URGENT: Tom Needs a Family!

At GWCA/CAN we know that sometimes waiting kids just need a little bit of extra advocacy and support. We know that their future family is out there, we just haven’t found them yet! That is why sometimes there are special circumstances when we like to highlight a specific kiddo that comes across our desk. Tom is one of those cases. This little guy from the Philippines needs a home desperately. Can you help us find one?

Name: Tom
DOB: 01/2008
Age: 5 yrs
Gender: Male
Tom was born with a cleft lip which has been corrected. He was unable to receive proper care from his birth mother and was removed from the home by a social worker. Tom was brought to a development specialist at 3 years old for a language delay. He has been diagnosed with an overall Global Developmental Delay. Tom suffers from hearing loss in both ears and needs the use of hearing aids. He is able to use single words. 

Tom enjoys gong to the development sessions at the Early Childhood Care and Development Center. His is described as friendly and affectionate. He enjoys meal time and feeding himself. Currently, Tom resides with a licensed foster family. 
**For more information on Tom please contact leighanne@gwca.org**
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Meet Diedra Connolly!

We are excited to give our families a little glimpse of the staff here at GWCA and CAN, so that you can see who we are and why we love doing just what we do. Every day we come to work and love to connect with our families, but now we are going to show you whose faces are behind every phone call, letter and E-mail received.

Get some sunglasses, shield your eyes, and hold onnnn because the woman that we are about to introduce you to is a straight angel! We want you to meet our China Program Director, Diedra Connolly! There are not a whole lot of words that do this incredible woman justice. She is warm, inviting, empathetic, thoughtful, servant-hearted…and that’s just the beginning! For Diedra, there is always a solution to any problem that may arise, and no task is too big to tackle. She’s got a big heart and every time that far outweighs obstacles set in her path. We wouldn’t be the same without her.

So without further ado…meet Diedra!

  1. What is your job title and description here at GWCA?

China Program Director. I manage and supervise all China Program adoption services. I also manage, support, and provide training for our wonderful Great Wall China Adoption staff. It is such a privilege to work with dedicated staff that have a true passion for adoption and child advocacy.

  1. How long have you been working at GWCA?

I began with Great Wall China Adoption in Feb. 2007 as the Dossier Specialist.

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I love talking with our families at all phases in the adoption process.  I enjoy getting to know them and seeing their joy and excitement when they have been matched with a child.  The best part of all our jobs is when families send photos once their child is home, or even better, when they come by the office to introduce their newly adopted son or daughter.

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

Dealing with delays due to government processes. However, I realize my frustration is nothing compared to the family that has been impacted by the red tape. My goal is to help look for ways to circumvent obstacles or solutions to navigate the barriers.

  1. How have you grown personally from working at GWCA and with their families?

Early on I discovered I have a heart for the Waiting Child Program. I love talking with families and helping them learn more about the children in this program. I am amazed everyday by the wonderful families that have opened their hearts to these beautiful children. The only “need” these families see is a need for a child to have a Forever Family.

  1. Why do you love adoption?

No child should have to live out their childhood in an institution. Every child deserves to feel safe and cherished. Adoption allows children to know the security of a home, the bonds of a family and the unconditional love of a parent. I feel very blessed and humbled to have been a small part of uniting a child with their family.

Fun Facts about Diedra: 

1.  I love to read, go to movies and listen to all types of music.  When I’m at home my radio is always tuned into the top country music station.

2.  My husband and I met in high school and have been married 30 years. Everyone says he makes the perfect frozen margarita and I agree!

3. We are blessed with a 21 year old daughter who is a senior at The University of Texas. She is completing her degree in Exercise Science/ Kinesiology and plans to get a doctorate in Physical Therapy.

4.  I have degrees from 2 of the state’s biggest rivals – The University of Texas and Texas A&M.

5. I have been called a Garage Sale Diva. For years I helped organize huge garage sales to help raise funds for a girl scout troop. I have assisted friends with garage sales to get rid of their unwanted treasures (notice I don’t say junk). As the reigning Queen of Garage Sales I am personally challenged to make sure no shopper leaves without a purchase!

