Following this week's amazing news from Show Hope, I think it's a good time to indulge in a little celebration of all the organizations helping to make Hannah's* adoption a reality. If you are looking for someone to help you along in your adoption journey, all of these organizations come with my highest recommendation.
On the Journey with Me:
My journey began at Oasis Haven - the amazing children's home Hannah currently calls home where I had the opportunity to serve and work alongside wonderful and dedicated individuals while I lived in South Africa. Through the love and care of committed house parents and support staff, Oasis Haven provides home and family for children who have been utterly abandoned.
Right now, Oasis Haven continues to care for Hannah well while preparing her for the upcoming adoption.
When we began exploring the best way for me, a foreigner, to adopt a South African child, we received wonderful advice from Wandisa Adoption Agency. Wandisa (Zulu and Xhosa) translates to "one who adds to the family." They are the first Child Protection Organization to be accredited by the South African Government to facilitate national and intercountry adoptions in terms of South Africa's Children’s Act.
On Wandisa's advice, I moved back to the US to pursue an intercountry adoption. They are currently serving as my advocate in South Africa, petitioning the South African government for permission to adopt Hannah, and will facilitate the process when I travel to bring her home.
Wandisa also linked us up with their US partner and my adoption agency Bethany Christian Services. Bethany is phenomenal in what they do, and I quite honestly can't praise them enough. They provide a number of services, including both national and international adoptions. I am incredibly thankful for my adoption specialists Catherine Lafler and Sara Ruiter who have answered so many questions and calmed so many fears with such amazing grace.
Bethany will continue to be part of the process until Hannah is home.
Because Bethany does not have offices in Texas, they will then hand the process back over to Children's Connections, Inc who conducted my home study. Children's Connections did a great job managing the craziness of my home study. Getting all of the "i"s dotted and "t"s crossed for someone just moving back to the States was not easy, and I'm exceptionally grateful to everyone there for making it happen.
Like Bethany, Children's Connections provides a number of adoption services including support for unplanned pregnancies and embryo adoption. Children's Connections will conduct our post placement reports and help us transition into being a family once Hannah is home.
Supporting the Journey:
Receiving the first major grant of $15,000 from HelpUsAdopt.org completely changed everything and, for me, made the adoption feel like a reality.
For good reason, intercountry adoption is expensive. HelpUsAdopt.org is committed to "building families one grant at a time" by providing adoption aid to families and individuals. Although they cannot help every family, HelpUsAdopt.org is committed to helping as many families as possible.
After receiving the grant from HelpUsAdopt.org, I was completely awed this week when we got news of the $8,000 grant from Show Hope. Like HelpUsAdopt.org, Show Hope cannot give to every family who applies, so to receive this grant is a huge honor I hope to be worthy of.
Show Hope was founded by Christian music artist Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth, who have adopted several children from China and are big supporters of adoption. In addition to adoption aid, Show Hope supports orphan care worldwide and mobilizes the Church towards orphan care and adoption.
I am so incredibly grateful to these organizations and the individuals who represent them. (Oasis Haven, Bethany, Children's Connections, HelpUsAdopt.org and Show Hope all take donations to support the work they do to bring families together. I know all would appreciate your financial support.)
There are so many amazing organizations out there supporting adoption and children waiting to be adopted. As I get linked up with them, I'll share them here. Also, check out the Global Orphan Emergency and Adoption Resources pages for more resources.
*Hannah is a pseudonym. In order to protect her identity until she is fully and legally mine, I use "Hannah" in all online activity regarding my someday daughter and her adoption.
Please consider helping us raise the last bit of Hannah's adoption fees:
1. Buy a t-shirt from AdoptionBug.com.
2. Buy coffee from JustLoveCoffee.com.
3. Send a check to Oasis Haven US: (Your gift through Oasis Haven US is tax deductible.)
PO Box 28362
San Diego, CA
*Please write "adoption support" on the memo line.