Two years ago my wife and I adopted a girl named Aidana from the nation of Kyrgyzstan. The adoption required three trips to the country, so we had to say goodbye twice, for a few months each time. Aidana was five years old at the time and she was impatient to join our family. Repeatedly she asked our in-country representative, Saule, “When are my parents coming?” Saule assured her, “Soon. I just need to fill out some more paperwork.” Frustrated, Aidana said, “I’m not paperwork! I’m a person!” Those words have stuck with me as we work to get hundreds of kids adopted each year. They are not paperwork…they are real children in desperate need of permanent, loving families. Aidana’s comment reminds us of the urgency and importance of our mission. When I began at Nightlight six years ago, one of our board members, Betty Burnett, said “I believe Nightlight’s best days are ahead.” Honestly, I had many doubts about that. We were facing the impending end of a large government grant that represented 30% of our budget at the time. At the same time, our largest adoption program, Russia, closed the door to all international adoption. That was 2012, and it was a low point for our agency. But looking back, Betty’s words were accurate…even prophetic! In the last 6 years, Nightlight has grown to nine state offices, offering nearly half of the nation’s population domestic adoption and birthmother counseling services. Our previous president, Ron Stoddart, forged relationships with other adoption agencies giving Nightlight a reputation of trust and competence. That paved the way for mergers with 5 other Christian adoption agencies. We are now working in more countries than ever before, with adoptions in progress in 16 nations. Our Snowflakes® program continues to be the world’s leader in embryo adoption. Our staff has grown to 100 passionate, capable employees, and, most important, we are setting records each year with the number of families served, and the number of adoptions completed!
Twelve kids from Ukraine. Twelve from China. Seventeen from Colombia. These are the kids Nightlight has committed to find host families for this summer. During the month of July, kids from these three countries will spend a few weeks with a loving family , and possibly find an adoptive home! If you would like to host, please see more information on our hosting webpage.
We were excited to get started on our adoption through China’s Special Needs Program, and we dove into the mountain of paperwork. When we filled out our special need checklist (special needs we were willing to accept), we checked all of the easy stuff, things we were comfortable with, but I knew in my heart that God was going to push us out of our comfort zone. I prayed that we would be able to say yes to whatever He had in store for us. In July of 2014, we said yes to a beautiful 2 year-old girl with Spina Bifida, and yes, that was out of our comfort zone. She had surgery at birth and everything seemed like a successful repair. We would not know for sure until we got her home, but we were ready for whatever came our way. We named her Jennifer Lynn and fell in love with her while we waited. We were scheduled to travel to China in December and were excited she would be home by Christmas.
On October 11th, our world stopped when we found out Jennifer had cancer. Doctors in China had recently removed a malignant tumor, and the orphanage director wanted to know if we wanted to continue the adoption. Needless to say, cancer was way out of our comfort zone, but we spoke with doctors and prayed about our decision. For the rest of the story, and more stories like this, click on the link above.
The iron curtain had just fallen and Ron Stoddart had begun facilitating adoptions from Russia when Dr. James and Marianne Nixon learned about the orphaned children who were finding homes in the US. Ron was active in Trinity Lutheran Church in Whittier, California where he had met James and Marianne. Their shared passion for helping orphaned children led them to include Nightlight in their trust over 20 years ago. No one could have predicted what a tremendous and ongoing difference that decision would make. Read more about this story, and many others at the link above.
My husband and I started the adoption process 3 years ago after we had tried to conceive on our own for 5 years and were unsuccessful. We started with one agency in CO, moved to CA and since our agency didn’t transfer we met Nightlight Christian Adoptions in Orange County. We were very close to getting matched with a baby after a birth mother met us, but right before she gave birth she had a change of heart. This was a very hard reality that my husband and I had to endure and the pain of telling all of our family and friends who had been rooting for us was almost unbearable. My husband’s job moved us back to CO and we met Meaghan through the Nightlight office in Loveland. We decided that we wanted to foster to adopt because we wanted to be parents so bad and knew there were over 200 kids alone in the state of CO who were needing forever families. We worked with Meaghan to get all of our trainings and paperwork done as quickly as we could. She would call us to give us updates about potential kiddos. The waiting was short but to me it felt forever! In January, Meaghan answered our prayers. She called me at work to say that she had a little guy in mind but we would have to take him the very next day! We knew nothing about him but we so badly wanted to find out! We took the leap of faith and told Meaghan we would love to bring this little boy into our home. We shopped like crazy the night before to get ready for him and had to child proof our house! The next day we waited for him to show up and instantly fell in love! He walked right into our home and acted like he had been there a hundred times! He has been with us for only a few weeks and we feel like we have never been without him. God answered our prayers in more ways than we could ever imagine. I truly believe we had to go through so much heart ache to receive our little miracle. Thank you Meaghan and thank you Nightlight! We are now the family we always dreamed we would be!! Read this story and many others in our Winter 2015 Newsletter on the link above.
