1. What is your job title and description here at GWCA/CAN?
I am an International Adoption Counselor for our China Program! I talk with families when they inquire about the adoption process, and I serve as a matching specialist.
2. What do you enjoy most about your job?
My favorite thing about my job is being a matching specialist and helping families find their son or daughter. Nothing brings me more joy than knowing that I was a helping hand in building a loving family. Adoption is an emotional process for every family, and I love being there as their support through their journey.
3. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
The most difficult part of my job is not being able to match all the children we advocate for. There are so many children out there without a family to call their own, and its heart-breaking knowing that you can’t help them all. Although, I am very thankful for all the children we do get to help! You just always have to ensure you work very hard to help as many children as you can.
4. Why do you love adoption?
I love adoption because it gives abandoned children a shot at finding their forever family, and it gives families a chance to either start or add to their existing family. If international adoption was not in place, all of these children would be sitting in an orphanage and would never know what it feels like to be part of a loving family, where they are provided with consistent care and opportunities to succeed in the world. GWCA alone has helped over 9,000 children, and we are just one agency… imagine all of the children adopted worldwide. It’s truly mind-blowing and beautiful how many children’s lives have changed by finding a family to call their own. I am honored to be working in this field!
5. Fun facts about Alexandra:
- Fitness is a hobby of mine. I train at the gym about five times a week.
- I am working towards becoming fluent in Spanish.
- The beach is my happy place.
- When I traveled to Denver, I conquered my fear of spiders and held a tarantula. Eeeeek!
- I am from a town right outside Chicago and was in Wrigleyville when the Cubs won the 2016 World Series. It was truly a legendary experience!
For National Adoption Month, our adoption counselors share answers to the top questions they receive about the China adoption process. If you would like more information, please contact our adoption counselors today!
What kinds of special needs do we see most often in the China Program?
“Special needs that are seen in the China program range from mild to more moderate and severe needs. The minor needs that are seen can either be surgically correctable, medically managed, or remedied with therapies. The minor needs are typically classified as needs that wouldn’t prohibit a child from living a healthy life. Examples of these needs include cleft lip and palate, clubbed hand, clubbed foot, and minor heart defects.
Most of the children you might see on our Waiting Child photo listing will have more moderate to severe special needs or a combination of special needs. Examples of these needs might include cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, congenital heart defects, hydrocephalus, spina bifida, hearing loss, and vision issues.”
How long is the process?
“The timeline is different for every family. The length of a family’s process is dependent on the family’s adoption parameters (i.e. special needs being considered, gender, age range, etc.). A family who is open to more minor needs typically has about a two year process overall, whereas a family who is open to more special needs might have a process that lasts about a year.”
How much does a typical adoption cost from China?
“The average cost for an adoption is about $35,000. That estimate includes fees for the program through GWCA, fees from the U.S. government, fees from the Chinese government, and travel costs.”
Visit our photo listing to meet the available kids!Read More
We have fantastic news to share about the Adoption Tax Credit! On November 9th, 2017, both the House and Senate agreed to preserve the tax credit in their tax reform proposals. The Adoption Tax Credit has helped thousands of families afford the cost of adoption. Because of that, we believe that the continuation of the tax credit is vital to ensure as many children as possible find loving families.
Big thanks to everyone who took action to support the tax credit! However, the fight is not over. Beyond maintaining the current credit, improvements can be made. This includes expanding availability, increasing the credit amount, and making the credit refundable. That way, more families can benefit from the credit and welcome a child into their home.
How You Can Help!
You can make a difference by sharing this blog on social media (using the hashtag #SaveTheATC) and sending a message to Members of Congress about improving the tax credit. Visit the “Save the Adoption Tax Credit” website for more ideas about how to take action!Read More
We are so thankful for all of the families who submitted photos for our Halloween Photo Contest! If you missed the deadline, you can still email your pictures to email@example.com to land a spot in the album.
Our staff at GWCA and CAN voted on the winners, and it was a tough decision to make! We loved all of the amazing and adorable costumes. Without further ado, here are the 2017 Halloween Photo Contest Winners!
November is National Adoption Month! Did you know that 140 million children worldwide are estimated to be orphans? This month, our focus is to spread awareness for the children who are waiting to be adopted. Every child deserves a loving family to call their own and to feel wanted and needed. Together with your help, we can raise awareness about adoption and ensure these kids find their forever families.
Here is a sneak peek of what’s coming this month:
- Featured Waiting Children
- Answers to the top questions about adoption
- Information about the most common special needs in adoption
- Reasons to adopt an older child
- Family adoption stories
- Volunteer opportunities
- And more!
