Staff Spotlight: August Anniversaries

11696378_809718249144029_2327139295792334915_o
Phyllis

This month I celebrate my first anniversary working with CCAI working with kids, culture and art!

Through a casual conversation with a Chinese Language teacher while I was substitute teaching, I was suddenly hurled into teaching calligraphy to field trip groups visiting JCCC, which eventually morphed into what my job is today. It’s crazy how fast time has flown by!

From designing a huge paper cutting in the JCCC lobby and turning hundreds of toilet paper rolls into a replica of a traditional tiled roof to teaching traditional Chinese Brush Painting and meaningful moments sharing my knowledge and experience with students and families, I’ve been grateful for the opportunities to work as a cultural educator making an impact on the community around me, sharing my love of art and Chinese culture with everyone.

CCAI and JCCC have been treasure troves of meaningful memory-making and a truly special second family. I’ve only grown more passionate about my work in the last year, and am looking forward to many more great adventures!

PHYLLIS CHEN | Director’s Assistant at JCCC

 

Adopteen 2015 Summer Recap

4I1A1905

Adopteen wrapped up their 2015 Summer schedule with an exciting launch party for their newest program for adult adoptees, Adoptstronauts! This summer has been one for the history books, as they say, with Adopteen hosting not one, but TWO National Adopteen Camp-Conferences in addition to their Summer Adoptees Giving Back Orphanage Service Trip (AGBOST).

Attended by 100 campers, ages 13 – 21, representing 25 states, 20 provinces, and 3 countries, the 2015 Adopteen Camp-Conference in Denver, CO kicked off the Summer with a bang from June 20th – June 24th! It was a week filled to the brim with crazy games, breath-taking adventures, and inspiring conversations; featuring a big pool party, AdopTween Day, and workshops about school transitions, the history of adoption, self-confidence, wand-making, modeling and photography, cooking, make-up and hair. The campers even had a chance to visit the beautiful Red Rocks Amphitheater on their final night, watching Jurassic Park play against the incredible backdrop of one of Colorado’s most iconic views! Thank you Colorado Christian University for being such gracious hosts!

4I1A0904The first Adopteen Camp-Conference was followed by the 2015 Summer Adoptees Giving Back Orphanage Service Trip (AGBOST) from July 8th – July 19th. This was Adopteen’s 3rd Annual Summer AGBOST, bringing 25 travelers to Luoyang to volunteer and give love to the children of Luoyang City Social Welfare Institute. The travelers, ages 16 – 21, joined the group, representing 12 different states and 7 provinces, and raised a total of over 24,000 RMB for Luoyang City Social Welfare Institute, which helped buy a brand new air conditioning unit for the facility! It was a trip of heartwarmth and heartache, laughter and tears, joy and sorrow, and unforgettable memories. The first of two this year, the trip was a beautiful two weeks with the most amazing people and we cannot wait to see what greatness will come as Adopteen prepares for the 2015 Winter AGBOST this coming December. Thank you to the incredible staff of Luoyang City SWI for their unfailing generosity and patience! And to everyone who helped guide our travelers: We are so grateful!

4I1A3318July 28th – August 1st brought Adopteen to sunny San Diego, California for the second Adopteen Camp-Conference of 2015. Joined by 70 campers, ages 13 – 23, representing 16 states, 14 provinces, and 4 countries, the 2015 Adopteen Camp-Conference in San Diego, CA made a spectacular mark in Adopteen history as the first ever 2nd National Summer Camp-Conference! 😉 The event was packed with beach, sun, food, and more beach; campers all having the chance to visit the famous San Diego Zoo, Mission Beach, and eat unlimited street tacos with a bonfire in the bay on their final night, silhouetted by the San Diego palms and a breathtaking Blue Moon. Workshops for Adopteen’s San Diego Camp-Conference included: history of adoption, photography, cooking, iPhonography, building courage, self-reflection and goal setting, hair, makeup, nails, fitness and nutrition, Zumba, and AGBOST. HUGE thank you to our amazing volunteers, drivers, and families who helped make this event possible!