chance? What about him, Little Cheng? Shouldn’t he have a chance at life?” Well, Pat just looked at me and said, “Find out if he has a file.” So I emailed Dana Woods at Nightlight. We just said to each other, no matter what happens, no matter how long he is with us, we want him to be our son. We asked God to close or open doors because He is the one who determines families and which children become ours. To read the rest of the story, and more, click on the link above.
I always have felt a calling to adopt. In fact after my first in vitro success and subsequent miscarriage we attended an adoption seminar at Nightlight Christian Adoptions. I just wanted to open all doors. I admired good friends of Ryan’s family who fostered and adopted three children after their three biological children were nearly grown. I admired good friends of mine who after struggling with infertility adopted a baby boy and later adopted two more babies. I admired other good friends of ours who also struggled with infertility. Rather than embark on the traditional adoption journey, they opted for snowflake adoption. I’ll never forget her calling me to share the news that not only were they pregnant, but pregnant with twins! I had never heard of snowflake adoption until our friends went through it.
“Klusa Nakts, Svēta Nakts:” that’s “Silent Night, Holy Night” in Latvian. In partnership with Project 143 and Every Child Has a Name, Nightlight brought thirteen children to the US for a winter tour. This tour was different in many ways from our past host programs. The kids were here for a whole month! Also, our families were dispersed over a wide geographic area, including three families in Temecula and one in Colorado. However, it was similar in many ways as well: the children had an unforgettably fun experience in a supportive host family environment. And while they were soaking in the love, they were also implicitly reminding the rest of us about the needs of orphaned children. What’s more, each family was blessed to have shared this special time with them.
This year Nightlight has continued to create a legacy of uniting waiting children with loving families. Read our annual report to see how Nightlight got more kids adopted!
Nightlight is partnering with Project 143 to bring a dozen children from Latvia (northwest of Russia) to Southern California for a winter orphan tour from December 15 to January 12.
The California summer picnic and reunion is approaching soon: July 20. Adoptive parents Mark and Kathy found a birth mother on the other side of the country, and Nightlight helped bring them together.
Eric and Corey’s Story: Our adoption journey has been one initiated by loss, sorrow, surrender, and deep pain, but has produced joy, redemption, healing, and a much deeper sense of thankfulness to our God. We have learned so much through this journey, but more than anything we have seen God carry us through and fulfill His promises showing us over and over His faithfulness, goodness, and love.
By any measure, 2012 has been a memorable year – and it isn’t over yet. I beleive that “God cause all things to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose” (Rom 8:28).
Supporters of the Tender Hearts Baby Home in Uganda raised $11,500 at the Vivian’s Hope Fund Raiser, others are planning a mission trip in May, 2013, and others recently returned after raising $20,000 for a well at the orphanage. In addition, read about a recent miraculous snowflake story!
On June 9th, Natalie Gomez celebrated her 8th birthday, and she had a party. But instead of gifts, Natalie asked her friends to make a donation to the orphans in the world through Orphan Galaxy. Six years ago, Dan and Denise Gomez brought Natalie home from St. Petersburg, Russia – in fact they picked her up at her baby house on Father’s Day; a gift that Dan will never forget…
Family Album, Fall 2010
It would be nice if there was a way we could demonstrate to our children how fast time really passes when you get older. When you are 14, you think time crawls at a snail’s pace as you wait for such momentous milestones as getting your driver’s license, graduating from high school, hearing from that special friend who has ignored you for more than an hour and, of course, being able to make all of your own decisions without your parents’ interference. Then comes early adulthood, followed by middle age, followed by late middle age, followed by later middle age, followed by …. early post-middle age and .. well let’s stop there. My point? The year 2010 is flying by and there is still so much to do.
