The Robinson Family Adoption – A Miraculous Chain Reaction

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Robinson 1Some families are touched by adoption and it forever changes the fabric and story of their lives.  The Robinsons are one of those families.  Rachel and Corey, who are currently pursuing the adoption of their son from our Taiwan program, witnessed the miracle of adoption first hand through the adoption of their own sisters and cousins during childhood.  This set off a spectacular chain of events in their lives that would eventually lead them to their own adoption 20 years later.

“The story of our adoption really can be traced back to the late 1990s when Rachel’s aunt adopted her first daughter from China. Within the following few years, there were 6 adoptions between both of our families, including our sisters. Our family members all chose to use CCAI as their adoption agency and had wonderful experiences and so it was a “no brainer” for us to complete our adoption through CCAI.  

Though we have known each other since we were in middle school, we didn’t know we would end up married to each other until 15 years later. We had both individually felt like adoption would likely be a part of our stories in the future but when we made the decision to marry each other, it was very obvious that we were on the same page and there was no question of whether or not adoption would be a part of how we wanted to grow our family. Because of our families’ adoption experiences and Rachel having taught in China for 4 years, we knew that we were feeling led to adopt from Asia.  

In early 2019, we began researching different options for adoption as we desired to grow our family. We really preferred to use CCAI even though we knew that China was not an option at the time due to the age requirements. Rachel noticed that CCAI had a Taiwan adoption program and that we also both met the requirements to adopt. Rachel began recognizing a lot of Taiwan adoption connections in her own life. She was friends with an adult adoptee from Taiwan and was also friends with a family currently in Taiwan who were in the process of adopting. We contacted CCAI at that time and talked with the Taiwan adoption team and were very impressed with the Taiwan adoption process. After several months of prayer, we made the decision to apply to adopt from Taiwan in July, 2019.

In October, 2019 we were so excited to be matched with our son! We recently completed our dossier and hope to be in Taiwan by this summer. We have been amazed at how much information we have received about our son’s birth family and health history. Receiving the amount of information that we have has been a little overwhelming at times but it is so helpful to be informed and we believe it will help us provide for our son when he joins our family.  

We have also been impressed with how well the children are informed about their adoptions. Our son seems to understand (as much as a 6 year old can) what is about to happen and we have even had the opportunity to start building a relationship with him through Skype conversations and care packages. We were so relieved to see him excited about his adoption in our Skype calls and we are confident that Cathwel is doing what they can to help prepare him for this transition.

The Taiwan staff at CCAI has been incredibly helpful throughout this entire process. Whenever we have had any questions, they have been quick to respond and have kept us informed of any new updates and information. Between our experience and our families’ experiences with CCAI, we truly believe we are working with an agency that has a heart for helping bring families together. We cannot imagine what our families would look like without adoption and CCAI has played a huge role in making that possible. It is amazing to see how God has orchestrated everything in our lives so far to bring us to this point and we are beyond excited to be the parents of our son and hope to have him in our arms soon!

Rachel and Corey”

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Abigail’s Story

We wanted to highlight some of the before and after stories of our amazing families and their beautiful children. At any given time, China has over 3,000 children waiting to be adopted. These children range in age from 36 months to 13 years and all have varying degrees of medical conditions. We need families who are open to adopting these amazing children and can help them meet their full potential!

For more information contact us at:
application@ccaifamily.org
 
This week we are featuring Abigail’s story. Abigail was diagnosed in China with Meningocele. Her mother recently shared with us how their family took the leap of faith to bring their girl home:

“Our journey to our daughter Abigail started long before we ever consciously made the decision to adopt. My husband, Zach and I often talked in theory about adopting a child. Then life happened and we started having babies. The next thing we knew, we had 3 boys and were happy as a family of 5. In our minds we were done having children. We had three wonderful healthy boys and were living a happy life. Then one day we felt God talking to us again. Through prayer, research, and a lot of discussions we felt that God had been talking to us, telling us that yes this is His plan for us. After many discussions with our boys and research we as a family decided to step out in faith to follow God’s leading. In February of 2016 we decided to follow this path of adopting a little girl from China. This was one of the scariest, humbling, faith building experiences that God has ever asked us to do.

 

Adoption had been something Zach and I had talked about, but we never seriously thought that we would be an adoptive family. We did not save thousands of dollars before starting down the adoption path. In fact, we had saved zero dollars, nada, nothing, not one penny was set aside for adoption. We also had never considered adopting a child with special needs. In fact, I distinctly remembered a conversation where my husband said we could not afford to adopt a child with special needs. I believe God got a good chuckle out of that one. Little did we know we would be stepping out in faith that HE would provide in amazing ways both financially but also that we would choose to adopt a child with such a scary diagnosis.

