Volunteers Assist Orphanage Staff In Child Assessments

China-2015-551This year, I had the privilege of working alongside CCAI with some amazing people, helping to love on some amazing kids! My name is Autumn Shetley and I am a nurse. My job this year was working at Luohe Lily Orphan Care Center in Henan, China – a trip that was made possible by a ministry called Christy’s Legacy of Hope, started by Karen DePriest in honor of her daughter’s love for orphans around the world.

We were honored to have the opportunity to travel to three different orphanages over about a two-week span. Our team consisted of my mom, myself, and Dr. Cricket (a wonderful pediatrician!). Our mission was to love on the children while performing head-to-toe physical assessments for all the children waiting to be adopted by loving families.

With the help of so many wonderful people, the trip was a success! Our team was very tired and worked hard to see as many children as we could while there. I am proud to say that we saw a good number, but you never forget those that you leave behind. We will always remember the bonds made with the CCAI staff, the orphanage care takers, and, most importantly, the children’s lives we had the privilege to be a part of. Their little faces touched each one of us personally and I pray they each find loving homes!

Thank you to CCAI, Christy’s Legacy of Hope, and our Father God for allowing this trip to be a reality. We couldn’t have done this without them!

CCAI Charity Projects Update

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The children, orphanage staff and volunteers of the Luohe LOCC.

Throughout the end of April, CCAI Charity Director Xia Zhong spent 2 weeks traveling through China, visiting many different orphanages, and speaking with staff and children alike to give hands-on training to keep up LOCC’s high standard of care, as well as to prepare those traveling to the United States for the Orphan Hosting Program this summer.

HOSTING PROGRAM UPDATE

Over the course of her trip, Xia was able to visit several of the orphanages in Hubei and Henan that have children visiting the United States as a part of the Orphan Hosting Program later this summer. During her time at the orphanages, she met with chaperones and children, preparing them on what to expect once they meet their host families and the many cultural differences between China and the United States.
As many of the children have never had the opportunity to be surrounded by so many western gadgets, some of the staples of American life that Xia had to explain to the children included: the difference in American versus Chinese cuisine; how to use objects like the refrigerator, television, microwave and Western toilets; and the difference between a wild animal and a pet.
With a few more follow-up training sessions scheduled before the children arrive, all the participating Hosting Program children are very excited to meet their host families and experience the American family lifestyle! “All of these kids are so sweet and deserve a loving home. Even though it will be a little bit of a culture shock for everyone in the program, I hope that everyone is prepared for the immense amount of joy and inspiration that comes from the program,” says Xia.

MORE HENAN ORPHANAGES OPENING

20While in Henan, Xia was able to meet with orphanage directors and discuss six additional county orphanages that will be opening up in Henan within the next several years and what supplies they will need to care for the children they can house. We are so excited to provide the support they will need through our Children Charity Fund to help ensure their success!
“Once the orphanages open, they will need donations of all the basic necessities: bottles, formula, clothing, appliances like washing machines, dryers, refrigerators, and much more! When people donate to Chinese Children Charities, we will make sure that that money can go directly to the orphanages to help the children who have not yet found their families,” says Xia. Any money donated can be directed to specific items or given to the orphanages to help with general care and maintenance or even foster care for children who can be placed with a foster family in China.

LILY ORPHAN CARE CENTER

14An exciting update from the LOCC program is that our facility in Zhengzhou province has renewed their contract with CCAI! This means we will be able to continue providing loving support with our dedicated and highly trained staff of more than 22 nannies who care for more than 30 orphans at a time, waiting for their families.
It was a very successful trip. 2015 has brought many blessings to Chinese Children Charities!

For more information on Chinese Children Charities please contact Xia Zhong at charity@ccaifamily.org or call us at 303-850-9998. To donate please go to http://ccaifamily.org/Charity/Donation.aspx

CCAI Board Honors Legacy Member

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CCAI Board of Directors and Co-founders Joshua Zhong and Lily Nie award Susan Hendee with the Legacy Award.

