Uganda-The Pearl of Africa Mission Trip

Mission Team 2010

Uganda Mission Team 2010

Nightlight Christian Adoptions began working with Tender Hearts Baby home in 2010.  Since that time, we have been pleased to lead 8 short term mission teams to Uganda to work with Tender Hearts.  In addition, we have had two additional churches bring their own mission teams.  Over the years, we have seen the Lord bless the work of Ken and Cathy Nganda as they care for orphans and widows in their distress. In addition to the countless orphan children Ken and Cathy have cared for, they also care for 3 widows who live on the baby home property.

In 2014, thanks to many donors but primarily Grace Life Fellowship of Hastings, NE and Providence Church of Denver, NC, we were able to see a dream realized.  Tender Hearts Baby home was moved to Mokono, Uganda where a new facility had been built to care for more children in a better environment.  This year, our annual mission trip will take place August 22, 2015 through August 30, 2015 to allow our team members to participate in the final preparations of the Grand Opening of the Tender Hearts Baby home, as well as, be present for the event on August 29, 2015.   This grand opening is a communal ceremony which is very important in Uganda.  IMG_0129The community gathers to celebrate this monumental occasion.  Also in attendance will be government officials, judges, probation officers, church members, community members and so many more.  At this event, Ken and Cathy will share the Heart of a Child mission, build relationships, and ask for the community’s support.  We are expected to have 100 to 200 people attend the grand opening.

The mission team will be working on landscaping, finishing cabinets, and decorating.  In addition, we will be ministering to those in the community through prayer, Vacation Bible School, and fellowship.  We would love to have someone skilled in videography who can bring their equipment to document the occasion and then freely give Ken and Cathy the videos.  The cost of the trip is $2,700 per person, and we are limiting our team to only 10 members.  Another church will be bringing a team to help along with our team.  We have to limit our numbers to ensure that everyone has a place to sleep.  Please prayerfully consider joining us on this trip.  Ken and Cathy would very much like to see returning team members who have invested time and money to this project over the years.

 

IMG_0144Here is a list of projects to complete both before and after the mission trip and their costs:

Lightening Arrestor-$4,000

Gazebo-$17,000

Office Furniture and Washing Machines-$9,000

Landscaping, cabinetry, finishing the guard house, smoothing and widening the road, parking lot, entrance gate sign posts, etc. $43,500

Grand Opening Event-$5,000 (food, chairs, photographer, etc.)

 

If you are unable to make the trip but would like to donate to the projects, please click the link below.  

fundraise

To request a mission trip application, please e-mail stephanie@nightlight.org as soon as possible.  For planning and fundraising purposes, the application deadline for this trip is May 22, 2015.

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Why You Should Stop Waiting and Switch to the China Special Needs Program

If you have you been waiting for a “healthy” referral from China or are signed up to receive a referral from another country and have been waiting, you may want to consider making a change.  Last year, 2,040 children entered the United States through Intercountry adoption from China.  China remains the largest Intercountry adoption program and the majority of these children are children with special needs.  However, let’s talk about what China considers special needs versus what we here in the US consider special needs.

In the United States, when we hear the term “Special Needs” we usually think of a child in a wheelchair or in a special classroom.  For the sake of adoptions, please know that special needs can certainly encompass those children, but more often than not, these children have a medical condition which made them “undesirable” in China.  First, China does not have a good support system for families who have a child with special needs. Secondly, because of their one-child policy history, most parents desire a “perfect” only child. Any medical condition, even the most minor, will cause the child to be abandoned.  This means children are available for adoption who have repairable heart conditions, cleft lip/palate, club feet, were born premature, have thalassemia, and various other repairable or manageable conditions.

China classifies their children into “Special Focus” and “non-Special Focus”.  Typically, Special Focus children have more moderate to severe special needs and the CCCWA gives us up to 3 months to match those children with families.  The non-Special Focus children are usually younger and have more minor special needs.  The CCCWA only gives us 3 weeks to match these children with families and they can only be matched with families who are logged-in and who have a valid home study and USCIS approval.

