Thank you, Mimi!

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A very special thank you is due to a part of our CCAI family: Mimi.
 
Mimi is not only a CCAI mom of two beautiful sons, she is also a long-time and dedicated CCAI volunteer. As a well-known mural artist, she contributes to CCAI’s charity mission by going to China and decorating Lily Orphan Care Centers with incredibly beautiful wall murals that delight children and caretakers’ hearts.
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This summer she responds to CCAI Joyous Chinese Cultural Center’s need by once again, showcasing her artistic talent. The splendid Chinese garden and magnificent Chinese dragon she painted add authenticity and life to our cultural center. We can’t wait to unveil the new mural to our students next month.
 
If you want to volunteer at CCAI or JCCC, please contact us at mail@ccaifamily.org.

Shared List buzz

As you may know, the “Shared List” is a CCCWA-maintained electronic and secure listing of adoptable Waiting Children with identified medical conditions, viewable by all China adoption agencies around the world. New files are added to the Shared List all the time, and while many of these children are matched sooner or later, others with more significant conditions or outdated files continue to wait…  and wait… and wait… on the Shared List with little to no chance for a family.

Over the years these “waiting” children’s files have continued to accumulate, reaching upwards of 2,000 files, and most have not been updated since they were originally posted. Recognizing this challenge, the CCCWA has decided to give these children another chance by dividing some of their files among four US agencies (including CCAI) and charging these agencies with the task to obtain updated information and network with other advocacy groups to find forever families for as many children as possible.

CCAI has received over 400 files so far from the provinces of Henan, Jilin, Sichuan, Heilongjiang, Xinjiang, Liaoning, Zhejiang and Shaanxi. Right now we’re working hard to request and process updates as quickly as we can, and we’ll be posting their files on a rolling basis as new information is received. We are more than happy to share these “former shared list” children’s files and updates with any agency or qualified family, and we are absolutely willing to transfer a child’s file to another agency for a committed family.  🙂

We applaud the CCCWA’s diligent efforts to persevere in finding a loving family for these children who have been waiting for so long!

From Your Adopteen Team: Adopteen 2016 Summer Report

Adopteen’s 2016 summer schedule closed out with one last hoorah this past weekend with the 2nd Annual Adoptstronauts Weekend Retreat. This year has been an amazing journey for all involved, with exciting new developments and splendid fun had by all.

4I1A1788The summer’s first Adopteen Camp-Conference marked another important milestone – our first international conference!  From June 30-July 4, 2016, Adopteen explored the Great White North in Vancouver, British Columbia.  Though it was a smaller group at 4I1A1774just 37 campers (representing 15 states, 13 provinces and two countries ranging from age 13-21), we had all the fun of a bigger group, while also being able to take the time to bond more as a team. Campers had the chance to visit popular sites around the beautiful city of Vancouver during a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour, as well as visit the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Workshops included History of Adoption, Self-Confidence, Dance, Friendship Bracelets, Tie Dye and Survival 101. Fantastic conversations were had, amazing milkshakes were drank, dancing and laughing happened and we’ll be missing Vancouver always.

4I1A2592As soon as we got back from Vancouver, it was time for the Summer Adoptees Giving Back–Orphanage Service Trip (AGBOST) in Anhui! This 10 day trip from July 13-23, 2016 was Adopteen’s fourth summer trip, and we brought 25 travelers along with two chaperones to volunteer for the children of Hefei City Children’s Welfare Institute.  Travelers ranged in age from 15-21 and represented 13 states and 10 provinces (with 7 coming from Anhui Province!). Before they even stepped foot in China, this group of travelers made AGBOST history with the most money ever raised for a province–over $9,000! This money was used to purchase 10 industrial washers, three widescreen televisions, and two large refrigerators. The remainder of the funds were dispersed amongst other Charity Fund 4I1A3705projects and orphanages in need. For five days–an entire work week–travelers volunteered with the children in the orphanage, ranging from toddlers to teenagers. As always, each child has made a lasting impression on all of our hearts that we will never forget. We are so thankful to the amazing staff at Hefei City Children’s Welfare Institute for their never-ending kindness and generosity.

