Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Meet Shabri!

Shabri is a little girl adopted from India in 2011. At first, she was hesitant to open up to her forever family, but you can see in this video that she is now a happy, bright, and loved child. We're so happy to see that Shabri is doing so well and can't wait to hear what the future brings for her!

Want to learn about more of the children that Gift of Adoption has helped? Check out our YouTube page here or go to

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Big GIve Results!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Columbus

Foundation's Big Give on Thursday, November 10.

Preliminary results are in and Gift of Adoption Fund raised

an estimated $13,25.82 and will receive $1,720.44 in

matching dollars and $437.39 in credit card free

reimbursements, totaling $15,412.65 from the Big Give!

Thank you for your support!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meet Camon and Caleb

Camon (age 3) and Caleb (age 2), are brothers recently adopted with the help of a Gift of Adoption grant. Their adoptive parents, Bradley and Amy, first met Camon and Caleb earlier this year after receiving an unexpected call from their adoption agency asking them to provide emergency care for the boys while their birth mother entered a treatment program.

As Amy shares, “their birth mother had been in the foster care system and had had a very traumatic childhood and adolescence. She doesn’t want this to happen to her children. We considered the decision carefully, but knew from the very first minute that the boys walked into our home that they had walked into our hearts.” Soon after Camon and Caleb came to live with Bradley, Amy, and their son Ethan, their birth mother made the decision to create a parenting plan for her sons – asking Bradley and Amy to adopt them and provide them with a safe, stable and loving home.

Through the gift of adoption, Camon and Caleb have been able to experience much joy and love and have positively changed the lives of those around them. Camon loves to help cook, play with playdough and run! He makes up silly songs and is a wonderful big brother. Caleb loves airplanes, is the dramatic child and likes to give raspberry kisses!

Bradley and Amy share that they recently traveled back to the state from which the boys were adopted and shared a visit with the agency folks who placed the boys with them. They were astounded at the transformation of the boys. And we know that it's just the beginning!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Support Gift of Adoption with Tix4Cause!


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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes!

One year ago Quinn Da-Hui, an adorable baby girl from South Korea found her forever family. On August 2, 2010 9-month-old Quinn traveled to America with her new parents, Joanna and Dan. Joanna says that “When we first came home, Quinn only wanted to be held...all the time. She wouldn't explore on the floor or play with toys unless she was right in our laps.” But Quinn has grown very comfortable in her new home, especially with Joanna and Dan’s 3 biological children, Bregan, Wyatt, and Charlotte

The family had several concerns about Quinn’s health and language development, but one year later they are happy to report that she is doing great! Joanna says, “We are happy to say she is quite a chatterbox! We have a list of all the words she can say (in her own way many of them) and she says over 25 words plus her "baby signs". She also said her first two-word sentence today! ‘Mommy, look!’ (she had placed Bregan's baseball hat on her head and couldn't have been more proud of herself!)” Another concern was Quinn’s hearing. A test performed in Korea showed that she may have moderate to severe hearing impairments. “But after having her hearing assessed once she was home, it was determined that her hearing is perfect! We consider this to be a miracle! Such a surprising andwonderful blessing!”

So much has changed for Quinn and her new family in the past year! Joanna shares, “It is so amazing the difference a year makes. One year ago, Quinnie didn't even know of her family (both immediate and extended) who had been praying and praying and praying and praying for her! And now, she is surrounded by so many who love her. She also loves them! Especially her brothers and sister! She has her own name for each of them too. Bregan is Buh-dee, Wyatt is Why-ee and Charlotte is Nonny. Too cute! The older three spent the night at their grandparent's house last weekend. Quinnie kept saying to us: "mommy...buh dee?" "daddy...nonny?" "mommy...why ee?" as she walked around the house looking for them. It brought tears to my eyes to see her love for them and to think of how only a short year ago, she didn't even know about them! What a difference a year makes!”

About Gift of Adoption, Joanna says “This grant was such a huge blessing to us. We really wanted to travel to South Korea to bring Quinn home instead of having her escorted here. We wanted to be able to witness, firsthand, her culture and to have the opportunity to meet the foster family who had been caring for and loving our daughter. We will have that experience (along with photos) to share with her as she gets older.”

Joanna and Dan are so thankful for Quinn, especially in the face of all the changes happening to the adoption system in South Korea. Joanna explains, “the President [of South Korea] has decided to go ahead with the plan to close international adoption in 2012. The bill has already passed the Korean Assembly and only needs to be signed by the President. As a result of this plan, the number of children "referred" for international adoption has been decreasing and the length of time to bring your child home is increasing. Truly a sad and heart wrenching situation.”

Joanna says, “We couldn't be more joyful over our COMPLETE family!” At Gift of Adoption we can’t wait to hear more updates about Quinn in the years to come!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Meet Erin

Meet Erin, a 14 year-old girl adopted from China. With the help of Gift of Adoption, Erin has found her forever family. You can see first hand how Erin is doing by checking out the video below!

You can also take a look at our Youtube page to find out more about the amazing kids that have found their forever families with the help of Gift of Adoption!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Meet Selah, Andarge, and Eyruselem

Illinois residents Kiel and Carolyn were able to adopt the two teenaged siblings of their recently adopted daughter Selah with the help of Gift of Adoption. Selah has stage 4 AIDS and Carolyn and Kiel knew her health would be in danger if she stayed in her Ethiopian orphanage much longer. Kiel, a self-employed painter and decorator, and Carolyn, the Executive Director of Project Hopeful, currently have 11 children, ages 3 to 20. After a visit to an orphanage in Ethiopia, Carolyn met the children and suffered with the two older siblings, Andarge and Eyruselem, as they allowed their little sister to be adopted in hopes of saving her life. Their parents had already died of AIDS.

