Friday, January 30, 2015

One dollar at a time :)

There is no denying the financial burden that adoption imposes upon a hopeful family. There are fees associated with just about every stage in the process:
USCIS (Immigration) approval; Agency Fees; China Fees; Background Checks and Fingerprinting; the mandatory orphanage "donation"; and travel costs.
These fees are necessary to ensure that the adoption is conducted in a way that meets the national guidelines for both countries involved, allows agencies to maintain their licensure, accreditation, and quality staffers, and provide automatic citizenship for children once the adoption is approved.
Most families that adopt internationally will participate in some type of fundraising. Not only do fundraisers assist offsetting adoption financial obligations, but they are an enormous source of strength and support from your family, friends and community (I speak from personal experience here!!).

To give you an idea of the creative lengths PAP's (Potential Adoptive Parents) go to raise funds, here are just a few of the fundraisers I am in the process of working on:

1) My page. All proceeds from this "crowdfunding" site go directly to assist with adoption-related costs. This page is comprised of all adoptive families and is similar to a "go fund me" page.

2) My Paint and Sip for a Cause fundraiser. There are many "Paint and Wine" places popping up all over the country and many are happy to hold fundraisers. We are hoping to fill the space with 48 painters, along with some raffle prizes and libations it promises to be a Saturday afternoon not-to-be-missed!!!

3) The brain child of my crafty friend Erica and her mom, we are selling holiday-themed chocolate lollipops. In a short 4 hours one afternoon we were able to crank out over 450 of these yummy Valentine's treats. We hope to repeat this fundraiser for every holiday leading up to my travel day. What a afternoon full of laughs and piles of chocolate- it doesn't get much better than that!

Erica unmolding the pops
Our stash about half-way through the afternoon
My mom (front left) finishing up the red chocolate, Jan (rear, Erica's mom) using her ribbon curling skills, and Stephanie finishing up a mold of bite-sized candies. 

Me, trying not to burn my fingers
Our finished stash- 416 pops, ready for sale!

4) General donations made directly to Cradle of Hope Adoption Center. These have been made even more effective given the fact that many of my friends work for companies that match charitable donations- doubling the amount and helping even more AND getting a tax benefit, as Cradle of Hope is a non-profit organization. Be sure to specify that your donation is For Benefit Of: Zhang Guan Ning.

I have more FUNdraisers to planned over the coming months and please leave any additional ideas in the comment section!!

Friday, January 23, 2015

Hosting children

One of the many ways a child can find a home is through hosting. Older children, usually those diagnosed with a correctable/manageable medical condition as a young child, are identified through agencies. These children are then brought to the US or other countries and stay with a host family for a few weeks at a time. This can often result in a child being adopted by the host family who may have wanted to explore the option of adding an older child to their family. Other times, the child will be available for other potential parents to meet or to better understand the full extent of medical issues, if any. In other instances a child's host family will serve as an advocate to assist in finding a family that may in be interested in the adoption of the child. At minimum, advocates and agencies can learn more about the child's personality or health issues to better match the child with a potential adoptive family.
At any rate, there are an amazing bunch of kids visiting the US through the Bridge of Hope program coordinated by Cradle of Hope Adoption Center. If you or anyone else you know may be interested in adoption, please forward this information along. Most kids that are hosted can have their timelines expedited in order to bring them back to their new US home as quickly as possible.
Available Children

Monday, January 19, 2015


After a long and relaxing weekend spent with family and some intense brainstorming of fundraising ideas, I needed one more smile to end my weekend. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Pictures and Painting.... :)

Every passing day gets me closer to my LO ("Little One" if I keep up with the adoption acronyms!). To get her home as quickly as possible, we will be holding regular fundraisers to aid in offsetting the fees and "mandatory donation" required as part of the adoption process. In addition to a tag sale (being held in early May- save your stuff!), a bottle and can drive (stay tuned!) and change drive, we will be having a Paint and Sip for a Cause on March 14th at noon at Muse Paint Bar in South Norwalk. The event will also feature raffles and prizes- the more the merrier! Click here to sign up- seats are limited so sign-up early! Special thanks to Muse Paintbar for helping to bring Beth home!

In a pathetic attempt to keep my "artistic" theme of this post, check out this amazing info-graphic portraying the often confusing procedure that is international adoption. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Acronym Game

I have learned a new language since embarking on this adoption journey. No, it is not Mandarin or any other dialect of the expanse of Chinese tongues. It is the dizzying maze of abbreviations those of us in the adoption world attempt to manage to aid in the estimation of timelines and completion of documents.
An example? I was PA in Oct, and I am hoping to be DTC next week and LID before CNY. Yeah- I had to ask for some assistance in navigating this labyrinth of letters. Luckily, I have joined quite a few online adoption groups that have been my life preserver. One member has put together this list of terms/steps/processes required for the adoption of a child from PRC (People's Republic of China....yeah..another one).
Thanks so much to Rebecca Coleman for putting this together. Please check out all of the waiting children on this site while you are there- they all need loving homes. :)

Adoption Terms and Timelines