CCAI Ushers in 2017 with a Big Bang!!!

2017Eighteen wonderful families completed the adoptions of 21 precious children in the first two weeks of 2017. That means 21 lives are changed forever as a result of the courageously loving act of these incredible families. God is continuing to shower His blessing upon our CCAI team, our passionate adoptive families, and the precious children who are dreaming of a beautiful place call home.  Welcome Home Groups 2385, 2386 and 2387!!!

#Welcomehomewednesday

2384.2385

We want to extend the warmest ‘Welcome Home’ to Groups 2383 and 2384 who just arrived home last week!!!

This week’s adoption story was sent to us by the Jones Family who brought home two children on this trip! The family writes:

“It’s hard to believe that we have only been home ten days! We have come so far in such a short amount of time. We adopted two children from China, Isabella is 5 and Colton is 2. We are “older” empty nesters and just remembering all the joys and challenges of parenting again.

We were the only parents in our group adopting two children together. We always felt that we were bringing up the rear no matter where we were. All the families with our group were so helpful and knew we were struggling with backpacks, strollers, blankets and coats getting on and off buses, planes and trains. During our trip from Zhengzhou to Guangzhou we had to experience the airport for the first time with two very young children. We definitely learned a lesson about making our way through an airport carrying way too much stuff all the while my daughter shouting “niao, niao!!!” which I quickly learned meant I have to go to the bathroom now!

I have a daughter that is 24 and my son is 19 so when we decided to adopt two children, I thought no problem I know how to do this! However, time has a way of making you forget all the needs of young kids. Toddlers are messy, demanding and want to do everything the other family members are doing – including going to the bathroom! Our daughter has a vision impairment and that has also brought challenges navigating the terrain. It’s all slowly coming back to me, how to take care of two young kids but my body keeps reminding me I am not 20 something anymore!

We had a rough start coming home with sleeping on a regular schedule. I reached out to other adoptive moms for advice. Sunlight and melatonin seemed to be the theme. Unfortunately in Illinois there is a lack of sunshine to help regulate their internal clocks. We were up at 12:00 am to 7:00 am and had our days and nights mixed up. It’s amazing the things parents can come up with to do at these hours of the night. I had my first Wal-Mart trip for needed groceries at 3:00 am and I have to say it was a very pleasant experience.

Next week brings lot of appointments with Doctors, Dentist and our School District to navigate the medical and educational needs of our children. But for now we are just enjoying being home and discovering all the things that being an American can offer.

At 10 days we are celebrating many firsts and a new normal. We are on a regular schedule! We are trying new foods. We are meeting new friends and family. Our house is a disaster, dishes and laundry are not always done and that’s ok. We are a family. We love each other and we would not have missed all of this for all the tea in China!”

Aaron, Julie, Isabella and Colton Jonesjones6jones1

jones2

 

jones5

 

CCAI 2016 Year In Review

ccai-year-in-review

With your support, 2016 proved to be a fantastic year for CCAI! Here are some of the most exciting highlights as we usher in the New Year:

• 467 orphans from five countries found their forever families!!!
• CCAI’s orphanage partnerships increased to 40 orphanages from four Chinese provinces
• CCAI’s charity arm, with the help of our trusting and generous donors, launched 60 projects and invested $903,000, touching the lives of 5,085 orphans
• CCAI’s Charity Team undertook 60 trips to 40 orphanages to provide child care training
• CCAI currently operates seven Lily Orphan Care Centers in China (visit www.ccaifamily.org/OrphanCare/Lily-OrphanCare to learn more about CCAI’s charity efforts)
• 47 older children from 9 orphanages participated in summer and winter hosting programs and had a wonderful time experiencing the love of a family
• CCAI was selected as one of four US adoption agencies to assist CCCWA in finding homes for nearly 2,000 extremely hard-to-place orphans. CCAI sent a team of ten professional photographers to China to photograph and film some of these hard-to-place orphans to help raise awareness
• 112 families (389 individuals, including 158 adoptees) participated in four China Heritage tours, including an invitation by the Chinese government to visit the Great Hall for a grand welcome ceremony
• 306 adoptees from 32 states participated in Adopteen‘s many events (Adopteen Camp-Conference and Retreats, Adoptstronauts Retreat, Adopteen and Adoptween Hangouts, and Adoptees Giving Back Orphanage Service Trip – 2017 trip applications open now atwww.adopteen.org)
• Our Joyous Chinese Cultural Center (JCCC) had a strong year with 210 students and welcomed over 2,000 K-12 students from 30 local schools to participate in 28 China Field Trips
• JCCC’s 2016 Chinese New Year Celebration had an attendance of 900+ (Tickets for 2017 CNY Celebration available now at www.joyouscenter.org)
• CCAI added a new Taiwan adoption program!

