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A Story of Adoption-Minded Hosting-Meet the Rhodes

You can change the life of a child this winter! CCAI is partnering with Project One Forty Three, a hosting organization that will bring Colombian children to the US to live with families for around 5 weeks.  Together, we are seeking adoption-minded families to host tweens and teens. Often, this may be the last chance for a child to find a family before they age out of the Colombian foster care system.  Hosting is an excellent opportunity to get to know a child prior to adoption and many forever families have been created through our programs.  Should the hosting experience turn into an adoption, CCAI will be honored to be your adoption facilitator.

Have you ever wondered about hosting? Read about the Rhodes family, who adopted their host child last year!

Orphan Hosting

My husband Greg and I had long discussed the possibility of older child adoption. Loving parents adopted my best friends growing up, positively shaping my view of adoption. Our 10-year-old biological son started mentioning his concern for children who do not have families, and we began to discuss how we could best serve these kids. Our biological daughter was three years old then, and we also wondered how adoption would affect her. After talking with a social worker, we learned of orphan hosting and loved welcoming a child in need into our home. We chose to host while remaining adoption-minded but were also committed to advocating for the child if our family was not the right fit.

Pre-Hosting Preparation

The hosting process brought Kevin to us for five weeks in the summer of 2021. We received valuable training and support from P143 before, during, and after hosting. We anxiously awaited the day of arrival, and as we got closer to the day, my worries changed from “Will we like him?” to “Will he like us?” I was extremely nervous picking him up from the airport. My husband speaks Spanish, but I do not. I wondered, “How will I make this child feel loved, safe, and welcomed if I cannot speak his language?”

Kevin connected with the Rhodes’ 3-year-old quickly.

The first moments with him were nerve-wracking. He was so scared and nervous, but also SO brave. I remember thinking on the car ride home, “What have we done?” But by the end of the third day, I remember watching him play with our dogs, hearing his laugh, and seeing his huge smile for the first time. The joy of watching these children enjoy the simple pleasures of family life is indescribable.

Connecting with our Host Child

We found connecting and talking with him straightforward through translation apps, hand gestures, and “Spanglish.” Surprisingly, most of our hosting experience was much easier than we expected. Kevin was so happy to hang out and participate in normal family activities with us. The most challenging component was the adjustment of our 10-year-old biological son. Still, we found that instead of forcing the two boys to hang out, their relationship was much healthier when we allowed them time apart and the space to pursue their unique interests.

By far, the most challenging part of hosting was departure day. There were many, many tears from all of us. Our 3-year-old Sarah was especially attached to Kevin, and it was tough for her to understand why he had to leave. By day three of hosting, I knew I wanted Kevin to be our son and join our family. I know it does not always happen this way for all families, and my husband took more time to think it through. We started the adoption process before Kevin left and were able to complete the process and bring him home in May 2022.

Life after Adoption

Kevin is doing fantastic! We are proud of his courage and willingness to come here to join our family. He is learning English, playing on a soccer team, loves cooking and helping in the kitchen, riding his bicycle, and enjoys caring for his three pet goldfish. Kevin is growing more confident each day, and seeing the world through his eyes is incredible. He is loving, affectionate, calm, funny, grateful, and thoughtful. Honestly, we cannot imagine our family without him in it. Adoption has many challenges, but it is so worth it. All three of our children have adjusted far more quickly than anticipated, and we love being a family of 5!

Kevin reunited with his family in Colombia.

If you are adoption-minded and considering hosting a child from Colombia, please contact Project One Forty Three to apply. It’s never too early to start the adoption process during your hosting experience. We encourage you to reach out to our Colombia team as soon as possible! Read more stories from other CCAI families about hosting-to- adopt!

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GiGi Pleet

Adoption Program Specialist

GiGi Pleet joined CCAI in 2014 as our China Applications Specialist. She rejoined the team in 2022 after taking a few years off to spend time with her family.  GiGi and her husband have adopted three beautiful daughters from China who are the joy and purpose of their lives.  GiGi is passionate about adoption and furthering CCAI’s mission to find loving parents and permanent homes for as many children as possible and to continue reaching out to children left behind.  When she is not working, you can find her spending time with her girls in the beautiful mountains of Colorado or on an adventure to a new, faraway place.
Joined CCAI:  Originally 2014 – 2020, rejoined 2022
Bucket List Item:  To see all Seven Wonders of the World 

Contact Information

(303) 850-9998 ext. 300

Emily Straut

The Park Administrative Assistant

Emily was adopted through CCAI in 2002!  Having always admired the ways that the organization continued to support families even after adoption, she began working at The Park last year because she wanted to be more involved in the adoption community and according to her, “It’s been a blast so far!”

