I stepped off the plane and it was just how I remembered, except this time I was alone. As I entered the immigration area, I was pushed and shoved as individuals tried to get green forms and get in line to exit the airport. An overwhelming feeling came over me, and I thought, “Can I do this? Can I really do this trip by myself?” I put a forced smile on my face and got in line to hand off my form and exit the airport. As I got on the escalator (that typically does not work), I felt the heat of Haiti hit my face. It was all so surreal. I was back in a place that felt so comforting and yet so foreign all at the same time. As I made it over to the baggage area my mind began racing, wondering if someone was going to be outside to pick me up and how I would find them in the large crowd. Filled with anxiety, I continued through the airport towards the exit. And just like that, I saw a familiar face and all of the mixed feelings I felt previously were gone. I knew I was supposed to be here, and I was beyond excited for this new avanti.
This second trip to Haiti was not only about adoption, but it was also about finding comfort in being alone in another country. So comfortable that I would soon be able to lead my own group in Haiti. I want to help bring awareness to a cause that many people do not know about, I want to show individuals another culture, and I want to present an opportunity to be completely selfless. This has been a dream of mine since my first trip.
Am I nervous to lead an entire group in a foreign country where I am not fluent in the local language? Absolutely. But, I feel like this has been my calling for a long time and instead of letting fear hold me back, I am letting go and letting God lead me.
*avanti- Creole word for “adventure”
– Hilary Clemons, Senior Adoption Counselor/Orphan Care Team Leader
- Click here to apply for the Orphan Care Trip!
- Check out Hilary’s Blog: Help, Hope, Haiti
- Learn More About Haiti Adoption
- Contact a Haiti Adoption Specialist
Would you like a way to directly give back and help children in need this upcoming holiday season? Do you want to see how YOU can truly make an impact? Then join Hilary December 1-5, 2017 for Children of All Nation’s first Orphan Care Trip to Haiti! This trip is perfect for anyone interested in supporting a good cause or learning more about the culture in Haiti.
You will be travelling to Haiti with an experienced guide. During this trip you will have the opportunity to work directly with children, complete orphanage projects, explore local businesses that support orphans, and even go to the beach!
There are limited spots available, so apply as soon as possible! For more information, please contact our Orphan Care Team Leader Hilary at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 512-323-9595 ext. 3062Read More
Did you know that your own home is a prime vacation destination? To an orphan in the Philippines, your home is an oasis where a child can find out what the love of a family is outside of the orphanage. Last winter, an amazing group of children had the opportunity to spend a “stay-cation” in a home with a family – we want to provide that same opportunity this summer for a new group of children. Make memories like the one in the photo with a host child and be an Orphan Warrior for one amazing kid!
Bring one of the amazing children in our Philippines program to spend a 4-5 week long vacation with your family this summer! All proceeds go toward the children’s hosting costs. The kiddos in our Philippines program are healthy, know some English, and are excited to spend time with you and your family! Whether you want to host to adopt or host to advocate, WE NEED YOU! Hosting Grants ARE AVAILABLE NOW! Ask us today! Tentative dates are mid-July through mid-August, so if you’re ready to be an #OrphanWarrior, contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org for more details. Or apply today!Read More
In the fall of 2014 we heard last-minute about the Great Wall Winter Hosting Program. Our family felt compelled to move forward with the program and host a boy during the holidays. We entered the program with the possibility that we might adopt, but it could be that we were to advocate for the child.
We chose to host a six-year-old boy who turned seven a few days after his arrival in the US. Our family welcomed him into our home and he settled in quickly into our busy holiday schedule. We celebrated his birthday, attended a family wedding, enjoyed several Christmas gatherings, had numerous play dates, and stayed at my parents’ farm for a few days. It was a delightful time and he added a lot of fun boy-energy to our home with three daughters!
About halfway through our hosting, we knew we had to make a decision about whether to move forward to adopt or to advocate for his adoption. Our prayer had been that we would know whether to adopt or advocate. He fit into our family so well and we love him so, but for reasons we couldn’t really understand, our family felt we were to advocate for his adoption. That was December 31st. Our family prayed that God would lead us to the family who was to be his adoptive family.
That night at the New Year’s Eve Service at our church, a lady I knew casually came over to ask a few questions about the hosting program. As we talked and I shared about adoption (our three daughters are adopted), it became evident that this family would probably be his forever family. They had talked about adopting at some point and recently had discussed that with the ages of their biological children, it might be a good time to move forward with adoption. On January 2, they made the phone call to Great Wall to start the adoption process.
