Blog

Become a host family

children on playground

Seven Colombian children will make the trip of a lifetime as they travel to Oklahoma for a three-week visit with American host families in July 2015.

Dillon’s hosting program brings older children who are residing in Colombian institutions and foster care homes to the United States for a fun-filled vacation experience. The program provides children a chance to learn about American culture, share their Colombian culture, and experience living in a family.

The program allows host families the opportunity to make a difference in the life of a child. The program also provides an opportunity to raise awareness about the need for adoptive families for older children and children who are part of a sibling group.

“Every night in Colombia, approximately 60,000 children in the care of the country’s child protection system fall asleep uncertain of what the future holds for their lives. Sadly adoption for most of these children will never come true in their birth country, where the majority of adoptions involve young, healthy children,” Schoborg said. “We have the opportunity to change these children’s lives dramatically through adoption,” Schoborg added. “Every child deserves the love of a family.”

Tulsa area host families are needed for the program.

Host families will receive assistance from social work staff and volunteer translators throughout the children’s visit, said hosting program coordinator Angela Lievano-Hess.

The children and their host families will also be treated to a variety of fun, child-centered activities and get-togethers throughout their visit, Lievano-Hess said. Some planned activities include a trip to the zoo, miniature golf and arcade games and swimming.

The children who will be visiting through this year’s hosting program are ages 10 to 15 years old. All are eligible for intercountry adoption, Schoborg added.

“We encourage Tulsa area families to consider being part of a miracle by opening their hearts and homes to these special visitors in July,” Schoborg said. “And we hope everyone—regardless of their address—will join us in advocating and praying for the thousands of children in Colombia who are waiting for a family.”

To learn more about hosting a child from Colombia through Dillon International, please email Angela Lievano.

To learn more about Dillon International’s Colombia adoption program, please email Denise Schoborg.

 

Celebrate with us Feb. 21

dillons

Mark you calendars for Feb. 21, when friends of Dillon International will ring in the Year of the Sheep at the agency’s 20th annual Lunar New Year benefit dinner.

This year’s celebration of the popular Asian holiday—held from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, February 21, 2015 at Tulsa’s Southern Hills Country Club, 2636 E. 61st St.—will showcase some of the many accomplishments of Dillon International adoptees.

“From graduating kindergarten to graduating dental school, from mission work to military service and achievements in sports, the arts and so much more, our adoptees have done it all,” said Kyle Tresch, Dillon International executive director. “We are excited for this opportunity to recognize the many ways our adoptees at all ages and stages of life are exceling and blessing their families and serving their communities.”

Exciting Program

The event will feature a live and silent auction, dinner and a processional of children wearing traditional clothing from their birth country. “We want Lunar New Year to be a celebration of heritage worldwide,” said Kyle Tresch, Dillon executive director. “It will be a fun celebration for all, whether you have adopted or not.”

Items featured in the live auction include a five-night stay for two in Kauai, a week at a luxurious condo in Florida, a restful week at a Colorado condo in the Rocky Mountain foothills and two club seats to an Oklahoma City Thunder game.

Sponsors

Event sponsors include Arvest; Caballo Energy; Conner & Winters, LLP; Gibraltar Capital; Grant Thornton LLP; T.D. Williamson; George Kaiser Family Foundation; The Anne and Henry Zarrow Foundation; The Houston Family Foundation; Mazzios; Pediatric and Adolescent Care; Kendel and David Hall; Susanna and Henry Will; Lynn Jones and James Medill; Mary and James Barnes; and Kathleen McKeown and Gary Betow.

Special thanks to: Jennifer Zepplin, chief meteorologist for Tulsa’s Channel 8, who will be the emcee; and event auctioneer Jay Lichfield of BidLaud Auctions.

Proceeds from the annual fundraiser will support the licensed, non-profit agency’s mission of caring for children and creating families. The cost to attend is $100 per adult and $20 per child ages 3-11, which includes a special dinner and activities for children. Family tables and sponsorships are also available.

Since its founding in 1972, Dillon International, Inc., a non-profit international adoption and humanitarian aid agency has placed more than 6,000 children with families throughout the United States. The agency also provides post-adoption services, such as heritage camps, birthland tours to Korea, China, Haiti, India, and Guatemala, and support services for adoptive families.

For more information, or to make a reservation to attend, please call (918) 749-4600 or visit www.dillonadopt.com.

His smile will melt your heart

di2014-mc10 blog

We wish we could show you this sweet baby’s smile. It’s famous for melting the hearts of everyone he meets!

Because of confidentiality requirements we’re unable to show a clear view of his adorable face on our blog, but you’ll be able to see him and learn more about him on our Waiting Child page, which is password protected to maintain children’s privacy.

This cheerful, friendly 1-year-old in our Hong Kong Waiting Child Program is very curious and loves to move around. He rarely cries, but when he does, he can be calmed very quickly when his caregiver pats him on the back.

He is a good eater, and can hold his own bottle for a few minutes. His favorite activities are playing with a ball and listening to soft music.

