At Dillon International, we love matching, especially when it comes to your donation.
Now through December 31, all donations will be matched by the Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation.
“The generosity of the Anne & Henry Zarrow Foundation will help us continue to ensure that money never stands in the way of a brighter future for a child in need,” said Kyle Tresch, Dillon International’s executive director. “We are tremendously honored by their support and confidence in our mission to care for children and families.”
Donor support is the lifeblood that sustains Dillon’s programs. “Adoption fees simply do not cover the costs of our work. The need has increased as the adoption process takes longer, as children have greater needs, and as the need for post-adoption services continues to grow,” Tresch explained.
By Liberty Joy
Our family prayerfully began the process of adopting a child from China through Dillon in the summer of 2012. Our Dillon social worker, Rachel Lee, urged us to be open to a child of either gender. We agreed, and our homestudy approved us for a either a boy or a girl.
Like many other families, we had the preconception that adopting from China would mean that we would most likely be bringing home a little girl even though we were open to a boy. At this point, we did not realize that the face of Chinese adoption was quickly changing and that three-fourths of the children waiting for families were now boys. We did not yet know that, for multiple reasons, the number of Chinese girls in orphanages had drastically dropped in recent years.
Fast-forward to today: We now have the two sweetest Chinese boys in our family, thanks to the Dillon China special needs adoption program. This is the story of how they came to be ours.
We were matched with our son Daniel at the end of February 2013. Saying yes to his referral was a giant leap of faith for our family. His special need was listed as beta thalassemia major, a life-threatening, chronic, incurable disease, which results in a short life expectancy for children who remain in Chinese orphanages.
In fact, the vast majority will die by age 10 if they are not adopted internationally. Once we saw his face, researched like crazy what he was facing as an orphan in China, and read his story, we knew we could not say “no.” We knew the Lord would provide what we needed and would guide us each step of the way. Daniel came home the summer of 2013 and the Lord in His Providence knew what He was doing. We live only an hour away from one of the top thalassemia centers in the U.S. This place is phenomenal!
Our little guy’s life expectancy has gone from grim to one that is near normal. He will likely live a full life and be a grandpa. He is healthy, robust, and a firecracker. You would never ever imagine him to have this condition; he is the picture of health. He fits into our family perfectly and he even earned the nickname of Emperor in the first few days he was with us.
When we had been home with Daniel for a few months, we began discussing the possibility of reusing our dossier. This is a unique opportunity for families in the China program to bring home a second child with the documents already logged in with the CCCWA. The rules are simple and clear. Families must use the same agency and they must be matched with a special focus child within one year of the previous adoption day.
What was extremely appealing was the simplicity of the process, with only three documents that would need updating. We asked Denise (Dillon’s China adoption program director) to keep her eyes open for a little girl with thalassemia for us to possibly reuse our dossier. That is right about when God probably started laughing and shaking His head, knowing what was to come.
A few months later, we got the referral call. It was not a girl, and the special need was not thalassemia.
The referral was in fact for our son Luke, a precious little guy with a limb difference and a few other issues. Exactly one year and two weeks after bringing Daniel home, we were back in China getting Luke.
What we discovered within minutes of having him in our arms was that Luke needed us just as much as Daniel did. Though his special needs did not include a life threatening disease, he was, in fact, in very bad shape and sick. He was extremely malnourished, weak, and at 13 months could not sit up alone nor do much of anything at all due to poor muscle tone.
He did not cry, fuss, eat or drink the first three days we had him. He has now been home four months and has made huge strides. He is crawling, working to overcome eating and sensory issues, gaining weight and thriving in our home. He is such a precious little guy with a quiet and calm personality.
Our sons from China are priceless and beloved in our family. I grieve the thought if we had only been open to adopting girls. Often times just being a boy is what keeps these little guys from being adopted. All orphans need families, boys and girls alike. However, the sad fact remains that the boys will likely wait much longer than the girls.
Editor’s note: Of the six Chinese children on Dillon’s Waiting Child page, five are boys. We hope you will log in to the Waiting Child page to meet them!
The opening of our new Special Adoption Program begins a wonderful new chapter in our long history of serving the children of Vietnam. We’re excited about this opportunity to find families for some of the country’s most vulnerable children, including children with special needs, children over age 5 and sibling groups.
We wanted to take a moment to fill you in on the latest updates in all our adoption programs.
There continues to be a tremendous need for families for children in our Korea program and we have great news for Korea adoptive families who have wanted to adopt again but were deterred by the age requirements. The maximum age for parents who have previously adopted from Korea has been raised to 49 ½ at the time of application. The more flexible age guidelines also apply to Korean adoptees or married couples with both spouses of Korean heritage.
Grants are available to cover the International Fee for the adoption of ALL waiting children from Hong Kong. Currently 13 children, ages 6 to 13, are waiting for families. Some of these precious kids have been waiting for years and need families who are committed to a lifetime of care. We recently received updates on several of the children, so if it has been awhile since you’ve visited the Waiting Child page on the Dillon website, please check in again!
Our China program has entered One-to-One agreements with orphanages in the Hainan and Guangdong provinces. We are thankful for the opportunity to serve the children in these facilities, both through adoption and humanitarian aid. There continues to be a great need for adoptive families open to parenting children with medical and developmental needs.
Good news for children in Colombia! The nation’s Institute for Family Welfare is reviewing the cases of thousands of children in its custody to determine if adoption would be in their best interest. Previous regulations kept many children in limbo: unable to be reunited with their birth families, but not declared available for adoption. We’re looking for families who are open to parenting older children and teens who have experienced loss and trauma.
Our India program, which re-opened in December 2013, continues to accept applications. Families are needed for children with special needs, particularly children ages 6 and older. Younger children generally have more significant special needs. Families with NRI (Non-resident Indian) or OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) status may apply to adopt a child without special needs.
Five children have arrived home so far this year, and other families’ dossiers are currently in Haiti. Our Haiti program is not presently accepting new applications while the country implements Hague standards. Updates will be posted on the Dillon website.
Pre-teen and teenage children in Oklahoma’s foster care system are waiting for permanent adoptive families. Oklahoma families are encouraged to consider our new program with the state’s Department of Human Services.
Dillon’s Open Options program—which allows applicants to have paperwork ready to qualify for a variety of programs—launched at the beginning of this year and has been a very popular choice for families who are uncertain about which adoption program is right for them. The program’s goal is to help more children find families who are farther along in the adoption process.
No matter what stage of the adoption journey you’re in, we would love to have you join us for an upcoming webinar, where you will learn more about the adoption process and all of our programs.
Last year, my mom and I went to Korea with our friends to see where we were born. While we were there, we visited Eastern Social Welfare Society and met our foster mothers. The social worker took us to see the babies in the Baby Hospital. There were about 60 babies there waiting for families. It made me sad that they were waiting and didn’t have things other babies have.
After we left Eastern I told my mom that the next time we came to Korea, I wanted to bring things for the babies because they don’t have anything. My mom told me that would be fine but said we wouldn’t be visiting for about five years.
When we got home, I remembered the babies, but was busy with my new school and sports. I thought it would be five years before we got to go back to Korea.
This year, my cousin was sent to Korea with the Army. David is stationed at Camp Casey which is not far from Seoul. I asked my parents if we could visit David and they said we could. I wanted to be able to show David where I was born.
At school, starting in sixth grade, we are asked to do service hours to serve like Jesus did. I remembered the babies and asked if I could do a service project to bring things to the babies. My parents and my teachers said that would be a great idea. My mom talked to Jan at Dillon and she also said it was a great idea. Jan gave us a list of items that Eastern needed like baby wash, Tylenol and rice cereal.
My aunt took my pictures from Korea and what I wanted to say and made a flyer. We passed it out to family and friends (and my mom posted it on her Facebook). I thought it would be great if I could have 100 donations to take to Eastern. People started sending donations and it started to grow slowly. Donations came from Texas, the East Coast and California, as well as from our city. I gave my friends flyers and explained what I was doing for a project.
My friend, Jeff, and his mom said we needed to take it to my school’s Student Council. The St. Cletus School Student Council sponsors Dress Down Days where you bring a donation for a charity to be able to wear clothes besides our uniforms. Jeff took the flyer to Mr. Meyer at school and he told me it was a great idea for a Dress Down Day.
We were getting close to time to leave for Korea and Jared’s Project was growing. I had hit my goal of 100 donations, but more kept coming in. Dress Down Day was a huge success and I got to go to each class to collect items and answer questions about my project and Korea. The question I got asked the most was, “Is it North or South Korea?”
Two days before we left for Korea, we had all the donations together. It came to $1,000 and over 100 items. I was so happy that everyone had sent so much to give the babies. My mom was nervous about how to pack it all, but we did it. When we got to the airport our bags were too heavy, but the man at the counter helped us repack it all using my back pack too so it would fit. I was glad we could take it all.
