Kazakhstan Adoption Alert

Little Miracles International | Monday, November 29, 2010 | Links to this post | 2 Comments
Adoption Alert

Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues
November 24, 2010

According to the Government of Kazakhstan, the Ministry of Education plans to match all families with pending adoption dossiers with children before December 15, 2010. Once these matches are made, the adopting parents will be invited to travel to Kazakhstan for the mandatory three-week bonding period with the children. Adopting parents who decline to travel to Kazakhstan to bond with the children with whom they are matched will not be able to proceed with an adoption in Kazakhstan under the existing adoption process; their “pending dossier” will be closed.

International Adoption Simplification Act

Little Miracles International | Thursday, November 18, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
The International Adoption Simplification Act legislation passed in the House this week.

Some describe this as a technical correction to some elements of the Hague implementation legislation. Two key changes are:

1. Extend the option to defer overseas immunizations of adoptive children from I-600 to I-800 cases

2. Enable older siblings to be adopted by a family that adopted younger siblings

The option to defer immunizations does NOT extend to TB screenings of adoptees. TB screenings will continue.

The legislation can be viewed here.

A Media Summary of the Legistlation is here.
November is Adoption Awareness Month. It's a great opportunity to raise awareness about the miracle of adoption and the hundreds of thousands of kids all over the world in foster care and/or orphanages who are waiting for their forever homes. 

In the past, the stigma of single parenting prevented the adoption of many children who were desperately in need of a loving home.  Today, the adoption picture has changed, and includes an ever-increasing number of single parents by choice.  Even celebrities like Angelina Jolie (whose adopted children are from Ethiopia, Vietnam, and Cambodia) and Meg Ryan (whose baby girl is from China) chose to adopt as single parents.

Why do single parents chose adoption?  For the same reasons as married couples.  Mainly, because they want to nurture and raise a child and seek to have a loving family unit. Many singles hoping to adopt children are doing so because they feel they had a wonderful childhood and want to give that to another child.

However, even as single parent adoption continues to grow (and research citing the benefits of single parent adoption continues to mount), there are still those that argue against single parent adoptions. 

Despite the greater acceptance of single parent adoption, the traditional view of parenting, that a child needs a mother and a father for healthy growth and development, still exists.

Before I delve into the benefits and disadvantages of single parenting, in the interest of full disclosure, it must be noted that I myself am a single adoptive parent.  In February of 2010, at the age of 28, I traveled to Shymkent, Kazakhstan to adopt a beautiful 6 month old daughter, Hannah Elizabeth.  When I joyfully announced the adoption to family and friends, I expected to be met with encouragement and elation.  Most of my family members and friends were ecstatic; however, the announcement was met by some with skepticism and concern.  I was disheartened, but undeterred.  I KNEW in my heart that I could do it.  And I knew in my head that marital status does not play into one’s ability to parent. 

Single parenting has been the most challenging, rewarding, chaotic, joyous, exhausting, eye-opening experience in my life thus far.  Here is what I have learned.  Here are our truths, and our reality. 

The truth is, single parenting is expensive. 

The reality is that single adoptive parents are usually of higher education and have higher incomes in comparison to the country's average. They have concentrated on their careers and have established a stable home that would benefit a child.

The truth is children benefit from two parent families.

The reality is that children benefit from families, regardless of structure.  Single, adoptive parents provide a home with more stability than many other families that have been compromised by divorce, death, illness, etc.  And single or married, everyone needs a support system of family and friends to help with the everyday challenges of parenting.

The truth is a child needs to be raised by parents of both sexes

The reality is that it IS important for girls to have adult males to relate to and for boys to have adult females to relate to. However, this person does not necessarily have to be a parent; it could be a close friend or family member of the opposite sex.

The truth is single parenting is HARD.

The reality is that parenting is hard.  It is a delicate balance between cherishing every single second with your sweet child and counting the seconds until nap time.  The joy of watching your children learn to walk, talk, and grow is sometimes eclipsed by the piles of laundry, dishes in the sink, and beds that need made.  Good parenting is a growth process for everyone, single or married. 

But the reality is also that my life began the day I met my daughter.   This tiny, demanding person came into my life and somehow moved my soul to dance.

The reality is that a day does not go by that I do not feel immeasurably blessed to have her in my life.

The reality is that the universe unfolds perfectly as it should.  I was meant to be her mother, and she was meant to be my daughter. 

Single or married, may each of you find as much joy and happiness in your families as I have found in mine. 

Erin Herman, adoptive mom of Hannah, Shymkent Kazakhstan Class of 2010 :-)

International Adoption Crisis, Both Ends Burning!

Little Miracles International | Friday, November 12, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments

International Adoption Crisis. from GloboxMedia on Vimeo.

Join the Campaign at

Stand up for children worldwide who need families! Join us in our campaign to reform the system of international adoption so more orphans can be matched with loving, nurturing families. SIGN OUR PETITION and help us make REAL CHANGE!

Spread the word about the need for international adoption reform in your community. Join the Both Ends Burning movement, which engages policymakers, government officials and the private sector to make a real difference for children.

A family is a child’s most basic human right. Both Ends Burning is a broad-based campaign to create a new system of international adoption so that the world’s orphaned and abandoned children can benefit from the support of a permanent family.

Children who have families thrive and lead healthy, meaningful lives. Children who do not suffer from unmet needs and developmental, emotional and intellectual challenges, and even permanent damage. They lead wasted lives, wrongfully detained in substandard orphanages, or worse, left to fend for themselves in homelessness or slavery.