Season’s Greetings and Thank You from Our LOCC’s

As the year draws to a close with the warmth of the holiday season, our amazing Lily Orphan Care Center children and nannies would like to wish our incredible families and donors a very happy holidays.  They sure know how to get into the holiday spirit!

Thank you for your dedicated support of our LOCC’s and CCAI’s orphan care mission this year and every year!  We are endlessly grateful.  This year, CCAI supported 60 orphan care projects at a cost of $903,000!  If you would like to donate to our Children Charity Fund to help support our continuing orphan care efforts, please visit https://www.ccaifamily.org/Charity/DonationForm.

 

 

#FeelGoodFriday

Our Feel Good Friday story of the day is about our Hosting Kiddos!!!! Twenty-four children who have never experienced the love of a family or the joy of the Holiday season, arrived from China to spend three special weeks with a CCAI host family. They were welcomed at the airport last night by Josh Zhong, CCAI staff and of course our amazing host families. Follow along their journey to see how these children blossom and shine over the next three weeks after experiencing the warmth and love of a family. To learn more about our Hosting Program, please visit our website http://ccaifamily.org/Hosting/chinahostingprogram.hh111h17h166

Lost to be Found: The Kalman Family’s Divine Love Story

kalman-family

She was left in a train station waiting room half way around the world in China’s Henan province.  This precious baby girl was left…to be found.  Someone anonymously slipped in and slipped out for reasons we will never know but one reason was clear… a wish that she would have life…a better life.

On the other side of the world, that very same day, a couple was packing their bags to find their daughter.  They were packing like a couple packs before leaving for the hospital to have their baby, except the mother wasn’t pregnant.  This baby was born into their hearts.

That baby girl was taken to a hospital by the authorities that very day.  And that next day, the couple flew from Chicago to Denver to meet with CCAI – an adoption agency specializing in China adoption.

It would not be until 13 months later that this couple would hold the picture of their beautiful daughter in their hands.  This mother and father held and cradled the idea of their daughter in their hearts for so long, not knowing her identity, fervently praying for her well-being. Finally, they glimpsed her precious face…with tears of joy flowing down their cheeks. There was no doubt to them that a divine hand orchestrated this love story.

I realized the significance of our travel date and our daughter Lily’s birthdate about a year after we brought her home.  There are so many divine stories within’ our adoption story.  I could write a book on it.  But for this short blog, I will tell you a revelation that only God could show me.  I hope and pray that you will receive a confirming divine revelation on whatever you may be deliberating.

That day of travel to Denver to meet with the adoption agency was one filled with fear and doubt.  I was not sure about adoption for our family.  We had thought about it for over 10 years.  I had a million thoughts roaming aimlessly through my head and most of them were negative.  We always had the seed in our hearts about adoption but I just wasn’t sure if it was the right thing for our family of four.  When we arrived at the airport, we noticed our flight was canceled.  It was the ONLY one canceled.  We asked the agent to place us on another flight but she said that all the other flights were oversold.  She could not even get us on another airline.  I thought, maybe this was God’s way of saying “no” to adoption for us.  My husband went ahead and placed us on standby on a very overbooked flight and told me that most likely we will not get on.  We could see that only two seats were available and we were several down on the list.  I cried.  I literally cried.  The terminal was pumping with people walking every which way and lines of people just waiting for a seat.  I plopped on the floor feeling hopeless with my bags surrounding me and people swirling all around.  I took out my phone and threw down my “call a friend” card.  I remember my friend Amy sleepily answering and I immediately described our situation.  Amy prayed for us.  There is a peace in that.  There is nothing like a friend praying for you and feeling the power in that prayer.  I remember God’s prompting for me to pray for her.  And me thinking…”out loud? um, no!  I’m in an airport…sitting on the floor.  I’d feel foolish!”  But I did.  I did it anyway.  And as soon as I finished, I looked up at the screen of the airplane seating and saw before my eyes all these seats opening up.  I felt euphoric!!!  My husband Dale travels a lot.  He told me that this was crazy and this never happens like this.  So, yes, I’m convinced there are no coincidences.  Maybe you had to be there but this is not the end of the story.  When we got on that plane, I sat a few seats behind Dale.  I remember looking at the back of his head and these words came to my head…”I can shut a door but open another…and after all that… now you really know how you feel about this adoption, about your daughter.”  But…oh there is more, there is always more with God!

