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Monday, January 19, 2009

Chances for Children Winter 2009 Newsletter

Winter 2009 Quarterly Newsletter
Chances for Children
Letter from Founder, Craig Juntunen

2008 was a successful year for the Chances for Children foundation. Thanks to the collaborative work of Chances for Children and the Crèche de Enfant Haiti, we saw 30 children go home to their new families. This is the most adoptions we have ever completed in a year, more than doubling the number of adoptions completed in previous years.

This success is a credit to all involved. We could not have done this without the generous support from our investors, our adoptive families and the dedicated energies of our staff, both here and in Haiti. I would like to formally thank all of you for what you have done; in joining our team you have made a tangible difference in forming new families and dramatically altering or saving children's lives.

Although we take pride in completing 30 adoptions, the sad truth is we could have done more. A lot more. When one looks at the prospects of international adoption, one sees an abundant supply of children who need a home, and plenty of families who would like to adopt a child. The bottleneck in doing more is not in the form of supply and demand. The bottleneck lies in the politics of special interest groups and government agencies both here and abroad.

So as we end one year and enter another, we can celebrate thirty adoptions and challenge ourselves to do more in the year ahead. Many of you have asked, "What else could I do to help this cause" Where we need help, is in contacting government authorities that can influence procedural change in the International Adoption process. It is a tragedy that governmental agencies have banded together to create a stubborn bureaucratic gridlock, making international adoption a frustrating and painstaking experience for all involved.

Currently there are 45 children under C4C care at the crèche. All of them are currently matched with families. We have families and children waiting to start the process of adoption, but it is difficult to move forward in the face of this gridlock that is driven by politics. Our job is to challenge the current expectation within these government agencies and encourage them to streamline the process. Influencing these changes is a daunting task and that is why we need your help and where we need to focus our energies in 2009.

Thank you again for what you have done for all of these children. Take satisfaction in knowing that you have made difference. If you can help us with our critical action items of this 2009 please contact us at your convenience.

Recent finalized adoptions



Lucio and Lovedidine

Wandley and Evans

Deve and Stacy

Marie and Macky

Ketira, Glafira, and Jasmine

Adoption Update from Vivian Aguilera
Director of Adoptions - Chances for Children

Last year was a big year of change in the international adoption community. Two things that affected the Haiti adoption community greatly were (1) the U.S. implemented the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption (for more info: and (2) Haitian authorities began to implement tougher restrictions in terms of who qualifies to adopt. A new law is being discussed and is expected to be voted on and ratified sometime in 2009. It is also likely that Haiti will sign the Hague Convention and be held to the same standards that the US professionals are already practicing.

The newly implemented changes caused delays to many of our families in process often because when the families began the process they qualified to adopt by the older standards, but suddenly the new criteria meant more scrutiny of their cases and receiving waivers or extra documentation to help them qualify under newer conditions.

In 2009 we are hopeful that the new law will be voted upon and implemented, then we can better inform families of what the requirements will be and hopefully have fewer delays in the process. In the meantime we are focusing on getting the children whose adoptions are in process home as soon as possible to help them transition to family life. Of course, we are keeping very close watch on all developments as they relate to international adoption with Haiti and making sure our practices both in Haiti and abroad are within the newer requirements and always in the best interest of the children and the families we are working for.

We are optimistic that at least ten (10) more adoptions will be completed in the first quarter of 2009. This will certainly be a very exciting time for these families as they get to begin the journey of parenting these children that have been in their hearts for such a long time. Here's to progress in 2009 and the homecoming of many more children!

New Projects

Chances for Children has the opportunity to team up with the International Research and Development team at Washington State University to collaborate in various agriculture, learning/development and natural resource projects in Haiti. This partnership is due to the efforts of Mike Connors. Both Mike and Craig have met with this team and discussed many details of these projects. This team of professionals have made significant contributions in other similar impoverished regions of the world.

Three distinguished members of the Washington State International Programs team will make an exploratory visit to the crèche, the village of Lamardelle and other outlying areas of Haiti. They will be traveling this month with. Mike, Craig and Randy Mullin to assess needs and potential interventions. This trip may be the catalyst for Chances for Children to significantly expand its community development programs in Haiti. Below is a link to a web site that gives and overview of the potential collaborative effort. This web site will be available to communicate future developments we will provide updates in upcoming editions of our newsletter.

Please visit:

The Year of Donations
by April Connor

Note: April Connors and her husband Mike have been instrumental in the development of many programs supporting Chances for Children and Crèche Enfant Jesus. The Board and Staff of Chances for Children appreciate their efforts and thank April for all she has done to drive our donation program. April has made an incredible difference and her tireless work ethic and determinable spirit have been instrumental in the success of these programs.

Adoptive families, friends and entire communities joined together this year to help meet the basic needs of the children at the crèche. The amount of donations that went to the crèche in parents checked luggage was overwhelming, from diapers to baby wash to food, formula and medicine... not one 50 lb checked bag went down with an ounce to spare. Along with many other items, adoptive parents along with their friends and family delivered over 2800 cans of formula and 285 jars of peanut butter with a monetary value of more than $50,000. But how those donations changed the lives of our children at the crèche is incalculable.

Our 2008 Box Drive Challenge was a tremendous success, boxes were sent from all corners of the US and Canada to Arizona to be repacked into bins and delivered to Haiti. While it felt like Mother Nature was conspiring against us as she threw hurricane after hurricane at Haiti delaying the bins arrival, we were finally able to deliver 6,500 pounds of food and formula in October.

2009 is a new year with new challenges for us all. But Haiti's troubles are not getting any better and the need for donations will continue into the New Year and beyond. If you are interested in helping fill an adoptive parent's bag on a future trip, please visit our blog which lists the most up to date items needed at the crèche

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