Life is a Gift

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Most people rarely consider our very life as a work of God. In fact, we rarely think about life at all (we’re born, grow up and die). Many folks sadly believe an unborn baby isn’t a human life. Atheist Richard Dawkins tweeted back in 2013 that an unborn baby is less human than a pig! [March 13, 2013].

As Christians, we affirm what God’s Word reveals to us about when a baby becomes human life. Scripture tells us that God knows us before He forms us in the womb (Jeremiah 1:5). In Psalm 139:13-16 says,

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed. [New Living Translation]

God clearly instructs us that unborn babies are human at the time of conception. Are some people really more human than others? Of course not! God’s Word is clear: everyone, even unborn babies, are made in the image of God. That’s the message our culture needs to hear as America this month ponders the devastating effects of the 1973 Roe v Wade U.S. Supreme Court Decision which legalized abortion: the loss of over 55,000,000 human lives to abortion. Today join us in prayer and action to create a more life-affirming nation, promoting alternatives to abortion, and changing the culture that sees abortion as necessary.

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Host a child from China, Bulgaria, Colombia, or Kyrgyzstan this summer!  Nightlight, in cooperation with KidSave, will be bringing kids from these four countries to different parts of the country.  Come Saturday, Jan 17, 2015, from 11am to 12 pm to our CA office to learn more.  Click here to learn about hosting an orphaned child.

Part 2: Salem Family Answers Common Embryo Adoption Questions

It’s January 2015, and for Adéye Salem, that means she’s less than a month away from the frozen embryo transfer that she and her husband have been preparing months for.

Adéye recently braved the cold weather and made another video to answer your questions about embryo adoption. In this video, she answers questions about their decision to adopt embryos through open adoption, as well as what their plans are if no babies are born from the process.

Check out the video below:

Learn more about Salem Family’s journey and the challenges that they’ve faced on the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center’s blog!

Part 1: Salem Family Answers Common Embryo Adoption Questions

Adeye and AnthonyAnthony and Adéye Salem are working on a series of videos to answer your questions about embryo adoption. In the first video, they answer questions about:
Age – Are they too old for embryo adoption?
Success Rate – Why did they choose embryos that have a 20-30% chance at life?
Family Size – How they manage life with nine children, and how will they do it with even more children?
Medication – What kinds of medication will Adéye have to take leading up to the FET?

See the full video and watch for their shout out to Snowflakes®:

As their mid-January Frozen Embryo Transfer nears, the couple will release more videos to answer your questions. Visit Adéye’s blog and leave questions in the comments for their upcoming videos!

The Famous, the Adopted

What do Nelson Mandela, Faith Hill, Steve Jobs and Nancy Reagan all have in common? Of course, they’re all famous and have left a mark on the world in one way or another. But there’s one thing that you may not know about them – they’re all adopted.

There’s another person you may have heard of, but you may not know that he was adopted – Bill Clinton. The 43rd President of the United States has been quoted as saying, “Adoption gives children who have been orphaned, abandoned, or abused a precious second chance at happiness; a chance to love and be loved and to reach their full potential in a secure, supportive environment.”

This video, created by CatholicVote shows people that have reached their full potential because of adoption. It’s one of our favorites.

We’ll never know for sure where each of these people would be had they not been adopted, but it’s safe to say that they might not be where they are now. These visionaries, revolutionaries, innovators leaders, communicators, achievers, and thinkers all ended up being the people they are, partially because of the people who adopted them. It makes you wonder, what the estimated 153 million orphans in the world will achieve in their lives. Just imagine.

What’s Your Best Option – Donor Eggs or Embryo Adoption?

Couples dreaming of the opportunity to become parents may experience difficulty in conceiving a child naturally. These couples often turn to alternative methods, such as in vitro fertilization, to help make that dream come true.

In vitro fertilization can be a pricey and time-consuming process – especially if you are faced with purchasing human eggs to create embryos. There are a limited number of women willing to sell their eggs. And on top of that, there are high standards that egg donors must meet to be deemed acceptable by egg donor agencies. Women with excellent school grade point averages, college entrance exam scores, and athleticism can be compensated up to $40,000 for their eggs. Even before a couples knows that a donor is going to be able to produce enough eggs for a successful in vitro fertilization process, much of their money is already spent.

