An Update from CCAI Co-Founders

Previous Image
Next Image

info heading

info content

SERVING ORPHANS

IMG_1367

CCAI co-founders Josh & Lily visit the newly expanded Zhengzhou LOCC.

During their recent trip to China, CCAI co-founders CEO Lily Nie and President Josh Zhong paid a special visit to our recently expanded Lily Orphan Care Center (LOCC) in Zhengzhou and thanked our dedicated staff and volunteers for their hard work and passion.

CCAI’s first LOCC opened its doors in 2000 to “offer a child-centered model” that aimed to transform the orphan care system and quality in China. During the past 15 years, hundreds of care-takers from all over China have received systematic training through our LOCC’s and thousands of orphans’ lives have been impacted!

You can be a part of this life-changing effort by sponsoring an orphan or care-taker. For more information about sponsorship, please contact us at charity@ccaifamily.org.

ANNUAL PROVINCIAL TRAINING A HUGE SUCCESS

DSC08233Before CCAI’s partnership with Henan province began, Henan had the lowest number of adoptions in the country and the quality of care was low. Thanks to the leadership and development training CCAI has provided, Henan province now ranks second in the country for international adoptions! Over 2,000 orphans’ lives have been forever changed through international adoption and many more orphans have been impacted through DSC08236CCAI’s orphanage partnership charity projects.

On April 7th and 8th, 118 provincial-, city- and county-level officials responsible for orphan care gathered in Zhengzhou to exchange information, share ideas, establish a network, and hear adoptive families’ moving testimonies.

DSC08277During the meeting, Joshua shared with participants about the life, education, and medical care of adopted children from Henan Province and Lily gave a comprehensive report of our 2014 Henan-CCAI Partnership. Lily also shared with orphanages leader all of the exciting accomplishments and goals our partnership has achieved this past year. CCAI adoptive mom, Jennie Nation, also gave a moving testimony of her personal adoption journey and graciously answered many questions from very appreciative officials!

An orphanage director share, “Her story is truly touching and we are so happy our children are being so loved in their new families.”

We thank CCCWA and the Henan government for their continued support of our relentless efforts to bring hope, healing, and homes to children with special needs.

JOSH AND LILY VISIT WITH CCAI FAMILIES IN SHANGHAI

FullSizeRender3

Lily and Josh give an update on CCAI’s projects to families in Shanghai.

An important part of Josh and Lily’s domestic and international trips has always been to thank CCAI families, friends and supporters, as well as greet our CCAI children. On April 11th, a group of enthusiastic CCAI families and their children gathered at Suzanne and Tim Calton’s beautiful house to welcome Josh and Lily.

FullSizeRender

Josh and Lily got a chance to spend some quality time with our CCAI family and friends in Shanghai!

Josh and Lily gave a report on CCAI’s charity efforts in China and thanked everyone for their support of CCAI and its mission. They also answered families’ questions about adoption and volunteer opportunities.

Josh, Lily and all of the CCAI staff want to give a huge and special thank you to Tim and Suzanne for hosting everyone at their home and for making the gathering possible.

My New Perspective on CCAI

Previous Image
Next Image

info heading

info content


IMG_0137BY Sarah Suitter | Asst. Dossier Manager

I love my job; I love our mission and that has been true since my first day at CCAI. But, like any job, the daily grind can sometimes cause one to lose sight of the bigger picture. Don’t get me wrong, I really do like the daily tasks that my job entails but after going to China, my perspective of what I do here at CCAI everyday has forever changed.

From time to time, CCAI so generously sends staff on adoption trips to observe what an adoption trip is like, to take in the culture, and to see why we are all working so hard. I was so excited when I was told it was my turn to go!

If I could sum the trip up in one word: incredible. I loved all the tours in Beijing, I loved meeting all of CCAI’s amazing China-based representatives, and I loved watching families adjust to their newest family members. Overall, Gotcha Day was what I expected — total, beautiful chaos, kind nannies, brave foster moms, scared tears from upset little faces, happy tears from adoptive parents who have been waiting for this day for so long… But, what I found to be the most impactful part of my time in China was the days to come after Gotcha Day. To watch families over the next week and half of the trip — to see the triumphs, the struggles, the good days, the bad days — made me feel so connected to this whole incredible process.  This is life and this is real and this is love.

