Friday afternoon and Saturday morning, the 25 children from China made it safely to the U.S. for our Holiday Hosting Program. They are all safe and sound with their host families and we can’t wait to hear stories, see photos and help all of these children find forever families.
The China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption released an announcement stating that they will be making some changes regarding family eligbiltiy beginning January 1, 2015. The changes are to ‘better help children in need find suitable families and improve the quality of management and service.’ GWCA is excited for these changes and the impact they will make on our current and future families. We look forward to working closely with the CCCWA in their efforts to help more orphans find their forever families. Below are the main changes made by the CCCWA. (Please note the following information only reflects the new changes, all other requirements have not changed.)
Eligibility Requirement Updates
Single parent families are now eligible to adopt what is considered an ‘LID’ child or a child that is not listed as special focus. are eligible to adopt either a non-special focus child or a special focus child. Single applicants may submit a dossier to China prior to being matched with a child. There must be no more than a 45 year age difference between the age of the parent and the age of the child.
Singles may have no more than 2 children in the home, and the youngest child should be older than 5 years old. Singles cannot adopt if there are already 3 children in their home under the age of 18.
Singles and couples over the age of 50 are now eligible to adopt either a non-special focus(LID) or a special focus child and can submit their dossier to China prior to being matched. There may be no more than a 50 year age difference between the age of the younger parent and the age of the child.
Couples with more than 5 children living in the home are now eligible to adopt either a non special focus(LID) or a special focus child and can submit their dossier to China prior to being matched.
Families must be free of medical conditions that affect their life expectancy or parenting ability to be eligible for an adoption from China. According to the CCCWA, the following conditions could make a family ineligible: intellectual disability, positive for HIV or other contagious infectious disease, schizophrenia, blindness, poor vision in both eyes, non-function or dysfunction of limbs, incomplete or deformed limbs, severe facial deformity, and Body Mass Index (BMI) of 40 or greater.
Mental disorders, such as mania, anxiety, phobia, depression, obsession, etc. will make a family ineligible for adoption, except in the case of a couple if the disorder is minor and well controlled by medication.
Diseases that require long-term treatment and affect parenting ability will make a family ineligible, except in the case where one parent is completely healthy and the other parent’s condition is well controlled after treatment. According to the CCCWA, the following conditions fall into this category: malignant tumors, lupus, nephrosis, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, an organ transplant within the last ten years, etc.
Parents with severe hearing loss/deafness or loss of language function may adopt a child with the same condition.
In an adoption by a couple, if one parent is completely healthy and the other parent has one of these conditions, the family will be eligible to adopt.
GWCA encourages families that do not meet all of the China requirements to still reach out to our International Adoption Consultants, we can always try for your family and the possibility of exceptions are sometimes available.
The CCCWA requires that families have a minimum income of $30,000 plus $10,000 per child living in the home (including the prospective adoptee). Minimum net worth for couples is $80,000. Minimum net worth for singles is $100,000. However, if a family lives in an area where the local cost of living is lower and they have above average income for their area, an exception to these income requirements may be made.
The following crimes on a background check will make a family ineligible for an adoption from China: history of domestic violence, sex abuse, or abuse/abandonment of children; drug use including opium, morphine, marijuana, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, etc; and history of alcohol abuse less than ten years old. If the parents have 3 or fewer minor criminal records more than ten years ago or five or fewer traffic violations with no severe outcomes, they may be eligible to adopt from China.
One of the things we’re most excited about here at GWCA is the increasing opportunities for adoptees to travel on a heritage or homeland tour. Due to the generosity of the Chinese Ministry of Civil Affairs and the CCCWA, families are more able to travel on the trip of a lifetime because of grants subsidizing the intra-China travel for any adoptee(s). This means your kiddo travels partially free!
An example of a great opportunity like this is the Yunnan Heritage Tour. This tour is a truly special opportunity for your adoptee to visit their homeland, in particular Yunnan province.
We are partnering with CCCWA as well as the provincial Civil Affairs to offer an amazing ten-day tour specifically designed for families that have adopted from Yunnan province. You will be visiting Beijing and walking the Great Wall, the incredible and powerfully beautiful Stone Forest in Yunnan, visiting Kunming Child Welfare Institution, as well as engaging in some one in a lifetime opportunities for hands-on experience with Chinese culture.
You don’t have to be a GWCA family to be a part of this tour, and additional family members are also welcome. Please feel free to invite your fellow adoptive families!