CCAI’s above-the-crowd success is in no small part thanks to CCAI’s Executive Board of Directors. On May 13, 2015, CCAI celebrated Executive Board Vice President Susan Hendee’s more than 18 years of faithful and steadfast service to CCAI as she stepped down from her role on the Board and was honored with the Legacy Award by CCAI co-founders Lily and Josh and her fellow board members.

“Susan’s incredible passion for homeless children around the world and her passionate leadership has played a crucial role in the unprecedented success of CCAI in the past eighteen years.’ Praised CCAI Co-founder and President Joshua Zhong.

CCAI Chairman of the Board Paul Rady presented Susan with the Legacy Award on behalf of the entire organization. “Susan is the best example of what a great non-profit board member should be – giving, wise, and tireless. We will miss her service enormously.”

Susan, who has adopted two daughters through CCAI, thanked the Board, President Joshua Zhong, CEO Lily Nie, as well as the CCAI staff for continuing to promote CCAI’s message of love and for helping all the children through the last two decades of family-building.

“There hasn’t been a year that has gone by that someone doesn’t tell me how thankful they are to know my daughters. They have effected so many lives they wouldn’t have had the chance to if it weren’t for CCAI and all the work the amazing staff does every day!”

Our deepest gratitude to this amazing woman who has guided and supported CCAI with her talent, time and passion from the beginning.

Staff Anniversaries in May

This month, we’re celebrating Kimberly Elstun who manages the Dossier Department, Kathi Sundrup who oversees “Other Country Adoptions,” and Cathi Velez who is the CCAI Florida Office Case Manager. Each of these outstanding ladies are celebrating their anniversary with CCAI and have each written a little about themselves and their time here!

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OCA Program Coordinator Kathi Sundrup and Dossier Department Manager Kim Elstun.

Kimberly Elstun
This month, I am proud to celebrate my ELEVENTH year at CCAI—can you believe it?! As I completed my undergraduate studies in Sociology with emphasis in Peace & Justice Studies at Regis University, I felt a calling to explore beyond my own backyard and traveled to several countries on the other side of the globe. Of all the amazing countries I visited, China stole my heart.

After an internship in the adoption field and several personal experiences with China adoption in particular, I found myself at CCAI. As a nerd at heart, supporting families through the ups and downs of the dossier paper chase is something I find not only intellectually stimulating, but emotionally satisfying as well. Each family has their own unique story and I am truly blessed to play a part!

I am very grateful to Josh and Lily for giving me the opportunity to pursue my passion with such a wonderful organization, to my amazing coworkers who make each day at the office one of great love and spirit, and all the families who have allowed me to support them in this incredible journey—you each fill my heart and have made the last 11 years so memorable!


 

Kathi Sundrup
I have been with CCAI for 14 wonderful years and currently work with “Other Country Adoption” families. I have two beautiful daughters of my own who are from China and were adopted through CCAI.

Besides working with my families and helping them through their adoption process, one of my favorite things to do is to help the Waiting Child Department, making calls to waiting families about a child who needs a family. It is the highlight of my day when a “match” is made!

In the time that I have been at CCAI, one of my favorite memories is helping a special family bring home their critically ill “little miracle” daughter from Uganda. It was probably the best example of how well the adoption process can work when everyone has the same goal; good-hearted people bringing a child to her family as fast as possible. It is experiences like this that let me look forward to coming in to work every day, knowing that I have a part in helping children and their families through their adoption journey!


Cathi Velez

CCAI Florida Office Case Manager Cathi Velez.

Cathi Velez
I have been with CCAI for one year, as of May 30th. I have a passion for adoption (all three of my children are adopted and I grew up with foster siblings) and was taking a three year break from my career to spend time with my three children. My youngest was starting kindergarten so I was looking for a part time job, when a friend in Colorado (one of my CCAI travel group- all of whom I love dearly!) mentioned a part time job at CCAI in Wesley Chapel.

Since I am a CCAI parent that had a great experience, I applied. And I’m sticking around! I love helping families adopt and seeing children find their forever families.

My favorite memories are talking to and meeting so many of the families and rejoicing with them when they find their child. I have also loved promoting CCAI at various events and sharing what we do. I look forward to meeting so many of the children that I have prayed for along the way and I am excited to meet all the rest of the CCAI crew at the reunion in June!