 

Right after we decided to follow God’s path of adoption, I had a dream that we adopted a little 4 year old girl from China. I couldn’t see her face, but I knew it was our daughter. We embarked on the daunting task of raising funds, completing a Medical Condition Check List, the home study, filling out paperwork, and completing the dossier. Our family is an active family. We enjoy hiking, camping, skiing, and all three of our boys play lacrosse. Our prayer was that God would bring a child into our family who would be physically able and adventurous enough to join right into our family activities. We were concerned after being cautioned from our social worker that our new child may not like all the activities our family enjoyed. This of course could happen, but we also knew that God would bring us the child we were meant to parent. God doesn’t make mistakes.

 

The Medical Conditions Check List at first was very overwhelming. There were so many special needs we had never even heard of. The first time we completed the MCC we were very restrictive as to what we would accept as a special need. Once we submitted our MCC we continued to research some of the special needs listed that we were unfamiliar with and began talking to other adoptive families that we knew and friends in the medical field. We updated our MCC to be more open a few different times before we were matched with our sweet daughter. One of the conditions that we initially said no to was spina bifida or meningocele. Through talking with a friend who adopted a child with meningocele and who also had a close family member with meningocele we learned that there are different types of spina bifida with a wide range affects. I had worked with my friend’s daughter for years in Sunday School and had no idea she had meningocele. Meningocele cannot be cured but in some cases it can be managed well. Little did we know that in September of 2016 we would be presented a file of a little sweet little 3 1/2 year old girl who had meningocele.

 

Our daughters file was two years old when we received it. It was very basic without very many details at all. She had not had surgery and the file said that she did have a tethered spinal cord, however there was no MRI to definitively even diagnose the spina bifida. There was nothing else in her file to make us believe there were any other underlying issues. We asked for an update and immediately asked our pediatrician to look at her file. Our pediatrician reviewed the file along with the pictures and sent them to a colleague as well to get a specialist opinion. We only had 48 hours to decide if we could accept her file or not. Our biggest hope was that she was physically capable to participate in the activities our family enjoyed. Could she walk unassisted? Would she be able to hike? Could she ever learn to ski? Our house has stairs and stairs and more stairs. We couldn’t afford to move. Will the stairs be a problem? We didn’t have the answer to any of our questions. Neither of the doctors who reviewed her file saw any underlying issues that we weren’t aware of, but they also cautioned that her file was very basic and they didn’t have any scans to look at. We had been presented with a file a few months prior to our daughters file but we felt uneasy from the moment we received the little girls file. Saying no to a file of a child who needed a home was one of the hardest decisions we have had to ever make. In comparison, when we received Abigail’s file even though it was so basic and we had so many unanswered questions, we had a peace that surpasses all understanding. After much prayer we decided that this little girl was our daughter. We were all in love and couldn’t wait to bring our daughter / sister home.

 

In February of 2017 by God’s grace and provision we traveled as a family of 5 to China to become a family of 6. On February 6, 2017 a scared, quiet, shy, Mandarin speaking little almost 4 year old girl was placed in our arms. We were strangers to her and her to us. We were filled with hope, excitement, and a little trepidation as to what our new future and family was going to look like. Over the past 2 ½  year this little girl has flourished into a joy filled, extroverted, affectionate, smiling, dancing, singing, clothes matching, flower in hair, Minnie Mouse loving, craft loving, food loving, adventurous 6 year old. She has embraced our active family lifestyle with camping, skiing, hiking, a multitude of lacrosse games, biking, swimming, and road trips. Abigail has changed before our eyes in so many ways. She is not the same little girl that was placed in our arms 2 ½ years ago. We are so thankful and blessed to have her join our family. We didn’t know for many years that we were missing a piece to our family puzzle, but God knew. He knew that Abigail was our daughter. He knew the journey he would take us on to her. He knew the perfect little one that would complete our family. We have seen our boys pour love, care and kindness into their sister like we never could have imagined. Abigail, we love you to the moon and back.

 

Medically, Abigail is doing amazing. She has no side affects from the spina bifida. We do know that at some point she will most likely start to show symptoms and will need surgery. Currently we see two specialists every 6 months just to make sure everything is still at her base line. One thing we didn’t expect was that she did come home with some hearing issues, which has been corrected with a quick outpatient surgery. I know not everyone’s story will end like ours. Some families find unknown medical issues. For us, we took a leap of faith. We didn’t know what we were walking into when we agreed to adopt Abigail, but if we hadn’t taken that leap of faith, we wouldn’t have the joyful girl filling our lives today.”

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CCAI Support China Social Workers Development

China SWS Training

China’s orphan care is coming to a new stage with the government’s call to build a Social Worker System. On February 24th, CCAI Director of Adoption Judy Winger and social worker Moya Smith flew to Wuxi, China to provide a five-day training to orphanage social workers from orphanages across China. From child care history theories, Trust-Based Relational Intervention, foster care family management, to team building and field experiment, Judy and Moya spent hours teaching, engaging, and challenging social workers on how to build a child-centered system and environment.

