2016 CCAI Thanksgiving Heritage Tour

img_3278A sudden cold front has settled in on Beijing, but it hasn’t dampened the excitement of the 35 children and parents who are travelling on our CCAI 2016 Thanksgiving Heritage Tour!

img_3280Bundled up, they have braved the Great Wall, Tiananmen square, the Temple of Heaven and the Forbidden City. The families then received a warm welcome at the CCCWA, where “matches” are made!

In addition to being thankful for warm coats, families are also bonding with each other and adoptees are able to reconnect with their place of birth. The next stops on their tour are Xi’an and the Terracotta Warriors.

To learn more about CCAI Heritage Tours, please visit the Heritage Tour section of our website.

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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

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).

 

Nine Chinese students complete JCCC Immersion Camp

4I1A4003Two weeks ago, nine students between the ages of 11 and 16 boarded flights for a country they had never been to in hopes of learning from people they had never met. Since then, students of the Joyous Chinese Cultural Center’s Summer English Immersion Camp have worked to improve their English language skills and understanding of American culture.

“I can’t imagine doing what you all have done at your age,” Camp Counselor Kyle Botts told the students during the closing program in CCAI Family‘s main building. “I just want to say I’m so proud of you all. Communicating was very difficult when camp first started and this morning we were talking in full sentences!”

4I1A3955During the course of the two-week camp, students alternated between educational sessions on American culture topics like etiquette and holiday traditions and field trips.

“I loved the Museum of Nature & Science,” said Tin Tin, the oldest of the group. “They had a robot there. I had never seen technology like that before.”

Between the field trips and American food experiences, there seemed to be one other major component the campers were particularly thankful for: their host families.

“My host Mom always made me to feel at home,” said Tin Tin. “She even made mung bean soup, a traditional Chinese recipe for me. She liked it and will keep making it now, she says.”

4I1A3950Tin Tin also recounted the fun time he had with his family at the zoo and how they taught him how to dive on a swimming outing.

Before the camp concluded, I listened in during the class session on Halloween. When asked what the students would choose to dress up as, Tin Tin exclaimed, “Harry Potter!” and the class erupted with laughter.

The memories and friendships gained on this trip are sure to last the campers a lifetime.

To learn more about courses offered at JCCC, visit joyouscenter.org.

 

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Joshua prays for adoptive families in Beijing

CCAI Co-Founder Joshua dropped by a hotel in Beijing last week to greet 10 CCAI adoptive families (group 2330). He took time to personally thank the parents in attendance for their willingness to work with CCAI to bring hope, healing and a forever family to an orphaned child with special needs.

Joshua offered to pray for the group and asked for God’s blessings and protection as they embark this life-changing journey. CCAI is so thankful to have so many families around the world willing to help children in need.

TOO CUTE TUESDAY: Yong

Happy Too Cute Tuesday CCAI Families! This week we’d like to introduce you to Yong, a handsome, caring, and adventurous 13 year old boy. PLEASE HELP US SHARE HIS STORY – not only will Yong be “aging out” when he turns 14, but CCAI only has a limited amount of time left with his file!

Yong was hostedWangYongGu (1) in the US as a part of CCAI’s Summer 2015 Hosting Program, and his host family has nothing but amazing things to say about him:

“Yong is a bright and happy 13 year old boy who made a huge impression on our whole family, from my youngest child (also age 13) to my oldest son at 21.

Yong is clever, creativWangYongGu (2)e, fun-loving, brave, helpful, sweet and thoughtful.

He showed great courage to come to a country so far away to live with people he did not know.  He quickly adapted to our customs.  He learned to play our games, taught us his own games, ventured into a swimming pool and loved it, splashed in the ocean, ate many different foods, and was game for any adventure.   Simply put, this child is as stronWangYongGu (4)g and confident as he is sweet and thoughtful. Any family thinking about adoption of a young teen would be very lucky to have Yong in their lives!!”

His nannies in China also think highly of him – they say that he is a good leader, responsible, polite, and sensible. He is like a big brother to the younger children in his orphanage – he loves to play with them, will help push wheelchairs or strollers, help feed them, and will even make paper-cut art for them. His nannies say that “no matter what situation, he will allow his little brothers and sisters to go first; he is very polite child.”