Email Update, August 2010
The summer has flown by–with tours, reunions, garage sales, family vacations–and now the kids are getting ready to go back to school. We have enjoyed every minute of it and loved seeing lots of our families at our reunions.
Email Update, July 2010
The Summer Tours are arriving this week! The children from Taiwan arrive on Tuesday and the children from Russia on Wednesday.
Email Update, June 2010
Summer is upon us and with it come plans for summer vacations, trips to beaches, picnics in the park, and a more relaxed time with friends and family. We hope we’ll get to see many of you at our picnic in July in Southern California.
Family Album, Winter 2010
As 2009 drew to a close, we were facing the typical financial shortfall and the prospects of ending the year in the red. But once again, God sent you to help. Your generosity enabled us to finish the year well and start 2010 with optimism and encouragement. We had 130 friends and supporters step up to help during our year end fundraising appeal. Although the amounts varied, the generosity and encouragement sent with each gift was a tremendous blessing to us. And lest we not get the message that God was behind these results – let me share one story with you…
Family Album, Fall 2009
Sculls, or racing shells, are long and narrow row boats used in competitive racing. Typically the races involve 2, 4 or 8 rowers. More than the speed of the boat, the more critical element of the race is to keep the scull going in a straight line – and that requires teamwork. One rower can cause the scull to veer off course…
Email Update, August 2009
We wanted to share with you some of the exciting news that is taking place at Nightlight. First of all, our headquarters’ office is moving on October 1st from Fullerton to Anaheim Hills. We also want to update you on our successful 2009 Taiwan and Ukraine Summer Tours and share ways in which you may become involved in our work…
Family Album, Spring 2009
Well, after selecting a title for this letter (“The Future of Adoptions”), I realized that I probably chose a larger plate than I had intended. So we will try to make this an appetizer and hope that those that are interested will ponder the questions raised and lend their wisdom to the future course of adoptions…
Family Album, Fall 2008
When Nightlight Christian Adoptions was formed in the Spring of 1959 (as Evangelical Welfare Agency), the goal of the agency was to meet the needs of birthmothers, children and adopting families. Although much has changed in the past 49 years, the need for our ministry in adoption and orphan care has not…
Family Album, Summer 2008
Many years ago, I worked for a company that manufactured, sold, and serviced high-tech medical equipment. One of my responsibilities was the service organization, and I was often in contact with radiologists informing me that their equipment wasn’t working and demanding to know what I was going to do about it…
Family Album, Spring 2008
Nightlight Christian Adoptions originally began offering adoption services in 1959 under the name Evangelical Welfare Agency. The agency later incorporated in 1963 and then changed their name to Family Ministries (1973), Christian Adoption & Family Services (1981) and finally Nightlight Christian Adoptions in 2000…
Family Album, Winter 2008
On Christmas morning I was awakened early with a call from Russia announcing that Nightlight had been re-accredited to do adoptions in Russia. This was a wonderful gift and one that I was able to quickly share with the 15 families who have been waiting to adopt older children from Russia…
Family Album, Fall 2007
I just returned from Sandestin, Florida where I participated in the Christian Legal Society’s annual conference. Flying in a small plane over the panhandle of Florida, I recalled lyrics from a song from the late 60’s that brought images to my mind…
Family Album, Summer 2007
I was recently introduced to a young lady at church by one of the girls who had been adopted through our agency several years ago. These two young ladies had recently met and found that they had something in common – both had been adopted through Nightlight…
Family Album, Spring 2007
Whenever Kathryn tells me it is time for our next Newsletter, it seems that I just finished reading the last one – yet another example of time passing at the speed of life. Having a regular spot in the Newsletter brings with it a certain amount of pressure…
Family Album, Winter 2007
A belated Happy New Year! Although 2006 brought some exciting successes as Nightlight continues to bring children and families together, it also brought more than enough frustrations. But as the saying goes, if it doesn’t defeat you, it makes you stronger. And certainly, I believe that 2006 has made us stronger…
Family Album, Fall 2006
We have all heard stories about how some people view the glass as being half-full while others view the glass as being half-empty. Now, I’m sure you don’t need to read another story about how some people are born optimists and some are born pessimists, but I do think it is important to know that I am an optimist…