Thursday, January 27, 2011

Fundraising Families

Don't forget to check out the FUNDRAISING FAMILIES page!!!  I just added the Berzenji family.  Their fundraiser is a bit different.  Check it out! :)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Host A Chinese Orphan This Summer!

I just rec'd this from Cradle of Hope.  We adopted our daughter Bailey through Cradle of Hope in 2007.  What a wonderful opportunity this will be for the children who will be able to paricipate and what a blessing for the host families!!

Dear Friends:

We are thrilled to announce that the CCAA has agreed to allow Chinese orphans to participate in our Bridge of Hope hosting program this summer!  This will be the first time that Chinese children will travel to the US, attend day camp, have lots of summer fun and hopefully find a forever family.  The children will be ages 6 - 9, both boys and girls, in good health and their adoptions will be processed under the Special Needs system which means host families will avoid the 4+ year wait for a referral.  We are expecting to bring 30 - 40 Chinese children and 3 - 4 escorts in July for a three or four week visit.

While we have been organizing Bridge of Hope hosting programs for Russian children for the past 14 years, this will be our first program for Chinese children.  We're reaching out to Cradle families with Chinese children for help, as this is a huge undertaking in addition to the groups of Russian and Ukrainian children who will also be participating in Bridge of Hope this summer. Here are some of the ways you can help:

HOST A CHILD:  Families on the east coast and in the Chicago area who are interested in adopting an older child are needed. Families in other areas might be able to participate, depending on location.  Host families will need a current homestudy approving them to adopt an older child.  For more information about being a host family, please contact Bridge of Hope director Patrice Gancie at 301-587-4400, ext 207 or

BE A DONOR: During our annual phone-a-thon in November, we asked Cradle families to send a donation for our Bridge of Hope program. Since we just learned that we can expand the program to include Chinese children, we must raise another $150,000.  If you haven't yet sent a donation or if you can send more, we could really use your support.  Could you organize a fundraising event in your area?  Do you know any businesses or individuals who could underwrite some travel costs or sponsor a child or two?

RECRUIT HOST FAMILIES: Help us spread the word in your community about the need for families to host and adopt older Chinese orphans.  Make an announcement at your church or synagogue, send an email to your friends and neighbors, or share information through your local chapter of Families with Children from China (FCC).

HOST ESCORTS: If you are not planning to expand your family but would like to be involved, you could host several escorts in your home for a few days.  Escorts are interested to learn about American family life, schools, and health care systems and will also want to do some sightseeing and shopping.  This could be a great opportunity for your Chinese child to learn more about his or her homeland.

VOLUNTEER:  We'll need help with planning logistics, organizing pool parties or BBQs, recruiting volunteer translators, identifying day camps who will accept non-English speaking children, making goodie bags for arrival, transporting children and/or escorts, and lots of other tasks.  Tell us how you can help and we'll put you to work!

I look forward to hearing from you.

Linda Perilstein
Executive Director
Cradle of Hope Adoption Center

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Down To The Wire

I am reposting this blog post from ASIA.  They have 17 boys and 1 girl remaining on their list from Hope Journey II.  Please take a look their blog to see these wonderful children.

"We're getting down to the wire on our time allowed with the Hope Journey II kids files. If people ask for their files at this point, I'm going to send them out to anyone interested--we will no longer just send them to one family at a time, as we don't have enough time left (for the Hope Journey II kids). If you are with another agency and wish to pursue one of these children, please contact me--we will be happy to transfer their file so they will have a family. We really don't want these kids to get lost on the shared list! They each have so much potential! It's hard to see this through pictures and minimal descriptions, but when you meet these kids face to face, and you see the light in their eyes and their desire to be part of something that's forever, like a family, you know.

For the record, here are the kids that don't yet have forever families:

Notice they are all boys except 1? There are some healthy boys in this list! There are some adorable children with repaired conditions! There are some sweethearts who truly need the love and understanding that a family would provide. If, by chance, there is a family out there who has not yet come forward and has interest in these children, please contact me"

12 years old and needs a family

This beautiful girl from Guangdong province is healthy and happy and just waiting for her family to find her. This is what is written about her:

'She is a healthy, extroverted and active girl. She goes to school by herself and finishes homework after school. Now that it?s summer vacation, she helps the nannies with various and sundry chores. One day, she saw a nanny carry a big package of diapers, and she immediately gave the nanny a hand. As a prize, the nanny gave her two small bags of crackers. Instead of eating it, Wendy delivered the crackers to other younger kids. When asked why, she said ?I?m an older girl, and I should let them eat it.? '

I've learned that she is listed with Adoption Advocates. Please contact them if you are interested in learning more about this precious child.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Love Without Boundaries is advocating for Henry.
  Please read on to learn more about this handsome young man.
More Smiles from Henry, the Boy from LiShui

The shortest distance between two people is a smile. ~Author Unknown
Last summer we published a blog about Henry, the Boy From LiShui. We wanted to put out the word that Henry is still waiting! Eleven-year-old Henry would love to be adopted. His special need is a mild problem in his lower left limb, which doesn’t seem to slow him down too much. It’s plain to see from these pictures that Henry has a winning smile that exudes friendliness! We think his kind heart just shines through.

Wouldn’t it be great if Henry’s family finds him before he is in danger of aging out and being ineligible for adoption? Just think of all he could do over the next few years to prepare him for his life ahead if he was adopted now — learning and experiencing all the wonderful things that come from having a family!

Maybe Henry’s smile will bridge the distance to a family’s heart. Please help us spread the word that he is waiting for them to find him!
Love Without Boundaries proudly advocates for adoption but is not an adoption agency. We invite you to contact with questions about a child we have featured and encourage you to contact your local adoption agency for more information about China’s Waiting Child

Sunday, January 16, 2011

New Special Needs List!

The new special needs shared list comes out January 18. I have one special friend who happens to have a bday that day and they are also hoping to be matched with a sweet baby girl. She might just have a wonderful bday surprise! :)

I will be posting just as soon as I hear about any of the children available!

Orphan Day Of Prayer {Sunday Snapshot}

Have you ever prayed for something so hard that you just KNEW in your heart that God would answer your prayer.......and then He didn't?  At least you didn't think He did.  I have.  There is a child on the waiting list I had a very, very strong feeling KNEW was our daughter.  I was drawn to this child.  I sent my wonderful friend Annie an email one day and said "I don't know if this is compassion or if she is ours." I did know that I HAD to pray for this child.  I have never prayed so much in my life.  I prayed for God's will for her. I prayed for God to speak to my husband's heart about her. I prayed that SOMEONE would love this little girl as much as I do and bring her home. Every where I turned there were signs that I was following God's lead to this child.  I even got a fortune cookie and her name was on the fortune!  I prayed.  I prayed in the shower. I prayed while I cooked for my family. I prayed while I did laundry. I prayed while I drove to and from our children's school. I can honestly say that I have never prayed so much and I have never seen so many signs that I was doing the right thing. The more I prayed the more I saw links to this sweet little girl.  But you see.....they were not links to bring her into our family.  They were links drawing me closer to God.  The more I prayed the closer I felt to God. My husband told me he didn't feel like she would be a good fit for our family. After we started talking about it I knew he was right that our family would probably not be the best choice for this child.  It would have been so easy for me to stop praying for her....but I couldn't.  God was calling me to pray for her and to help find her family.  Know what?  I am pretty sure she is going to have a family soon.  Know what?  That makes this mama's heart VERY answer to prayers....not my original specific prayers but an answer that God's will is being followed for her and in turn drawing me closer to God.  It would have been so easy for us to fill out the paperwork and bring her home but our home is not the home she needs.

Having realized all of this I thought it would be wonderful to have an Orphan Day Of Prayer.  My friend Annie has been doing a lot of praying too.  She has her own story about what brought us to this Orphan Day Of Prayer.  In the past few months we have made each other laugh and cry a LOT.  We both have surrendered our hearts to God's will in our lives as we pray for the many orphans, their needs, the needs of the families who would love to bring them home and those who are home and facing the realities of grief and adjustment.

If you would like to join Annie and me this week please post your prayer request here on my blog or on Annie's blog (or both) this week. Your prayer request can be anything that is weighing on your heart about orphans. Please also join us in praying for everyone who posts on our blogs.  Both of us have a button on our blog that we would love you to share with others in asking them to also pray for the orphans. We originally were going to have a day of prayer but we have decided to do this all week.  So starting today please feel free to post your prayer requests. Even if they are unspoken requests....God knows your heart and He will hear  your prayers.

Ni Hao Y'all

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

URGENT NEED!!!! Please read and pass on!

Just received this in an email. Please, PLEASE spread the word about this child needing a family!!! You never know who will read your post and pass it on!

"Dear Friends and Prayer Warriors:
I have prayed over the last few days about how to share this story, and I have no words to adequately express it. However, it has to be shared and I will do my best. Many who have heard it are so sick over it, our hearts just ache. We know God has a plan; is it you?

In January, 2010, I met an awesome child/young man at an orphanage in Riga , Latvia . His name is Davids. He was one of a few children we were introduced to that day for consideration in our Summer 2010 orphan hosting program. He was really sharp and smart, had a great sense of humor and looked you in the eye when he tried to speak the good amount of English he had already learned. I remember asking his favorite things to do and he didn’t hesitate to explain he loved kite flying in the sky and dreamed to be a pilot some day! He also enjoys soccer, basketball, swimming and all sports. But, the thing that surprised us most was his age! He was already 15 and effectively the size of a 9 or 10 year old child. We asked the orphanage director more about him later, and were told Davids is healthy, just small and has the kindest, gentlest heart. He generally plays with the younger group of kids because the older ones make fun of him and claim to be “too cool” to hang out with a guy his size. As for history, he has been in 4-5 different orphanages, but has managed to keep hope for a brighter future. He is a sincere and especially child towards younger children. Lego building is one of his hobbies! I remember, he made a joke when I asked him if he liked dogs and cats…a traditional question we ask… He said, “of course! But, I am no cannibal.” And gave us the biggest smile of all! Later, when he was among the group and doing art projects, he drew a picture of a jet airplane landing under a sky that resembled the American flag. When I asked him to explain it, he told me, “My dream to fly airplane and live in family in America !” From that point, he had us at “hello” and we were committed to helping him fulfill his dream.

For the summer program, Davids was hosted by a multi-cultural, multi-racial family and he did awesome! He was kind to his younger host brothers and sister and enjoyed just about everything they did. He especially liked to build and make things and play sports outside, with swimming being one of his favorites! He learned a lot more English and wasn’t shy to use it either. While his host family was not his forever family, our team and staff was so thankful when we received a call from a couple who wanted to go and visit with him before his return to Latvia . We knew time was short, and we encouraged anyone who might be interested, to meet him asap. After one meeting, the family who went, let me know they would be adopting him and how encouraged and inspired they were by Davids. After many discussions, we realized that he needed to know the plan, as his birthday was coming up…his 16th birthday, which means several things to an orphan. First, it means they are about to age out and can’t be considered for adoption. Second, it means that they are on their path of graduating the orphanage and will soon be on their own. Third, it means life as they know it now: food, shelter, protection and security is about over. In the first year after a child leaves the orphanage, generally 15% commit suicide. So, it was decided for me to talk to Davids when our interview returned to Latvia this past August and see how he felt regarding this adoption.

When I sat down with him, I had a translator with me, but he didn’t need her. We sat on a sofa in the social worker’s office and I asked him how he liked America and what he thought? He explained he loved it, and it was more than he ever imagined! I asked him if he remembered this particular man who came to meet him and spent time with him the week before he returned to Latvia , and he said “Oh Yes and we had fun!” I went on and said, “Well, this man told his wife about you and they want me to tell you they are so happy, and they want to adopt you.”
Davids’ look was utter shock! He said, “Who, me?” and I confirmed it was indeed him. He said, “Oh yes! VERY VERY much YES! And, they want ME?” He was just the most excited kid I think I ever had the pleasure to tell about an adoption. Most kids are shocked, but usually have to think about it and have several questions to ask before they really accept it and consider it as real. Davids’, on the other hand, was just the happiest kid on the planet that day; his dream was coming true.