After visiting America, Yong is sure that he wants to be adopted. He often talks to his nannies about his desire to have a mom and dad. Please help Yong find his forever family – he truly deserves it!

Yong’s host family is willing to talk to families who are seriously considering adopting him!

If you or someone you know would like more information about adopting YONG, please contact us at waitingchild@ccaifamily.org or call us at and ask to speak with the waiting child department. Please let us know you are inquiring about “YONG FROM SUMMER HOSTING”

If you are unable to adopt Yong, there are other ways to help! Click here to donate toward Yong’s adoption expenses:

https://www.ccaifamily.org/WaitingChild/Child-Profile-Details?ChildId=16428

HOSTING ADVOCACY PROFILE: Wei

Li Shu Wei Hosting 10Wei is a very happy, giggly, and fun-loving 7-year-old boy! He was a part of our Winter 2015 hosting program, and would love to have a family to call his own.

Wei is blind, but during his stay in the US he learned there may be some hope! His host family took him to see eye specialists, and discovered that he may be a good candidate for a cornea transplant. Unfortunately, Wei is running out of time to have this LIFE CHANGING surgery.

“Cornea transplants in cases such as Wei’s are generally not done after age 7, and definitely not after age 8.  As I understand it, after that many years of never having had an image form on the retina, the neurological pathways simply do not develop, and sight cannot be attained,” says his host mother.

Wei had a fun time in the US! His host mom noted that he was very shy and scared at first – he did not understand what was going on and was open about letting out his frustrations. Wei began to adjust and adapt as a couple of days went by. At first he did not want to take a bath and strongly protested, but after he learned what to expect, he jumped right in and swam around like a fish! He even developed a little routine: He knew that after dinner came bath time, and after a bath it was time for bed! He caught on to other household routines, too, and learned to help with some chores. After the first week he even started mimicking some English!

Li Shu Wei Hosting 7Wei’s favorite activity seemed to be sliding. At first it seemed scary and he did not want to try it at all, but after some encouragement and support from his host mother, sliding is the only thing he wanted to do!

His host mom says that Wei is a GREAT eater! He specifically enjoyed cereal, chicken noodle soup, and potato soup. He ate most everything that was put in front of him, but did not like raw carrots or sauteed mushrooms.

Wei prefers more basic, toddler-type toys over Legos or army men. He can only see a tiny bit out of one eye, and has to be holding an object right up to his face, so he loves toys with lights and that make sound. While with his host family he got to go to the dentist. He was such a good patient that he got to pick out a toy after his appointment. Wei of course chose a mini LED flashlight that changes color – he loved it!

Li Shu Wei Hosting 16Wei’s host family says that he is generally a very sweet, happy child who would do wonderfully with lots of individualized attention, structure, and loving boundaries.

If you or someone you know would like more information about adopting WEI, please contact us at waitingchild@ccaifamily.org or call us at and ask to speak with the waiting child department. Please let us know you are inquiring about “WEI FROM WINTER HOSTING”

HOSTING ADVOCACY PROFILE: Hao/Holly

Hao is aDang Hao Hosting 2, typically, happy and playful little girl! Her hosting family has said that she adores her host siblings and loves getting to play with them any chance she gets. Blocks, books Legos, etc., whatever they have going she is very happy just to be playing!

“Hao’s favorite has been the baby dolls.  We have lots of dolls, and she loves them! We are so happy she loves the dolls!” said her host family.

She didn’t eat very much until about day 3, but her family thinks that could have been nerves of coming to a new place. After a few days she began eating very well; however, they were unable to ever detect which food was her favorite since she would eat anything.