CCAI co-sponsored the social worker training financially, a charitable investment that will no doubt impact many orphans’ lives!

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Colorado Gives Day is Here!

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Today is Colorado Gives Day and thousands of people in our community and across the state will show their support for the causes close to their heart.

We would be honored if you would keep CCAI in mind when you give on this special day. No matter where you are in the world, you can participate in Colorado Gives Day and make your donation go further.

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This 24-hour movement is a chance to increase the value of your donation, thanks to the $1 Million Incentive Fund. Created by Community First Foundation and FirstBank, the fund increases the value of every dollar donated proportionally. This means, when you donate to CCAI through Colorado Gives, your money will go even further! Even better, you can still specify where you would like your gift to go, such as toward a favorite program like JCCS or Adopteen, or 100% to our charity efforts around the world!

Thank you for your passionate support.

Sincerely,

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Joshua Zhong & Lily Nie

What 2018 Brought Us — CCAI Circle 2018

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Our 2018 CCAI Circle Newsletter is finally out!  Read about all that 2018 brought us and learn about some exciting new happenings that 2019 has in store for our community! China’s changing policies, CCAI’s Eastern Europe and Taiwan program updates, amazing family stories, MyTaproot birth family search, our new The Park Adoption Community Center — It’s all here!

https://ccaifamily.org/Newsletter/Circle/Circle2018.pdf

DU Communications Class Partner with CCAI

DU and CCAI

Dr. Suter’s 10:00 Senior Communications elective course at the University of Denver has partnered with CCAI for their community collaboration projects for several years now and it is always a fantastic experience.  This year, the students worked with CCAI’s Waiting Child, Dossier, The Park Adoption Community Center, and Joyous Chinese Cultural School teams to provide vital support in their programming!  From classroom painting to developing waiting child profiles, the DU seniors were invaluable to CCAI’s daily work to fulfill our mission. We cannot wait for more future collaborations!

Thank you to Dr. Elizabeth Suter and our fantastic volunteers for their partnership and support!

CCAI All Staff Training

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On October 11, 2018, the entire CCAI Colorado office attended a half-day training to help better understand how to provide trauma-informed care for our families, our children, and ourselves!  The event was presented by DrDSC02198. Gizane Indart , Executive Director of Denver Child Advocacy Center (DCAC),  and Jessica Gershwin, LCSW, Med., a bilingual child & family therapist at DCAC.  Dr. Gizane Indart is a bilingual and bicultural professional who has worked with traumatized children and their families since the early 1990s and is a ChildTrauma DSC02197fellow at the ChildTrauma Academy under the direction of Dr. Bruce Perry.  Jessica is also a registered yoga teacher for children and adults, and she regularly incorporates mindfulness, breath-work, and movement in her therapy with clients.

CCAI staff enjoyed spending the morning learning more about trauma, resiliency, mindfulness, and self-care strategies. Through learning how to better support ourselves, we hope to continue to provide the best and most meaningful service and support for our families and children.

 

 

CCAI Family Brunch with Josh

Josh with kids in D.C.

Kindly organized by Linda, Kevin, and their wonderful daughters Jasmine and Jenna, over 80 CCAI kids and parents gathered for a fun (and delicious!) brunch in Washington, D.C. on September 30th to meet CCAI President Joshua!  Joshua found time from his speaking engagement at the United Chinese American Conference to spend brunch with CCAI families and to hug as many kids as possible.  Joshua was so touched by everyone’s praises of CCAI’s service and had such a blast getting to know the energetic, joyful and amazing children.  What a beautiful world!  Thank you for such a wonderful event!

D.C. Brunch

Joshua Speaks at Chinese American Convention

Josh in D.C.

CCAI Co-founder & President Joshua Zhong was invited as a panelist to speak at the 2018 Chinese American Convention held at Washington, D.C. on September 27-29.  Joshua spoke on the History of China’s International Adoption: Past, Present, and Future.

Joshua was delighted to meet with some CCAI families and children at the convention and enjoyed the opportunity to connect with the East Coast community of adoptees and adoptive families – a pleasant rarity!

University of Nebraska Family Studies Department Pays CCAI a Visit

Last Thursday, a group of 30 undergraduate students from the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Family Studies Department paid CCAI Headquarters a visit!  The group (dressed in their best!) took a tour of CCAI and spent the afternoon learning about internship opportunities at CCAI as well as career opportunities in the field of adoption.  CCAI Director of Adoptions, Judy Winger, and CCAI’s Domestic Program Coordinator, Sheila King, hosted the fantastic group and provided more information about adoption than their hearts could handle in hopes that these students will consider a career in adoption in the future!