If a family has unlimited time and resources in vitro fertilization may be a worthwhile option, though many couples simply don’t have access to unlimited financial resources. A better alternative for those couples is embryo adoption. More than 600,000 embryos are currently in frozen storage across the U.S., and many of them have been donated for adoption by a couple that has already been through the process of in vitro fertilization. The donors have completed their family – they want to give another couple the opportunity to become parents, and their remaining embryos the chance at life.

The process of adopting an embryo is often more affordable than in vitro fertilization. Embryos are not bought and sold – instead they go through an adoption process similar to the one offered here at Nightlight. The costs involved with an embryo adoption usually involve an agency fee and the costs of the home study and medical procedure. Learn more about the Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program.

China Program – Immediate Needs

I know many of you share our concerns about providing care and finding homes for orphans. It’s been a busy week as there is a lot going on with the China program concerning the needs of numerous children in our partner orphanages. As Director of Nightlight’s China program, please allow me to introduce to you several children for whom we have advocated this week. Please take a few moments to meet these precious kids, pray for their needs and that they find a forever family, consider adopting one of these children, and/or donate toward their care

*Some names have been changed to protect identities. Other children’s English advocacy names are being used as I share their stories.

April Brooke Medical Team

Brooke shown with April, her nannie,
and two caring doctors in China

 

BROOKE – Brooke is a 9.5 month old beautiful baby girl who desperately needs a liver transplant.  She lives in one of our partnership orphanages and needs urgent medical treatment.  Initially, we tried to get her into New Day Foster Home in Beijing for treatment, however, they would not accept her.  The orphanage director agreed to allow her to come to the US for treatment but the provincial government would not agree.  Our next plan is to expedite her adoption file so that she can find a family and come here to be cared for by her forever family and receive treatment.  We are heavily advocating for Brooke on various social media sites and continue to search for a home for her.  This week, Brooke is in a larger hospital undergoing tests to determine the severity of her liver damage and receiving much needed care to help while she awaits a family.  If you are interested in donating toward the needs of Brooke’s current hospitalization and testing as well as preparation of her file – Donate Here

Liu Juan Juan (6)

KY office Executive Director, Lisa Prather,
shown with Cristina from a visit
to China in May, 2014

CRISTINA – Cristina is another little girl in one of our partnership orphanages.  Right before the Chinese National Holiday she underwent surgery to remove a lump from her backside which had appeared and was causing pain. I learned over the weekend that the tumor was malignant and had to share that devastating news with the family who is in the middle of the travel process to bring her home.  We continue to gather facts to determine her diagnosis and prognosis while the family makes a tough decision with very little information.  We have requested that the orphanage run additional tests which include a CT scan, an MRI and blood tests so that the family can make an informed decision concerning her prognosis. We are collecting information to see what the costs of these tests will be.  If you would like to help with these expenses – Donate Here

ANDREW – Andrew is a 2.5 pound premature boy who came into one of our one-to-one partnerships over the weekend.  The orphanage is not equipped to care for such a tiny baby.  The U.S. physical therapist working in the orphanage has done an excellent job trying to teach them that the baby must not go 10 hours through the night without food, that he requires skin-to-skin kangaroo care and that propping his bottle with a cut nipple is unsafe and harmful to his health and development.  At first, the orphanage was not willing to make exceptions however the director agreed to finding a foster mother to care for him.  April bought supplies and trained the foster mother to care for him correctly.  At the same time we began talking to Little Flowers, a foster care facility in Beijing who specializes in caring for premature infants.  The foster mother has done an excellent job caring for Andrew and Little Flowers finally had a bed open up and will accept him!  The orphanage is transporting him from southern China to Beijing this weekend so he can be cared for by Little Flowers. The cost of two chaperones to travel from Southern China to Beijing, including flights, food and lodging, are estimated at $1,500.00.  To help with these costs -  Donate Here

DEXTER & TIMOTHY – Dexter’s file was added to our individual agency list at the request of a family who was considering his adoption after seeing advocacy of him for many months.  After they had made the decision and been approved by our agency to adopt Dexter, we went in to lock his file last Friday afternoon and it was GONE!  The China program director searched everywhere – individual list, shared list, children released files.  Honestly, based on the grim reports we had received of his deteriorating health, we were concerned that he had passed away.  The CCCWA had experienced some computer problems but luckily, worked last Saturday and were able to find his file to put back on our list.  Fortunately, neither I nor his prospective adoptive parents had to go the entire weekend not knowing!  This experienced adoptive family has been given the rare approval to adopt two children at the same time.  Both Dexter and Timothy appear to have metabolic disorders and are very small for their ages.  Dexter, at age 2 years and 8 months weighs that of a 5.5 month old.  Timothy, at nearly 5 years old weighs the same as an average 11 month old.  We are working with the family to expedite both adoptions.  With adopting two children brings additional expenses.  If you are interested in assisting this family specifically, please contact me directly at dana@nightlight.org.

beiliu kids in walkers

April has many of the children in the orphanage
out of their cribs and enjoying the sunshine!