When we got to Eastern, we had the donations packed in eight big shopping bags and backpacks. We got a lot of attention when we arrived. We were early so we sat on the front steps to wait and a lot of people stopped to talk to us. A little boy gave me a hug when he came in with his foster mother.
One man took our picture.
I was very nervous to meet Dr. Kim, but she was very nice. She asked me a lot of questions about my project and my life. I don’t think she expected us to have so many donations. I told her that my family, friends and school all helped because we like babies. She thanked me for bringing the donations and said it will help the babies in the hospital and also in foster families. She said to be sure to tell my friend Jeff thank you too because he took it to our Student Council which made it get much bigger. Other ladies came in to say hi and thank me for my project. They were very nice, too.
Then a lady came in and asked me more questions and took pictures of me with Dr. Kim and the donations.
After we met Dr. Kim, we got to see the Baby Hospital again. There were only 40 babies this year. It was not as busy as last year. The nurses holding the babies let me talk to them. They took more pictures there and my mom did too. I hope the babies get to go to their foster mothers soon.
I wanted to bring things to the babies because I was there when I was a baby. I got to go to my foster family when I was only 10 days old. I was lucky to have Mrs. Park to take care of me until I could come to my family. The babies are older now and still waiting for foster families and forever families. I hope that some of these babies will go back and help the babies when they are older, too.
By Jared, 11, a Korea adoptee. His parents are Jay and Jane Coffey of Missouri.
A 16th birthday is not sweet at all for an orphan awaiting intercountry adoption. That’s when they become too old to meet the USCIS guidelines for intercountry adoption.
Right now, the clock is ticking loudly for three teens in our Colombia program—two girls and a boy—who are approaching their 15th birthdays. They URGENTLY need their forever families to find them before they “age out.” Please drop by our Waiting Child page to learn about these bright, talented kids: Their case numbers are Di2012-CB16, Di2013-CB25, and Di2014-CB35.
There is also a great need for families with big hearts and open arms to embrace waiting siblings. Currently there are four sibling groups—for a total of 11 awesome kids—in our Colombia program who are waiting for families. We would like to introduce you to one of these groups of siblings today:
This group of siblings (case numbers Di2013-CB21, CB22 and CB23) had the opportunity to visit the United States last winter through a hosting program and their host mom, Anita Hochstettler, reports that they are a delightful crew who enjoyed their visit and playing games with the family.
“I was blown away at how respectful they were,” Anita recalled.
The eldest child, Di2013-CB21, is a bright and considerate 15-year-old who has served as a mother figure to her little sister and brother. “She loved to have music on all the time and she loved to cook,” Anita said. “She needs a mother to guide and support her through her teen years.”
Her younger sister, Di2013-CB22, is an outgoing and energetic 12-year-old. “She loved to try everything—all the activities, clothes and shopping—during her visit,” Anita remembered.
Their little brother, 9-year-old Di2013-CB23, was a bit shy at first, but enjoyed using a computer, riding a bike, and playing with toy cars, LEGOS, and the Wii during his visit, Anita added.
“They were very loving and affectionate and would love to have a forever family who would provide them with love and guidance,” she said.
Because their Colombian culture is very important to them, an adoptive family would need to make a commitment to helping the children stay connected to their Colombian heritage, Anita added.
Please take a moment to learn more about these wonderful children and help us advocate for them! You can learn more on our Waiting Child page or by contacting our Waiting Child Coordinator with specific questions.
We hope that in this season of giving, lights and festivities you’ll take an hour to join us for an adoption webinar to learn abut the gift of adoption.
No matter what stage of the adoption journey you’re in … whether you are researching the possibilities or are ready to turn in your application … we are confident that this webinar will benefit you. What’s more, it will benefit the children who are waiting for a family just like yours.
Please select your meeting preference below. We will email you back with the webinar link. If you’re registering on a weekend, please give us a little extra time to send back the link.
There are 400 children living in four Vietnamese provinces who count on the support of Dillon International’s donors to keep them in the classroom and on their way to brighter futures.
Your $100 gift today will provide for one child’s tuition, books, uniform and a daily lunch for the entire school year!
Dillon’s Vietnam Scholarship program has reached hundreds of children with life-transforming power of education since its launch 10 years ago.
Our goal and hope is that each child who is given the opportunity to go to school will encourage entire households to be educated and, ultimately, lead their entire communities out of poverty.
Each year, we receive letters from children telling us how the scholarships benefit their family. Please help us make sure these success stories continue!