We could not have selected a better family for him! He will join a family of loving parents with a sister and brother close in age to him. The boy is three years older and the girl is about a year older, so they will be in the same school and participate in a lot of the same activities.
What we couldn’t understand quickly became evident and the beautiful journey continues to unfold. The rest of the time he was in our home, we made more memories with him that we will always cherish! The last two weeks, we spent many hours with the adoptive family, though he did not know they would be his forever family (in keeping with hosting guidelines).
Our family is so blessed to know this family even better and have our host boy grow up in our community. Of course, the first few months, we will keep our distance as he bonds with his forever family, but we look forward to being part of his life and watching him grow! What an amazing journey for us, the host boy, and the adoptive family as several lives are changed forever through this hosting experience!
We have the children listed on the photo listing. Due to Philippines confidentiality, the kids photos are not listed. If you request more information on them, one of our hosting team members will contact you and provide them and additional information for you.Read More
It’s official! The 2015 Summer Hosting Program is starting off with a big bang! We have already matched some really great kiddos thanks to our VIP families that registered early. We only have 40 spots available and as of this evening there are 36 spots available which will decrease by several over night.
Visit our hosting page here to request a password and begin looking at all of the sweet children ready to visit America.
Please reach out to our matching team today if you are interested in being a part of the 2015 Hosting Experience. Our hosting program has so much to offer for those who are looking for a way to give back to these sweet children.
We need families that are looking to host to adopt, or host to advocate. What does host to advocate mean? It means bringing a child into your home for the summer and giving them the experience of a family. But more than that, it’s getting to know them as a person to help in the advocacy efforts of finding them a forever family. It’s sharing that child’s story with your friends, family and community in efforts to find that child’s forever family. It’s committing to that child wholly knowing you will not stop until you find the family that can best serve that child’s needs. It’s being that child’s advocate.
We also need families as back up host families. Unforeseen circumstance occur, and situations present themselves that not everyone can handle. In case of an emergency we need families all over the united states ready to take action in the event the child can not stay the entire time with their original host family.
We need chaperone host families. Families that want to open their home to one of the caretakers that will be traveling with the children. The adults that travel with children also need a place to stay, you could provide that for them at no cost to your family.
We need home safety visit providers, approved individuals that can help families get their home approved for hosting a child.
Lastly we need advocates, we need people like you that are reading this right now because you care about the children, to share the hosting program information with people you know. You can share a child’s photo listing photo on your Facebook, twitter, etc. Help get these kid’s faces out there so we can find their host family and potential forever family!Read More
It’s More Than Just Adoption
Moving forward in the year of 2015 brings ample reflection on the years past and planning for the busy year ahead. We take this time to stop the phones and the hectic attempt to answer each and every email that pops into view so that we can assess what we are going to do for the parentless children around the world, our families, our staff and the agency as a whole. No pressure or anything. We are always so focused on the day to day that it really is an eye opening moment when we get to stop and count up all the boys and girls that we can now say are officially sons and daughters. We matched over 150 children with their forever families this past year through plenty of long long days, nights, blood, sweat and most definitely tears. We’ve given our best and we have relished the reward of just being a part of a family’s journey through adoption. It’s kind of hard to describe or pinpoint just what makes all of this worth-while. I’m positive it must be different for everyone. Of course the best part is the joy of seeing those little faces of all ages, needs and circumstances at home in the arms of their smiling moms or dads. If you ever wanted to believe in miracles, just ask. When you’re ready, I’ll show you about 150 recent occurrences. They’re really cute too.
The most promising prospect I’ve noticed as a consultant is the realization that the basic information families are starting to educate themselves with reflects a genuine understanding of the realities in International Adoption today. It is starting to sink in for most that this ever evolving process, from thought to fruition, is so much more than just adoption. How such a simple concept could hold so many different meanings for so many has always been a challenge for International Adoption Consultants like me. But now, it is clear more families are coming to the table with the ideal child in mind being actually someone we could deliver. They know that any child without a mom and dad is a child of special need. Any child that has not been given the abundance of love, attention and care that we all desperately not only need but crave, is globally lacking. Their delays are a given and their developmental challenges are expected and even embraced. No child is easily categorized in one way or another. They can only be labeled as one thing. Deserving.
