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Consider adopting a Child with Epilepsy

March 26th is Purple Day for Epilepsy Awareness. Purple Day is an international effort dedicated to increasing awareness and removing the stigma around Epilepsy. Annually, participants wear purple and host events to educate and support those with Epilepsy. CCAI hopes to shed light on the challenges and joys of raising a special child with Epilepsy.  We have many waiting children in our Country Programs with medical needs, such as Epilepsy that need loving, permanent homes. Would you consider adopting a child with Epilepsy?

Please take the time to read and learn from a fellow CCAI family who lovingly shared the challenges and joys of raising a child with epilepsy whom they adopted:

For our first adoption, our child was home for six months before being formally diagnosed with epilepsy.  China did not list the epilepsy diagnosis in the medical report.  We had always been aware of the possibility of an unanticipated diagnosis like this; we were grateful that our beloved child was home with us and that we could provide the medical care that they needed. 

There is a continual learning curve regarding all the neurological terms and treatments related to epilepsy and managing our child’s care.  Additionally, epilepsy is unique for every single person.  The illness’s unpredictability has been part of our path for periods, returning to being more predictable.   

We’ve done many years of speech therapy and OT several times a week.  While our child lived in China, the seizures were untreated, so they first needed MORE help to learn the skills they “should” have developed during those first 28 months.  We recently restarted OT to work on some fine motor and planning skills.  Cognitively our child can grasp age-appropriate materials as long as we can be flexible and adjust the pace to accommodate a need for rest during med changes. 

There is an overlap in the medical fields between neurology and psychiatry.  We also work with a child psychiatrist and licensed mental health therapist knowledgeable about epilepsy and adoption to ensure we address things as best as possible to help our child flourish.  When we found the correct med to calm anxiety and ADHD symptoms….our child joyfully announced, “LOOK!  I can do hard things when I can hear my thinking and don’t feel so worried!!” Thankfully, that reassured our efforts to address mental health needs also.  

For any child we parent, we work hard to ensure they have a stable home now and in the future.   Overall we have found that the epilepsy diagnosis helps with “approvals” for additional treatments from an insurance perspective. 

Many grants and community agencies offer help for this diagnosis, which has benefited us.  Because of the developmental disability category, many states provide long-term financial help for kids and emerging adults.  These include Medicaid assistance, programs to pay a parent caregiver, and state grants to help young adults live independently.  

We live in a time with SO MANY treatment options for epilepsy.

Despite these difficulties, we wouldn’t have it any other way.  We get to parent this child!  Our child is fantastic, fun, intelligent, creative, tender, and kind.  We don’t have enough space to list all of their positive qualities!  We are in love and grateful to be their family!

Adopting a child with Epilepsy has been a blessing. We are stronger as a family. Furthermore, we are learning the life skills of leaning INTO a problem, doing what is possible to problem solve while remaining happy and healthy regardless of outcomes.  In addition, we are letting go of the need to control life.  Dealing with an illness in the family can provide a gift of perspective.  

Do not walk away from a potential child to parent because of the epilepsy diagnosis.  Get more information, educate yourself, and explore the options.   

Remember, we can’t choose whether or not our biological kids have epilepsy.  We love them as they are.  That is the case with our beloved child, who we adopted.

Finally, and most importantly, people CAN live healthy and happy lives and have epilepsy.  Those things do not cancel each other out.  

Sharing our journey as a family affected by epilepsy is something we willingly do.  However, we also strongly believe in the importance of our child’s privacy.  As such, we tried to write this post in a way that shares some of our experiences but not the private details that belong to our child.  We welcome potential adoptive parents who wish to learn more from a family experienced with the adoption of a child with epilepsy to contact CCAI and contact us.  

CCAI advocates for many waiting children with epilepsy to find a loving, permanent home.  If you would like to learn more, please email us at

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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