Time.

Time.

Paulina (3)

Time.  Some of us waste it.  Some spend it wisely.  Some cherish it.  Some say it’s an illusion, while others say it’s on our side.  Some take it for granted.  And then there are those who don’t have much of it left.  When I first ‘met’ (on paper) Paulina (3), Presley (17), Penny (12), and Paris (16), it was to consider them for our summer hosting program.  But I quickly noticed Presley’s age.  And I told the team, “He doesn’t have enough time.”  You see, Presley will turn 18 at the end of August.  He will no longer be eligible for adoption.  And while his little sisters still have time left, the thought of being separated from Presley is incomprehensible to them – and to us too.  Time is not on their side.

Paris (16), Penny (12), Presley (17)

So, we beg of you, if you have time, please share their story far and wide.  They would need a miracle, but one that is possible, even with little time left.  Paulina, Presley, Penny, and Paris would need a home study ready family, as the family would need to submit I-800 for these siblings prior to Presley’s 18th birthday.  Please, use some of your time in hopes of extending their time together….extending it from ‘not much left’ to forever.


Paulina, Presley, Penny, and Paris are available for adoption from a South American country through Madison Adoption Associates.  Contact Misty Lucas at misty@madisonadoption.org to learn more, or complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form to be considered as their forever family.

‘I live in the children’s welfare institute’

‘I live in the children’s welfare institute’

Many things struck me when reading Wyatt’s file….mostly good things.  Things that impressed me about this special boy.  It is filled with details, and was obviously written by someone who cares about him.  But one thing stood out much more than the rest.  The part that says, “he can say, ‘I’m Wyatt.  I’m a boy.  I’m 4 years old.  I live in the children’s welfare institute.’”  While this is shared in his file as a compliment, as an example of one of the many things that Wyatt can do and say, it still pretty much tore at my heart.  A 4-year-old should never have to say those words.  A 4-year-old should never know what those words even mean….. ‘I live in the children’s welfare institute.’  But Wyatt does.  It is his reality.  He lives in the children’s welfare institute.

I read on, and found myself smiling while reading of all the things Wyatt can do.  Smiling especially at the section describing how he likes to pull weeds in the garden.  He is sure to ask if something is a weed or vegetable before yanking it out of the earth, followed by happily singing the ‘pulling out radish’ song.  And while I found myself smiling at these anecdotes about Wyatt, I still couldn’t shake the “I’m Wyatt.  I’m a boy.  I’m 4 years old.  I live in the children’s welfare institute.”  It is simply something a child should never know to say.


Wyatt is not yet 5-years-old and is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  He is diagnosed with a limb difference.  There is a $500 grant available to the family who steps up so this child no longer has to say ‘I live in the children’s welfare institute.’  Email sarah@madisonadoption.org for more information, or complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form to be considered as his forever family.

An Unbreakable Bond

An Unbreakable Bond

A dear friend of mine has spent a lot of time with these two.  When we received their files and were able to start advocating, she shared how crucial it is to keep them close.  To keep them connected.  You see, Ari and Haven have been together in their foster home for the past three years.  They are siblings, in every sense of the word.  Except not by blood.  But, as we all know….blood is not what makes a family.  Love and togetherness is.  And these two have had that in each other for as long as they can remember.

China no longer allows two unrelated children to be adopted at the same time, so, sadly, despite their requests, they cannot be placed together.  But, it is our vow to them to keep them close.  To keep them connected.  To find them both families who understand the importance of the bond that they have, and to promise to do all they can to ensure that this bond stays intact, especially through one of the biggest transitions of their lives.

Haven

Ari


Haven is 7, and is diagnosed with Thalassemia.  Ari is 6 1/2, and is diagnosed with Hemophilia.  The families that step forward for these ‘siblings’ must be open to maintaining strong connections.  Email sarah@madisonadoption.org for more information, or complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form to be considered.

Families needed for Philippines adoption!

Families needed for Philippines adoption!