4I1A4577Washington, D.C. and Georgetown University provided the perfect backdrop for an amazing week at the second Camp-Conference of the summer from August 37,2016.  70 campers representing 34 states, 16 provinces and 2 countries, ages 13-21 joined us for a hot, humid, spectacular time. We cruised on the Potomac to spend some valuable time with the riverside monuments, as well as visited the National Mall for a “choose your own adventure” style day with museums and sights galore. On campus, we played Adopteen’s version of Mario-Kart (balloons, all the balloons), had some friendly team competitions, 4I1A4591showed off our talents during the Adopteen Talent Show and hosted workshops including: Cooking, Ballroom Dancing, Self-Confidence, Personality Tests, Self-Defense, Tie Dye and Adoption 101!   D.C. was amazing–a very genuine and special thank you to our fantastic volunteers in the area is due. We could not possibly have done it without you!

The 2nd Annual Adoptstronauts Weekend Retreat, our final event of the summer, was a beautiful and relaxing overnight in the mountains of Colorado and a perfect cap to the season. This was a quick opportunity for our adoptee friends over the age of 18 to meet up with one another and connect for the year.  Attended by eight adoptees age 18-24 and led entirely without Adopteen staff (huge thanks to Claire Deskin and Jenny Trenchard, who coordinated the entire event!), the night was full of good food, conversation and a dash of Adopteen fun.

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Thank you again to everyone that made 2016 special for Adopteen. We made huge strides and cannot wait to get started on yet another year of life-changing programs and meaningful fun. Look out for our entire calendar of events for 2017 by the end of September, including:

  • the 2nd Annual Adopteen Fundraiser
  • Adopteen Midpoint
  • Adopteen Camp-Conferences
  • AGBOST
  • Adoptstronauts
  • 2016-2017 AdopTween!

Are you on our mailing list?  Email info@adopteen.org to receive all the latest news and updates from the Adopteen team!

CCAI celebrates achievement of summer intern, China adoptee

Maddie receives a certificate of achievement from Lily and Josh for successfully completing her summer internship with CCAI

Maddie receives a certificate of achievement from Lily and Josh for successfully completing her summer internship with CCAI

Staff Spotlight: Maddie Holland

Position: Post Adoption Intern

 

How did you connect with CCAI?

I really wanted to work for the adoption agency that I was adopted through, but when I started doing research, I found out they had gone out of business. I was really upset, so I asked my adopted friend’s mom what I should do. She told me CCAI was a really good agency. I wrote a letter to their Director of Adoptions, who is a certified social worker. I felt a connection to her because that’s what I’m going to school for. I told her my story and asked if CCAI offered any internships. She wrote me back and told me that I had the job.

What is your story?

I was abandoned as a baby and raised in a foster home. Where I’m from, and in the more rural parts of China, I personally think that a lot of foster parents just foster for the money and don’t really care about the kids. I was abused.  When I was 11, I went to live in the orphanage and was so happy. I made friends there and began to get comfortable. It was the most stable environment I had known, especially because so few adoptions of older kids like me were going through. In attempt to find more of us homes, the orphanage took my peers and I to a CCCWA (the government agency that oversees adoption in China) camp for older kids.  They invited American social workers to come get pictures and video to share with prospective parents. Each child prepared a song or poem to perform and it was recorded. As I was up on stage, I began to cry in the middle of my performance. The pressure was so great because I knew my only shot at finding a family very well might depend on my performance and I feared that no one would want me.  A few months after I turned 13, I started to panic because I knew I was going to age out if they couldn’t find a family for me soon. I was worried, so I wrote another letter. This time I wrote to someone at the CCCWA. I told her to hurry up and find me a family and begged her to do it soon. I also told her that China held no future for me at all. She wrote back and told me she would try, but offered no guarantees. I am so thankful for the reality that I wasn’t aware of at that time; that there were people out there who wanted me. My parents saw the video of that performance and said God spoke to them and told them that I was meant to be theirs. They filed their paperwork as soon as possible and the orphanage told me that I was going to be adopted.

Were you excited?

Yes and no. I knew that this would be my only chance at having a decent life and felt like I should be grateful because my wish for a family finally came true, but I had a lot of anxiety about leaving the orphanage I’d been in for the past two years, especially because all my friends were there. That really was my happiest place from my childhood.

How was the transition to the States?

