OUR CHINA PROGRAM
We are proud to say that shortly after China opened its doors to international adoption in 1995. Children’s House International was accepted as a registered international adoption agency in China. Our China adoption program has a long standing history of commitment to the Chinese children and their adoptive families. Since 1995, our staff has been and is still going strong, steadfast in their commitment with a special heart for children with special needs. Please join our “village” to learn more and share about parenting a Chinese child with medical needs by joining our Facebook page by searching “CHI Waiting Children” and clicking join!
OUR COMMITMENT TO MEDICAL NEEDS CHILDREN
In 2001, Children’s House International was entrusted with the honorable status of an approved agency for The Waiting Child Program. We pride ourselves on advocating for those children that seem to have the smallest of voices- but need us most!
We take this responsibility very seriously, which is why we’ve maintained a strong reputation for child advocacy for waiting children. We have placed over 700 medical needs children into forever families and supported programs which sponsored medical intervention for children remaining in China.
ABOUT THE ONE TO ONE PROGRAM
The CCCWA has granted our agency One-to-One recognition which allows us to work directly with an orphanage. This may include education and staff training, purchasing equipment such as physical therapy and rehabilitation help to work with the staff to register the children’s files and videotape their development so that that may get proper treatment for their medical needs . Ultimately this can help improve a child’s overall health. And with our help we hope to care for as many children as possible and aid in the registration of these children with the CCCWA. The purpose of the One to One program is to help the children live a better life, be it in China adopted domestically or internationally.
SO HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Donate to the Children’s House International One to One Humanitarian program. These funds will directly benefit our five assigned orphanages.
Your monthly donation of $25.00 will help an orphan in one of our sponsored One-to-One programs. THANKS FOR ALL YOU DO WE APPRECIATE YOUR SUPPORT!
IMPORTANT: Any family currently in the process of adopting through CHI cannot make a donation until their adoption is complete.
RECENT ONE TO ONE WORK
Stefani Ellison, our China Child Advocacy Director, and Ginger Healy, our Supervising Social Worker, traveled to our partnered One to One orphanages in April of 2014. They were able to see kids that we were assigned to and be able to answer all of the “WHAT IF” questions to potential parents. This made it a lot easier to place kids with more questionable special needs. We donate funds every couple of months to our partnered One to One programs. In exchange, CHI receives medical and social updates on children we are assigned to. This helps kids find their forever families when there are videos and updates.
A Letter of Reflection
by Stefani Ellison
Written after her trip to China in April of 2014.
I spent all of yesterday working in my garden, taking time to process what I saw, heard, smelled, and experienced on our Children’s House International (CHI) work trip to China from April 15-30. Of all my trips to China, this was by far, the most exhausting and heartbreaking trip for me. CHI was part of a Journey of Hope camp. We traveled along with deputy directors from the CCCWA, directors from the provincial Civil Affairs, and two other adoption agencies. We spent 5 long days on a bus driving to and visiting 11 orphanages. There we assessed some children who were registered for adoption to try to help them get updated information on the children and help them find a way to be noticed by the adoption community.
The bulk of our time, however, was visiting ALL of the children in the SWI’s under 14 years old to see if there was any hope for them in having families wish to adopt them. Those who were given a “yes” by our team would be registered. It was utterly and completely heartbreaking to have to say “no” to so many children. We assessed hundreds of them, most having needs so severe, that we had to advice their caregivers to spend the precious little time they have for paperwork towards the children who may indeed find families who have the resources to parent them. We embraced children whose hearts were full of such sadness and despair. A whole SWI had only ONE child that was a registration possibility, the neglect there so pervasive and profound. These children implanted themselves into my heart for eternity times eternity.
We visited two SWI’s who recently established Child Safe Hatches. These are very small buildings in front of the main building where a birth family may anonymously leave their children safely. When the parents leave the building, they press an alarm that will go off 5 minutes after they shut the door. This gives them time to be far from the hatch before a nurse picks up the child. Generally these children come with bits of written information from the birth parents of why they can no longer care for them. There was the now severely disabled toddler who was healthy until she fell out of the family’s 3rd story apartment window 2 months ago, the 10 year old boy with severe cerebral palsy who had a family care for him for all those years to be found in the hatch last month. So many shell shocked children who were still trying to find their bearings after being so recently torn from their entire known worlds. Some stories of these children are not known but assumptions can be made…all of them full of heartbreak.
There were stories of hope. There was the capable and completely healthy 13 year old girl whom we met only because she too traveled on a bus with her SWI workers to help with the transport of the younger children. Her SWI thought she had already aged out of the system and too old to be considered. This child is now being quickly registered. She wants a permanent family so badly and the new hope on her face was sunshine. Now we have to follow through and make sure she does not lose her chance. There was the absolutely cool and stylish 12 year old boy who came in from his deaf school to meet us. He was astounding!! (He did share that he would rather have an American mother who was younger and more stylish than me, LOL! That brought a great laugh from all of us.)
There was a tiny SWI with the cutest director who hadn’t registered a single child. She put them on a bus and traveled to meet us. Eight of the nine children she brought will be registered and have a chance for a family. In her group was a shy two year old girl with fibular hemimelia. As soon as she toddled in I could guess what medical needs she was born with as it is the same shortened leg, same missing toes as my daughter Lan. Finding her and knowing that her future will be full of new possibilities brought such salve and joy to my tattered heart. We look forward to her joining us at CHI in the fall.
We found our CARSON. While we didn’t get to meet him, we did meet those who are caring for him. We met his playmates. We know that he lives among great brightness and love. We met many caregivers who followed us around with drawings, writings and stories about the children in their care wanting to make sure we noticed THEIR CHILD. We met foster parents who undoubtedly adored the children in their families and their foster children who clearly felt their love.
While we were assessing children at a large SWI, a newly found baby boy was brought in. He had been left alone outside overnight and his whole face was covered in mosquito and chigger bites. He was so distraught but let me hold and soothe him. With his heart pressed next to mine I could feel its rapid and frightened beating slow as he calmed. Was he there because his hands were clubbed? We could only guess as no assessment had even been made yet. Bless the workers who do this every day.
I have come home knowing even more clearly the preciousness of FAMILY, knowing that every single child who comes home is a miracle. There is so much they have endured and they have battled such storms in their little lives. I again appreciate the power, for good or for ill, of those who are in charge of caring for these children. I know the difference one person can make. ONE PERSON CAN CHANGE FUTURES. You and I change lives. We empower children and bestow hope. Continue to be their voice. Continue to be their advocates. Each of us in this chain is more needed than we will likely ever realize or ever be blessed to know.