How Long We Have Been A Family!

Count Down To Nate's 4th Birthday!

Lilypie Fourth Birthday tickers

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving News From Our Agency ~ Definitely Something to be Thankful About!

Dear Family,

I hope this email finds you well; I’m writing to update you about our agency’s different adoption programs and give information about new programs and areas of interest to our agency. This Thanksgiving season we have a lot to be thankful for – please read through this email to learn more about the work our agency has been doing.

Hague Accreditation Review

Our agency recently completed our Hague Accreditation Site Review. This is an important step for all international adoption agencies to receive accreditation by the United States Department of State. The reviewers that came to our agency were professionals involved with inter-country adoption; they commented we were one of the best organizations they had peer reviewed in the past 12 years. The peer reviewers told our board that America World’s staff operates with, “professionalism, knowledge, commitment and integrity.” Knowing our staff, I’m not surprised that other professionals would be so impressed. Adding Hague accreditation to our COA accreditation will place us among the best agencies in the country.

China Program

We’re still seeing a delay for families logged in with the CCAA. Thank you for your patience and please know we are doing all we can behind the scenes to speed up the process. We’re praying for families that are frustrated with their situation and we are hopeful that through our An Orphan’s Ticket Home campaign, more children will be identified and made available for adoption. You’ll be receiving an email from me about this campaign soon…so hang in there. Some good news in the China program is the continued increase in special needs and older children being adopted.

Eastern Europe Programs

The recent adoptions from countries in our Eastern Europe Program have also given us reason to celebrate. As most of you know, our partner agency in Russia received re-accreditation and since that time America World has been able to submit many dossiers, has received referrals and setup court dates for waiting families. In Ukraine, a steady stream of families has been traveling and completing adoptions. We’ve also seen increased interest in our Kazakhstan Program.

Ethiopia Program

I’m excited about recent developments in our Ethiopia Program. One of our long-time social service staff, Rachel Ward, will be moving from Nashville to Addis Ababa this coming January to help serve alongside our current in-country staff. Rachel has an MSW and will offer valuable service to the children and our staff by working for AW from Ethiopia. I’m also pleased to announce that we’ve recently started setting up a transition home in which the children can reside after their court date and before their parents travel to meet them. This transition home will allow our agency to work even closer with our in-country partners and provide care and love while children wait for their families. The Ethiopia Program has received a lot of interest in the past few months and it’s an honor to be able to say, “Congratulations!” to the many families that have recently received referrals!

El Salvador Program

America World Adoption’s staff in El Salvador has had fruitful meetings with the Salvadoran government and is encouraged by the proposed reforms their government will implement to change the structure and system for how referrals will be handled.

Vietnam Adoption

I’ve recently returned from Vietnam where America World Adoption hopes to begin a program in the coming months. I met with our in-country staff member as well as officials from the government to plan and organize our work with orphanages in Vietnam.

India Program

I am proud to announce that we are now working in India. We will begin working with families interested in adopting special needs children. India is party to The Hague Convention on Adoption and our agency has established relationships with different Christian orphanages that are eager to partner with us. America World Adoption received a license from the Indian government in July to begin inter-country adoption; since then, we’ve met with Indian in-country partners both in our office and in India. We have also had staff return from a three day-long conference on Indian inter-country adoption in Delhi that was promising for the work we hope to accomplish. Please email us at for more information.

Rwandan Adoption

America World Adoption has also just helped a family complete an adoption from Rwanda and will be helping more families in the future. We are only accepting a limited number of families to this program at this time. The ideal applicants to this program will be couples with less than two children in their home and where both parents are between the ages of 35 and 50. Families interested in this as a possible option should contact for more information.

White House Recognizes National Adoption Day

I was asked to speak at the White House Office of Faith Based & Community Initiatives’ Roundtable last week. My remarks focused on inter-country adoption and stressed the importance of the U.S. government partnering with faith-based agencies like ours to help speed up the adoption process. At the same event an America World adoptee, Sophia Ramirez, spoke about her experience being adopted from Ukraine three years ago. Her testimony was powerful and articulate; it was very impressive to see a fourteen year-old (who three years ago knew no English) stand in the White House and steal the show.

After the Roundtable, the White House held a reception for adoption advocates and the President and First Lady both spoke of the importance of adoption in American culture and the government’s commitment to supporting adoptive families. That same day, the President signed the Hague Adoption Convention with the expected effective date of April 1, 2008.

Happy Thanksgiving

We hope you have a great Thanksgiving Holiday with family and friends. Our office will be closed on Thursday and Friday so the staff can spend time with their loved ones. We truly feel blessed by God for the work He’s doing through our agency and we know we have much to be thankful for. Our agency is looking forward to the work set before us the rest of this year and throughout 2008. Our hope is that you will join us in prayer for the many families waiting to adopt and for the children waiting to be placed in families.

Brian Luwis
6723 Whittier Avenue, Suite 202
McLean, VA 22101
Toll Free: 888-ONE-CHILD ext. 113
Fax: (703) 356-8973

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11 NIV)

No comments: