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Legally adopted, not able to come home.  Babies, toddlers, and school-aged children, unable to be with their families that love them with every fiber of their being.    To anyone involved or touched by this horrible situation, this is daily life, the daily ache of not having a family member home to share life events with.  

About two hundred members of the US Congress signed a letter addressed directly to the Senate and the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  http://www.cornyn.senate.gov/public/?a=Files.Serve&File_id=1ddba82d-6c32-43a5-9a08-18f8180fff63

This direct reach-out to fellow lawmakers in DRC is powerful, and important for all adoptive families. Lawmakers in DRC are a small, elite group in an extraordinarily poor country.  However, they ALL have families members and friends  studying, living, and working in both Europe and North America. Many have significant business and personal concerns in European countries and the United States.  This means relationships with U.S. lawmakers matter both personally and professionally.

Here is the link to locate and contact your lawmakers who signed. http://www.congressmerge.com/onlinedb/

If your Senators or Representative signed it, please call, e-mail, and write with your heartfelt thanks.  Substantial work has gone into this effort, and in order to keep attention on this cause, sincerest thanks must be given.  These children are stories and faces to them now, and they must remain in the forefront with their assistance.

FREE TELECONFERENCE: Adopting from Hungary, Wednesday, 11/5/14, 7:30pm CST. 

Why Hungary?  I think all of our families who have adopted from Hungary would say they cannot picture any program best set up for transitioning a child into the family! 

We will discuss: children available, bonding process, exceptional foster care in the country, and parent criteria. This program continues to exceed family expectations - we'd love to share it with you! 

Sign up on our homepage: www.littlemiracles.org.
Join our upcoming teleconference if you are considering adopting an older child (age 5+)
Date: Wednesday, October 29th
Time: 7:30pm CST
To receive dial-in, email info@littlemiracles.org or andrea@littlemiracles.org
We look forward to having you on the call!

We are blessed each year to watch families experience the "firsts" in becoming a family.   First smile, first laugh at a family joke, first hug, first "I love you Mommy", first day of school.   Except that imagine this child gets it, gets that these firsts are precious just as you do.

They appreciate the joys you experience together, the things they master on their own.  They also recognize the challenges it took to get there, which makes it all the more special to both parent and child!   It's what makes these adoptions exceptional and touching to all who follow the journey.

Some very recent examples....Enjoy!

First couple of weeks of school note home for L's great job:
"I just wanted to send you a note to let you know how much I am enjoying having *** in my math class!! After only teaching her for 2 weeks I feel very confident saying that I believe she is one of the hardest working students I have ever had the privilege of teaching." 

Daniel Becoming a Citizen: 

First preparation for Halloween for Rami, Sebastian, and Viki:




One of the most overwhelming parts of international adoption is deciding which country fits your family best.   This is everything from the age of the child, the country culture, length of time overseas, and overall process time.   Nearly all Little Miracles families have started with an informational teleconference to help them out!

Tonight, Thursday, 10/23/14, we present Why Colombia?   
Join us at 7:30 pm CST, email us for the call-in number (andrea@littlemiracles.org), even right up to the last minute.

Adoption is not typically a vacation, but I have to say, this country does everything in it's power while you bond with your child to present amazing sights and weather :).

Looking forward to meeting you, as we walk you through it!











June 4, 2014

Invitation to follow-up Conference Call regarding the Exit Permit Suspension in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC)

The Department of State invites adoptive families and prospective adoptive families to participate in a conference call Wednesday, June 11 from 10am-11:30am EST to address families’ concerns regarding the DRC exit permit suspension. 
The call is being held in response to families’ requests for additional time following our May 16 call.  We will also address what we have learned to date regarding the latest developments reported in our May 27 adoption notice.  There will be brief remarks regarding developments followed by a question and answer period.

If you would like to send your questions ahead of the call, please send them toExitPermitSuspensionDRC@state.gov.  We will try to address as many questions on the call as we’re able, but will respond to all questions via email.

Conference Call Information:

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
10:00am EST – 11:30am EST
Calling from the United States: (800) 288-8967
Calling from Overseas: (612) 288-0340
You've made the decision.  You're starting or adding to your family.   You're called or drawn toward international adoption.   Huge decisions made, time to get going!   Oh, except you then realize that there are a LOT of countries to adopt from, and they all have different criteria, timelines, children available.........arrrrrrrgggggg.......more decisions.

That's where teleconferences and talking with adoption experts come in :).    Based on your family, your priorities, your ability to travel, we can help you narrow down the countries that work best for you.   While doing this, you can ask questions - none too small.

Tomorrow, Thursday, 9/29/14 is our ever popular How Do I Start My Adoption?   teleconference.   Do you see the photos we post of children home on our facebook page?    They nearly all started with this conference! 

Date:  Thursday, 5/29/14
Time:  12:30pm CST
Dial-in:  Please email andrea@littlemiracles.org.

If you'd like to look through our info, please fill out this link: www.littlemiracles.org/index.php?page=inforeq.

We're excited to meet you tomorrow, answer questions, and start you toward your child! 