Emily is majoring in environmental science at MSU Denver and hopes to help mitigate the causes and effects of climate change. In her free time, she like to practice guitar, play video games, watch movies, and spend time with her friends and family. 

Bucket List: Visit every province in China!

Contact Information

(303) 221-6688 ext. 170

CO Team Line 4

Ivy Buchanan

The Park Adoptee Program Coordinator

Ivy has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Production Design for Film and Theater with a minor in Studio Art. She had the opportunity to study abroad in London, England and Florence, Italy. After graduating, while visiting an orphanage in Kathmandu, Nepal she had a moment of realization and knew she wanted to work in the adoption community. After some prior experience in post-adoption and nonprofit management, she came to The Park and is really enjoying focusing on and being involved with offering lifelong support for adoptees and the adoption community.

Ivy was adopted from Kazakhstan at 18-months old and is proud of her adoptee identity and her adoptive family. She is passionate about sharing the stories of the amazing people in the adoption community and helping adoptees celebrate their identities. Her lifelong best friend was adopted from China through CCAI. 

In her free time, she enjoys making art (she is working on a series of sculptural paintings of poached animal species), trying new food, catching up with friends, reading, and being with family. She loves to travel whenever possible.

Joined CCAI: 2023

Top Bucket List Items:

  • A trail ride through “Middle Earth” in New Zealand
  • Volunteering for a few weeks at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary
  • Sleeping in a hammock on a beach

Contact Information

(303) 221-6688 ext. 205

CO Team Line 1

Colorado Expenses

ExpenseAmountPmt MethodPay ToDue
Application Fee$250Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIApplication submission
Child Abuse Record Search$35/FamilyCheckCO Dept of Human ServiceApplication submission
IAAME Monitoring & Oversight Fee$500Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAI (Sent to IAAME)After App Approval
First Program Fee (Includes Home Study)$5,700Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIAfter App Approval
CBI/FBI Fingerprint Search$39.50 per personMoney OrderColorado Bureau of InvestigationAfter App Approval
USCIS Filing & Fingerprinting$775 plus $85/adultCheck/Money OrderUS Dept. of Homeland SecurityUpon I-800A submission
Dossier PreparationApprox. $450-$900Check/Money OrderSecretary of State(s), Chinese Consulate(s)As preparing Dossier
Second Program Fee$5,050Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIDossier Submission
CCCWA Fee$1,270Check/ACH WithdrawalCCCWA via CCAIDossier Submission
Third Program Fee$5,500Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIPrior to receiving child match acceptance letter
CCCWA Post Adoption Translation Fee$300Check/ACH WithdrawalCCCWA via CCAIPrior to receiving child match acceptance letter
Court Validation Deposit$200CheckCCAIPrior to receiving child match acceptance letter
Post Adoption Deposit (Refundable)$450Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIPrior to receiving child match acceptance letter
Visa to enter China$140 (plus courier fee)Check/Credit CardChinese Consulate via a courier/travel agencyApproximately one month before travel to China
US Domestic & International Airfare$1,000 – $2,000 per traveler (adopted child over 2 requires full ticket)Credit CardA travel agency/airline of your choice

Approximately 7-10 days prior to China departure

In China Travel & AccommodationsApprox. $4,000-$4,400 for two adultsACH WithdrawalCCAI (wired to China)Approximately 7-10 days prior to China departure
Adoption Registration and Notarization$800 – $1,000CashLocal government in ChinaIn China
Orphanage Donation(Voluntary)Cash or WireOrphanageIn China
Child’s Passport$100-$150CashLocal passport agencyIn China
Food$700 – $800 per coupleCash/Credit CardHotel(s), restaurant(s)In China
Child Physical & Photo$130-$150CashClinicIn Guangzhou, China
Child U.S. Entry Visa$325Cash or CheckU.S. ConsulateIn China
Court Validation Fee$167CheckCounty CourtAfter U.S. Return
Child’s Colorado Birth Certificate$37.75CheckColorado Vital Statistics OfficeAfter U.S. Return
Lutheran Family Services$250CheckLutheran Family Services via CCAIWhen Home Study is approved by CCAI