8 New Referrals for Great Wall Families!

On February 27, 2013 we received 8 referrals for families whose dossiers were logged in on October 16th and 19th, 2006.  This referral group included 7 girls and 1 boy whose ages ranged from 1 year to 3 years . Children in this referral group were from the Guangxi, Jiangsu and Jiangxi provinces. Congratulations to these families!

If you are in the 10/26/2006 and 11/7/2006 LID group and have not been in contact with me please call or email me at 512-323-9595 ext. 3092 or email kristin@gwca.org ASAP to review your status.

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USCIS Paperwork Information

Families have two options: you can apply for extensions of your paperwork with USCIS, or allow your paperwork to lapse and re-file with USCIS under the I-800A once closer to referral.  Keep in mind that we do recommend families interested in adopting a child through our Waiting Child Program keep their USCIS approval current.

Please remember you are NOT required to continue refilling for the I800A approval.

Per CCCWA guidelines, families are now required to work with a COA accredited or Hague accredited home study agency for post adoption reports, unless using the same home study agency that you worked with during your dossier phase.  If you have moved during the process and are working with a new home study agency other than the agency that assisted you during the dossier phase, your new agency must be COA accredited or Hague accredited for the purpose of your post adoption reports. If you are no longer working with your original home study agency please let us know so that we can confirm your current agency’s accreditation status. Remember GWCA must review and approve each home study and home study update before it is finalized.  Do not hesitate to contact us directly should you have questions about this process.

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The LID Edge: Families with log in date have the EDGE!

The CCCWA adds new children to the Waiting Child shared list once a month. For the first month that a child is available for adoption, they can only be matched with a family that is logged-in. CCCWA allows families who already have a dossier logged in (like you) to adopt a child with a treatable or correctable condition. You would work directly with our staff to select, review and be matched with a child with minor health conditions. Only families with a LID can request these children. The Waiting Child team monitors the shared list for potential matches for our LID families. You are able to designate the gender, age range, and conditions you are open to. When families hear the term “special needs”, many may assume this means a child has a severe, life-long, life-altering medical or developmental condition. In the Waiting Child Program, we often see young children with needs which are correctable and easily manageable. LID families who are open to special needs such as cleft lip and palate, minor orthopedic issues, minor heart conditions, and others are currently being matched in just 1-6 months. Children with commonly accepted or “minor” conditions will generally be placed very quickly with a family who has a LID.

Our Waiting Child Team is offering a Waiting Child webinar which will go over special needs and include information about the LID Edge. Join us to learn more about the Waiting Child process for LID families, as well as some of the special needs we see most often.

China Waiting Child Webinar: Adopting a Child with Special Needs
Tue. Feb 12, 2013 11:00 am – 12:00 PM CST

To register for this webinar:  https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/251604273

If you are interested in the Waiting Child program help us get to know your family and what you are hoping for in an adoption! We encourage families who are interested to complete our Waiting Child Profile. This is a free, brief survey that doesn’t commit you to the waiting child program but will allow us to gain a better understanding of your adoption desires. To fill one out, please visit:   http://www.gwca.org/waiting-child-profile-init-2/
I hope that you will consider attending the webinar and then get back to us with any questions or concerns.

USCIS Paperwork Information

Please remember you are NOT required to continue refiling for the I800A approval.

Families have two options: you can apply for extensions of your paperwork with USCIS, or allow your paperwork to lapse and re-file with USCIS under the I-800A once closer to referral. Keep in mind that we do recommend families interested in adopting a child through our Waiting Child Program keep their USCIS approval current.

Per CCCWA guidelines, families are now required to work with a COA accredited or Hague accredited home study agency for post adoption reports, unless using the same home study agency that you worked with during your dossier phase. If you have moved during the process and are working with a new home study agency other than the agency that assisted you during the dossier phase, your new agency must be COA accredited or Hague accredited for the purpose of your post adoption reports. If you are no longer working with your original home study agency please let us know so that we can confirm your current agency’s accreditation status. Remember GWCA must review and approve each home study and home study update before it is finalized. Do not hesitate to contact us directly should you have questions about this process.

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Chinese New Year

This weekend marks the beginning of the celebration of Chinese New Year. This is the most important and longest of the traditional Chinese holidays. 2013 is the year of the snake. The holiday is from 2/8 – 2/15. Businesses, including CCCWA will be closed during this time.

Here are some fun traditions to incorporate to your family’s celebratory weekend! ( Reference and Source: History Channel)

**Red envelopes -Called “hong bao” in Mandarin, the red envelopes filled with money are typically only given to children or unmarried adults with no job. If you’re single and working and making money, you still have to give the younger ones the hong bao money. The color red denotes good luck/fortune and happiness/abundance in the Chinese Culture and is often worn or used for decoration in other celebrations.