Madison Adoption Associates is pleased to announce that we have been granted new healthy slots for our Philippines adoption program!  Several families are already happily on board, but we are still in need of families who would like to adopt a young, healthy child form our Philippines adoption program.

What is the Philippines adoption program all about?

There are two tracts to consider when adopting from the Philippines –healthy, and the Special Home Finding program.  In the healthy program, Madison Adoption Associates receives a certain number of ‘slots’ to for families wanting to adopt a healthy, young child.  Once those slots are filled, we must wait for our next allotment of slots.  We are grateful to Philippines’ ICAB (Inter-Country Adoption Board) for entrusting us to find exceptional, qualified, trained families to adopt the beautiful children from their country – from BOTH of the tracts.

The Special Home Finding program is dedicated to finding adoptive families for children with special needs, be it medical, psychological, age related, or sibling groups.  We receive summaries of available children on a monthly basis that we are able to share privately with qualified families.  Families interested in learning more about the children available through the Special Home Finding program should complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form.

Another option to explore whether or not an adoption from the Philippines is right for your family is the hosting program.  In this program we bring children available for adoption from the Philippines to the US for 3-4 weeks in the summer.  The children stay with host families while they learn about a new culture, get to know our staff, and spend time with a family.  While they are here, we are all able to get to know the children better in order to be best equipped to advocate for them.  The majority of children who participate in the hosting program are matched with their forever families, whether it is the host family themselves, or a family the child meets while here.  Either way, the hosting program is a rewarding and fulfilling experience for all!  Our hosting program is extremely community oriented, for the sake of both the children and the host families – therefore, our hosting program is only available to families in MD, PA, NJ, IL, IN, and MO.

Travel to the Philippines for your adoption trip is approximately two weeks longs.  During your trip, you will not only get to meet your child and the people who have cared for him or her, but you will get to explore this beautiful country.  The people of the Philippines are kind, welcoming people who take pride in their culture and customs.  You will get to enjoy many things quintessentially Filipino!


Interested in learning more about any of our Philippines programs?  Email amanda@madisonadoption.org, or visit our website.

Boy O Boy! {3}

Boy O Boy! {3}

Our third post in our series about the awesomeness of boys!  By 2x boy Mama, Lindsay

As a young married women in my mid-20’s, I thought the next step in my life would be having two blonde haired, blue eyed little girls that looked just like me and my husband.  Since I was a little girl, I dreamed of having girls, playing dolls, shopping together and enjoying all things pink.  Let’s just say God had a very different plan for my life.  After years of struggling with infertility, my husband and I finally made the decision to adopt.  We knew absolutely nothing about the adoption process in general much less any specifics about the Chinese special needs program so we checked the box on our application for either gender without much thought.  It would be just like having our own child and we wouldn’t know the gender until we were matched.

Oldest son referral photo

It likely comes as no surprise to most of you reading this but since we were open to either gender, we were quickly matched with a 15 month old little boy.  A tiny guy with the chubbiest little cheeks and a sparkle in his eyes.  There are really no words to express the joy we felt the day we met our first son.  After over 5 years of actively trying to conceive and then adopt, it felt almost unreal that I was finally a mama.  We were so happy to be parents but also extremely exhausted from our long journey.  It took us a full year from the time we brought our son home until we even started to consider if we wanted to adopt another child.

Oldest son lining up cars

We did decide to adopt again and this time, being much more aware of the adoption climate in China, we carefully considered that gender box.  This time we checked boy.  Why?  Well, my husband likes to tell a little story about me and it goes something like this.  One day, Lindsay was cuddling our son and she said, “I just can’t imagine if we had adopted a girl.  I am a boy mama now”.  Despite my inability to make car engine or train noises, catch or throw a ball or find amusement in fart jokes, I loved being a mama to that little chubby cheeked cutie.    We also thought how wonderful it would be for both boys to grow up with a brother.  Not just any brother either but a brother with a shared history and birth culture and the same eye and hair color.   The second time around, the match took a little longer but when we finally saw our second son’s picture, he had that same sparkle in his eyes.

Youngest son referral photo

We brought our second son home in November 2017 at 22 months old and I still cry happy tears just thinking about the fact that I am a mom of two!

At 2 and 3.5 years old, our boys are opposites.  One loves all things orderly and would spend all day lining up his matchbox cars all over the house.  I like to describe the other as a little bowling ball.  He is rough and tumble and oh so strong.  One is a Daddy’s guy and the other a Mama’s boy.  But they are both so sweet and

Youngest son playing

know to be gentle with their Mommy.  I cannot wait to see what kind of kid, teenager and man each of them grows up to become and I cannot help but hope that they both always call me Mommy.

Now in my mid-30’s (36 still counts as mid-30’s right??), I am so happy that God knew the plan for my life should contain brown haired, brown eyed boys.  My life did not go exactly according to my plans but I could not have hoped for a more perfect family for me.

Brothers


Madison is in need of families open to adopting boys in all programs!  To learn more about our programs, and the boys waiting for you, please visit our website, or email Sarah@madisonadoption.org.  

 

~ URGENT – CALL TO ACTION ~

~ URGENT – CALL TO ACTION ~

To those of you who care about the orphans of the world…

The orphan crisis is massive.  It is hard to comprehend.  But, we do what we can to put faces to the astronomical numbers.  We meet these orphans.  We fall in love.  And we introduce them to you, in hopes of making them orphans no more.  It is tireless work.  It is exhausting and draining, yet fulfilling and so worthwhile.  It becomes more than work.  It is our heart.  The children…are our heart.

We are writing to you today, because the orphan crisis just got bigger.  We are now fighting a force we never thought we would have to.  We are fighting a force who should be our allies, who should be with us, who should be with the children.  Our own United States Department of State. Though we understand and appreciate the critical nature of regulating and oversight, the reality is that OVER regulation has been killing adoptions, putting agencies out of business, and most importantly, hindering children entering families for a long time now.

During the past several months, we have shared with you the shifting of accrediting entities from COA to IAAME.  As this shift continues to progress, we were recently made aware on February 1, of the new accreditation fees that will be implemented by IAAME, beginning as early as February 15, 2018.  These fees, which the Department claims will not have a significant impact on Adoption Service Providers and families, show an increase of unfathomable proportions.  One said fee (and, these are not ‘proposed’ fees – they have already been approved by DOS) is a $500 fee (per adopted child), required to be paid by the adoptive family, due at time of contracting with the placing agency.  Effective February 15, 2018.  The purpose of this fee, as stated by IAAME and USDOS, is to fund the startup costs of IAAME.  In 2016, there were 5,370 international adoptions to the US, as reported by DOS.  5,370 x $500 = $2,685,000!!!  This is just ONE fee that IAMME will soon be receiving in one year!  And this does not even factor in the additional excessive accreditation fees that they will charge all adoption service providers.  In looking at preliminary numbers, it appears MAA’s accreditation costs will increase more than 400%!   This is an insane amount of money that will now be subsidized by adoptive families!

Of course, having an accrediting entity is absolutely necessary to oversee the work that we do.  It ensures transparency, ethical practices, and ultimately protects the children.  We fully support the role of an accrediting entity.  However, we must be heard.  An immediate, hasty fee increase like this, which has not been thought out or discussed with adoption service providers (those who understand and are DOING the work on the ground) will no doubt prevent more orphans from having families and put more good agencies (the advocates for the most vulnerable) out of business.

How will this affect me?
If you are thinking of adopting, please apply here now:  MAA Application

If you are on board, please get your contracts in now!  After February 15th, the additional fee of $500 (per child you are adopting) will apply to every family.   Though we hope and pray for this to be reduced or overturned, we need to be proactive and proceed now so less families will feel the effects.

What can you do to help?