“Diedra is truly THE BEST.  She takes care of GWCA families as if each were a member of her own family.  Diedra also comes around the office every morning to say, “hi!”  She cares so much about adoption and advocates for her families, the children, and her staff.  Her attention to detail and thoughtfulness makes each adoption journey memorable.”-Diedra’s co-worker

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Siblings Max & Mandy Need a Home!

At GWCA/CAN we know that sometimes waiting kids just need a little bit of extra advocacy and support. We know that their future family is out there, we just haven’t found them yet! That is why sometimes there are special circumstances when we like to highlight a specific kiddo that comes across our desk. Max and Mandy are one of those cases. This sibling set from the Philippines needs a home desperately. Can you help us find one?


**The birth mother left the children in the custody of their birth father  The birth father had difficulty providing the needs of the children and sought the help of an institution. The birth father decided to relinquish his parental rights over the children for adoption. Efforts were exerted to locate the birth mother  The birth mother appeared in the institution and disclosed that she cannot take custody of her children as she has no stable income. She decided to surrender her children for adoption.**

Max is a Grade 5 pupil in a public school. He is reported to do well in school. He can read and write English and Filipino words. His teachers reported that he is active in class discussions. The child is assessed to have Average intellectual functioning. At the center, he relates well with the other children. He does not want conflict with other children and would refer to his house parents when confronted by his peers. He enjoys playing basketball, football, and indoor games. He aspires to become a scientist in the future. Max is 13 years old.

Mandy is a Grade 3 pupil in a public school. She is reported to have good grades in school. She actively participates in class discussion and has good relationship with her classmates. The child is assessed to have Low intellectual functioning. At the center, she has good relationship with the other children. She follows instructions of her house parents but would at times, refuse to comply. She enjoys playing with her friends, swimming and indoor games. Mandy is 11 years old.

If you would like to speak with someone about Max and Mandy, please contact leighanne@gwca.org for further information. 

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Media Monday

Well the weekend is officially over and everyone is back to the grind at work! With the next week in sight, what better time to catch up on all of your current adoption news from the past week—including country and domestic updates, relevant articles, book recommendations, interesting websites, even how we are seeing adoption being talked about in movies, television, the media, etc.

At GWCA and CAN we know that you, the parents, are our experts so we are calling for your help. Our desire is to make this as interactive as possible, so if you ever have any suggestions about things to add please comment below or E-mail them to Mary at mary@childrenofallnations.com.

This past week in adoption:

  • U.S. State Department on Intercountry Adoption
Last week the U.S. State Department issued two different alerts to prospective adoptive parents. One from India, and the other from Serbia. On Thursday, the 28th, The Central Adoption Resource Authority of India (CARA) informed the State Department that it is accepting new applications for intercountry adoptions from prospective adoptive parents in foreign countries, including the United States, seeking to adopt children habitually resident in India.  On Friday the 29th, U.S. Embassy Belgrade received reports that one or more U.S. adoption agencies may be giving prospective adoptive parents misleading information about the process of adoption in Serbia.  Serbia places a priority on domestic adoption.  The only children who are generally available for intercountry adoption are children with special needs.  There are no adoption agencies authorized to offer adoption services in Serbia, and families should not seek to work with an intermediary.
  • The Kimbanguist Symphony Orchestra of Kinshasa
Many of our families are currently in process to adopt children from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The DRC is one of the poorest countries in the world, while famine and disease (including AIDS) are leading causes of death in the Democratic Republic of Congo, leaving thousands of children without parents. It is estimated that 15% of children under the age of 18 are orphans in this country of 68 million people.However despite all of the brokenness, this is a story of beauty from the ashes. In Kinshasha, the capitol city, “Maestro Armand Diangienda, a former pilot, began an orchestra with neither teachers, instruments, musicians nor anyone who could read music.” Now boasting over 200 players in the orchestra, these individuals are “defying the poverty of their war-torn country by learning and performing classical music.”

  • Oklahoma couple hopes documentary speeds up foreign adoption
This is a testimony from an Oklahoma couple covered by a local news station. They share about their experience with international adoption and the documentary “STUCK.”

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