Adoption Blog – Children of All Nations International Adoption
Children of All Nations (CAN) and Great Wall China Adoption (GWCA) are dedicated to helping children around the world find loving and permanent families of their own in accordance with the The Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, U.S. and international laws. Our organization is reaching out to nations worldwide to place children in loving homes and to give humanitarian aid globally.
Help us spread the news about our Burundi adoption program!
There are so many children of all ages in Burundi looking to find their forever homes. Many of our families have been recently matched with their children and we would love to see more kids matched!
In our years processing adoptions running heritage tours and exchange programs, we have often been asked what it is like for Chinese adoptees in other areas around the world. So we created our Adoptee Cultural Exchange Program, A.C.E.
This exchange program provides Chinese adoptees a chance to explore their heritage and meet other children who have the same life experiences as they do all within the safe confines of a host family who also adopted a child from China.
All the American girls are very well integrated in their families and they get along really well with the Spanish girls. They are becoming very good friends.
Each family is doing different things in different parts of Spain: they are going to the beach, to the swimming pool, to the mountains, doing cultural visits… They really want the girls to have fun and enjoy their stay in our country.
Our Program Coordinator in Spain
This is one of the most unique cultural exchange and heritage tour opportunities available for a Chinese adoptee, and we are the only U.S. agency currently offering this opportunity! To learn more click the banner below!
Connecting children with their cultural heritage can be so helpful for children and your family. A great place to start is at home, and what better way than to host an exchange student!
Meet The Vitek Family!
Hosting Unai was a family decision that we made because we wanted a role model for our 6 year old son and we could not be happier with how everything turned out! Unai, was more than just a role model, he really was another family member!
Unai was a great student and had no problems adjusting to high school in the US. We were worried about how well we would be able to communicate with each other, but his English was very advanced and we had no problems. We would work on homework all together after school and always had dinner together at the end of the day. He really just meshed with our family so well. Unai was into skateboarding, surfing and skiing and was even able to teach our son how to surf after a few trips to the beach!
We have learned so much from Unai over this past year. Mainly that we have a lot of love to share with others and we are more than willing to share with the exchange students that stay with us. Our son has learned a lot too. He can speak a bit of Spanish now and is more willing to try new things. I think Unai opened our hearts to hosting and showed us the huge impact personal connections make.
Hosting an exchange student is a great way to connect over shared and new experiences. Students come to the US to study at a US public high school, and live with host families. These students are ambassadors in their host communities. Students are encouraged to share their country, and culture with their host family and their community. Plus, Children of All Nations offers its own program called Student Ambassador Exchange so you can work with the same CAN team members you already know!
Students are from nations all over the world and are between 15-18 years old and have a wide variety of interests. Students are selected for the Student Ambassador Exchange Program based on their academics and comprehensive English abilities. And Host Families can host for a few months, a semester or a full school year, so there are options that work for your families.
We get many questions from our families about the process of forming attachment and a secure bond with their adopted child. Many times, children who have been adopted will have some issues with attachment. This can either manifest in being overly clingy to everyone they meet, or on the opposite end of the spectrum, they may become distant and withdrawn. Some children may become even test boundaries with behavior, to ensure that you will still be there even if they act defiantly.
These are all very normal and expected behaviors. Children who have been adopted have often experienced some sort of trauma. It is important to acknowledge this and be prepared to work with your child on securely attaching to your family.
There are many helpful ways a parent can enforce and build secure attachment with their child, no matter their age.
1. Be consistent! Consistency yields trust, and trust helps form attachment. When your child can expect what is going to happen next, they will begin to feel a sense of stability and safety in your home. Many of these children are used to a constantly changing environment. Do not be surprised if keeping a consistent schedule is difficult at first, but keep at it! It will be worth it in the long run.
2. Give choices! Allow your child the opportunity to find their voice. Many times an adopted child will come from an environment where they have not had much say in anything, even being adopted! Letting your child have the freedom to make choices about their every day life can help produce self-confidence and enhance self-esteem. Even little choices like what color of shirt to wear can go a long way!
3. Empathize! Sometimes we forget how complex a child’s emotions can be, especially a child who has been through some sort of trauma. Kids often times do not have the words to communicate how they are feeling, so they will use undesirable behaviors such as whining, crying, yelling, lying, and aggression to display these emotions. When these things come up, it is important to process how the child is feeling with them. Let them feel your calm and unwavering presence. When you can be sit with your child with their emotions, attachment builds and strengthens.
Above all, make sure you are taking care of yourself. Many times through the adoption process parents will put self-care as their lowest priority. Who has time with all the things happening? Though it is easy to do this, it can have devastating effects. Transitioning into life with your adopted child can be extremely difficult, demanding, and straining. Making sure you have time to recharge and recenter yourself will ensure you will be the best parent possible for your kiddos.
-Bethany McWilliams, Marriage and Family Therapy, MS
If you follow GWCA/CAN regularly you know that we are fierce advocates for older child adoption.
What we hear most from people are their concerns about attachment traumas and bonding issues with older children who are adopted.
Those concerns are valid, because a lot of attachment style is formed in the first few years of life, but that does not mean creating healthy attachments is impossible with older children, in fact, it can come quite naturally in a majority of families!
A person’s brain is not yet fully developed until age 25! That means there is plenty of time to form new neural pathways and make healthy attachment bonds with an older adopted child.
Throughout the upcoming months we will focusing on different ways families can bond and healthily attach with their adoptive child, especially older children.
For more information on adoption or the attachment process in adoption please contact email@example.com or give our counselors a call at 512-323-9595!
The civil war in Burundi has been going on for 15 Years?
Because of this extended period of violence, Burundi has become one of the poorest countries in the world.
Over 70% of the country lives in extreme poverty
Half of the population has no access to drinkable water
Many children, especially orphans, are subjected to physical and sexual abuse, often becoming victims to sex trafficking.
Children of All Nations is eager to be advocates for Burundi children. If you feel called to learn more about Burundi adoption please contact us. We would love to speak with you today!
Haiti is home to over 32,000 orphans, many of whom have the diagnosis of HIV. What many people do not realize is HIV is a very manageable, treatable illness when the child is provided with the correct medicine. While these children often get looked over for adoption, they are also getting looked over for the chance of having a life that is long, healthy, and positive.
Haitian children with HIV are often ready to be adopted very quickly. Haiti has many 0-3 year old children available with this diagnosis and they all need loving, supportive, and nurturing homes. For more information on Haiti adoption please contact us.