__ Pan Xue with pig art June 2011Lately, we have had much success in matching many of our families who are waiting for children with special needs, and because we have expanded our One to One partnerships and are now working with 3 orphanages, we anticipate receiving an increased number of files for children who would be considered non special focus.  These are the children who can only be matched with logged in families who have a valid immigration approval.  We want to encourage those of you waiting in the China traditional program or waiting in another country program with Nightlight to consider the special needs program.  If you are in this position, please contact us to discuss.  Nightlight desires to place waiting children into waiting families and does not desire to see families waiting in other programs.  Because of this, we are willing to credit these NCA transferring families with fees already paid to another NCA program, as much as possible, toward fees due in the China program.

For those of you who have a dossier logged-in through the traditional program, we encourage you to update your home study and apply for a new I-800A USCIS approval so that if we receive files of children with minor special needs, we can at least call you and tell you about them.  As of now, we are prohibited from matching a child with a family if the family does not have the proper government approvals to be matched.   China places this restriction because they want the children to come home to a family as soon as possible.

It can take 3 to 4 months to update your home study and immigration approval for China.  If you are also completing a dossier for China, it will likely take 4 to 6 months to get your dossier logged in so that you are ready to accept a referral.  Don’t delay getting started as soon as possible.

Once you make the decision this is something you will consider, we will have you complete a Medical Conditions Checklist and provide information to help you research various special needs which are commonly seen from China.  You and your family would have an opportunity to review these medical conditions and mark those you would be willing to consider.  When we received the file of a child which meets your preferences, we will call you to discuss and you will have the opportunity to review the file prior to accepting or declining the referral.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of switching to the China Waiting Child program from either the traditional China program or another NCA adoption program, please call or e-mail Stephanie@nightlight.org or Hannah@nightlight.org.

China Program Fees Reduced!!!

ChinaNightlight Christian Adoptions is expanding our One-to-One partnerships in China.  In anticipation of this growth, we are reducing our agency fees for the China program to a total of $8,450.  This makes our agency fees for China one of the lowest in the country.  Also, we will be offering an additional discount of $1,000 at dossier phase for any families who apply to the China program between April 14, 2015 and May 15, 2015.  We anticipate that we will soon be receiving many new files on children from these programs.  Many of these children will be non-special focus children and will only be eligible for matching with families whose dossiers are logged in with the CCCWA.  Therefore, we need qualified families to begin the process now!  The home study and dossier process can take 4 to 6 months to complete.  Families signing up now will likely have short referral wait times.

Nightlight’s China program, formerly under A Helping Hand Adoption Agency, is experienced and highly regarded.  We have been completing adoptions from China since 1995.  Our program is well established and our adoptive families are very happy.  We have an entire China department devoted to making sure your adoption is completed in a timely and efficient manner.  Many children available through the China waiting child program are relatively young and have minor or correctable needs.

Below are a few quotes from some of our families who have completed the program recently.  To begin your application, click here or call and talk with one of our China experts at 859-263-9964.  Please ask for Dana, Stephanie, or Hannah.  For more information about the program, please click here.

What families are saying about NCA…

  • The China Program Director was very helpful from the beginning of our process. She was a good listener and very sympathetic. [The rest of the staff] was also a great support and answered my concerns.  ~Ballard family
  • Thank you for all you did to help us bring home our sweet daughter! We would certainly recommend NCA to others. ~Johnson family
  • With regard to travel, NCA and their staff did a great job. We were greeted by staff when we arrived in the airport and they took care of all our needs. Alison Yu is fantastic!! ~Stone family
  • This is our second adoption. I feel that I have gotten very personalized attention and that the staff has been attentive to our individual needs. The China Program Director has been awesome and the Travel Coordinator very helpful with travel arrangements.  Definitely will recommend to others who want to adopt.  ~Wheeler family
  • The staff in China were amazing hosts and guides. There is so much going on emotionally and logistically it would be difficult to iron out all the potential kinks. The travel coordinator did an excellent job walking through all the logistics with us.  ~Zwerling familystrawn2
  • Travel arrangements were handled above our expectations. ~Sevits family
  • We feel you provided excellent service in China and preparing us for travel. Having guides every step of the trip and wiring the money was so helpful. It took some of the stress out of the way!  ~Cohen family
  • The China Team at NCA is very helpful and encouraging. ~Gray family
  • The travel [process] was wonderful…all NCA guides in China were outstanding!  ~Johnson family

What is Hosting and Why Should You Consider it?