 

We all want to thank each of these incredible women for their years of dedicated service to all of our families at CCAI. We are so grateful for and blessed with all they do!

Help us celebrate them! Leave your well wishes and happy messages for these wonderful ladies below!

CCAI Interns Say Good-bye

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(from left) Jordan, Elyse, Mari and Reyn.

Every day, CCAI works passionately and diligently to make sure your adoption process is as smooth and worry-free as possible. With the number of families we get to work with and all of the great events and projects happening in our office and around the world, we are always so grateful for our fantastic team of intern volunteers! Unfortunately for us, their time with us this year has come to an end.

Each of our interns have come from different backgrounds; however, it was their shared love for adoption that brought them to intern at CCAI. “Adoption is one of the least talked about, but one of the most important aspects of parenting and [we] wanted to gain a more robust understanding of the entire process,” said Metro State Master’s Candidate Mari.

During their time here, the interns experienced all of the ins and outs of CCAI, helping with everything from Waiting Child Program to Post Adoption and AdopTween to website development! Each one said they learned so much from the CCAI team. “[We] were so excited to come to work every day at a place where there wasn’t a single person who didn’t love their job and came to work with a smile on their face, working to fulfill the mission of CCAI,” said Metro State senior Elyse. “CCAI has taught me how to communicate effectively as a team to meet a larger goal to make a difference in the world.”

We would like thank each of the interns: Elyse, Mari, Jordan, and Reyn for their great work this year and we wish them the best of luck in their future endeavors! Please come back to say hello, soon!

If you or someone you know would like to inquire about interning or volunteering with CCAI, please call us at 303-850-9998 or email us at mail@ccaifamily.org.

Our Cultural Center Director Receives High Award

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Chinese Consulate General Zhao Weiping from Chicago presents JCCC Director Yu Li with the award for her Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Culture Promotion.

We are very excited to announce that our own JCCC Director, Yu Li, was honored during a luncheon with the Chinese Consulate General, Zhao Weiping, last Thursday in recognition of her Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Culture Promotion!

Yu Li is a 19-year veteran of the Joyous Chinese Cultural Center (www.joyouscenter.org) and has been one of the key players in helping to build JCCC from a single room at the original CCAI office in Littleton, CO to now one of the only Chinese cultural center in the country with its own building! She has taught everything from cooking, games, dances, and language to recording tapes for language lessons and music for Chinese songs.

“I knew from the beginning that our school started out right. We were the only school specifically organized for adopted Chinese children. Our kids have grown up more confident and with role models and friends who look like them. Our school is where kids really discover their roots,” says Yu Li.

#TooCuteTuesday: Yan needs a family!

Happy #TooCuteTuesday CCAI Family! We have a special little girl to share with you today. Yan needs the love and care of a family desperately!

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Yan is a very loving and peaceful little 3 year old girl. She is well behaved and obedient. She loves to be smiled at and you can find her smiling all day long! Yan is an introverted little girl who has made much progress since she was diagnosed with epilepsy. It is uncertain when she will have an episode. She takes epilepsy medication and eats a ketogenic diet. The results have been great! Her foster family has not seen her have any seizures recently. Her general limb movements and abilities are all very good. Her cognition and comprehension abilities are also good, but her language abilities are below average. Currently, she is still unable to speak clearly. She is undergoing exercises for standing independently and walking. Now, she can stand using a wall and when her hands are pulled, she can walk. Her progress has been remarkable, because in August of 2014, her condition was extremely serious and she was hospitalized. When she was discharged, she was only able to lie on the mats and eating was very difficult. Yan is truly wonderful and her progress is great, she just needs patient and attentive care. She is a determined little fighter and we know she would bless a family greatly! We hope she will find a home quickly where she can receive great care and the love of a forever family!

Yan is a Special Focus child, meaning she may be matched to a family either with or without a dossier in China and may also be accepted along with another child! Yan is diagnosed with epilepsy, impaired intelligence and impaired motor skills.

Please call 303-850-9998 or email waitingchild2@ccaifamily.org for more information about Yan.