4I1A4409Adopteen’s final summer event was the exciting and highly anticipated launch of their new 18+ program, Adoptstronauts, on August 15th – 16th! Attended by 20 adoptees, ages 18 – 24, the event provided a fun opportunity to say a quick “hello” and introduce the program to the world. Adopteen is extremely anxious to start providing even more opportunities for adoptees to connect and Adoptstronauts is the perfect vehicle (or rocketship) to do just that. Open to ALL adoptees, ages 18+, from any country and adoption agency, Adoptstronauts is ready to take off and explore the stars!

Adopteen is so incredibly grateful for all of their inspiring sponsors who help make Adopteen’s events possible. Please visit www.adopteen.org/Sponsors.aspx to learn more about their amazing sponsors and friends.

Check out more photos from all of Adopteen’s summer events:

2015 Adopteen Camp-Conference – Denver, CO: Part 1 —- Part 2
2015 Adopteen Camp-Conference – San Diego, CA: Part 1 —- Part 2
2015 Summer Adoptees Giving Back Orphanage Service Trip
Adoptstronauts Launch Event

– Amy Zhong | Adopteen Director

#TooCuteTuesday: Help Bing find his forever family!

Bing

Happy #TooCuteTuesday #CCAIFamily! Say hello to Bing!

Bing was hosted in the US this summer!

Bing is a smart and outgoing boy who turned 9 this month. He loves to play with toys, any and all toys! He also likes to ride bicycles, listen to stories, and watch TV, and he particularly enjoys singing. His favorite color is red, and while his favorite foods are eggplant and bananas, he is not a picky eater at all and will eat just about anything. Bing is currently in kindergarten and learning quickly – just take a look at his video! He knows many words and can count. He is in a foster home with no other children at this time, so his foster mom is really working with him. When we asked how he helps his foster mom, Bing told us he helps by carrying things for her. His special need is epilepsy and he takes medication daily, but he hasn’t had an issue for 4 years. He has great self-care skills, and tells us that being outside makes him happy. Jiang sounds like an incredibly fun little boy!

Here’s what his host family says about him: “Bing is a very affectionate kid who bonded very well to his host mother. He laughs easily and loves to help around the house. He did have trouble separating from the host mother and needed lots of reassurance if she wasn’t going to be around. He enjoyed getting lots of attention, and may need extra time and attention from an adoptive family. He was very cuddly and loving with her. He picked up a good amount English while he was here and learned many of our American customs as well.
Bing likes swimming and outdoor activities. He loves pets, especially dogs. He loves video games. And he loves to eat!”
Wu Bing Jiang Professional Photo 3-Web Lg 3
Bing is a Special Focus child, meaning he can be matched to a family either with or without a dossier in China and may also be accepted along with another child! Bing is diagnosed with epilepsy.

Please call 303-850-9998 or email waitingchild@ccaifamily.org for more information about Bing!

Bing needs to find the love of a #ForeverFamily! Please share and advocate for this neat boy!

Visit http://ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/Waiting-Child-Profile.aspx to see more children waiting for their forever families!
#adoption #chinaadoption #adoptionadvocacy

Recap Summer Heritage Tours, Open Registration for Spring/Summer 2016

11807690_10204764442491281_6981547028907480142_o from Cain familyWe had three remarkable heritage tours in 2015 so far with 479 travelers and we still have one more tour in the works in December (currently full)! Over 140 families traveled to Beijing, Xi’an, Chengdu, Guilin and Yangshuo for 10 incredible days while connecting with some of the richest parts of Chinese culture! They visited many famous sites including the Great Wall in Beijing, the Terracotta Army in Xi’an, a panda reserve in Chengdu, and the Li River in Guilin. The trip was jam packed with wonderful Chinese cuisine, tea sampling, shows highlighting traditional music and dance, as well as, quality time for the kids to bond and build friendships with each other.