April 29, 2014

The Embassy of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Washington informed the Department of State on April 24 that applications for visas to travel to the DRC from U.S. adoptive families may be refused “in some cases.”  Congolese officials state that adoptive families should be prepared for increased scrutiny of their visa applications as well as possible refusal of the visa citing the following:  

Reports of children adopted by U.S. families being taken without proper documentation out of the DRC:  The DRC Embassy informed the Department of State that the DRC government is aware of five U.S. families who removed their adoptive children from the DRC without exit permits issued by the Congolese General Direction of Migration (DGM).  The DRC Embassy stated that those cases are raising doubts about U.S. families’ intentions when requesting visas to visit the DRC. 

Intercountry adoptions purportedly do not conform with Congolese laws:  The DRC Embassy stated that many U.S. families have adopted or attempted to adopt from the DRC even though they already have more than two children in the home and have adopted or sought to adopt more than three Congolese children, contrary to Congolese law.  Additionally, Congolese authorities claim that some adoptive parents were attempting to go to the DRC to retrieve their adopted children without first having attended all of the Tribunal pour Enfants (Children’s Court) hearings as required by Congolese law. 

Congolese officials have said that the discovery of such irregularities, among others, is part of the reason the suspension must stay in place while they review the adoption process.  The Department of State notes that adoption cases are not always required by Congolese authorities, and in particular, the Congolese courts, to meet all Congolese legal standards.  As far as the Department of State understands, the requirement to attend all Tribunal pour Enfants hearings is new.  The Department of State’s page on adopting from the DRC presents the steps regarding Congolese legal and procedural requirements.  Requirements can and do change, so we recommend prospective parents check regularly for updates concerning the legal and procedural requirements for adoption.

The Department of State regrets that U.S. families and their Congolese children are in this predicament.  We remain committed to seeking a resolution as quickly as possible so that adopted children can join their families in the United States.  However, as noted in the Department of State’s April 16 Adoption Notice, intercountry adoption is a very sensitive subject for the Congolese people and government, and Congolese authorities have reacted negatively when pressured on the subject.  We strongly encourage U.S. adoption service providers and adoptive families to adhere to best practices and all aspects of Congolese law. 

Please direct questions related to this notice, or a specific adoption from the DRC, to the Department of State, Office of Children’s Issues at 1-888-407-4747 within the United States, or 202-501-4444 from outside the United States.  Email inquiries may be directed to AskCI@state.gov

Dept of State 2013 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption

Little Miracles International | Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | Links to this post | 0 Comments
On Friday, March 21st, the US Department of State published its 2013 Annual Report on Intercountry Adoption.   

2013 Report Highlights
·         IA by US citizens decreased by 18% vs. 2012
·         This decrease is largest since the 27% drop in 2009, and the second largest in the past 10 years
·         IA of US born children decreased by 15% vs. 2012
·         The average number of days to complete a Convention adoption was 310 days (from submission of 800a application to visa issuance)
·         For the 8th straight year, DOS has not debarred an accredited agency or person

Also ABC News posted a report to go along with this report:  

Foreign Adoptions by Americans Decline Sharply

March 11, 2014

The Department of State is not currently aware of delays in the intercountry adoption process in Ukraine following former President Yanukovych’s February 22 departure from Kyiv and the Ukrainian Parliament’s establishment of a new government on February 27. 

The Department has received information from the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that it remains open and that delays are not currently expected in the issuance of Ukrainian passports to adopted children beyond the normal 10 day processing timeline. 

 The U.S. Embassy remains open and is providing full consular services including issuance of immigrant visas to adopted children. Consular officers at the U.S. Embassy are actively engaged and in direct communication with those adoptive parents who may be affected by the current situation. U.S. families in Ukraine completing an intercountry adoption are encouraged to communicate directly with the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv at KyivAdoptions@state.gov. 

Additional questions regarding intercountry adoption may also be directed to the Office of Children’s Issues at AskCI@state.gov. For more information regarding the current situation in Ukraine and the latest travel warning please visit the Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website at travel.state.gov.

Are you a single parent, or are you single and considering becoming a parent? Join us for this teleconference!

Date: Thursday, March 6th, 2014
Time: 7:30 - 8:30 pm CST
Place: LMI's Teleconference Line (Email for Dial-In Number)

Our discussion will center around the countries open and supportive to singles. We'll talk about parent criteria, and program process. We'll also present some things we'd like you to think about as you decide to build your family, unique to singles.

And of course, there isn't a teleconference without discussing the children available for adoption in these countries :) We will not only detail the typical child available in the programs, but also how the waiting child program works.

Meet Emily and Jabin. In March, 2011, she attended our Teleconference for singles considering adoption. She took that leap of faith and was early on in the paperwork, when she laid eyes on the child who she knew would be her son. In just over a year, life had changed for both Emily and Jabin!!!

Looking forward to meeting you tomorrow evening, and help you find your Little Miracle!!

                           
Consulate New York - Kazakhstan











The Director of the Cultural Center of Kazakhstan, Alia Alhan, invites all families who have adopted from Kazakhstan to celebrate the Kazakh Culture in NYC. 

Date: March 8th, 2014. 

Time:  4:00pm 
Place:  244 West 54th Street, NYC (between 8th Ave and Broadway in Manhattan)

On the agenda...Dombra playing, traditional light refreshments, and  activities for the children.    While the event is free, there is limited space.   If you are interested in attending with your family, please email ccknewyork@gmail.com.    

As a parent of two Kazakh children, I have found these events to be wonderful to connect with other families.   If you attend, please let us know how you enjoyed it!