Andarge, 16, and Eyruselem, 15, have prayed to be reunited with their little sister. The determination of Kiel and Carolyn have allowed their dream to come true. Andarge wrote this email to Carolyn just after he learned the court would allow him to be adopted by Carolyn and Kiel: “Thank you mom because you are the one and the main for this whole succesus. In the FUTURE i blive that we will live together and start a new life .

Carolyn says about this family’s decision to adopt: "Our reasoning for this particular adoption, being our third adoption (6 children total, 2 sibling groups of three) was that we found it absolutely unacceptable that these siblings be separated. We believe that HIV/AIDS has robbed these children of enough. I was present in '07 when these kids made the decision to relinquish their little sister because she had HIV and would not receive medical care otherwise. A 14 year old boy should never have had to make such a decision. He nobly tried to keep his sisters together and "parent" them after the deaths of his parents. I had never witnessed such heartbreak. The orphanages would not accept them, and they thought Selah would have a better chance of being adopted if she was alone. WHO would want 2 teenagers and a 10 year old child with stage 4 AIDS?? THAT WOULD BE US!!”

“As a family, “ explained Carolyn, “we have been drawn to the most difficult to adopt children, older children, sibling groups and children with HIV/AIDS. We have done everything in our power to make these adoptions a reality, successfully.

"This time around we have run out of time, due to circumstances beyond our control. Kiel's job situation and our medical deductibles for our children with HIV, we are unable to shoulder this entire burden at this time.” The grant received from Gift of Adoption will allow these children to have a chance in life, something they would never have gotten in Ethiopia.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meet Hugo and Maria

Maria (13) and Hugo (15) are siblings who were living in an orphanage in Colombia. Because of their ages, their chances of being adopted were slim. Even slimmer were their chances of being adopted into the same home. Hugo and Maria know this because early in 2010, their two youngest sisters were adopted. If not adopted by the age of 16, Hugo would be moved to a group home in another city. Recently, however, they were adopted together by Juleine.

Juleine shared, "While at a meeting with my foster daughter, I met Maria. She was in the U.S. with a hosting program. I had no intention of adopting (I already had a 20-year-old son and a 19-year-old foster child, both in college) but her situation made me very sad. I learned that the four children had made a pact that if any of them had the chance to be adopted, even if it meant being separated, that they would encourage each other to take the opportunity. I was totally appalled that a family of children would be put in a position to have to make that decision. I figured out the logistics of adopting two teens and made the decision to adopt both children."

Juleine traveled to Colombia at the end of November to bring her children home. A grant from Gift of Adoption made this trip possible - giving Maria and Hugo a permanent family and a chance to thrive.

Since deciding to move forward with this adoption, Juleine has become close with the couple who adopted Maria and Hugo's younger sisters. They have become an extended family for all four children and recently organized a bi-coastal visit between the two families. Everyone's commitment to helping the kids grow up as the family they are has had a very stabilizing effect on all of the children.

Life for the family has been exciting and hectic. Juleine shares, "It has been a crazy 2.5 months since we arrived in the US. Hugo started on the school soccer team his first day of school, and Maria started ballet the first of January. Our life is about what you would expect right now - lots of adjustments, learning and change. The kids are very resilient and I believe stand a very good chance of creating quality lives for themselves here. Their first report cards just arrived; my daughter got a 3.50 and my son a 3.20 gpa. My son's goal is to be a professional soccer player (although he has started asking about careers in math as a backup!), and my daughter wants to be a lawyer. What's down the road for us all is a definite unknown. Whenever I question the sanity of adopting two teenagers though, I remind myself that both of them have told me that they want to adopt children from Colombia some day. I'm taking that as an affirmation that they think it's a pretty good thing!"

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Adoption Emerges as a Charitable Endeavor

Sharon Komlofske, of Wilmette, Karen Roddy, of Glencoe, and others
welcome Justice Anne Burke at an exclusive investor breakfast

Gift of Adoption welcomed Justice Anne Burke, Illinois Supreme Court Justice, as she addressed an intimate group of key Gift of Adoption stakeholders at a special breakfast hosted by Rick Waddell, CEO of the Northern Trust in Chicago on Feb. 24th. Gift of Adoption is the nation’s largest provider of adoption grants without regard to an applicant’s age, race, gender, creed, national origin, religion or marital status. They provide children in need of families a permanent, loving home.

Burke is a nationally respected advocate for children and shared her own personal stories of motherhood, adoption and her involvement with the foster care system. Burke, together with her husband, Alderman Edward M. Burke, are both foster and adoptive parents, and have raised five children amid demanding, public careers. Burke was candid and forthcoming about her family’s experience – about the joys of parenthood through adoption of the red head, blonde and dark haired Burkes and the joy of seeing the next generation of Burke children who are not only family blessings, but also making the world better – all because of the gift that is adoption.

Scott Simon, host of NPR’s Weekend Edition, adoptive father of two, and author of Baby We Were Meant For Each Other, made a special appearance from New York City and offered a warm introduction for Burke, and answered a few panel style questions. Simon remarked that, “Putting children who need love and care into families who crave the love of a child is one of the great unfinished endeavors of the world.”

Board Member, Karen Roddy, of Glencoe, shared that there are more than 140 million children worldwide, about 500,000 right here in the United States, who have been orphaned, abandoned, or taken from their parents due to extreme abuse or neglect. Gift of Adoption addresses the needs of these children by providing grants to qualified parents in order to complete the adoption process. Adoption gives these children permanent homes and the chance to thrive. Since 1996, The Gift of Adoption Fund has given away more than $2.26 million to unite more than 750 children with their forever families.

Gift of Adoption provides children with a last name, a legacy, and most importantly, a future. Learn more about the Gift of Adoption Investor Board.