If you have any questions, please contact our Travel Advisor, Kayley Viteo. She can be reached at 512-323-9595 ext. 3031 or via email at email@example.com.
Two years ago today, I walked into the Civil Affairs office in Changsha, China, wondering what our first encounter would be like. Would the room be filled with crying children and anxious families? Would I recognize you from your one recent picture I’d been studying? Would you smile at me? Would you be terrified of me?
I had been waiting for this day for well over three years. But it almost happened too fast. I wasn’t ready for the moment.
When we walked into the waiting area, I saw a little girl in a red coat being held by a young woman. Along with two other official looking people, they were the only ones in the room, and Daddy and I were the only couple there. The instant I saw your face, I did indeed recognize you.
I nearly panicked because I didn’t expect you to already be there- you waiting for me. I whipped out my phone like a old west gunslinger and snapped this, my first picture of you.
You seemed very curious. Eyebrows up, eyes wide open, taking in the strange new place. You even started to take my hand as if to inspect me, then promptly attempted to bolt from the room, orphanage director in tow.
You were scared, terrified. And rightly so. We were new and different, and you had no way to understand what was happening. You finally fell asleep in my arms mid-protest. And that began to bond us. You woke up still in my arms and looked right at me. You still looked nervous, but you didn’t cry at all. We took you on a new adventure, where you thoroughly enjoyed every inch of Walmart. Then we went back to the hotel where we started to get to know each other and become a family.
I was, and still am, so amazed by you. Every single day you made huge leaps and strides- learning, growing, struggling and triumphing. Within days you had learned to clap, crawl, wave, sign “thank you,” say “Dada” and recognize your new name- Zoe Xiu. Your deer-in-headlights look was slowly replaced by sweet little smiles and giggles.
Nights were hard. Filled with night terrors and unrest. Days were fun. We explored new places and enjoyed getting to know each other. Your little personality started to emerge. You were a super sweet little girl with flashes of boldness, stubbornness… spiciness. You even began to give us a “spicy face” every time we called you Spicy Peanut.
Two years later, you are still super sweet with just a dash of spicy. We have celebrated two birthdays with you and watched you absolutely beam with excitement each time. You have discovered a love for chocolate, icing and people singing to you.
You have a style all your own. You love to accessorize and have found your inner princess. From dresses with rain boots to pajamas with Tinkerbell shoes, you confidently rock every style you try out.
You are super playful and often breakdown into a fit of unstoppable giggles. We have decided that you have the best laugh in the world.
A lot of times you’re quiet, taking in the world around you. You often sit back and observe while everyone around you is busy doing. You always stop to pick flowers. You notice things we miss… a lot.
Your serving heart abounds. When you know someone needs something, you immediately spring into action! You are big sister extraordinaire, always making sure little brother has his paci, plenty of toys, and a push in his walker to get him where he needs to be. You love to get out your play dishes and set the table while I’m making dinner and pull out our chairs for us to sit. And you are always available for super Zoe snuggles when anyone needs them.
Zoe, we are so blessed to have you as our daughter and sister. You fill our house with joy and our hearts with overflowing love.
Happy Forever Family Day Spicy Peanut.
Are you interested in hosting a child from China or Philippines, but not quite ready to take the full plunge into being a full time host family for 4 weeks? If so, consider participating as a Backup Host Family to gain valuable experiences and opportunities with host children who may need to be relocated from their primary host families. These host children may need to be moved on a rare occasion for several possible reasons, but ultimately they need a safe, encouraging environment while they are here.
Here are five great reasons to be a Backup Host Family:
1) All hosting fees for the Host Child placed with your family are already paid in full by the Primary Host Family (excluding potential travel expenses to pick up child and expenses during the child’s stay with your family)
2) All necessary paperwork and action items for you to qualify as a host family will already be accomplished, so if you enjoy your experience, signing up to be a Primary Host Family the next go around will be simple and easy
3) You can always discuss the child’s habits, likes, dislikes, and learn more about the child from the first-hand experience of the Primary Family before you bring the child into your home.
4) You will receive full file disclosure from the country (medical history, personal interviews, etc) on the Host Child staying in your home
5) If you are asked to take over as a Backup Host Family, you will have access to a Program Mentor, Program Coordinator, and Translator to support you full time during the program.
Backup Host Families are needed in cases in which the Host Child can no longer stay with the Primary Host Family. Often, these are through no fault of the child and may simply be due to an unforeseen emergency within the Primary Host Family. There will be a transparent line of communication with Backup Host Families about any issues the child may experiencing that might have cause the need for a move. You can let us know, for any reason, that you will not be able to serve as the Backup Host Family for a particular child after we contact you.