Although we have to move forward, we are not giving up the fight!  Increasing costs and over regulation are hurting children!  Families and agencies should not be subsidizing start-up costs for accrediting organizations!

Here’s how you can help save international adoptions:

  • The National Council for Adoption and Families has coordinated All Call days to Congress people on February 7th and 8th to protest. Call Wednesday or Thursday! Find your Senators and Representatives HERE. A huge wave of calls from like-minded individuals with a common goal is the best way to be heard and effect change.
  • Read these TIPS to make your call as effective as possible. Also, request that the Small Business Association investigate an approximate fee increase of 3000%+.
  • Share this email with your friends, your relatives, and anyone who believes that all children have the right to a permanent, loving family – without extra financial burdens from the Department of State.

Visit http://www.adoptioncouncil.org/intercountry-advocacy for more details on how to participate. See the press release HERE.

PLEASE make the call.  Make your family make the call.  Make your friends make the call.  Make your voices heard.  Because your voice, and our voice, is the voice of the orphan – they have no voice without us.

We thank you for doing all you can.  And please know, we will continue to fight.  For you, our adoptive families, and ultimately for the children, who need us now more than ever.

Madison Adoption Associates

Sweet Adelyn

Sweet Adelyn

We ask for updates on all of the children that we are entrusted with.  Most are sufficient.  Most answer the questions, and provide the information that we need.  Some don’t share much at all.  And then there are others.  Those where you can feel the love for the child.  Those where you can tell that the caregiver providing answers really want us to know this child.  Adelyn’s update is one of those.

While the entire update stood out to me, there were two questions that really just made me smile:

How is her emotional development? Is the child attached to anyone? Who is she close to? Does she care for other people?
Great. She is very attached to her nanny. She knows how to care for others. When her nanny gets tired after a long walk, she will bring a stool for her. She will massage her nanny’s legs, waist and back. If her nanny coughs, she will ask her to take medicine. When her younger brother cries, she will give him toys. When her neighbor gives her snacks, she will share with her younger brother. Her neighbor is a disabled man and she will help him with his cane.


How are her social skills? Does she get along well with other children and adults?
Great! All the neighbors love her!

I can see these answers in these pictures of Adelyn.  I can see her sweet spirit in that big smile on her face.  I can see it in the way she dances in the rain.  This girl is special.  This girl will bring immeasurable joy to the family who says Yes to her.


Adelyn is 6-years-old and is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  There is a $5,000 Bright Futures grant available for the family who adopts her.  Interested in learning more?  Email sarah@madisonadoption.org or complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form.

Dharma

Dharma

by Drayer Spurlock

Dharma. Why do you wait? You’re as cute as a button, outgoing, and friendly. Your eyes shone so brightly when we met. You didn’t say much, but your personality sparkled. You were so excited to meet me and seemed so sad to go back to your room, as if you know you have waited for your own family for a long time. You held my shy and nervous son’s hand as we waited for the elevator to take us upstairs.

Dharma, you broke my heart. You have been on my mind since I returned from China. I have prayed for you since I met you.

Your caretakers explained that you have CP. They really want you to find a home, a family, and they have tried so hard to find you one. I can tell you want that, too. Why have you waited so? It makes no sense to me. I watched you walk and feed yourself grapes, both of which you did well. You did everything that your caretakers asked you  to do. They say you are smart, potty trained, and that your brain is not affected by CP, which seems limited to your right side and your expressive speech. Our guide said that your orphanage has the resources for food and shelter, but not the resources for the therapies that would help you. You definitely need the love of a family, and it would be so easy for you to receive services here.

Dharma, it breaks my heart that you aren’t home yet. Every day, I pray your family sees you and works to bring you home.


Dharma is 7-years-old.  She has Cerebral Palsy.  But much more important than that, she has a sparkle, a kind soul, and a burning desire for a forever family.  Could it be you?  You can find more information about Dharma here.  Or email sarah@madisonadoption.org. 