I saw this love expressed day in and day out on all sides, but I saw it most intensely expressed by the moms and dads on the trip. It was so powerful to observe parents being, well, parents. Again, more struggles, more triumphs. I saw parents wrestle with how/when to discipline. Do they wait to discipline their child until she understands them and trusts them? Do they start parenting full force, discipline and all, right now? I had (and continue to have) no idea!! I’m sure there are many schools of thought on this. I knew it before, but these families and their hearts made me realize even more so, just how hard adoption really is in so many ways. You don’t know your child’s history — how they were parented (if they were fortunate enough to have a solid parental figure), how they were taken care of day-to-day, what their happiest memory is, what their saddest memory is, why they have certain scars, why they do the things they do, etc. I cannot imagine what those first few weeks of parenting are like, or for that matter what the next 20 years of parenting is like. I’m so glad there are parents who want to rise to the challenge and I admire them endlessly.

What I didn’t expect on this trip was to think about dossiers, but I did! About halfway through the trip, I felt so anxious, thinking, “I should be reviewing dossiers RIGHT NOW! I need to get our families to China IMMEDIATELY!”  I knew my teammates back home had everything under control; but if I was back at work, that would mean one extra person there to get things done!  I couldn’t shake this sudden sense of urgency, a stronger urgency than I had ever felt before!  Of course, I’ve always known it’s important to get our work done as soon as possible, that there is a little life at the end of all of this paperwork, but something about actually being in China, seeing our families in person, seeing the children in person… It changed me and made me see just how important these daily tasks that I do, are and how much patience/love/respect our families deserve in this crazy process!

I had a short but special time with the families I traveled with and got a tiny window into what adopting from China really looks like, something for which I am so grateful! Now I am back at work with a renewed sense of purpose and energy (and with that same sense of urgency I felt on the trip!). I will also never again say, “Your dossier is done! You’ve finished the majority of the paperwork for your adoption process!” since, truthfully, I see now that the ENTIRE adoption process is paperwork (and it continues on your adoption trip and beyond)!

I’m not Wonder Woman and balancing everything that needs to get done in a day still isn’t easy but I can guarantee this … That I will show up every day, completing as much has humanly possible as quickly as possible. I will do my best to keep in mind that despite the monotony the dossier process can sometimes bring (for probably both myself and parents alike!) on the other end of a phone call or email is an AMAZING human being who is courageous and loving and wants nothing more than to bring a child home.

 

SAVE THE DATE: CCAI 21st Annual National Family Reunion

Family-Reunion-E-Vite-2015

The CCAI 21st Annual National Family Reunion is set for Saturday, June 27th at Centennial Center Park, with an Open House at CCAI on Friday, June 26th!

Registration for the National Reunion will open next week. You will be able to let us know your t-shirt sizes, how many are in their party, and other exciting details!

Gather your family, gather your adoption groups, and join us this summer for the BEST event of the year. :D

We cannot wait to see you there!

Visit www.ccaifamily.org/reunion/national2015 to learn more.

IL Adoption Reform Bill HB 3079

Illinois’ current adoption laws make the already difficult and time-consuming process to adopt internationally even more so. In the majority of states, once a family’s home study is written by a licensed social worker, they are free to move on to the next step in bringing their new child home. However, in Illinois, as well as in a handful of other states, the home study must first be approved by a state agency. The difference is that in other states, the system is functional and while it does add a little time, things keep moving. This is not the case for Illinois, where approvals are done by one person, the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator.  By assigning  the approval process  to a single person, the approval process takes longer and is also subject to the biases of the person holding the position. There have been many instances of families being required to provide extensive additional documentation in addition to an already positive home study. Currently, wait times for home studies to be approved are running at least five weeks in Illinois.

The citizens of Illinois have a chance to change this unnecessary and time-consuming step!  An adoption reform bill, HB 3079, is slated to be heard by the House Committee on Adoption on Thursday, March 26. An amendment (choose the link to amendment 001 at the top of the link to the full text of the bill) has been added to remove the position of the Intercountry Adoption Coordinator as well as the need for home studies to be approved by the state.  If this is passed, IL families with approved home studies written by licensed social workers could move immediately to submitting the I-800A!

In order for the committee to approve the bill to be submitted to the IL House, WE need to let them know that we support this bill. Please call or write you Adoption Committee members before Thursday to voice your opinion and do your part to help children join their families sooner.

Adoption Committee members:  http://ilga.gov/house/committees/members.asp?CommitteeID=1590&GA=99

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thank you to Elizabeth Curry for writing this article and spreading the word. Please visit http://www.ordinary-time.blogspot.com/ to read more about the issue.

Another Summer Hosting Opportunity!