Through creative works, grassroots outreach, and social and traditional media, the Both Ends Campaign works to shed light on the crisis that is strangling international adoption. Adoptions to the U.S. have fallen by 50 percent in the last six years. Countries are closing their adoption programs to overseas families. Would-be parents face hope-crushing delays, expenses and bureaucracy under the existing system. Meanwhile, the number of orphans continues to grow.

Both Ends Burning provides an alternative common-sense solution to replace the current process. What’s needed is a new international adoption system that works to match waiting children with eligible families in a time frame measured in a few months, not several years.

The current process is broken. Help us force the creation of a new one. Please sign our petition calling for a new international adoption system. Your involvement will help us provoke change. The time to act is now — too many children are suffering, too many families have lost hope and given up. Help us provide orphans with what every child deserves: A loving family.

Produced by: Craig Juntunen

Direction & Cinematography : Thaddaeus Scheel
at Globox Media Group, Inc. NYC

Creative Concept: Tripp Baltz and Jay Ferracane

Special Thanks: Mark Fedyniak, Roy Leland

Copyright © – 2010 All Rights Reserved.

Watch this video on Vimeo. Video created by GloboxMedia.

One Less

Little Miracles International | Friday, November 05, 2010 | Links to this post | 1 Comment

We heard an awesome International Adoption related song inspired by one family adopting in Guatemala. Matthew West has produced a CD that is so, honest and passionate.  "Story of Your Life"  is about hurt, healing and the joy after.  We just had to share this song with you.   

After asking for people to send in their stories, West locked himself away in a cabin for two months and let these songs flow from those letters he had received from around the world. In the CD liner notes, he chronicles the individual stories that impacted each song, and this adds so much to the experience of this album. From the college-age girl whose plans were ripped away by a car accident "Strong Enough" and the family who adopted a child from Guatemala "One Less", from the pain of generational sins, abortion, and divorce "Family Tree," "The Healing Has Begun," "Two Houses" to the devastation of cancer and sexual abuse "Survivors," "Broken Girl", West rips our hearts out, allows us to deal with these things so often hidden away in darkness, and then asks God to come in and show us "The Reason for the World." He's even joined by Leigh Nash on "To Me," and her whimsical voice fits perfectly. Yes, put on the headphones, close your eyes in a quiet place, and let this song list go to work.

For those that have traversed the journey of international adoption, you will feel immediately the emotion of "One Less."   We've put the link to the CD so you can enjoy "Story of Your Life" as much as we have, and the video is below.  But first before the gorgeous song, the touching story that was submitted that inspired Matthew West's interpretation.

From Greg, Humboldt, TN

My wife and I started an adoption of a little girl named Lily in August of 2007. We were able to finally bring her home in November of 2009! I am the senior pastor of a church in TN and the adoption became a process embraced by our whole family of faith. As a part of the adoption my wife moved into an apartment there in that country so we could foster our now 8 year old daughter. We spent 7 months apart from one another. It was the most difficult test we have faced as a couple. The pain that marked those seven months was quickly replaced when we finally made it home. The joy we shared when we arrived here reminded me of what it must be like when one of God’s children finally make it home. We left Guatemala with no fan fare and a few tears. We arrived at our home with church members lining the street with banners, cheering, and sharing great relief.

Matthew’s commentary on: "One Less"

“Defend the cause of the orphans…” Isaiah 1:17

I was inspired by the hundreds of stories from people who were so passionate about adoption. What a gift for a family to open up their arms and welcome in a child with no home! Every adoption story is truly the proof that God is involved in the details, even the smallest details. I wrote the first verse to show how at the same time, in two different parts of the world, God is hearing the cries of two hearts, and little do they know they are about to be joined together by a God who can orchestrate the impossible.

There are so many orphans in the world today, that the mission of giving them all a home to the human eye seems more like a mission impossible. But, as I read one story after another about a child finding a home, I found myself saying, “That’s one less, one less, one less broken heart in the world tonight.”

You may not be in a position to adopt an orphan in your life right now, but there are many ways to carry out the command of the bible to care for the orphans. Personally, I have a friend who is in the process of adopting a little girl from Russia and he and his family are in need of financial support to do so. Many friends and neighbors are helping support this family’s effort financially so this little girl can have a home. Ask God to show you how to care for the orphans. Every time you help, that’s one less!

Adoption Alert: Ukraine Adoption

Little Miracles International | Friday, November 05, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Adoption Notice
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children’s Issues

November 3, 2010

The Ukrainian legislature is in the process of voting on a bill that would suspend all intercountry adoptions from countries without bilateral agreements with Ukraine, including adoptions from the United States. The bill passed a first reading and vote, but must still pass a second reading and be signed into law by the president. The second reading could take place in the next few weeks. If the bill passes the second reading, it may be signed into law as early as the end of 2010. The draft bill appears to include suspension of all adoptions in progress. The Department will post updates as information becomes available.

Kazakhstan Adoption Alert

Little Miracles International | Tuesday, November 02, 2010 | Links to this post | 1 Comment
Adoption Alert
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues

November 1, 2010

The Government of Kazakhstan has reinstated the expedited passport service
for adopted children. Adoptive parents or their service provider can now pay
a fee for approximately $14 to expedite passport processing. The process
takes about 7 working days to complete.

US Department of State Website Kazakhstan Adoption Alert