Families often ask about the benefits to hosting.  Why should we pay thousands of dollars to bring children to the United States only to have them return to their country of origin as orphans?  In my 15 years as a social worker, I have been employed mostly in the adoption and foster care arena.  Through the years, I have witnessed so many older children languish in orphanages or bounced within the foster care system.  Why? Mostly due to fear of the unknown.  Most adoptive families have their heart in the right place when considering adoption, but in general they picture young, healthy, orphans.  They imagine the cuddle time, the playtime, the early years.  It is hard for a family to imagine cuddling and playing with a teenager.  Our dreams of a family are wrapped up in cuteness, and why not?  That is completely normal.

e 10 11bcJPGThe truth is that most orphans awaiting adoption both in the United States and around the world are older or have special needs.  Adoptive families often fear that they will not be capable of dealing with an older child’s traumatic past and some even fear they might be in danger from a child’s behavior.  Early on in my career, I worked for a Christian foster care agency.  Part of my job required me to attend weekly meetings wherein the state would share profiles of children needing placement.  I would compare my list of foster homes and try to match a profile with a family who had an open placement.  Unfortunately, agencies would vie for placement of the younger children while the older children would continue waiting in group homes or hospitals.  The older children waited, not because they weren’t ready to go into a less restrictive placement, but because there were no foster parents willing to take them.  Often the younger children available for placement had a more serious list of behaviors but because of their age, families were willing to take them rather than the older children.  Did you know that teenagers who have had a traumatic past are actually much less likely to have a violent outburst than a four year old with a traumatic past?  The reason is maturity and development.  Four year olds have not developed the self- calming skills that most teenagers have learned.  Also, a teenager can usually be reasoned with.  Of course there are exceptions and those are the stories we hear in the media.  At that previous agency, we began a campaign to find homes for teens.  The scripture we often used to recruit foster parents was Mark 9:37 “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”  Notice the scripture does not say a child between the ages of 0 and 8 years old.  In one year, we were able to increase the number of teen placements by 50%.

Here’s some more good news.  When families host an international orphan, they do so for only 3 weeks.  They get the opportunity to experience life in their home with an older child.  They get to meet this child photoand get to know him or her personally.  Hosting also gives your other children an opportunity to experience another culture and have compassion for orphans around the world.   In addition, children hosted by families get to experience life within a family which is something most of these children have never had the opportunity to experience.  When you bring a hosted child to the United States, they have many opportunities to hear the gospel and hopefully make a profession of faith.  Lastly, 95% of children hosted are permanently adopted into a home here in the United States.  You do not have to be certain you will adopt before hosting.  In fact, we prefer that you not be thinking about adoption but just about supporting an orphan and loving on them for 3 weeks.  Many hosted children are adopted by extended family members or church members of their host family.  Four years ago, I was working with a group of host children from Ukraine.  At the last minute, one of our host families backed out.  I searched desperately for another home study ready family.  A family stepped forward solely with the intention of hosting a teenager.  They had previously adopted two children who were much younger, and they had no intention of adopting a 13 year old boy.  They were, however, willing to fulfill the need.  Well, within 2 days of this child being in their home, they were moved to adopt him.  He is now 18 years old and doing exceptionally well.  I once heard another adoptive family speaking at a workshop and the adoptive father shared how his family had begun the adoption process and felt overwhelmed by deciding on race, gender, special needs, etc.  They realized that most of their parameters were set by fear and not necessarily by God.  They made the decision then and there to be open to anything.  He said, “Fear does not come from God.  It is important to know what you can and cannot handle and seek God’s guidance, but if you are making a decision out of fear, that is not from God.”

Please consider hosting one of these beautiful children.  We have $1,000 scholarships already available for every child which reduces the hosting cost to $2,000.  We also have additional needs based scholarships available for families needing assistance.  Should you decide to adopt, we will put anything you have paid to the cost of hosting toward your adoption costs.  We need families in KY and Southern California.  Please call us today at  859-263-9964  and ask for Hannah, Stephanie, or Dana.

Foster Care

Nightlight is pleased to announce the begging of our new foster care program in the California office.  For 56 years Nightlight has been a pillar of adoption services in Orange County, CA with domestic, embryo, and international adoption.  Beginning April of 2015, Nightlight is a foster family agency offering foster care certification to families who are ready to welcome a foster child into their home.  For more information about foster care, contact Amanda Schaffert or call our office.  See Our foster care webpage for more information.