HARD. My parents were nice, but all I knew how to say in English when I was first adopted was yes and no and a heavily-accented thank you. I didn’t know how to communicate my emotions and needs and honestly, I didn’t even know how to express myself in Chinese either. I became really rebellious, which was my childhood go-to coping mechanism.  My parents were patient with me, even though it was frustrating on both of our ends not knowing how to communicate. We had a lot of arguments and attachment issues, but we survived after years of struggling. I thank God every day for their commitment to provide; I would never be where I am today without them. I now look back and think I made things really difficult for them, but I’m so thankful they were understanding and loved me anyway.

Did you go to public school?

Yes, and that was really difficult. They didn’t even have an ESL (English Second Language) assistant there when I first started so I just sat in classes and didn’t have a clue what was going on around me.

When did it start to click?

The second half of my sophomore year. I finally began to understand entire conversations and that’s when I really started trying in school. I started making friends and things got better from there.

Where do you go to school now?

I’m a junior at the University of Missouri.

What was most rewarding about your internship with CCAI?

Helping other kids who are in the same boat that I once was in. I was able to speak with many older children that were either adopted recently or in the hosting program this summer. Their families didn’t know how to help them and called our Post Adoption department and I was able to speak Chinese to the kids and share my story and hear theirs. Sometimes it’s heartbreaking, but it was so rewarding. For the hosting kids, a lot of times they just listened, but their parents said it really helped. For the recent adoptees, it was my privilege to be able to hear their stories and share my stories with them—to let them know this is a long adjusting process and that they are never alone in this.

What are your career goals?

I want to work for an adoption agency–hopefully CCAI–and be a social work mediator between the US and China.

My parents and I standing at my abandonment place, Temple of Heaven, days before we flew to my new home in the States

Maddie standing with her parents at her place of abandonment, Temple of Heaven, days before they flew to her new home in the States

2017 Heritage Tour dates announced

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ANNOUNCING THE 2017 HERITAGE TOUR SCHEDULE!

We are thrilled to announce the 2017 Spring and Summer Heritage Tour schedule as well as our Winter Tour scheduleAll China adoptees of any age travel FREE for in-China tours!

Spring Schedule:  April 9- 19, 2017

Summer Schedule:  June 11-June 21, 2017 & July 16-July 26, 2017

Winter Schedule: December 24, 2017- January 3, 2018

 

Some incredible highlights of the 2017 tours are:

  • China adoptees of all ages are FREE for in-China tours!
  • Ten days and five spectacular cities: Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Guilin and Yangshuo.
  • Visit the mystical CCCWA (formerly CCAA), climb the Great Wall, tour the Forbidden City, be awed by the Terra Cotta Soldiers, hold a giant panda, cruise the poetic Li River, enjoy wonderful Chinese cuisine, and much more!
  • Includes all in-China air/train tickets and ground transportation, hotels, park entrance tickets, and most meals during the dates mentioned for each tour (Panda hugging in Chengdu costs extra).
  • All of this for $2,099 per non-China adoptee adult (12 or older) and $1,599 for non-China adoptee children.
  • Optional visit and tour to your child’s orphanage is available before or after the main tour (additional costs apply).

Online registration is available on our website at www.ccaifamily.org/heritagetour for all four tours! 

Note: In order to benefit from the free Chinese adoptee in-China tour package:

  • Adopted Chinese children must travel with their own parent(s).
  • Each adoptive couple (both traveling) can bring up to three Chinese adoptees
  • Each single parent can bring up to two Chinese adoptees

These tours are open to everyone: CCAI families, non-CCAI families, your friends or relatives.  So please spread the word!  Over the years our Heritage Tour family has grown to include adoptive families from countries other than the USA as well – the more the merrier!  If you are a FCC chapter member in your area, please help us get the word out to FCC communities.  Thank you!!! 

For any questions about the upcoming 2017 tours, please feel free to email heritagetour@chinesechildren.org or call 303-850-9998 x 48.

 

JCCC celebrates summer volunteers

4I1A4755This afternoon, JCCC staff invited all their summer teen volunteers to come celebrate what they were able to accomplish together. The pizza party was rich in laughter and fun.

In the past year, volunteers have:

  • Painted walls in the JCCC building
  • Cooked and assisted in other ways with field trips hosted by JCCC
  • Staffed the China Charm gift shop
  • Assisted with dance and language classes
  • Emceed the Chinese New Year Event

JCCC is in need of volunteers for the 2016-2017 school year. In particular, an intern is needed through mid-February to assist with organizing the Chinese New Year activities. Photography/videography skills are a plus. To apply, contact Phyllis at school3@chinesechildren.org.

