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Chosen Ones

Little Miracles International | Wednesday, September 29, 2010 | Links to this post | 1 Comment
Albino children are on the special needs waiting child list for China. In China, children with albinism face a bleak future. Often abandoned and ostracized, most will never be educated, marry or find a job in their country. Adoption offers hope for a chosen few.

Kim Anderson was facing an empty nest and looking for a way to do more to serve God when a photo of a Chinese orphan caught her eye. "That's our child," she thought. Now eight years later, Kim and her husband, Steve, have adopted four special needs children. The three boys have albinism.

Ironically, the same rare condition that stigmatized the boys individually in China, reinforces their brotherhood in the United States. Elijah, Paul and Micah's snow white hair and pigmentless skin, create the appearance of a biological connection. Despite their age difference, people often mistake them for triplets. What may be shocking and novel on one child is normalizing on all three.

Virginian-Pilot staff photographer Preston Gannaway spent the last year documenting the Andersons as they prepared for and welcomed Micah into their family.

Chosen ones from preston gannaway on Vimeo.


If you are interested in considering a child with Albinism, please contact Little Miracles today.

International Adoption Nutrition

Little Miracles International | Saturday, September 25, 2010 | Links to this post | 3 Comments
Nutrition has been long overlooked as a key issue for adopted children. New research shows that adopted children, even those who appear healthy, are often deficient in key nutrients that may impact their growth and brain development.For many adopted children, the change in environment, food, and feeding methods can be overwhelming and poorly received at first. While it’s important to meet a child’s nutritional needs, it’s equally important to do so in a non-threatening way.

Adoption Nutrition is dedicated to helping parents and professionals understand and meet the unique nutritional needs of adopted children so that they can grow and thrive. 


An Adopted Linebacker, An Unlikely Story

Little Miracles International | Wednesday, September 22, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Bryan Kehl leans back, smiles and says his dad has always been a "storyteller."

He wraps exaggerated finger quotes around that last word to make it clear the stories his father tells aren't always rigorously fact-checked.

Giants linebacker Bryan Kehl, preseason win against Patriots
Six of Gary and Nancy Kehl's nine children were adopted, including Bryan. As a rule, there were never any distinctions made about whose genes came from where: Everyone was to be treated equally. But there was always one exception—and it always involved Bryan.

Giants linebacker Bryan Kehl, above after a preseason win against the Patriots, was adopted. He didn't find out until last year that his father was NFL journeyman running back Maurice Turner.

In one of those yarns that his dad was so fond of telling, Bryan's biological father was an NFL running back. "I wasn't sure it was true," he says. "Like I said, my dad tells stories.''

The first time Bryan touched a football, however, out in the family's backyard in Salt Lake City, he decided to play running back. All through youth football and until he went to high school, he was a running back. Now, some 20 years after that first run, he thinks his fondness for carrying the ball was influenced by family lore. "I'm sure that had something to do with it. My brothers all played defense."

Mr. Kehl is a strapping 26-year-old linebacker entering his third season for the New York Giants. He's no longer a running back. He plays defense like the rest of the Kehls.

But when it comes to his path to the NFL, there's something basic that Bryan Kehl doesn't know—whether his athletic talent was something bred into him by his parents, his siblings and his Utah childhood, or whether it was coded into his DNA.

The Power of Touch

Little Miracles International | Tuesday, September 21, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
We often talk about touch and how important it is within the international adoption field.   Stories about how children's brains were affected by lack of touch in orphanage institutions are still shocking.   


This is an interesting article on NPR about touch and how oxytocin,  a neuropeptide, released  can promote feelings of devotion, trust and bonding.


Human Connections Start With A Friendly Touch - on NPR

Orphanage Sponsorship in Northern Uganda

Little Miracles International | Saturday, September 18, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Sometimes when we go out into the field to meet the orphans in their environments we struggle with why the situation is so dire. There are some situations we cannot walk away from.  This is how we found Northern Uganda and the orphans in care there. Our hearts were changed forever from our experience there and I hope you will be changed too when you learn about the children.

You can read about the children of the Acholi Tribe on our blog.

Dream of a Child, the humanitarian blog and special projects blog of Little Miracles International,  is in desperate need for orphanage sponsors for an unsponsored orphanage in Northern Uganda.    These children are war-affected, and many are AIDS orphans. They were in starvation when we found them.  They are in extreme medical need.   

Please pledge with us to change their world, one sponsor at a time.

Please consider sponsoring our Acholi Orphanage today!

Washington Post Talks International Adoption

Little Miracles International | Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
International adoption: From a broken bond to an instant bond

By Michael Gerson
Friday, August 27, 2010, Washington Post


Scott Simon -- the sonorous voice of NPR's "Weekend Edition" -- has written a short, tender book about the two most important people in the world. At least to him. "Baby, We Were Meant for Each Other" recounts the arrival of his two daughters, Elise and Lina, from China, while telling the stories of other families changed by adoption.