Last week, I got an email from his adoptive family… now just 10 days before his 16th birthday,it basically said they felt that they would adopt a girl they met (which was planned all along), but they no longer wanted to adopt Davids’. They had changed their mind. The next day, I got an unsolicited email from Davids’ social worker in Latvia . This is what she wrote:

Hello Le Ann,
I wish to ask you about one of our boys, his name is Davids T. He was hosted Summer 2010 at a host family in IL. Since he was close to 16, we got information and you shared with him that there is family who will adopt him. It was not the family who hosted him, but another one.
Till this day we never received more information about the adopting family, and we confirmed that the Ministry also has no information yet. I must share, we are all worried and concerned. Davids became so nervous in this last month, his attention to everything is gone. Yesterday he was moved to hospital, because of problems with his stomach relating to the stress of not knowing. We know this all is because he is so close to his 16th birthday; it's on 23 January this year.
We don’t know what to say and can't say anything to Davids because we don't know. It will be a shock for him if it's not true, he has so long lived with this thoughts focused on this adoption and a family in America .
We wish to know the truth to share so he can know and be happy again.”

We have tried to contact his family and explain, show them, what their decision has done to this child. So far, there is no response, but more importantly, there is no time with only a few days that remain for someone to file the I800 with USCIS to adopt Davids’. I have explained to his social worker what the full situation is, and as a strong Christian, she has agreed to pray earnestly with us for a new family to come forward for this child! The adoption agency who was working on this case has agreed to do everything they can to expedite the adoption and assist where possible to get them through the system.
If you or someone you know is interested in moving NOW to adopt Davids’, this is what needs to happen:
You must already have an approved home study issued by a Hague Accredited adoption agency in the USA . It must be able to be amended to show you are approved for at least one child, a boy, who is age 16 or under.
You must be willing to file with the USCIS the form I800, which will specify Davids’ as the child you intend to adopt, and it must be received prior to January 23, 2011. If done, this gives the adopting family 180 more days to complete the adoption.

Please join us in immediate prayer and action to locate and identify Davids’ Forever Family!!! You are out there somewhere and God knows exactly who you are and He doesn’t make mistakes. We just need to get the word to you about him.
Le Ann Dakake, Director of Hosting Programs, New Horizons for Children 678-313-8321 cell
Cathy Sawyer, An Open Door Adoption: 404-667-0694"

Heart Gallery

Have you ever visited the Heart Gallery?  All states are not listed so if you are interested, please do a search for your state and the words "Heart Gallery".  We live in South Carolina and our state is listed but is not accessible from the main site.

These are just a few of the Heart Gallery exhibits I was able to find on YouTube.  If you are interested, please do a for more Heart Gallery exhibits and search your heart to see if you can give a child a home. Don't be surprised if someday you hear that our family has adopted a child featured in the Heart Gallery. So many need homes....

South Carolina

South Carolina II



Butler County


Rhode Island


St Lucie area Florida

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Ready To Roll!

This 100% adorable little girl is available for adoption!  She just received her new wheelchair and she is lovin' it!  This is what LWB posted about her on Facebook this morning.  You can contact Suzanne at LWB for more information on her!

"We love the internet. Our Orphanage Assistance director read about a little girl named Blossom needing a wheelchair on a yahoogroup. She offered to help and then posted about the need. There was such an outpouring of support for this little girl that we raised enough to send wheelchairs to 3 children. We got photos today of a little girl in Qingdao who just received her chair. Isn’t she beautiful?"

Annie over at Wonderful Waiting Kids got the ball rolling on this project when she followed her heart. :)  Love how everything unfolded for these children to be mobile!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Watch for posts next week!

Next week I will be posting about several children who are waiting for their forever families. There are so many now. The list grows every time it comes out. I know we can not find homes for every child but every day we can work to help find a home for as many as possible.

Also, be sure to watch for posts in the adoption groups from my friend Annie. She is starting a new blog to feature her Wonderful Waiting Kids.  She has been using her family's blog Cornbread and Chopsticks but will now have a beautiful new blog devoted to advocating for waiting children.

Beautiful Natalie/Sara still needs a family.  Her birthday is coming up in just a couple of weeks. Can you imagine the joy she would feel if she knew she had a family coming to bring her home in a few months?  She loves to dance and she is a wonderful little artist! I have seen her drawings and she is so talented! Natalie is no longer listed with Lifeline but she is on the special focus list.  Please email me at if you would like more information.