51-MinFuJinprofile

Jin is a quiet little guy who is 9 years old and will turn 10 this summer. How wonderful that you could be with him to celebrate his birthday! He is in 2nd grade. He really likes to jump rope, likes the movie Transformers and watching the Ultraman cartoon and playing with remote control airplanes. He likes dogs and is fine with other children in the host family. Additional photos are available in our photolisting.

Signup for Summer Hosting continues. Would your family consider sharing your home and love by hosting an orphaned child from China?

Register to see all the available children here: www.ccaifamily.org/Hosting/Host-Register.aspx

Summer Hosting Opportunity

Kun is a special boy with a great smile! He is well-behaved and gets along well with others. He is in first grade at a deaf school and showed us that he can add and subtract numbers up to 20. Additional photos and video are available in our photolisting. Signup for summer hosting continues. Would your family consider sharing your home and love by hosting an orphaned child from China? Register to see all the available children here: www.ccaifamily.org/Hosting/Host-Register.aspxc77

A Family Forever Changed by Hosting…..

As we continue looking for families that might be interested in hosting a Chinese orphan this summer, we want to share with you how the hosting program has forever changed the lives of one of our families and a 6-year-old orphan-no-more!

hosting reunion 6

Last summer, the White Family decided to open their hearts and home to an adorable 6-year-old boy. During hosting, they realized he was meant to be their son!

When their hosting time was up, they had to temporarily say goodbye, but knew that they would see this dear little boy again very soon, in China. They immediately rushed to complete their dossier and, this past week… the White Family reunited with their little boy!!

From Mom:

“We have been home a little less than a week with our new son that we hosted last summer. He is doing amazing. We took our entire family to China this trip to get our new son. We felt since we had all met him and loved him that it would be wonderful for us all to be there on Gotcha Day. It was such a blessing!!! Thank you so much for the time you put into helping these children.”

The White Family has graciously shared pictures from their heartwarming reunion and adoption day! Are they not the most beautiful pictures??

Having placed over 11,000 children in our short history, we never tire of seeing this absolutely incredible moment captured in photos. Thank you to the White Family for sharing a little piece of their story with us! We are over the moon with excitement for your new family! <3

Please contact us at hosting@ccaifamily.org if you feel the call to host an orphan this summer.

CCAI Staff: Sheri Celebrates 1000th Group!

Here at CCAI, we like to celebrate as many milestones as we can — both personal and communal!  Today, on this beautiful First Day of Spring, our Travel Department Manager, Sheri, has officially worked with 1000 groups (3000+ families!)!!!

4I1A9721

Our Colorado office celebrated with a delicious red velvet cake and Sheri wanted to say a quick thank you to all of the amazing, loving, beautiful families who she has had the honor of serving in her journey with CCAI!

 

Summer Hosting Opportunity

Fen is 10 years old, knows Pinyin, can count from 1-100 and likes to draw and fold papers. He says his friends would describe him as FUNNY. Additional photos and video are available in our photolisting. Signup for summer hosting continues. Would your family consider sharing your home and love by hosting an orphaned child from China? Register to see all the available children here: www.ccaifamily.org/Hosting/Host-Register.aspxc5

Around Your Community: Georgia Tech China Care Club

We hope everyone has been enjoying the wonderful weather! It’s finally Spring!  Friends and Families living in the Greater Atlanta Area, you might be interested in checking out this program!

GT China Care ClubGeorgia Tech’s China Care Club has been in full swing and many of our local families have participated in their great playgroups.  China Care Club gives young adoptees an opportunity to learn about Chinese Culture and play some fun games with Georgia Tech’s students who are passionate about China!  Some students are adoptees themselves!

China Care’s next playgroup will be coming up in a little over a week. In celebration of the great weather, they will be having a scavenger hunt around campus, followed by various outdoor crafts which include making wind socks and decorating a banner for their upcoming Charity Dinner. It’s going to be TONS of fun!

Date: Sunday, March 29th
Time: 2:00 to 4:00 pm.
Location: Tech Green
Parking: You can park around the Student Center

If you are interested in attending the playgroup, they ask that you RSVP by filling out this quick form:

http://goo.gl/forms/bq0VjGYI31

You can also contact China Care Club’s club president, Yan Zheng:

Yan Zheng
Industrial Engineering Major
Georgia Institute of Technology
Phone: 706.877.3117
Email: yzheng88@gatech.edu

Learn more about Georgia Tech’s China Care Club at http://chinacare.gatech.edu/