Here’s what some of our creative adoptees are doing to help make a difference for kids in Vietnam:
1. Mari, daughter of Roger and Karen Welser of Rhode Island (India). Family photo includes parents and big brothers Andrew and Evan and big sister Jenya (also an India adoptee)
2. Makaio, son of Matthew Spencer and Jennifer Kaneshiro of Oklahoma (Korea)
3. Willow Robinson, daughter of Kyle and Amber Robinson of Texas (China)
4. Hadley Williams, daughter of Jered and Melissa Williams of Oklahoma (Korea)
5. Samuel Huebner, son of Jason and Lisa Huebner of Kansas (China). His sisters are Olivia & Annalie.
6. Max Parkinson, son of Scott and Christine Parkinson-Hallman of Oklahoma (Korea)
7. Olivia Smentowski, daughter of Marc and Wendy Smentowski of Oklahoma (China)
8. A.J. Brice, son of Ryan and Cristy Brice of North Carolina (India). Family photo includes big brother Brody.
9. Nicka Jean Lee, daughter of Tony and Debra Lee of Arizona (Haiti). She joins her big sister, Almaz, also a Haiti adoptee.
10. KaEun Edwards, daughter of John and Susan Edwards of Texas (Korea)
11. Ezekiel Hubartt, son of Nathan and Amanda Hubartt of Indiana (Hong Kong). Siblings are Violet, Anra, Edison and Eloise
12. Lyle Harrison, son of Grant and Kimberly Harrison of Arkansas (Korea)
13. Lincoln Williams, son of Nathan and Emily Williams of Arkansas (Korea)
14. Collyn Puryear, son of Crews and Kara Puryear of Arkansas (Korea)
Dillon International has been named—in announcements by the U.S. Department of State and by the Ministry of Justice’s Department of Adoptions in Vietnam—as one of two U.S. agencies selected to place waiting children from Vietnam with adoptive families in the United States.
The decision allows Dillon to offer an intercountry adoption program to find families for orphaned children with medical special needs, children over the age of 5 and children who are part of a sibling group. Both married couples and single applicants, ages 25-55, may apply to adopt through the new program, which will open effective immediately.
“We are thrilled by this opportunity to serve the children of Vietnam who are in need of permanent, loving families,” said Program Director Jynger Roberts.
Dillon International has a long tradition of serving the children of Vietnam both through adoption and a humanitarian aid program that has provided food, clothing and educational scholarships to children in four Vietnamese provinces for the past 15 years.
Dillon also provided adoption services until 2008 when adoptions by Americans were placed on hold following the expiration of a Memorandum of Understanding between the U.S. and Vietnam. The new agreement, initiated by the U.S. Department of State and Vietnam’s Department of Adoptions, allows intercountry adoptions to resume through the Special Adoption Program offered by Dillon International and Holt International Children’s Services.
“We consider it a privilege to continue in our long-standing commitment to meet the needs of children in Vietnam,” said Kyle Tresch, Dillon International’s executive director. “We are honored by the trust Vietnam’s Ministry of Justice has placed in us to serve some of the nation’s
most vulnerable children.”
Vietnam becomes the eighth adoption program currently offered by Dillon International.
Dillon also offers adoption services in China, Colombia, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, and South Korea, as well as a domestic adoption program offered in collaboration with Oklahoma’s Department of Human Services to find adoptive families for waiting children in the state’s foster care system.
Families interested in learning more about Dillon International’s Vietnam program will find the latest information on the Dillon website, Roberts said. Founded in 1972, Dillon International is headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., with branch locations in St. Louis, Mo.; Little Rock, Ark.; the Kansas City, Kan. area; Santa Ana, Calif. (in Orange County); and the Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas area. Dillon International is Hague Accredited
through the Council on Accreditation to process international adoptions pursuant to the Intercountry Adoptions Act of 2000.
Learn all about the Vietnam program.
Click here to read the announcement from the Department of State.
Attention, Korea Families, we have good news! If you’ve desired to grow your family through another adoption from Korea but the age guidelines have prevented you, there is reason for cheer.
There is now more flexibility for families who previously have adopted from Korea. The maximum age for parents has been raised to 50. This applies no matter which agency handled your previous adoption.
This means that you would need to start the adoption process when you are no older than 49½ to make sure that necessary paperwork is completed in time.
“Families call all the time who are not finished building their family, but who don’t meet the age guidelines,” said Mary Anne Mesko of the Dillon Korea program. “I hope this new flexibility will allow many more children to come home to their forever families.”
Another group with more flexibility: Korean adoptees. Those adopted from Korea also can be up to 50 years old to be considered as an adoptive family.
Call Mary Anne at 918-748-5621 or email her for more details.