Fall is in the air, pumpkins are everywhere, and it’s almost time for Halloween! We would love to see how your family celebrates the spookiest time of the year. Our annual GWCA/CAN Halloween Photo Contest starts today and ends Thursday November 2nd. Send photos of your little witches and ghosts to firstname.lastname@example.org to participate in our contest! Here are the categories for this year:
Best group costume
We’ll share all submissions and announce the winners on November 3rd. Click here to check out previous contest winners. We hope you have a safe and fun Halloween weekend, and we can’t wait to see all of the adorable costumes!Read More
Fiona seems to be doing well overall! She knows how to walk and is saying some words. Although her speech is slightly delayed, communication does not seem to be an obstacle for her. She understands instructions from her caregivers such as “sit down, stand up,” and she can point the position of “nose, eyes, and ears” on someone’s face. Fiona is described as being cute and affectionate. She will kiss her caretaker’s face when she is happy.
As our Sponsored Star for October, Fiona as a $2,000 grant available towards her adoption fees! If you’re interested in learning more about Fiona, visit our photo listing or contact our matching specialists today!
What is a Sponsored Star?
On the 1st of each month, Great Wall China Adoption will feature one of the kiddos from our Orphanage Partnerships as our monthly “Sponsored Star!” As our Sponsored Star, that child will be provided a $2,000 grant towards their adoption fees. Each of the kiddos selected is a Special Focus child, meaning they have not found their Forever Family yet due to their age or the degree of their needs. Together, we can find loving homes for these amazing kids!
We encourage any families interested in learning more about our Sponsored Star of the Month to visit our China Waiting Child Photo Listing, or contact our China Matching Specialists to learn how you can be matched today! Check back on the first of each month to meet the newest featured child!
October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, a time when we come together to spread awareness of Down syndrome, to show support for those with the condition, and to celebrate their abilities and accomplishments. Down Syndrome Awareness Month is particularly significant to us in the adoption community because many Waiting Children around the world in need of families have Down syndrome.
What is Down Syndrome?
According to the National Down Syndrome Society, Down syndrome is the most common chromosomal condition. It occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes physical characteristics associated with Down syndrome, including small stature and low muscle tone. Each person with Down syndrome is a unique individual and may possess these characteristics to different degrees, or not at all.
Most people with Down syndrome have cognitive delays that are mild to moderate. However, this is not indicative of their many strengths and talents. Although people with Down syndrome are at an increased risk for certain medical conditions, healthcare and treatment of these conditions allow for most people with Down syndrome to lead healthy lives.
To learn more about Down syndrome, visit the National Down Syndrome Society.
GWCA and CAN’s Waiting Children
Our China and CAN matching specialists are currently advocating for several kids with Down Syndrome. These wonderful children deserve the opportunity to grow up in a loving family. If your family is interested in learning how you can be matched with one of these incredible kiddos, visit our Waiting Child photo listings or contact our matching specialists today!Read More
Every child needs a loving and permanent family. However, when an orphan “ages out” in China, they lose their chance to be part of a family, where they can feel safe and be loved. At the young age of 14, these children are deemed ineligible for adoption, and their hope for a bright future all but vanishes. This is the situation Rebecca would face, unless she’s able to find a family who can bring her home by her 14th birthday this January.
Rebecca is a lovely and smart young girl, who is outgoing, active, and gets along well with others. Her caregivers describe her as being obedient, sensible, and polite. She enjoys singing and will often perform at school events and at the orphanage. This year she won the second prize in a singing competition!
Rebecca is missing her left eye and has corneal leukoplakia in her right eye. However, her right eye has some sight, and she’s able to walk around freely in familiar environments without assistance. Currently, she attends a school for children who are blind, where she’s performing very well. Her cognitive and language abilities are normal, and she can read in braille. Rebecca earns excellent grades and has been awarded “Triple-A” student every year.
She has expressed to caregivers that she wants to be adopted by an American family and desires to have a home and parents of her own. Would you consider giving Rebecca a 14th birthday that she will never forget? If you would like to learn more about adopting this sweet kid, please contact China Adoption Specialist Heidi at email@example.com today. We hope that Rebecca can find her Forever Family soon and experience the love and care that she deserves.
After two weeks of bonding with their new families and finalizing their adoptions in China, we are so excited to share that these SEVEN kids have all recently come home! This is the moment that these kids have been waiting for for such a long time. It’s the moment when they are no longer identified as an “orphan” and they come to know the love of a family. Congratulations to all of these incredible kiddos form all of us at GWCA and CAN, and welcome home!
Just as no two adoption journeys are the same, each of these kids came to be matched with their Forever Families in their own way. While some of these kids’ files were considered Special Focus, meaning their families were able to be matched with them right away, other kids’ files were LID, meaning their families had to have their dossiers logged in before they could learn more about them.