11828775_10207381266555862_5935046050053198010_nWe are thrilled to announce the 2016 Spring and Summer Heritage Tour schedule! All China adoptees of any age travel FREE for in-China tours!

Spring Schedule: March 27-April 6, 2016
Summer Schedule: June 12-June 22, 2016 & July 17-July 27, 2016

Some incredible highlights of the 2016 tours are:

• China adoptees of all ages are FREE for in-China tours!
• Ten days and five spectacular cities: Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Guilin and Yangshuo.
• Visit the mystical CCCWA (formerly CCAA), climb the Great Wall, tour the Forbidden City, be awed by the Terra Cotta Soldiers, hold a giant panda, cruise the poetic Li River, enjoy wonderful Chinese cuisine, and much more!
• Includes all in-China air and ground transportation, hotels, park entrance tickets, and most meals during the dates mentioned for each tour (Panda hugging in Chengdu costs extra).
• All of this for $2,199 per non-China adoptee adult (12 or older) and $1,699 for non-China adoptee children.
• Optional visit and tour to your child’s orphanage is available before or after the main tour (additional costs apply).

Online registration is available on our website at www.ccaifamily.org/heritagetour for all three tours!

IMG_0568These tours are open to everyone: CCAI families, non-CCAI families, your friends or relatives. So please spread the word! Over the years our Heritage Tour family has grown to include adoptive families from countries other than the USA as well – the more the merrier! If you are a FCC chapter member in your area, please help us get the word out to FCC communities.

Thank you!!!
Crystal Conley | Travel Dept. Specialist

Accounting Assistant – Centennial, CO

CCAI, a not for profit 501(C) (3) International Adoption Agency, is seeking an Accounting Assistant with a positive professional attitude, very detail oriented and great customer service skills.

The ideal candidate will either possess or be working toward an Associate Degree in accounting or with some experience and working knowledge of accrual accounting. Must have a strong aptitude for accuracy and details along with familiarity of accounting terminology and procedures. Working knowledge of Microsoft Office 2010 products with intermediate Excel skills desired. Experience with Access and Accounting software a plus.

The Accounting Assistant is responsible for coding and processing accounts payable and various check requests as needed, making electronic deposits, posting cash receipts to accounting system, processing credit card payments, ACH and wire transaction, along with assisting families in the adoption process by tracking grants and applying payments, along with other duties as assigned by the Accounting Manager.

This is a full-time salaried position with Medical, Dental and matching 401K benefits.

Please submit resume and cover letter with salary requirements to Accounting Manager Nancy Byington at accounting@ccaifamily.org.

Application deadline: 9/4/2015

CCAI 2015 Midwest Reunion

11830894_1025096210857974_1948528373_n

Over the weekend CCAI co-founders Joshua Zhong and Lily Nie were able to join more than 300 members of the CCAI family for the 2015 CCAI Midwest Reunion in Dublin, OH! These parents, children and other family and friends came from across 15 different states to celebrate the incredible gift of adoption, and the important impact being a family has had on all of us.

The reunion had fun planned for all ages, and thanks to the wonderful team of volunteers, led by the incomparable Georgette Poeppelmeier, the day was a huge success! There were great family games, that awesome jumping castle, face painting, funny balloon animals, delicious food and ice cream, and so many more great activities for the families to participate in.

Josh and Lily were beyond thrilled to be able to join the families and see how well all the children have grown up over the years, some having “Gotcha Days” dating back as far as 1995 while others were just a few weeks ago. Josh and Lily were so happy they were also able to say thank you to each and every parent for giving their children the loving homes they always deserved and for their continuing support for CCAI and orphaned children around the world.

 

Staff Spotlight: July Anniversaries

ALLISONALLISON MINER – BULGARIA, LATVIA, UKRAINE PROGRAM COORDINATOR

As the mother of 2 adopted children, I have been a huge advocate of adoption for many years. It has always been my belief if God puts adoption in your heart, then He has a child for you! After working over 30 years in the corporate world, I was fortunate enough to begin working for another adoption agency with the hopes of being able to work in infant adoption. However I was asked take over the Latvia/ Ukraine programs, and since then my passion and my commitment has been for older children adoption!

