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Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Chances for Children Spring 2009 Newsletter

Spring 2009 Quarterly Newsletter

Chances for Children turns three in a few months. We will look back at this time as the start up phase of our work. Like all start ups, the number of challenges surpassed our successes, but the pain of our struggle has been gently washed away as each child went home to their forever family.

We are beginning to chart our course for the next phase of Chances for Children. We will continue to engage in adoptions and continue to serve some of the children in Haiti, one family at a time. The plan for our purpose is to branch out into the areas of social advocacy for international adoption, and various projects to cultivate third world communities.

Village children attending our village school

Children, no matter where they are born or the conditions in which they live, love the same things

ADOPTION OPERATIONS- in the first quarter of the year we completed 10 adoptions. That is a good number relative to other quarters and if we look back a little bit we have completed 40 adoptions in the last 5 quarters. We are on track to have another 10 children come home in the second quarter as well. We are also excited to be able to accept new families once again. We have started the process of admitting new children into the crèche and are starting a campaign to recruit new adoptive families.

ADVOCATES FOR ADOPTION- Most people don't know this but there is a crisis in international adoption. Since 2004 the numbers of international adoptions into this country have been in steady decline. From its peak in 2004 international adoptions are down about 30% and we are predicting another significant drop in 2009. Meanwhile the world's orphan epidemic continues to swell.

Our school is almost complete and will grow from 350 students to over 500

In response we would like to confront two problems: adoptions cost too much and the paperwork process takes too long.

I have written a book called Both Ends Burning, my story of adopting three children from Haiti. It is a fun, lighthearted recap of our story, however the purpose of the book is very serious. I wrote the book to inspire others to consider the possibly of international adoption (after all if I can do it, anyone can). We plan to do a speaking tour to showcase the current crisis in international adoption, and our hope is the book will become a door opener for that crusade.

All royalties go directly to Chances for Children 501c. Our goals as advocates of adoption are to reverse the trend of declining adoption numbers. We want to present a compelling case to government officials, both here and in other countries to transform this overly expensive and bureaucratic process. To pull all of this together the book needs to gather some momentum. You can help by buying the book and giving it to a friend.

April Adoptive Family Trip

April Adoptive Family Trip

April Adoptive Family Trip


Another strategic initiative is to begin helping communities transform themselves into productive, self-sustaining entities. Over the course of the next few years we will be engaging in school/education, medical clinics, fresh water and power, and agriculture projects. We have begun to establish collaborative partnerships with a number of highly acclaimed organizations, one being our partnership with Washington State University. In the second half of this year we plan to have a team of people on the ground in Haiti from WSU to analyze our opportunities and prioritize our future action items. Our long-term goal is to contribute to the creation of a role model community in a third world country.

Three years ago we had no idea what we were really getting ourselves into when we took on supporting the crèche and began creating and managing adoptions. Then, like now, we had no real experience to predict how any of our vision would materialize. We have succeeded these first three years because hundreds of people have, in good faith, donated time, money and energy to this cause. Without that spectacular support, none of our past or future happens. We are grateful for the support and encouragement, and as time goes on and our vision grows, our hope is that you will continue to believe in what we are trying to achieve and continue to support our programs.

With Gratitude,

Craig Juntunen

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