One way of enabling more families to experience this passion is to give more people the opportunity to be involved no matter what connection they have or wish to have with the adoption world. We have developed and are currently developing a variety of services that provide an open door to anyone who is interested in being a part of a wanting child’s world. You can now host an orphan in your home either to get to know a child before adopting or to help them find a family. When a child is brought out of the country of their birth and literally placed in your arms, it takes all the mystery out of what is meant to be. Innocent bystanders see this and can’t help but want to be a part of it too. Suddenly, they are telling their friends who then tell other friends how easy it can be. The spirit of wanting to help a child have what we all know is paramount to a human being becomes a viral sensation. Who knew going viral could be good anywhere else but on YouTube! By the end of 2015 hosting will be available from 4 different countries where older children, children with special needs and sibling groups seem to be languishing the most.
In some countries the lack of resources has inhibited them from getting orphaned children legally ready and available for adoption. In response to this, we have put our talents to work and developed an adoption network system that can be used by country ministries to keep track of all children available for adoption. We have given this system as a gift to two countries, Guyana and Burundi and are providing training for the government staff therein as well. Our President and Board of Directors hope that this will help more children get adopted by more families, more easily. Bottom line.
And last but certainly not least, we have developed the CONNECT program. This helps families with adopted children they cannot continue to be parents of, find a safe and legal path to a permanent home for their child. We connect the family with all the resources they need to cope and if necessary, find a new vetted family fit for the child. We vow to help any family who adopted any child from any agency find the way to peace again. No one asks for dissolution, so therefore no one should have to bear that burden alone or be forced to take drastic measures, just because they want their family to be happy. We feel as an authority and a staple in the world of International Adoption, it is our absolute duty to set this example.
I know what you’re thinking. How amazing is that! How smart are they, those folks over at GWCA and Children of All Nations. They will have tons of business coming to them in 2015. What’s even more surprising is that these programs will probably not make us a dime. That’s right, you heard me. We are investing in you, the children and these countries because that is what we want to do. It’s as simple as that. Our love for you and children has made us absolutely loose our minds with passion. Of course we know and hope more than anything these programs and new services will inspire families to adopt, but it is absolutely true more than ever that what we do here and what you contribute to this organization goes far beyond the surface value. It is so much more than adoption. If you are ready, we are here to carry you along and surround you with our warm hopes for you, your future and the future of all children everywhere.
Are you interested in hosting a child from China or Philippines, but not quite ready to take the full plunge into being a full time host family for 4 weeks? If so, consider participating as a Backup Host Family to gain valuable experiences and opportunities with host children who may need to be relocated from their primary host families. These host children may need to be moved on a rare occasion for several possible reasons, but ultimately they need a safe, encouraging environment while they are here.
Here are FIVE great reasons to be a Backup Host Family:
1) All hosting fees for the Host Child placed with your family are already paid in full by the Primary Host Family (excluding potential travel expenses to pick up child and expenses during the child’s stay with your family)
2) All necessary paperwork and action items for you to qualify as a host family will already be accomplished, so if you enjoy your experience, signing up to be a Primary Host Family the next go around will be simple and easy
3) You can always discuss the child’s habits, likes, dislikes, and learn more about the child from the first-hand experience of the Primary Family before you bring the child into your home.
4) You will receive full file disclosure from the country (medical history, personal interviews, etc) on the Host Child staying in your home
5) If you are asked to take over as a Backup Host Family, you will have access to a Program Mentor, Program Coordinator, and Translator to support you full time during the program.
Backup Host Families are needed in cases in which the Host Child can no longer stay with the Primary Host Family. Often, these are through no fault of the child and may simply be due to an unforeseen emergency within the Primary Host Family. There will be a transparent line of communication with Backup Host Families about any issues the child may experiencing that might have cause the need for a move. You can let us know, for any reason, that you will not be able to serve as the Backup Host Family for a particular child after we contact you. The children from both China and Philippines are accompanied by Chaperones from their orphanages or social workers from the Chinese/Filipino Governments to the United States, and the Chaperone will check in with the child during his or her stay with your family. You are always supported as a backup host family.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact email@example.com or call April at 512-323-9595 x3061.Read More
Join our TEAM and contribute to our upcoming host programs. All proceeds acquired from these t-shirts will go toward hosting grants for the Summer 2015 program. These shirts will be worn by all of our hosting kids as they arrive to meet their host families for the 2014 Holiday Program. We ask that all family members and friends that will be meeting these children at the airport purchase a shirt. The shirts will be available to order until November 5th. They are $20, which includes shipping. T-shirts will be shipped after November 20th. Send this link to your friends and families and make a difference in a child’s life by joining our TEAM today!
Do you know what TEAM stands for?