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The Joyous Chinese Cultural Center (JCCC) exists to provide cultural and emotional support to adopted Chinese children and to offer Chinese cultural and language education to children and adults of all backgrounds in our communities and across the country.

The Connected Parent class 2016

2016 Connected Parent

Registration is now open for our class: The Connected Parent

Children with a history of trauma, abuse or neglect need a different type of parenting. The Connected Parent class will help families reach a deeper understanding of their reactions to their children’s behaviors while learning new tools to regulate their feelings so they can respond to their children’s needs. The Connected Parent is an 8 week class designed to:

• Help children heal 
• Develop secure attachments 
• Empower children to grow 
• Discipline effectively while maintaining a connection

The structure of the class is such that parents will receive instruction and support while their children participate in a separate group, also learning many of the techniques in an age appropriate manner.

Cost is $350/Family and registration covers two parents and two children ($50 per additional child; children’s class intended for ages 3-8)

Classes will be held at CCAI in Centennial, Colo. For more information or to register, contact Shelly Burkey at 303-850-9998 x22 or postadoption@ccaifamily.org.

CCAI exclusive: Discounted tickets to Atlanta Chinese Dance Company performance

Atlanta Dance

Looking for a cultural opportunity to share with your family?  The Atlanta Chinese Dance Company is offering CCAI families and friends discounted tickets to their original production, “China in Transition:  Animal Folklore to City Life.”  We hope to see you there.

 

 

WHEN:            Saturday, Sept. 24, 2016 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016 at 2 p.m.

WHERE:          Infinite Energy Theater in Duluth, Ga.

WHAT:              A collection of traditional Chinese dances offering “A visual feast of ancient history through modern times. Performances feature nearly 100 dancers, including professional guest artists from the acclaimed Qi Shu Fang Peking Opera Company in New York.”

COST:              Using our promotional code (ccai2016), each ticket will be reduced to $17, regardless of price level (orchestra, boxes or balcony).

There are three ways to buy your tickets:

  • Go in person to the ticket office (no additional charge applied)
  • Purchase online (additional $2.25/per ticket charged by the box office)
  • Call the box office at (770) 626-2464 (additional $3/ticket charged by the box office)

The following steps must be followed to purchase your tickets online with the code:

  • Click on this link.
  • Click on the yellow “MORE INFO” button next to your desired performance.
  • On the right, under “TICKET OPTIONS”, click on the yellow “BUY OFFER” button under DANCER CODES. Enter the code (ccai2016) and click on the pink “Proceed” button.
  • After you have selected your number and price level of tickets, click on the pink “FIND TICKETS” button.  If you would like to view where your seats are, click on the pink “VIEW” button.  Then click on the pink “NEXT” button.
  • Next, select your ticket delivery method (Electronic Ticket Delivery is free, but Standard Mail and Will Call will cost you extra).  Then click on the pink “NEXT” button.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete your purchase.

10 days to raise $15K for “Sight for Shu”

Many of you may remember the fundraiser we took part in to help raise money for a cornea transplant surgery for a wonderful little boy named Shu Wei back in May. With many prayers and donations, Shu’s host family was able to secure a right cornea transplant for Shu and the surgery was successful. Shu couldn’t stop smiling when he awoke from the surgery and could see for the first time.

Shu

Shu is now scheduled for his second surgery, Aug. 23, 2016, and needs your help again. His previous host mom Holly writes:

The hospital requires that funds for the surgery be PAID IN FULL by Aug. 16, 2016 and it is critical Shu has this surgery now because pathways from the retina to the brain are fully formed by age 8 (which he will be in November). In other words, without this surgery, Shu will never have sight in his left eye. During the procedure, surgeons also plan to continue construction on Shu’s right cornea, further enhancing his vision and making sure the retina isn’t starting to detach. Any and every donation is greatly appreciated. Shu is so special and such a wonderful child.

Please prayerfully consider how much you are able to give to help this precious child see out of both eyes!

To contribute by credit card, please fill out the donation form at www.ccaifamily.org/Charity/DonationForm.aspx, and type “Sight for Shu” in the ‘specific project’ area.

Checks can be sent directly to CCAI at 6920 S Holly Cir, Centennial, CO 80112 (please write “Sight for Shu” on the memo line).