The children from both China and Philippines are accompanied by Chaperones from their orphanages or social workers from the Chinese/Filipino Governments to the United States, and the Chaperone will check in with the child during his or her stay with your family. You are always supported as a backup host family.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call April at 512-323-9595 x3061.
Join our TEAM and contribute to our upcoming host programs. All proceeds acquired from these t-shirts will go toward hosting grants for the Summer 2015 program. These shirts will be worn by all of our hosting kids as they arrive to meet their host families for the 2014 Holiday Program. We ask that all family members and friends that will be meeting these children at the airport purchase a shirt. The shirts are available to order AGAIN for a VERY limited time. Please place your order by November 18th. They are $20, which includes shipping. Send this link to your friends and families and make a difference in a child’s life by joining our TEAM today!
Do you know what TEAM stands for?
Are you looking to help an orphan but not sure how? There are so many children hoping to visit America for the holidays. All these kids need is a little extra help to get here. Your donation could help bring one of the kids home forever.
Donate here and note which of the following children your donation is for in the ‘in honor of’ field.
Ready, Set, Go!
“Hon, I know you are going to think I’m crazy, but I want to host an orphan from China this summer…” This is how I greeted my husband the day that I dared to take a peek at the photo listing of children who needed placements for the summer hosting program. After adopting my daughter as an infant (I was single at the time), I felt in my heart the pull towards adopting an older child. But after marrying and settling in to the joys and challenges of a blended family, I figured that dream was behind me. Well, what a surprise when my husband said “I don’t think you are crazy!”, and we quickly moved ahead to meet the looming deadline to be matched with the child we felt drawn to host.
While we were open from the start to the idea of adopting if things went well, we were very nervous about all the ways that things might NOT go well. Hosting seemed like the perfect way to see what it might be like to add to our family in this way, and to see if this particular child was a good fit. And he was. After weeks of nervous preparation, our lives were forever changed by the adorable 6 year old boy who greeted us at the airport with a huge smile on his face. He was small for his age, and acted much younger than 6, but he drew us in with his humor and the sheer delight that he expressed with each new thing that he tried and experienced with us. I spent about a day feeling a bit worried about his immaturity, nervous about how the summer would go, but it didn’t last! I had worried so much about communication with a boy who knew no English, but really that was not a very big deal. He surprised us by singing some songs in English that he had learned in school in China (BINGO, Twinkle Twinkle, ABC Song) . He very quickly learned some words and phrases in English, and we learned a few essentials in Mandarin. What we didn’t know got communicated through gestures and pantomime. Yu Yu fell in love with ice cream at the first, unexpectedly cold lick. Every time we went out in the car after that, he would say “Mama!” to get my attention, then pantomime holding and licking an ice cream cone, as his way of asking to go get some ice cream! (I could hardly ever say no!)
The best part of hosting was falling in love with this amazing little boy. Experiencing him learning to love hugs and being held, snuggling in close and giving kisses – all things that seemed new to him. Watching him play and bond with our girls. Seeing the utter joy on his face as he experienced not only the big fun stuff, but the everyday things like a bath, being tucked in, and eating a picnic lunch in the yard. Seeing him go from fear of the water to actually swimming! Seeing how well he compensated for his right arm disability. Was every moment fun and easy? Well, no. He did his share of testing the limits, and laughing when reprimanded. He turned out to be a sensitive boy, crying easily at small things and sometimes just shutting down. Those were the times when the lack of common language was the hardest. But as the weeks went by, I feel like we were starting to see wonderful progress with his trust of us, his bonding with us, and learning to live with the limits. Those sparks of progress gave us hope that this was a good fit, and that he was meant to be with our family.
To be honest, the hardest part of hosting is right now, afterwards. Watching him leave us at the airport was one of the hardest moments in our lives. He already felt like our son, and we were losing him. Now, to be separated so many months as we go through the adoption process, it is really hard. At times it feels cruel to both him and us. But I also know that we would NOT be adopting right now if we hadn’t hosted. I know that we wouldn’t have been brave enough to take on the unknowns of an older child without meeting him and feeling him melt into our family. What a gift he was to us. What joy we have in looking forward to the day when we will finally be reunited with him, this time forever!
Thank you to Yu Yu’s Host Family for allowing us to share their beautiful story. We can’t wait for them to bring their little Yu Yu home!
Visit www.orphanhosting.com to learn how you can be a part of our Hosting Program.