CHENG – Baby Cheng is a little boy who received care through Little Flowers for a severe heart defect.  We successfully expedited his adoption because he needs to be in the United States for further treatment.  His mother is currently in China traveling to bring him home while his father remained in the US with their four other children adopted from China.  Our prayer is that Baby Cheng will remain healthy through the stress of travel and with the transition into a new family.  Pray for Cheng’s mother as she is having to give medication around the clock and is exhausted.  We pray for a successful family reunion and transition and hope for a good report once he is examined by physicians in the United States.  Halfway through the trip, Baby Cheng is doing great!

KATHERINE* – Katherine arrived home 1.5 years ago from China.  She is nearly 3 years old.  She and her parents were on vacation in Myrtle Beach, SC when her mother “Kay*” became severely ill and underwent emergency surgery.  Luckily, Katherine’s paternal grandparents were also vacationing with them.  Kay was in ICU for a while and had trouble being weaned from the ventilator.  I received a phone call from Kay on Sunday afternoon letting me know what had happened and to share with me that their daughter had been in the care of grandparents back in Kentucky for a month.  At the time I spoke with Kay she was still in the hospital but was hopeful that she could return home soon.  Katherine had returned to Kentucky with her grandparents and had not seen either parent for one month.   Kay returned home to KY on Tuesday.  Please pray that she continues to heal. Please also pray that Katherine will continue to show resilience and that the separation from her parents caused by this emergency will not be detrimental to a wonderful attachment which has already been formed.

HAILEY – Hailey arrived home in the US with her parents in August.  She was adopted from one of our one-to-one partnerships and is currently 2.5 years old.  She received her first surgery on Monday to repair her cleft lip.  The surgery went well and she’s doing great.  We can’t wait to see her new smile but, like her family, had fallen in love with her original sweet smile.  Pray that her recovery is quick and remember her as she will be undergoing additional surgery in December.

APRIL – Please continue to pray for April Clark, a doctorate level physical therapist who is working on a part-time basis at one of our One-to-One Partnerships in Southern China.  April’s heart has been broken this week for Brooke and for Andrew as well as the other children who are living in less than optimal circumstances.  She is doing an amazing job of helping care for the least of these while also fighting a system who does not always value the life of an orphan.  I can tell, through speaking with April, she is overwhelmed and saddened, yet continues to see the light of Jesus through her work.  April has extended her stay in the orphanage city this week to help with the care of both Brooke and with transporting Andrew.   It is a true blessing that we have April on the ground in China caring for these children!  Without her inside these walls, we are convinced that some of these children would not have survived.  Because of her, they are given HOPE!  Please pray that April’s spirits will be lifted as she has had a tough week.  We pray that she will be able to see the good works which are being done through her in the name of Jesus.  April has taken an unpaid leave of absence from her job as a Physical Therapist in a major hospital.  Nightlight has committed to financially supporting April for the work she is doing at the orphanage.  Please consider giving a tax-deductible donation toward our One-to-One Partnership program so that we can continue to support April for the excellent opportunity and extra care she is providing to these sweet children. – Donate Here.  To follow April’s blog, go to: www.glory2one.blogspot.com

Robert 1

Sweet Robert

ROBERT – Robert is the little guy we had transferred from our partnership orphanage to New Day Foster Home in Beijing for treatment of hydrocephalus.  We continue to search for a family for Robert.  He is doing wonderfully at New Day.  See for yourself by clicking HERE!

CAMERON – Cameron was a little boy identified when April first arrived in Beiliu as needing additional care.  He was tiny and showing signs of Failure to Thrive.  He was accepted at Haven of Hope and is now thriving in their care.  Cameron is being fostered by an American family living in China.  We pray that his file can soon be prepared so that he can be joined with a forever family!  Please pray that the orphanage will consider preparing his file.  The cost of file preparation for our agency is $200.  If you would like to give toward this, click HERE!

