Close this search box.



The Bright Light at the End of our Tunnel

Expanding our Family through Adoption

We never imagined that expanding our family through adoption would be a seven-year journey, but everything turned out exactly how it was supposed to. 

It’s funny we can say that now, but we dealt with frustration, disappointment, and doubt during those seven years. Re-filling out paperwork, hearing no positive updates year after year, and reading about the disintegration of Haitian law and order was challenging to endure, but it forced my husband and me to put our trust in God’s plan to grow our family through adoption. That whole time we were experiencing setbacks, God set us up for a little boy on the other side of the world.

Our Calling to Expand our Family through Adoption

We knew we wanted to expand our family through adoption. We officially applied for the Haiti program in March 2015 after months of research and prayers. Our family dove into loving and learning Haitian culture and preparing to raise a black child. The anticipated 2-3 year process turned into over five years of waiting. At a certain point, we’d waited so long and invested so much emotionally that we felt like we couldn’t walk away, as if we were abandoning a child we hadn’t even met yet. Our kids were getting older, my husband and I were getting older… I remember shedding so many tears during those 5+ years of waiting for good news from Haiti and picturing them in our family, buying things in threes, only to hear nothing. Through it all, CCAI was there with empathy, honesty, and understanding.

Even though the Haiti process ultimately was not successful for us, it brought our family an appreciation and understanding of Haitian culture, took us on a mission trip to Haiti, and afforded us a greater awareness of racial injustice for black Americans. It caused us to rethink how our toys, books, movies, and more should reflect people of color. It created many opportunities for us as parents to have conversations with our son and daughter about race, inequality and being an upstander.

The Hard Decision

It was an emotional decision to close our Haiti file in 2020, but CCAI supported us by helping us switch to the Taiwan program. We so desperately wanted to expand our family through adoption! The light at the end of a dark tunnel! We loved that the Taiwan program was stable and the information about children was plentiful. In December 2020, we finally found a child who we believed was an excellent fit for us to grow our family. Because he was nine, he could also give his consent to join our family. A powerful decision for such a little boy.

Finally, in June of 2022, after Skyping for over a year, we were given the green light to travel and thus began our 21-day adventure to beautiful Taiwan. We had 7 days of quarantining in a small hotel room (one room. With two kids. We all survived.), then a week of exploring Taiwan before finally meeting our newest addition! We got high fives (his plan for our first greeting), he showed us around, said his goodbyes, and happily joined his new family. Such a surreal moment, like, “Are they letting us take him home?? Have we finally done it?!”

Happy Endings in Growing our Family through Adoption

In recapping this story, I remember all the ways God was moving for us. Whether getting our special entry permits back in time to fly to Taiwan, not getting COVID while traveling, flights being on time, clearing paperwork, or government agencies filling things out quickly – so many things that we stressed about ended up coming through just fine.

Our newest son, now 10, is a bright light in our home with his infectious laugh, sweet nature, and genuine enthusiasm for life. While we occasionally experience the usual bumps in the road, we have CCAI to thank for preparing us for the road ahead and Cathwel for equipping our son. Like it says in the song Waymaker, “Even when I don’t see it, You’re working,” we learned that God was putting all the right people in place to help this adoption journey happen and for a little boy on the other side of the world to find a forever family to call his own. Expanding our family through adoption was the best decision we’ve ever made!

Englebright son with his dog.

To learn more about adopting from Taiwan, please visit our Taiwan Adoption Program Page.

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