A year ago, the agency I worked for closed, and I got a call from CCAI – “Would I be willing to join the CCAI family, and continue the Latvia/Ukraine Programs here?”

It’s hard to believe it’s been a whole year since I joined the CCAI team; it’s gone by so fast! So many incredible things have happened – the adoption programs in both Latvia and Ukraine have continued to grow and we opened the Bulgaria program in January 2015. I have been given the opportunity to travel to Latvia and Ukraine, and meet the teams in place over there. We have matched several waiting children in our Bulgaria Program. I have met wonderful families through our partnership with Project 143. I have discovered that every single CCAI staff person has the heart and passion to serve our adoptive families in their journey to be a “Forever Family”!

I am grateful to Josh and Lily for letting me be a part of this organization. In the past year we have almost 110 “older children” in the Bulgaria/Latvia/Ukraine programs be in the process of coming home soon, or have already come home to their forever families. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings!


NANCYNANCY BYINGTON – ACCOUNTING MANAGER

I joined CCAI as the Accounting Manager, at the end of July of 2012. I believe that Family is the most precious asset a person can have and all deserve; so to work in this atmosphere every day is just something that can’t be beat.

My biggest contributions to CCAI over the years was to streamline the payment process for our families, by initiating an on-line payment system and working with Thomas He (IT Director) to create links for our Charitable donations, the Joyous Chinese Cultural Center and for all adoptive families to log-on to our website and make a payment and/or donation at any time day or night!


AMANDA PALMER – CHINA SPECIALIST

I joined the CCAI family last year because after majoring in Chinese and Economics, traveling to China several times and working at an environmental NGO in Yunnan province, my love for China has continued to grow! My passion for China adoption also stems from both my love of Chinese culture and language, and my previous years of experience working with families and children as a teacher.

I truly have enjoyed working with each child’s file and learning about the personalities and characteristics of these unique children. CCAI offered me the perfect opportunity to mix my passion for children and my love for China. Every day I look forward to working with our loving adoptive families and passionate staff here at CCAI. I am so thankful to Josh and Lily for having faith in me to do this amazing job!

One of the most memorable moments I’ve had with CCAI by far was my first match call and creating a new forever family! It’s things like making match calls as well as getting to work with our wonderful families, getting to see all of our adorable children, and working with the amazing women of the Waiting Child Program that make this the best job I could ever ask for!

Staff Spotlight: June Anniversaries

JaimeI had been working for CCAI for about a week when I first heard the Chinese Proverb about the invisible red thread:

“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle but will never break.”

I remember thinking that it was a really sweet thing to say about adoption. I had no idea that 10 years later, this proverb would affect me so profoundly time and time again. What started as a nice sentiment has grown into a daily exercise in faith, hope, motivation and perseverance. In ten years, I have been blessed to witness many amazing adoption stories, but the ones that have always stood out to me are the little details that ultimately had profound reverberations. The twists and knots that may have seemed like the end of the road, that ultimately connected so perfectly, the people that needed each other the most at that time.

I’ve witnessed this thread connect people that turned grief to peace, confusion to clarity, isolation to inclusion, and a shortage of resources to an abundance of knowledge.

The miracle that is this thread is a daily reminder of the significance each one of us plays in another’s story. Making a positive difference in the world isn’t a bad way to spend your day and for that, I will forever be grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this organization and to our families for trusting me to care for and sometimes untangle the thread wrapped around me.

Sincerely,
Jaime Chmielewski
CCAI Georgia Director
ccaiga@ccaifamily.org


 

HANNAH-ANNIVERSARYI am so thankful to have been able to celebrate my 3rd anniversary at CCAI on June 1st!

The last 3 years, for me, have been filled with moving stories and character-building circumstances. Most importantly, I have found a continual growing conviction in my spirit that every child in this world deserves to know the love of a family.