CHILDREN FOR WHOM WE CONTINUE TO ADVOCATE:

Corbin, Jonah, Robert, Trey, John, Amber, Stephen, Jason and Andi

Please pray that Nightlight Christian Adoptions can locate families for each of these beautiful kiddos!

To view information about the children, please go to: http://www.nightlight.org/waiting-children/

NEW FILES

This past week, we received two new files. Both files have been presented to families for review.  We pray that each family will receive a good report from the doctors who are reviewing the file and feel a peace about accepting the referral so they can move forward to bring both children home quickly.

CHILDREN WHO ARE STILL WAITING TO COME HOME

Please remember the children who have already been matched. Most families are either waiting for their Letter of Acceptance or in the travel process and will be traveling soon.  Some continue to work on their home studies and dossiers.  We pray that these children will be well cared for as they await their parents’ arrival.  We also pray for smooth transitions into their new families.

When we are dealing with crisis, we sometimes get behind on regular tasks. Fortunately, I have Hannah Walker as an assistant to make sure that doesn’t happen.  We continue to diligently search for matches for waiting families and work extended hours when China adds children to the shared list.  Our China program continues to grow and our matching numbers have increased greatly this year.  We remain committed to both our waiting families and especially to the children for whom we advocate and serve through our partnership programs in China.  While prayer is always appreciated, our monetary needs at this time are great, especially when we have so many children who require special care.  We ask that you please consider donating to our One-to-One Partnership programs so that we can ensure that each of these children receive the care they deserve.

PLEASE GIVE TODAY BY CLICKING HERE!

 

 

Three Different Journeys to Parenthood, No Greater Joy

Family keeps growing through embryo adoption

Meet Adéye and Anthony Salem – an incredible couple from Northern Colorado.

Are you thinking, “What’s special about Adéye and Anthony?”

Through the years, they’ve built a beautiful family together – a family with nine amazing children; three biological sons, and six adopted sons and daughters, some of whom have special needs. Now, they have a new destiny – one involving human embryos. Adéye and Anthony have been matched with four embryos through the Snowflakes® Frozen Embryo Adoption Program at Nightlight Christian Adoptions.

Why did they choose embryo adoption? Learn more about them, their family, and their decision:

Adéye and Anthony would like to share their journey with you. Follow along on social media – both through Nightlight, as well as the Salem family’s personal pages.

Nightlight:

Online
Blog
Facebook
Twitter
Pinterest

Salem Family:

Adéye’s Blog
Anthony’s Blog
Facebook
Instagram

 

How Embryo Donation Impacts the Donor’s Life

Couples who have pursued in vitro fertilization treatments (IVF) know that sometimes one embryo is not enough. Doctors will often transfer multiple embryos to increase the chances of a successful pregnancy. Any embryos that remain are frozen. If the couple has remaining embryos in frozen storage when their family building is complete they will then need to decide what to do with them.

Have you ever thought about donating your remaining embryos? You could give another couple an amazing gift: the opportunity to become parents, to bring life into the world, and to lovingly raise a child. Tom and Annabelle wanted to give their six remaining embryos an opportunity at life. Watch their story to hear about how they decided to place their embryos for adoption.

Embryo donation can be a very emotional experience, and feeling a wide variety of emotions is perfectly normal. While you’ll feel excited that you are offering another family the opportunity to become parents, you may be apprehensive about who will be receiving your embryos. You might be scared, elated, happy, nervous…or a mixture of all of those feelings at once. That’s why it is important to work with an agency who understands the feelings you are experiencing and allows you to be a part of the process of choosing a family for your embryos.

Work with a respected, experienced adoption agency – The Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. Our experts understand the unique emotions that come with embryo donation. Visit our website to learn more: www.Snowflakes.org.

New Webinars Focus on Genetics and Adoption – Including Donor Egg/Sperm/Embryo

Family CookingWhen a couple discovers they will not be able to have a child that is genetically related to one or both of them how do they begin to deal with that loss?  There will be no, “she has your eyes” or “he has grandpa’s nose.” A myriad of other emotions attached to loss and sorrow will come.

These genetic losses are experienced by both families pursuing traditional adoption and embryo adopting families.

In addition, when you adopt a child, either a child who has already been born or a child you give birth to through embryo adoption there are some clues you can learn about successful parenting based on the genetic make-up of your child.  Interested in hearing more?

Register today for the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center’s two newest webinars being held in October and a repeat performance in November!

Part 1: Grieving the Loss of a Genetic Child

Part 2: Understanding Genetics for Adoption Success