Diagnosed with Down syndrome, he has regular physical and occupational therapy to work on crawling and other motor skills. He is able to reach out and grasp a toy and switch it from one hand to another. He attends a special preschool every day.

He has normal hearing, and he is starting to make sounds and using gestures to communicate. His motor and speech development are a few months behind his chronological age.

He shows good eye contact and social response, and most importantly, he’s almost always smiling.

He needs to share that beautiful smile with a family who will embrace him with unconditional love and care. To learn more about this precious boy, whose case number is Di2014-mc10, please visit our Waiting Child Page or email the Waiting Child coordinator with specific questions.

Top 10 resolutions

adoption resolutions

Ring in 2015 by adding a few of these Top 10 adoption resolutions to your list:

1) Learn more about adoption.

Get your questions answered by attending one of our free webinars or in-person information meetings.

2) Read, read, read.

Our online Beginner’s Guide will get you started.

3) Meet our Waiting Children

Log on to meet our Waiting Children.

4) Advocate for children who need families.

Older kids and those with special medical or developmental needs are most vulnerable. We are searching high and low for families who are courageous enough to embrace a child’s difficult past and patient and gentle enough to help them heal. Helping a child discover and share their special gifts and talents will not only bless the child and their family, it will truly make our world a better place.

5) Pray.

All those touched by adoption could use your prayer support. Pray for children who are waiting for families, for biological families who have made an adoption plan, for families who are hoping to adopt, for adoptive families and their children as they adjust to their new lives together, for orphanage caregivers and for agency staff as they work to make a difference for children in need.

6) Get your church involved.

We would love to help your church live out James 1:27’s call to serve orphans. We would love to collaborate with your congregation.

7) Help a family who is in the adoption process.

Send them a note of encouragement, host a shower to collect needed items as they prepare for their child’s arrival or offer to help pay for their adoption travel.

 8) Help a family who has recently adopted.

Drop off a home-cooked meal to welcome them home. Help out with yard work or housekeeping while they are busy settling in and adjusting to their newly expanded family.

9) Give.

Our programs to unite waiting children with their forever families could not happen without donor support.

10) Volunteer.

We’re always looking for smiling faces and helping hands at our camps, events and around the office. If you have time and talent to share, we’d love to hear from you.

China program changes

china camp

China’s Centre for Children’s Welfare and Adoption recently announced greater flexibility in its adoption guidelines. The new regulations—which take effect January 1, 2015, and impact families with dossiers logged in after this date—were developed in order to better help children in need find suitable families, according to an announcement from the CCCWA.

Under the new guidelines, more families will be considered to adopt a non-special-focus child (typically a younger child with minor or correctable special needs).

Here are a few highlights from the recently announced changes.

Changes to Age Guidelines:

Singles and couples over the age of 50 are now permitted to adopt either a non-special-focus or special-focus child. The age difference between the youngest member of an adoptive couple and the adopted child must be no more than 50 years. The age difference between a single adoptive mother and the adoptee should be no more than 45 years.

Single Applicants:

In addition to being eligible to adopt special-focus children, single mothers may now apply to adopt a non-special focus child.

Number of Children Living at Home:

Couples with more than five children living at home are now eligible to adopt either a special-focus or non-special-focus child.

Singles may have no more than two children currently living at home and the youngest child must be 6 years old or older. A single mother with three children under the age of 18 in the home is ineligible to apply to adopt from China.

Family income guidelines:

The CCCWA requires a minimum family income of $10,000 per family member (including the prospective adoptee). For singles, the minimum family income follows the same guideline plus an additional $10,000. A couple’s net worth must be at least $80,000 and a single mother’s net worth must be at least $100,000. HOWEVER a family whose annual income and net worth is lower than the stated guidelines may be considered if they can document that their locale has a lower cost of living and that their income is above-average for their area.

Medical Conditions:

The most significant change in the guidelines is that the CCCWA will now consider applicants who are taking medication to treat minor depression or anxiety provided that the symptoms are minor, stable, and under good control.

Additional details on the new guidelines, which cover the areas of family eligibility, child placement, CCCWA adoption service fees, and post-placement reporting and fees, will soon be updated on our China Program page and in our online Adoption Guide. Please contact our China Program Director with specific questions.

To learn more about our China program, and all of Dillon International’s adoption services, register online to attend a free information webinar. Our next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 11.

Our sons from China

joy family1

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALike 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!

Program roundup

brodt

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.

Korea

KOREA, BrannonsThere 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.

Hong Kong

HONG KONG, Huff familyGrants 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!

China

CHINA, boy in orphanageOur 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.

Colombia

COLOMBIAGood 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.

India

INDIA, CartwrightsOur 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.

Haiti

9. Nicka Jean Lee and momFive 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.

 

 

Oklahoma DHS program

OKDHS1Pre-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.

 

 

Open Options

OPEN OPTIONSDillon’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.

Next steps

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.

Time running out

colombian siblings

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:

Meet the siblings

ColombiafamilyThis 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.

The gift of family

snowglobe webinar

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 about 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.

Welcome home!

welcome home
Welcome home to all of our recent arrivals, who came home to their forever families in the last few months.

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)

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