received a total of six new referrals! One of these referrals is for a family in our Uganda adoption program, and the other five are for families in our Burundi adoption program. Congratulations from all of us at GWCA and CAN, as you’re one step closer to bringing your little ones home forever!
Our Burundi adoption program offers families a relatively quick matching process, fantastic in-country staff support, and the opportunity to be matched with a younger, medically healthy child. While the age of each child matched will vary, we have seen that most referrals are for children under age 5! If you’re interested in learning how you can join our Burundi adoption program, contact our CAN matching specialists today!
Children of All Nations’ child sponsorship program, Fostering Hope, helps provide opportunities for giving back to children in need through individual and program sponsorship. Sponsored children will receive monetary donations from individuals and families to support their orphanage or foster home care, nutrition, schooling, therapies and medical care based on their individual needs. Sponsors receive photos and updates on the child that they are sponsoring, and get to see firsthand the difference they are making.
If you’re interested in learning how you can sponsor a child, visit our Fostering Hope page today!Read More
If you are interested in learning how you can get started with your adoption journey, contact one of our CAN Matching Specialists or visit our CAN Waiting Child Photo Listing today!
- Contact Our CAN Matching Specialists!
- Learn More About CAN’s Adoption Programs
- Visit CAN’s Waiting Child Photo Listing
Not sure which program might be the best fit for your family? Speak with one of our adoption specialists today to discuss your options, or request a Children of All Nations Information Guide to see an overview of each of our adoption programs.Read More
We are DELIGHTED to announce that a family in one of our African Adoption Programs has just received a referral! We are so incredibly happy for this family as they take one step closer to welcoming their kiddo home forever! It is so wonderful to see movement in some of our smaller programs.Read More