**Dragon – The Dragon is present in many Chinese cultural celebrations as the Chinese people often think of themselves as descendants of the mythical creature. On the fifth day of the New Year when many people have to start going back to work, they will also have the Dancing Dragons perform in the front of the office building. On the 15th day of the New Year (Yuan Xiao Jie), they will also have dancing dragon performances. The dragon represents prosperity, good luck and good fortune.

**Traditional Foods-The Chinese New Year’s Eve meal is the most important dinner of the year.Many families often celebrate New Year’s Eve dinner at a restaurant. These dishes used to be all made from scratch, but now people can easily buy them prepackaged at the supermarkets.
•Eight Treasures Rice (contains glutinous rice, walnuts, different colored dry fruit, raisins, sweet red bean paste, jujube dates, and almonds).
•”Tang Yuan” – black sesame rice ball soup; or a Won Ton soup.
•Chicken, duck, fish and pork dishes.
•”Song Gao”, literally translates to “loose cake”- which is made of rice which has been coarsely ground and then formed into a small, sweet round cake.
•”Jiu Niang Tang” – sweet wine-rice soup which contains small glutinous rice balls
•a sweet soup made of cut-up fruit: Cut fruit is added into hot/warm water which has had a thickening agent (like cornstarch).

Check your family’s local resources; there might be some fun activities in your area to celebrate this holiday!

Gung Hay Fat Choy! “Best wishes and congratulations. Have a prosperous and good year.”

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Congress Extends Adoption Tax Credit

January 2, 2013 – Alexandria, VA – Late Tuesday night,
Congress passed the American Taxpayer Relief Act which will become law upon President Obama’s signature. Amongst the provisions of this Act was an extension of the adoption tax credit.

Complete details of implementation are still to be seen, but the bill permanently extends the adoption tax credit which is set at $10,000, but may once again be scaled for inflation, potentially bringing it to near the 2012 amount of $12,650. Families with incomes under $150,000 will receive the full credit and it will gradually phase out for higher incomes.

“Congress is to be commended for remembering children and families as a priority. The adoption tax credit is an important layer of support for families who adopt. The credit helps ensure children find their way to safe, stable, loving, and permanent families” says Megan Lindsey of National Council For Adoption. “We are grateful to Congress, the Obama administration, and our many partnering advocates in the Save the Adoption Tax Credit Working Group for their tireless efforts on behalf of this important credit.”

The complete language of the American Taxpayer Relief Act is available here.

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The Stork has landed

Hello! The Stork has landed at Great Wall China Adoption. CCCWA has completed the matching process for families with dossiers registered through October 10, 2006. Last week we received 5 referrals for families whose dossiers were logged in on October 9, 2006 and 1 referral for an expedited family with a log in date of 10/10/2007.(The qualifications for an expedited family are US Citizens living and working in China for at least one year prior to sending in their dossier. Or one of the prospective adoptive parents is Chinese and born in China or one full set of grand parents are Chinese and born in China.)

This referral group included 6 girls whose ages ranged from 9 months to 1 years old. Children in this referral group were from the Sichuan, Yunnan and Jiangxi provinces. Congratulations to these families!

Please contact me ASAP if you are in the 10/16/2006, 10/19/2006 or 10/26/2006 to review your status.

Catherine Silbiger
Referral Consultan

Catherine@gwca.org
512-323-9595 ext. 3051

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USCIS Paperwork Information

Families have two options: you can apply for extensions of your paperwork with USCIS, or allow your paperwork to lapse and re-file with USCIS under the I-800A once closer to referral.  Keep in mind that we do recommend families interested in adopting a child through our Waiting Child Program keep their USCIS approval current.

Please note you are NOT required to continue refilling for the I800A approval.

For information on the form I-800A, and to download the form, please visit the USCIS website at: http://www.uscis.gov/i-800a

Per CCCWA guidelines, families are now required to work with a COA accredited or Hague accredited home study agency for post adoption reports. If you have moved during the process and are working with a new home study agency other than the agency that assisted you during the dossier phase, your new agency must be COA accredited or Hague accredited for the purpose of your post adoption reports. If you are no longer working with your original home study agency please let us know so that we can confirm your current agency’s accreditation status. Remember GWCA must review and approve each home study and home study update before it is finalized.  Do not hesitate to contact me directly should you have questions about this process.

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Meet Carrie Schneider!

We are excited to give our families a little glimpse of the staff here at GWCA and CAN, so that you can see who we are and why we love doing just what we do. Every day we come to work and love to connect with our families, but now we are going to show you whose faces are behind every phone call, letter and E-mail received.

This week we want to introduce you to someone with such a genuine spirit, our Waiting Child Specialist, Carrie Schneider! People can talk about knowing a “sweet spirit” but we don’t think they’ve met Carrie yet–she blows everyone else out of the water! She embodies such virtuous characteristics like kindness, joy, and humility. She’s a sincere breath of fresh air, and it’s our privilege to have her working alongside families underneath GWCA.

So without further ado…meet Carrie!

  1. What is your job title and description here at GWCA?

I am a Waiting Child Specialist within the China Waiting Child Department. I am here to answer any questions families have about the program, medical conditions, and children available. I also feel very lucky to be a part of the matching process. It is so fun to celebrate with families when they find their forever child!