She would do well in a structured family life with rules. She doesn’t like it when things don’t go her way, and there is no way to talk her out of it, according to her family. All that can be

Overall her family says she was a joy to have in their home. She smiled so much that it blesses all their hearts! She doesn’t understand too much, but does know how to receive love, and that is such a blessing!!18-DangHao (2)

If you or someone you know would like more information about adopting Hao, please contact us at waitingchild@ccaifamily.org or call us at 303-850-9998 and ask to speak with the waiting child department. Please let us know you are inquiring about “HAO FROM WINTER HOSTING”

HOSTING ADVOCACY PROFILE: Huang

**PLEASE NOTE: Huang is the child in the orange t-shirt in the video. The other child is not available for adoption.

3-WuHuangJia (2)Huang is a sweet 12-year-old boy who enjoys painting, coloring, writing, running, soccer, and jump rope. He was a part of our Summer 2015 hosting program, and would love to have a family to call his own! Unfortunately, CCAI does not have much time left with his file. In about 2 weeks, since he has not yet found a family, we will have to return his file to China. Huang turns 13 this month – giving him only 1 year before he “ages out” of his eligibility for international adoption. Please help Huang find his family!

Huang Web Lg 2Huang has post operative cleft lip and palate and ptosis. He says he has a few special friends and likes to play blocks with them. His favorite toys are yo yo’s and remote control cars. Huang is presently in 2nd grade. His favorite subjects are gym and art, and his favorite color is blue. He thinks he’d like to be a policeman when he grows up, and the only thing he’s afraid of is elephants!

His host family says this about him: “He has a gentle spirit and is very helpful around the house. He very smart and learns quickly. His favorite activities include swimming in a lake, tubing, and watching fireworks for the fourth of July. He has learned how to ride a bike and loves it! He enjoys playing outside a lot, climbing trees and digging in the sand. He liked the local library activity where he could create things. He doesn’t enjoy a lot of people or riding in the car very long. He likes to know what the next activities and meals are. Huang was very fun to have as a part of our family this summer.

3-WuHuangJia (5)He loves to figure out how things work and to create new things. He clearly has an artist/engineer’s mind. He does beautiful Chinese calligraphy and notices details in many things. He has an excellent memory for things he has seen (movies, where objects go in the house, etc.)

He was gentle with our four-year-old son, and knew well how to care for him and negotiate sharing/trading toys with him, although (as a typical twelve-year-old) he would get frustrated with the copying and sometimes needed to play with peers. He loved hugs and snuggles from our son, but had a harder time with physical affection from adults.

Huang loves noodles, meat, pickled vegetables, and anything spicy. He doesn’t care for sweets (except for candy), bread or sandwiches. Food is very important to him and he can eat a lot when he likes it. He expressed some interest in learning to cook himself.”

If you or someone you know would like more information about adopting HUANG, please contact us at waitingchild@ccaifamily.org or call us at and ask to speak with the waiting child department. Please let us know you are inquiring about “HUANG FROM SUMMER HOSTING”

FEATURED FAMILY: Luke’s Christmas Suit

Luke (15) has been asking us for a suit since we adopted him 16 months ago. It’s been his heart’s desire. He wears dress shirts, bow ties, and all manner of fancy clothes all of his own accord. His daddy in contrast, wears mostly jeans, even to church, just like all the other men in Colorado. It’s a casual kinda town we live in.

Here’s the thing. Suits are pricey, and Luke’s extremely tiny, unlike even an average 10 year old, it’s surprising how small his waist and arms are. …Getting him a suit is a whole ‘thing’ and we are growing him. Plus, he’s in 6th grade, where is he going to wear this suit? We’ve been gently dragging our feet on the whole suit thing, but have heard about how happy it would make Luke – heard about it A LOT.

So, this Christmas we searched and searched and found one at a phenomenal price, Rodger’s mom altered it with the skill of an experienced tailor and one of Luke’s biggest wishes came true.

It was the last Christmas present he opened. I wish I could describe the, “Yes!” and the down pumping of his fist with joy well enough. Imagine the reaction of a player making the winning touchdown at the Super Bowl.

He came to both Rodger and I that night separately and said both times, “I appreciate the suit. I know other kids don’t like wearing suits, but I do. I don’t know why. I’ve always wanted one, even in the orphanage.” If you know Luke, saying this many words in one sitting is more precious to us than anything.

Christmas is all about Jesus. Giving a child who had almost nothing just a little over a year ago his heart’s desire – that’s ALL to God’s glory. I can’t think of a much better way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Adoption – you slay my heart over and over with your precious, excruciating, love for these boys I would never thought I could have.

  • By AMY SCRIVEN (Luke’s Mom)