A Faith Story from the Hong Kong Program

Whenever I think about David and Goliath, I am reminded that one of the reasons David had so much faith in God and was confident God would deliver Goliath into his hands was because of the many times God had done this before. In order for us to build our faith in the midst of struggle, we have to remember all the times that God has delivered us before. I have a faith building story that I want to share with you.

But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.” I Samuel 17: 34-37

MC1 In 2012 I received a profile on a waiting child from Hong Kong named “Michael”. When I first learned about Michael, he was 10 years old, and he was Nightlight’s first child matched through the Hong Kong program in September of 2012. He was matched with a family that I had previously worked with in our domestic program in South Carolina. It seemed like such a wonderful God story to have a family come forward to adopt him before I even got him on our waiting list. (Of course, God had an even bigger trophy of His grace in mind.) The adoption process in Hong Kong is long and slow. The adoptive family just 8 weeks prior to travel and without warning backed out of the adoption on 1/15/2014. In fact, I spoke with them at 1:19PM. I was devastated as Michael was now 11 ½ and would be much harder to match or so I thought.

On the same day the first family backed out, I received an e-mail from another family named George and Kim. Kim e-mailed an inquiry for Uganda. She was interested in adopting from Uganda because she had recently been on a mission trip there. I e-mailed Kim some information and scheduled a conference call with her for 1/17/14 at 11AM. I spoke with Kim on 1/17/14 at our scheduled time about the Uganda program, but Kim was most interested in an older male child. IMG_1919Our baby home only takes children up to age 6 years old, and Kim shared with me that her youngest son was 13. She desired to adopt a younger brother but not too many years younger. I then shared with Kim, Michael’s story. Kim was moved and asked me to send her Michael’s file. By 2:47PM that afternoon I had an e-mail from Kim that read:

So, I just got off the phone with George after a lengthy conversation, and we have decided that Michael seems like a very special person that we as a family can embrace and love forever. We know that we can offer him a loving and supporting home, along with companionship from a sibling close in age to him. His story really struck me, especially after you mentioned the idea behind adoption being more about not what we can get from an adoption or choosing someone specifically to fit our needs but about how we can fit the needs of a child. We can love someone forever no matter where they come from. Financially, it seems to be a bit lighter as well, and also the timing, hopefully, will be quicker from start to finish. We can pray anyway! – Kim

Needless to say, I was shocked and amazed at God’s perfect timing and answer to prayer. Although the adoption process from Hong Kong is slow, everyone agreed (including the folks in Hong Kong) to try to expedite this case because Michael had already been waiting for a year and a half. Michael now named John arrived home with his forever family on 2/7/2015.

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Timeline:

  • First family matched with Michael on 9/13/2012.
  • First family backed out on 1/15/2014 at 1:19 PM.
  • 2nd family e-mailed on 1/15/14 about Uganda at 12:58 PM
  • 2nd family committed to Michael on 1/17/14 at 2:47 PM
  • Michael (John) arrived home on 2/7/15.

Not only did God answer our prayers for Michael but He did so before we even asked, before we even knew that the first family would be backing out! We serve an amazing God, and I am so blessed to be used as an instrument in his wonderful plan to care for the fatherless. I hope that you all will be encouraged and trust Him to move mountains. I have attached a photo of John with his forever family! To God be the glory!

“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” Ephesians 3:20

Story Submitted by Lisa Prather

Pathway2Family: A New Magazine About Fertility and Adoption

cover-image2On February 25, the first issue of Pathway2Family, a new magazine about fertility and adoption went out to Ob/Gyns and Reproductive Endocrinologists around the country. The Embryo Adoption Awareness Center created the new magazine in its efforts to continue raising awareness about human embryo donation and adoption.

The magazine contains an abundance of content about maintaining hope when facing infertility, stories about life and family, and even tips about eating healthy for fertility!

Pathway2Family is available online at www.Pathway2Family.org. You’ll be able to access it via you computer or mobile device, and can even ask for a hard copy to be mailed to you.

Learn more about embryo donation and adoption at www.embryoadoption.org. If you’re interested in learning more about an embryo adoption program, check out our Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program!