Diana’s Plea

Diana’s Plea

by Diana Bramble, Executive Director of Operations

PLEA

OK, so I don’t post a lot.  I am not the best writer.  My words are black and white and don’t evoke much emotion.  However, please know with my whole heart, I am filled with emotion as I write these words.

I LOVE THIS GIRL.  AND SHE AGES OUT IN A FEW SHORT MONTHS…

Yes, I know I love many kids.  Yes, I know they are all special.  Yes, I know they all deserve a family.  But some just get in your heart a little more…  Or in some cases, A LOT MORE.

So, I am making a plea to anyone who will listen or read or watch my tears fall for her….

Yes, I know she is 15 and has most definitely had her fair share of trauma and not many people should take this on.

Yes, I know the teenage years are stressful, even for children who do not have a history of trauma.

Yes, I know she is not a baby that you can pick up and kiss a boo-boo and make the world right again.

BUT KNOW THIS….

She is special.  She is kind.  She is beautiful.  She is thoughtful.  She takes care of the little ones and helps the adults all day long.  She is funny.  She is smart.  She wants to be a lawyer or police officer.  She wants justice in this world.  She loves to travel.  She loves to experience new places. She is a cute little teen who loves to pose for photos.  She is begging to be a beloved daughter and sibling and granddaughter and niece and finally have a family to call her own….


Why is she still there you ask?  After years and years, she finally had a file prepared.  Then she found a family.  She loved them and they loved her.  She has been talking to them for months.  But sometimes great things don’t always work out and this is one of those times….  Unfortunately, her family cannot  come for her.  It has nothing to do with her and she is powerless.  She just found out.  She loved them.  She lost them.  She is afraid that she will now be an orphan forever….

But it is not over yet.

Aimee deserves a family.  She deserves love.  She deserves happiness,  She deserves a chance.  She deserves a future.

So here is my plea…  Will you please pray for her?  Or consider her?  Or advocate for her?  Or share this post?  And tell every family you think may be a good fit about her.  Why her you ask?  Because she deserves it.  And someone else deserves her too….

People who have not adopted before often tell me how lucky my kids are that we adopted them.  This could not be further from the truth…  Because we adoptive parents know that it is us that are happy and lucky and privileged and  truly blessed individuals to have the privilege of being their parents.   You can’t even imagine it until you think how you could have missed it…   I pray that some lucky family sits back a year from now after seeing the most beautiful smile in the world looking up at them, and thanks God that they took a chance on our Aimee.

Let’s all come together and do what we can and not let this girl be forever an orphan.

Thank you for reading.  This is my PLEA.


Aimee is 15 years old, which means she barely has any time left to be adopted.  The family who steps up and commits to Aimee must be ready to move heaven and earth to get to her in time.  But where there is a will, there is a way.  Interested in learning more about Aimee?  Visit our website or email Misty@madisonadoption.org.  Or, complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form to be considered as her forever family.

The Evolution of the Peace Sign

The Evolution of the Peace Sign

Marta, when I first met you, I couldn’t get over your cuteness.  You had a tragic buzz cut, and were trying your hardest at doing the peace sign just like all the other older kids.  You knew it involved two fingers….you just weren’t sure which two.  But you tried your hardest!  Is it these two?  Like this??  Not quite Marta.

 

Fast forward one year.  Your hair is growing in beautifully.  You still got those chubby cheeks, and gorgeous, full lips.  Still trying your hardest to figure out that peace sign.  Close Marta, but not quite.

While your cuteness level is the same (how can the cutest get even cuter?), and your peace sign skills are slowly developing, there is one big change since I saw you last Marta.  Your adoption file is ready.  Your future.  Is ready.  So keep working on that peace sign Marta, as the next time you’ll throw it for a picture will hopefully be on your Forever Family Day.


Marta just turned 3 last September.  She is diagnosed with post-op spina bifida and club foot.  She is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  Email Sarah@madisonadoption.org for more information, or complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form to be considered as her forever family.