Prior to joining CCAI, my professional, academic, and personal experiences had instilled in me a deep appreciation for world cultures and advocacy. It has been at CCAI that this appreciation has increased and developed into something much greater. Every year, I am more thoroughly convinced of the necessity for bold voices in this world to speak on behalf of children that have been overlooked and devalued. I am proud that at CCAI, we are one of these resolute voices and resilient advocates!

Thank you to my co-workers at CCAI; Your commitment is incredible! Thank you to Josh and Lily; Your determination is inspiring! Thank you to each of our CCAI families; You will never know the immense effect of your love and commitment! I am honored to be able to be a part of each of your stories.

“Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” – Mother Teresa

Hannah Curry
CCAI Travel Specialist

travel2@ccaifamily.org

World Leader In China Adoption Celebrates 21st Annual National Family Reunion In Centennial

CCAI celebrates 22 years of serving the children of the world and the more than 11,500 children already given the hope of a brighter future with their forever families.

CENTENNIAL ­– On Saturday, June 27, 2015, beginning at 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Centennial Center Park, CCAI (Chinese Children Adoption International) will be hosting their 21st Annual National Family Reunion to once again bring together the amazing families of CCAI and provide the opportunity to learn more about CCAI and their incredible adoption & family support programs! Throughout the day there will be games and activities for families to participate in, as well as chances to meet with the CCAI US staff, China representatives, and orphanage staff.

CCAI has been a constant leader in international adoption since its founding in 1992. Holding true to the philosophy that adoption and orphan care extends beyond simply coming home, the National Reunion event brings hundreds of families together from all around the country and showcases the best of what CCAI has to offer to their families. Hundreds of families have come together every June to meet their BIG family and have some good old-fashioned fun! Field games, arts and crafts, traditional Chinese dance performances from the JCCC (Joyous Chinese Cultural Center), the Lion Dance Troupe from Shaolin Hung Mei Kung Fu, martial arts demos by the Korean Academy of Tae Kwon Do, and South Metro Fire Rescue Station 35 will also be adding to the festivities!

CCAI’s staff from the Colorado, Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky offices will be on hand to answer questions and meet with families, as well as CCAI Representatives from China – the dedicated people who take families through the final stages of the adoption process and help them bridge the cultural gaps – and staff members from several orphanages in Henan province and Hubei province. CCAI Co-Founders Joshua Zhong and Lily Nie will also be in attendance!

“Our reunion is the perfect opportunity for our family to come back together and reunite with one another. We love to see how our families and children have blossomed since coming home,” says CCAI President and co-founder Joshua Zhong. “Any families who are interested in international adoption are invited to attend to gain an understanding for what adoption looks like and witness the joy each child adds to their family.”

CCAI has been the leader for China Adoption for the past 22 years, giving hope to orphaned children by helping them find their forever families in the United States (and with US citizens worldwide). To date, CCAI has placed more than 11,500 children with loving families and has since expanded into Haiti, Bulgaria, Latvia and Ukraine. In 2011, the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), China’s highest authority for international adoption, named CCAI the No. 1 agency overall among 178 agencies who place children from China.

“It’s really going to be such an exciting day getting to see all our families again, giving them the opportunity to reconnect and even see some of the staff from the US and China they haven’t seen since they went through their adoptions!” says CCAI Applications Manager Hillary Karsten. “Giving back to the adoption community has always been a very important part of CCAI. We’ll also have many booths set up for people to learn about our outreach and charity projects to see how CCAI gives back to the adoptee community and the orphans in China.”

For more information on CCAI and the 21st Annual National Family Reunion, contact Social Media Specialist, John Springli or visit https://www.ccaifamily.org/CCAINews/Reunion-Register.aspx.


 

JOHN SPRINGLI
CCAI – SOCIAL MEDIA SPECIALIST720-484-9703
socialmedia@ccaifamily.org
6920 S. Holly Circle
Centennial, CO 80112

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!