  1. How long have you been working at GWCA?

I have been working for GWCA since February 2013. I love it here!

  1. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy learning about the precious children who are waiting to be adopted and love talking with families about them! I enjoy communicating with the families and learning about their lives and why they are passionate about adoption. I am also very thankful to be on a team of colleagues who care about each other, have a heart for adoption, and who are dedicated to serving our families.

  1. What is the most difficult aspect of your job?

It is difficult to see the hundreds of children who are waiting to be adopted, especially the older children and children with more challenging conditions. But I am learning that there are also hundreds of amazing families who are looking to be matched with these beautiful children!

  1. How have you grown personally from working at GWCA and with their families?

I have learned so much about China’s adoption process and about common medical conditions. Working here has magnified my passion for adoption and advocating for orphans.  I find myself constantly talking with my friends and family about all of the children that need families! Also, working with Great Wall families has opened my eyes to see how many wonderful people there are out there who are impacting children’s lives by adopting and advocating. It reinforces my faith in humanity. 🙂

  1. Why do you love adoption?

Several years ago, I spent a summer volunteering in orphanages in Bolivia. I grew very close to many of the children there and learned their stories. I was also able to celebrate with two children who found out that they were going to be adopted! They never let the photos of their adoptive parents leave their side! They would sleep with the photos next to their bed and carried them around during the day. It was so precious. That summer opened my eyes to the struggles that many children all over the world face: poverty, disease, and abandonment and it challenged me to do my part to make the world a better place. Spending time with those children was a beautiful experience that has forever changed my life and my perspective on adoption.

Another story that has greatly impacted me is a friend of mine who was adopted from Russia. He waited a long time to be adopted and as he was getting older lost hope that he would ever be adopted. One day he was notified that a family had chosen him. He cried tears of joy because he couldn’t fathom that anyone would want to adopt him. His story has given me a heart for older children who have been waiting a long time.

Adoption gives children the opportunity to experience what every child should: the love of a family and the freedom of just being a kid. Adoption turns hopelessness into joy, brokenness into healing, and “orphan” into son or daughter.

Fun facts about Carrie: 

1. I love animals. My family has two cats and one dog. We even made a fun video about our cats here: http://vimeo.com/16557573

2. I am an Aggie. Gig ‘em!

3. Coffee and chocolate are daily necessities.

4. My husband and I do photography and videography on the weekends. It is a really fun thing for us to do together and we love the opportunity to capture the beauty of nature and life in this way.

5. I enjoy running and yoga. I ran my first marathon last year and hope to start training for a second marathon soon. My goal is to eventually run in the NY Marathon!!

“Carrie is a very energetic, humorous, and positive person to be around. She keeps the atmosphere light and a great support as a co-worker always offering to help in any way she can.  Carrie is completely devoted to serving and helping our families, and her enthusiasm is always encouraging.” –Carrie’s co-worker

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URGENT: Maxwell needs a family!

At GWCA/CAN we know that sometimes waiting kids just need a little bit of extra advocacy and support. We know that their future family is out there, we just haven’t found them yet! That is why sometimes there are special circumstances when we like to highlight a specific kiddo that comes across our desk. Maxwell is one of those cases. This little guy from the Philippines needs a home desperately. Can you help us find one?

Maxwell was abandoned by his birth-mother at the hospital where he was born. The director of the hospital, who is a doctor took care of the child and stayed in the hospital until he reached 5 years old. At the age of 5, Maxwell was transferred to the custody of a distant relative of the doctor until he reached 7 years old. After which, he was then rescued by the social worker of the City Social Welfare Office after a case was filed against the former custodian who allegedly physically abused the child. He was then transferred to an institution for proper child care management and proper intervention.

At the age of 12 years old, Maxwell is very active. He speaks clearly and can express his feelings. He is very friendly and talks with respect to elders. At Grade 6, he performs well in school. He can easily comprehend. He has positive outlook in life. He is responsible and learned to do household chores.

At present, he is 13 years old and 1st year High School. His dream is to become a pilot someday. He is good in abstract reasoning and is looking forward to have his own family. 

For more information on Maxwell and his file please contact Kristy immediately at kristy@childrenofallnations.com. 

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The STUCK Tour Visits Austin!

This time last week, CAN staff had the great privilege of viewing the STUCK documentary at our home-base in Austin, Texas.  Weeks prior to the showing, we were able to join alongside efforts pioneered by our good friends at Both Ends Burning to advocate for the orphan. Both Ends Burning produced STUCK with a clear vision of changing the landscape of present-day international adoption. We are proud to know and support people like them. The STUCK bus is currently on a 67-city tour across the nation. Check out the site here to see when the movie is coming to a theater near you! We can honestly say that you won’t want to miss it. In the words of their fearless Founder & Producer Craig Juntunen, “GO SEE STUCK BECAUSE IT MATTERS!”

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