Yan needs YOU to help her find a family! Please share and advocate for this precious and remarkable little girl! Be the voice for Yan!

~Did you know that we have many other waiting children in need of families? Visithttps://www.ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/WaitingChildProfile.aspx to see more children waiting for their forever families!

Chinese Consulate General comes to CCAI

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Consul General Zhao Weiping with the CCAI Colorado Staff.

This morning the CCAI staff had the privilege of visiting with the Chinese Consul General to Chicago, Zhao Weiping, who was in Denver to deliver awards to outstanding teachers in the Chinese community, including our own Yu Li from the Joyous Chinese Cultural Center!

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Consul General Zhao discusses the waiting child match process with Program Manager Sarah Harmon and President Joshua Zhong.

During his visit to the CCAI office, President Joshua Zhong and CEO Lily Nie were able to treat Mr. Zhao and his staff to a behind the scenes tour of CCAI and introduced them to several departments including Travel, Dossier, JCCC and even Waiting Child where he was able to learn about how a match was made an what information our team has to work with when looking for a prospective families for the children we advocate for every day.

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The Joyous Chinese Cultural Center’s own Yu Li discusses the various classes and programs offered through the JCCC that teach Chinese heritage and language.

Before his departure, Mr. Zhao spoke to the CCAI team and expressed how much he appreciated the post adoption support, such as the cultural education that CCAI provides to each child after they join their families by allowing them easy access to learn about their heritage and culture. He thanked CCAI for bringing love and hope to so many children in China, and said he hoped to strengthen our close bond in the future.

“You work is a labor of love and you are making a huge difference in the lives of these children,” said Mr. Zhao. He expressed his gratitude to all adoptive families for their generous love and commitment.

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Consul General Zhao Weiping and staff with JCCC Director Yu Li, CCAI CEO Lily Nie and President Joshua Zhong.

 

 

CCAI Volunteers of the Year!

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(from left): Joshua Zhong, Sandy Puc’, Emily Adcox, Paul Rady, Moya Smith and Lily Nie.

This past Saturday, we had the opportunity to recognize the outstanding volunteers who help make the events and charity projects possible, year round, here at CCAI. It is because of the hard work and dedication of our amazing volunteers that we are the number one ranked China adoption agency in the world! To honor their efforts, CEO Lily Nie and President Joshua Zhong presented five of our fantastic volunteers with the CCAI “Volunteer of the Year” Award this past Saturday at the 2015 CCAI Volunteer Appreciation Reception.

The first award recipient was the Chairman of the CCAI Board of Directors, Paul Rady, who has worked with CCAI on numerous projects for more than 15 years since they adopted their first daughter from China in the late 90s. Said Rady, “The most rewarding part about volunteering has come from seeing the more than 11,000 [children] we have been able to join with loving families.”

Freelance Photographer Sandy Puc’ also received the “Volunteer of the Year” award for her generous work in promoting CCAI through three beautiful videos; including, an intimate look at Gotcha Day, a touching spotlight on our Lily Orphan Care Centers, and a glimpse of Adopteen’s Adoptees Giving Back Orphanage Service Trips.

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(from left): Lily Nie, Sarah Ritz with her daughter, and Joshua Zhong.

The final three award recipients were CCAI charity coordinators, Moya Smith with “XinXiang First Hug” , Emily Adcox with “Henan Kids International”, and Sarah Ritz, Chairperson of CCAI’s Annual Orphan Care Gala. All three amazing women have led the charge to improve orphan care in Henan and China as a whole. Their tireless efforts have been invaluable in raising Henan Province over the last several years from a province with the fewest number international adoptions to the No. 2 adoption province in the entire country.

“For any charity, volunteers are such a crucial part to their success. Since day one, we have benefited greatly from our volunteer support. People come to us from all walks of life believing they can make a difference through us, in the orphans’ lives,” said Joshua. Our volunteers are the secret to CCAI’s success and we are so blessed to have the support of such loving, dedicated individuals.

Thank you to everyone who helped us celebrate our incredible volunteers! Thank you to all CCAI volunteers around the country who serve orphans with us through generous donations, passionate references, and event coordination to support CCAI families around the world!