When we arrived at  CCAI, we toured it and received a lot of information.  But the clincher was when we saw the founder’s room.  The founder Joshua and his wife, Lily, were out of town.  I lingered in that room and kept looking at their logo.  I asked the lady from the agency, “has your organization always been at this location?”  She replied that they moved a few years ago from such and such location.  I recognized that location and it hit me!  I realized that I recognized that logo and that location because I had visited them over 10 years ago when we lived in Denver!  I had picked up an adoption packet at their old location because that is when we first started thinking about adoption!

I believe in the power of prayer!  God will deliver!  When you recognize where your hope & faith lie…and who is in control (not me!), your Heavenly Father will answer. It may not always be the answer you are expecting but we must trust His will.

I cannot imagine life without our Lily making us a family of five.  By the way, we already had Lily’s name in our hearts before we knew the adoption agency’s founder’s name…Lily.  I could not be happier that they both share the beautiful name Lily!  After all, it was God’s plan!

To journey through our adoption story for helpful details and hope…go to

www.sea-of-grace.blogspot.com

kalman-family1

 

Art for Orphans

art1

We just wanted to share the story of one of our amazing families and how they graciously use their talent and time to make a difference!  Marabelle, who was adopted from China, along with her sisters Madeline and Maren have been raising money for orphans through an annual artwork sale.  These three talented and passionate sisters create original, beautiful pieces of art throughout the year and make them available for sale to friends and family at their  ‘Art Show for Charity’.  Each sister chooses a charity and of course Marabelle chooses CCAI!

“What a wonderful way to teach their children about charity and giving.”
CCAI co-founder Joshua commented. “It is just so heartwarming to see kids helping kids in such a loving way.”artart2

World AIDS Awareness Day: Considering HIV-positive orphans

aidsThe climate of international adoption is constantly changing and new challenges seem to continuously arise. Few know this better than our founders, Lily Nie and Joshua Zhong.

They founded CCAI in 1992 after seeing the devastating orphan humanitarian crisis that arose from China’s one-child policy firsthand. Since then, CCAI has grown to become the No. 1 ranked China adoption agency in the world by the CCCWA (China’s adoption authority) and has finalized close to 12,000 adoptions.

China is not the only country CCAI works with, however. Nie and Zhong have held tight to the belief that all orphan’s lives matter and CCAI has remained dedicated to assisting in adoptions in all ways ethically possible. CCAI maintains adoption programs for US citizens through Latvia, Bulgaria and Ukraine, offers home study services, has a robust charity program, and offers post adoption support indefinitely for adoptive families.

On this World AIDS Awareness Day, Dec. 1, 2016, CCAI asks for your consideration of HIV-positive orphans residing in Eastern Europe.

“Orphans in Eastern Europe are generally older children or children with special needs and can be harder to advocate for because their home countries often don’t allow for specific child advocating on social media,” said Allison Miner, CCAI’s Bulgaria, Latvia and Ukraine Program Coordinator. “Beyond these challenges, there is a larger percentage of children from Eastern European countries that have the HIV infection than children in other areas of the world.”

This is true to a staggering degree. Between 2001 and 2009, diagnoses of HIV in the Eastern European/Central Asia region grew by 66 percent, while globally the same measurement decreased by 17 percent, according to an article by the Sofia Echo.

The World Health Organization released a report stating Ukraine leads Europe in rates of infection, with 1.6 percent of the adult population infected with HIV or AIDS.

“Despite the advances in medical treatment since the ‘AIDS epidemic’ in the 1980s, many people are still very hesitant to consider adopting a child that is HIV-positive,” Miner said. “There is a heavy stigma around the infection, but it is important to consider the advances in medical technology and the treatability of the disease due to antiretroviral drugs. More than that, it is important to see these children as just that—children in need of loving families. It is heartbreaking to think that a child may not have a family because they have a disease beyond their control.”

CCAI asks for your support and consideration of HIV-positive orphans in Eastern Europe. If you are interested in learning more about adoption through CCAI’s Eastern European programs, please contact Allison Miner at 404-250-0055 x206.

Send a Christmas gift to a child at Luohe LOCC!

img_0909Today is the first day to send gifts to the children in Luohe Lily Orphan Care Center! Please consider brightening the holidays of a child without a family through this simple way to contribute to children in need.

Please be advised that at checkout, you may receive a message stating that “your package will not clear customs without the recipients citizen ID number.” You may also receive a follow up email of the same nature from Amazon. Don’t worry! We have input this number and these messages are simply reminders for anyone sending items to China. 🙂

To send a gift to Luohe LOCC, please visit our Wishlist through Amazon Smile: https://smile.amazon.com/…/wishlist/3OPT…/ref=cm_wl_list_o_1?.