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Get to know CCAI’s Assistant Director of Country Programs

Get to know Kimberly Elstun, CCAI’s Assistant Director of Country Programs.

“I love playing a part in each family’s adoption story,” says Kimberly Elstun, Assistant Director of Country Programs. Kim has been with CCAI since she graduated from Regis University 19 years ago! She majored in Sociology with a minor in Peace and Justice Studies. After completing an internship at the Adoption Exchange in Denver, Kim blessed CCAI by joining our team!

Adoption is an extraordinary adventure, and Kimberly is honored to share her heart with families as they move through their unique journey. Fueled by her faith and inspired by her four amazing children who keep her on her toes (and her incredible hotrod of a husband who helps manage the chaos), she believes every child deserves to be loved in a stable, loving family.

On top of that, Kim is an eternal optimist, unapologetically authentic, and lover of the written word, Kimberly creates memorable keepsakes for those she loves, has a penchant for fine cheese, and enjoys the aftermath of a good surprise.

Tell us about your family!

I met my husband in high school, but we started dating when I was done with college because I was buried in books and his head under the hood of a car. We’ve been married for 13 and a half years and have four kids.

What is your favorite part of working at CCAI?

My part might be super small, but bringing a child into a family is a huge thing -and it’s incredible to participate in that process. I work closely with the Taiwan and Colombia team; every adoption touches my heart immensely!

What would it be if you could choose anything to do for a day?

If I could put my feet on a beach somewhere, I would be in heaven. Our honeymoon was in Barbados, and I would love to go back. On top of that, I would love to sleep in an over-water villa in the Maldives.

What makes you laugh the most?

It doesn’t take much to make me laugh! I have a reputation for laughing-crying; if I find something hilarious, I will likely tear up. Silly antics with my kids and awkward social faux pas often make me laugh the most. I’m pretty good at laughing at myself.

If you had to describe yourself as an animal, which one would it be? Why?

I would be an eagle- because I have a good eye for detail and can still look at something from a larger perspective. What’s more, I like the freedom and the strength that an eagle represents.

What was your favorite hobby as a kid? What is your favorite hobby now? Why?

My favorite hobbies are reading, gardening, and completing puzzles with the kids. I also enjoy getting swept away into a story, tending to plants and flowers, and watching them grow. Moreover, the kids and I love working on jigsaw puzzles together, cooperating to put together a larger picture, and enjoying conversation and good jokes.

As a kid, I was a serious hula-hooper and won a talent show for a particular routine I had made in 2nd grade. (I’ll let you imagine what that experience looked like!)

What is your favorite book? Why?

My most recent favorites include The Sound of Gravel, The Alice Network, The Dream Daughter, and Where the Crawdads Sing.

If there is anything important that you have learned in the last year, what is it?

It’s the relationships that we have with each other that have matters the most. Hold on to them.

If you could give any prospective adoptive parent one piece of advice, what would it be?

Read the information shared with you and trust your agency. Patience is not easy in this process. However, practicing patience over and over (and over) again will only benefit you in this sometimes turbulent but incredible journey.

Recent posts

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