Simon describes himself as skeptical of transcendence but as taking part in a miracle. "My wife and I," he says, "knew that Elise and Lina were our babies from the moment we received their postage-stamp portraits. Logically, I know that's not possible. But I also know that's how my heart, mind and body . . . reacted to their pictures. . . . I would take the photo out of my wallet in the weeks before we left to get each of our girls and hold it against my lips to whisper, 'We're coming, baby.' "

It is an unexpected form of human affection -- meeting an unrelated stranger and, within moments, being willing to care for her, even to die for her. The relationship results from a broken bond but creates ties as strong as genetics, stronger than race or tribe. It is a particularly generous kind of parental love that embraces a life one did not give.

International adoption has its critics, who allege a kind of imperialism that robs children of their identity. Simon responds, "We have adopted real, modern little girls, not mere vessels of a culture." Ethnicity is an abstraction -- often an admirable abstraction, but not comparable to the needs of a child living in an orphanage or begging in roving bands. Adopted Chinese girls are refugees from a terrible oppression -- a one-child policy that Simon calls "one of the great crimes of history." Every culture or race is outweighed when the life of a child is placed on the other side of the balance.

It is one of the noblest things about America that we care for children of other lands who have been cast aside. Simon recalls his encounter with an immigration officer in Chicago when bringing Elise to America: " 'When you cross that line,' he said, 'your little girl is a citizen of the United States.' Then he put one of his huge hands gently under our daughter's chin and smiled. 'Welcome home, sweetheart,' he told her." This welcome to the world is one of the great achievements of history. After millennia of racial and ethnic conflict across the world, resulting in rivers of blood, America declared that bloodlines don't matter, that dignity is found beneath every human disguise. There is no greater embrace of this principle than an American family that looks like the world.

Instead of undermining any culture, international adoption instructs our own. Unlike the thin, quarrelsome multiculturalism of the campus, multiethnic families demonstrate the power of affection over difference. They tend to produce people who may look different from the norm of their community but see themselves as just normal, just human.

Every adoption involves a strange providence, in which events and choices are random yet decisive. "Those of us who have been adopted," says Simon, "or have adopted or want to adopt children, must believe in a world in which the tumblers of the universe can click in unfathomable ways that deliver strangers into our lives."

When a columnist has a conflict of interest, he should disclose it. My wife, born in South Korea, was adopted by an American family at the age of 6 and welcomed into a Midwestern community. I first saw her when we were both 10, and I have never recovered. Years ago, we visited the orphanage where she lived in Inchon -- orderly, cheerful, but still with dirt floors. The director said she remembered my wife. We were skeptical. But the woman went into a storage room and produced a slip of paper -- the police record relating how On Soon had been found as a newborn abandoned in the market, a note with her name pinned to her blanket.

Life is a procession of miracles, but this one stands out to me. A 6-year-old girl walks off a plane in America, speaking no English, loved by a family she had never met, destined to marry, of all people, me. A series of events that began in a Korean market created my family, my sons, my life. And now my Italian, Jewish, English, Korean boys view themselves as normal, unexceptional Americans. Which they are.

michaelgerson@washpost.com 

» Opinion Writer | Michael Gerson writes about politics, global health and development, religion and foreign policy. His column appears on Wednesdays and Fridays. He also contributes to PostPartisan.

Gerson is senior research fellow at the Institute for Global Engagement's Center on Faith & International Affairs. He served as a policy adviser and chief speechwriter to President George W. Bush from 2000 to 2006. Before that, he was a senior editor covering politics at U.S. News & World Report. His book "Heroic Conservatism" was published by HarperOne in 2007.

Transracial Adoption

Little Miracles International | Thursday, September 16, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
This video is a family's experience and advice to those considering adopting transracially.

We love when he says "There is no other face that is my mom!" What an amazing relationship these two have.

Realistic Expectations - The first year home

Little Miracles International | Tuesday, September 14, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
What a great resource for adoptive families as they put away their travel suitcases, preconceived notions, and get down to the job of parenting.  Free New booklet you can download that covers a variety of topics for newly home families.

Have you discovered that parenting isn’t what you had expected? Adoption publisher EMK Press has compiled a valuable guide to help new parents put aside preconceived notions and navigate the first year of family life. Filled with articles, lists, and resources, “Realistic Expectations” contains practical advice on everything from avoiding parent burnout to managing an unanticipated special need. Download the 50-page, no-cost guide.
National Council for Adoption (NCFA) is pleased to release Adoption Advocate No. 27, "Back to School:  A Guide to Making Schools and School Assignments More Adoption-Friendly"
 
September means back to school!  Worried about school assignments that might be more difficult for children who are adopted or are in foster care?  Adoption Advocate No. 27 provides valuable information for parents, administrators, and teachers about how to make schools and school assignments more adoption-friendly.

Download Adoption Advocate No. 27.

Melkam Addis Amet! Happy Ethiopian New Year!

