While Hurricane Harvey has brought devastating floods to many areas of Texas, we have been very fortunate and are happy to announce that our Austin office has not been impacted. We are safe and operating under normal business hours. Our thoughts are with our friends, families, and fellow Texans who have been impacted by the hurricane.
That being said the team at GWCA/CAN/SAE are gathering donations for Central Texas Food Bank and Austin Pets Alive to be allocated to our friends in need all over southern Texas. If you are local we encourage you to donate to the above organizations or you can bring your goods here and we’ll deliver them for you.
If you would like to participate, please bring whatever of the following:
- Canned Foods
- Anything from this list for cats/dogs (note that they do not need any dog food or dry food anymore.)
We appreciate your support and our continued thoughts go out to all those impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
248 Addie Roy Rd. Suite A102
Austin, TX 78746
When we arrived at the airport last Friday in Port Au Prince I soon discovered that leaving Haiti is very similar to the adoption process as we experienced a lot of unpredictable delays. We got to the airport at 2pm for our flight at 4pm. We slowly watched the expected boarding time get later and later. It eventually was pushed back so far that now we were not going to make our connecting flight to Austin. We finally arrived in Miami at 11pm to be transferred to a hotel for the night and back up at 3am to try again and make our way to Austin…
The plane touched down and I felt as if I dreamed the whole trip up in my head. As I was scrolling through all the photos on my phone while I waited to get off the plane I still could not believe the trip had already come to an end. Since I have been back in Austin I have felt an extreme sadness. I am completely heartbroken by the life those sweet children live but I also have a renewed hope for the future ahead. I am constantly wondering what they are doing and how they are feeling. I cannot imagine what it would be like to be a child living in an orphanage. Because, I met these kids I was able to learn a lot about their personalities, their hopes, fears, and dreams; I know that any family would be incredibly lucky to add these children to their family. Because of this trip, I am extremely aware of many things we don’t even think to be grateful for like smooth paved roads, lights, hot water, a bed full of pillows and blankets, air conditioning, and much much more. But honestly, I would trade it all to be back in Haiti right now. There are some things in life that completely shake the ground you walk on and this was one of those experiences for me. For a country full of citizens who have nothing in some ways they seem to have a lot more than us. I don’t know if it is their reliance on God that I saw throughout various communities, Espwa for a better life one day, or the fact that they may just not know anything significantly different even exists.
“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.”
Espwa means hope in Haitian Creole and this whole trip I have been hopeful of new connections, updates from IBESR, good news from our rep, and positive movement not only on the adoption front but also in the country. So far keeping the phrase “Espwa” in mind has led us to great success. So far we have gone to Maison everyday getting updates on the children, updates on the kiddos matched, and updates on which children are available. We also visited another orphanage that currently has 130 children and discussed what partnering with them would look like. This orphanage has a lot of children with special needs and it would be amazing to help advocate to find them families. We also ventured out to IBESR and received updates on some of the families waiting. Today we are going to Maison again and also visiting another orphanage on the other side of Port Au Prince.
The children are amazing and so are the people. The kids love to be held, given hugs, and are constantly hanging on us (and we are soaking up every moment). Looking around the orphanages you see what little things they really have. The children are playing with brooms, sticks, rocks, and random other object they find but even with so little you can see how much “Espwa” they have. Standing outside and watching the kids run under the clothes line full of children’s clothes of all sizes and looking over to see the tarp draped bathing area I really wish I could give them the world. I wish they were not given this life. And, I wish I could change their entire world. But one of my favorite adoption quotes is, “you may not be able to change the whole world, but for that one child the whole world will change.” With this quote in mind and keeping “Espwa” on the brain we all will be able to change the world.. One orphan at a time.
Tomorrow we visit C4C!!
Goodnight from Haiti ❤️
Diedra helping make fresh peanut butter
Hilary playing with the children at Maison.
When you have dreamed about doing something your entire life and it finally comes true it is hard to believe. All day today, I have felt like I am dreaming.. As our driver came to a gate and told us we were at Maison my heart fell into my stomach. I had no idea what to expect and my nerves and excitement were starting to get the best of me. I stepped out of the car and began walking through the orphanage looking at all the little clothes hanging on the clothes line, children running everywhere, and the amount of love they spread every direction they ran. I was immediately tackled by a stunning little girl wearing an Ariel dress and a handsome young man joined in on the fun as well! After that I continued walking around and ended up at the toddler room. One little boy put his hand on my face and called me beautiful so I think it’s safe to say I found my valentine in Haiti ? We all took tons of pictures and started making home made peanut butter with a peanut grinder! The kids went CRAZY. I stood back watching them run up for more and more peanut butter and realized how lucky we truly are for what we have…They were all so excited over something that is such a common grocery item to all of us and that really hit it home for me. The children and people in this country are amazing and it has been incredible to see children in person that I have seen in photos for months (I am sure some of you families can relate to that).
Tomorrow we tackle IBESR so keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we push for updates and positive movement for adoptions in general.
Much love from Haiti ❤️
Follow ALL of Hilary’s Blog Post’s Here
The holidays are upon us and GWCA/CAN is proud to announce the launching of our newest program, the J.O.Y. Initiative (Journey for Orphaned Youth)
Our J.O.Y. (Journey for Orphaned Youth) Advocacy Initiative is a special, one-week program that occurs three times a year. A small group of families will travel together to China to meet a child waiting for a forever family. It’s an amazing chance to connect with a child, see the world the children live in, and create an amazing opportunity for a forever family. Families interested in the JOY Advocacy Initiative should have a strong intention of adoption or established interest in advocating for orphans.
Much like our Home Orphan Hosting China Program, the children in our JOY Initiative have often lived in orphanages most of their lives. Though usually well-cared for, these children have almost never experienced a sense of family and have lacked access to basic needs like general medical care, good nutrition, and education.
The children in our JOY Initiative are extra-special! These are children who may not be eligible for hosting either due to age or need, and families are able to meet their potential forever child through this experience. Every opportunity we provide to our children from China is another chance for them to find the love, comfort, and permanency a family can provide.
We are currently seeking families to join us on our Inaugural JOY Initiative Trip this Spring. Visit our photo listing today. Families interested in learning more can contact Cayce or Shannon via email or by phone, 512-323-9595 Ext 3101 to learn more.
The Kids Are Here!
Our Ukraine Host Kids arrived from the Ukraine this weekend to spend their entire summer with an American host family. Everyone is safe and sound in their host homes. We ask for your thoughts as the children settle in and families adjust. The children are here for 11 weeks and we hope that they all have an incredibly memorable experience. We hope that these children who were once abandoned know and understand that there are people in this world that want to love them, that they have a purpose, that the world is much bigger and brighter than they may realize.
Stay tuned for more updates!