Little Miracles International | Friday, September 10, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
September 11th Ethiopia welcomes in the New Year, Enkutatash!  The year 2003!!

Kazakhstan Adoption Alert

Little Miracles International | Friday, September 10, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
Kazakhstan Adoption Alert

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's Issues
September 9, 2010

A new Kazakh passport requirement has created a processing delay for all passports of about three months. This delay directly affects inter-country adoptions since adoptive children must acquire a passport before they can travel to the United States. Although applicants could previously pay a fee to expedite processing, this service is no longer available. Adoptive parents should anticipate this delay and discuss appropriate arrangements with their adoption service providers.

Previous Kazakhstan Adoption Alert: 
June 29, 2010
 
In May 2010, the Kazakhstani Embassy in Washington and Consulate General in New York stopped accepting new intercountry adoption dossiers.  The Kazakhstani government said this policy on new Kazakhstan adoption cases will remain in effect until the Hague Adoption Convention (the Convention) enters into force for Kazakhstan.  Kazakhstan has indicated that it intends to enact its implementing legislation by September 2010.  Kazakhstan will then need to issue Convention regulations before the Convention enters into force, so it is unclear when new adoptions will be processed there.

The Kazakhstani government has informed the Department of State that it will continue to process any cases for which the Kazakhstani Embassy or Consulate General had sent the prospective adoptive parents’ dossiers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs by May 25, 2010.  These will be considered transition (“non-Hague” or Form I-600) cases; the policy on new cases  will not affect the processing of these adoptions.  For more information, you may wish to check the Kazakhstani Embassy’s adoption Web pages.

At this time, prospective adoptive parents should not attempt to initiate any new adoptions in Kazakhstan.  The Kazakhstani government will not process any new “non-Hague” or Form I-600 cases.  Additionally, since the Convention has not entered into force for Kazakhstan, USCIS cannot process a Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, where the applicants indicate their intention to adopt a child from Kazakhstan.

Little Miracles International will be in prayer for any families caught up in either of these situations.

L'shana Tova!

Little Miracles International | Wednesday, September 08, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
L'shana Tova to our friends celebrating the Jewish New Year this evening.   Wishing everyone a year of health and happiness!

Uganda Adoption Information Teleconference

Little Miracles International | Saturday, September 04, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
What:  Why Uganda?  Uganda Adoption Information Teleconference
Date:  Thursday, September 9, 2010 
Time:  7:00-8:00 PM CDT
Where:  Little Miracles Adoption Teleconference Line


If you're interested in adopting from Uganda, please join us on this call!  You will learn about the Ugandan adoption process, current time-lines, children available, and most updated news. Learn about Little Miracles, and how our adoption agency works with families through the international adoption process. Little Miracles director spent significant time in Uganda and cannot wait to tell you about this program and the lovely orphaned children desperately needing homes in Uganda.  There will be a question and answer session during this call. Please email to receive dial-in information.   We would be honored to have you on this call!

Bulgaria Adoption Information Teleconference

Little Miracles International | Friday, September 03, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
What:  Why Bulgaria?  Bulgaria Adoption Information Teleconference
Date:  Thursday, September 9, 2010 
Time:  7:30-8:30 PM CDT
Where:  Little Miracles Adoption Teleconference Line

If you're interested in adopting from Bulgaria, please join us on this call!  You will learn about the Bulgarian adoption process, current time-lines, children available, and most updated news. Learn about Little Miracles, and how our adoption agency works with families through the international adoption process. There will be a question and answer session during this call. Please email to receive dial-in information.   We would be honored to have you on this call!

One of our adoptive families is returning from Bulgaria this week with her precious daughter, and we are quite excited to tell you about the adoptions in Bulgaria!

Waiting Children in Uganda Adoption Program

Little Miracles International | Wednesday, September 01, 2010 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
We currently have several waiting children ages 3 and up in the Uganda adoption program. 

Have you considered a waiting child? Grants are available to assist with the adoption of some of the older children!!  The process can go quickly and if you select a waiting child, most likely you will adopt within a year of starting!

Uganda, located in Eastern Africa is a country that is easy to travel to. If you are for the first time considering Africa as a country to adopt from, please be assured that you will love adopting in Uganda.  Your heart will be changed and a part of your family will always hold Uganda tenderly.   If there were perfect words to describe the Ugandan people those words would be: loving and friendly.

Tragically this country has been marred by years of war and AIDS, creating a humanitarian crisis with more than 2 million orphans struggling daily with extreme poverty and famine. Child headed families are the norm here, and more than half of the population is under 17 years of age. It is said that "it takes a village to raise a child," but the villages are overwhelmed with the shocking number of children in this country that are without families. This situation leaves these children vulnerable and in urgent need of a permanent solution, a forever family.

Won't you please consider adopting a waiting child today?   Please call us at (806) 351-1100 today to talk to us about Uganda Adoptions or write us an e-mail.