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Support for the Beginning of the Journey



I get to see it. The process. Every year I sit with families who have not yet brought a child home, but are trying. They are filling out the papers, scheduling the visits, running to the appointments, searching for a notary (again)….right?!

They have hopes.

They have plans.

They have fears.

They have needs.

As they prepare and process and work diligently to adopt these adopting families have a great need for support.  I think I may know someone who can help.  I mean really help.

Despite the growing number of adoptive families many of us who choose to adopt do so without being surrounded by other folks with adoptive experience. Yes, there is the online community, true ,and this can be very helpful. But there is nothing like sitting across the table from another person and being able to hear their story and ask the questions of your heart.  An experienced adoptive family can naturally build confidence and give wisdom to a family setting out.  Every family will become seasoned as they journey through adoption past the process and into the parenting. But, how wonderful to have an experienced family help point the beginner to issues that they may not have yet thought about.  Beautiful issues that must be talked about such as race, ethics, and healing from trauma.

Many first time adoptive parents are a wonderful  bundle of nerves and hopes, excitement and energy. They are alive with great anticipating about “their child” and they have set out to do a wonderful and life changing act.  A little table time spent with a seasoned adoptive family can help propel those emotions into prepared wisdom for the journey to come.  And, it may help them to not feel so alone.

Alone. This is a word that I hear often from families who are in the process.  The feel alone because their extended family does not understand or maybe even not share the excitement. They feel alone because they go to the government offices and physical appointments so eager and ready to bring this child home, but the secretary behind the desk doesn’t share that excitement. For her, it is a day at work. For the adoptive parent it is a day closer to child in arms.  I remember it myself, the begging for an earlier appointment at the physicians. Yes, yes, they are busy but if we could just get our physicals accomplished quickly then we could finish our homestudy and move on…move closer… to a real living breathing flesh that needs our arms and love and….oh, yes I understand we have to wait and the next appointment is not for a month. Alone.

The process itself is so uncertain. “When will the call come…for referral…for travel…for court…for HOME……”  Very few folks who have not adopted understand the weight of this wait.  Nor should they.  Those of us with experience, though, look how we can encourage here and point to what will come and help teach how this wait can be used for good.  We can help just by being present, simply by nodding out heads with a shared understanding. Those who have not carried their child outside their body and had no control over months and years of their life often can not understand the hardship of this waiting.  I remember laying in bed wondering if he was hungry, and if she was being held, and so wishing I could communicate love to them across the miles. I remember the tears and the hopes.

A new family, in the process, has many needs.   And one of them is you and your stories, wisdom, and experience.

Yes, and thank you for sharing your experience online. Its fantastic.  Many a night I have burned the oil reading and HAVE BEEN HELPED or ENCOURAGED so I do not want to discredit those blogs and online communities as they serve a purpose.  If you can, however, get to know a family that is starting out. Make a connection and sit down together. May the bonds of adoption bring you new friends that you can encourage, support, and help uplift during their process. Because only you can nod your head knowingly as they share. You “get-it” and more than that your experience can help to widen their eyes and make them better prepared to welcome that child home.

You are needed to help those starting out know that they are not alone. And beyond that I believe with all my heart that our stories of the process, and the sharing of every day life as an adoptive family can make those starting out better prepared, more thoughtful, and bring them even deeper into an understanding of the difficult yet remarkably beautiful journey they are on for the sake of loving a child.

And, if your the beginner reading this and you feel alone ~ don’t. Don’t keep living that way, because there is a wealth of knowledge, understanding,  wisdom and humor available to you in the form of an experienced adoptive family!  Make a call. Send an email.

My table is open to you.  And, I would bet most other adoptive families would say the same.

Proud of one of our MAA families!

Making a genuine difference in the lives of children is our first love. Working with amazing families that love children and work diligently to give them a hope and future is our second.

This story is from a family we are so happy to have worked with. Its INSPRIING. HAVE TISSUE READY. BE PREPARED TO HAVE YOUR PASSION LIT UP FOR THE WORLDS ORPHANS. THIS IS A BEAUTIFUL STORY.The Oasis Blog


Madison Adoption Associates is Celebrating NATIONAL ADOPTION MONTH Early!!

“Madison wants to make a difference.  You want to complete families.  Your organization gives me faith that there are others out there trying to make the world a better place.”
                                     ~ Jacque S.
All of the Children below are waiting for a family – and their adoption now includes an additional 
MAA Grant of $2000
You can learn more about these fabulous waiting children at


Raising a Child with Abuse in their Past…

Our director posted this article on the MAA facebook page as she was touched by it and felt that this writer and mother hit the nail on the head.  At MAA all of our families work through training with their social worker to understand that spanking a child who has a history of abuse, neglect, trauma, and institutionalization can bring on more trauma…more hurt…more distance.  I think Dana, the author of this post,  did a lovely job of raising this issue in a grace filled and honest manner:

Dear Christian Parent Adopting an Older Child,

     I want to plead with you not to spank.
     I realize you’ve parented your biological children well. As you’ve taught and trained them to love and follow Jesus, spanking has been one of the tools in your toolbox. You’ve seen it bear fruit in their lives.
     But when you adopt your new child, it’s going to take a long time to build trust.
     Think about it. You didn’t spank your bio kids when they were infants. In fact, by the time you got to the point of using corporal punishment, even just a swat on the bottom, you had consistently been meeting their needs for many, many months.
   “Yes, I’ll feed you.”
     “Yes, I’ll change your diaper.”
      “Yes, I’ll comfort you.”
      Before you ever said, “No,” you said, “Yes,” about a gazillion times.
  They knew you. They loved you. They trusted you.
You will not have that same love and trust in the beginning with your newly adopted older child……

Ambassadors of Hope Program

Do you love children and have a heart for advocating for orphans? We may be looking for an active, passionate, and connected person like you!

Madison Adoption Associates is launching our Advocates of Hope Program in conjunction with CCCWA advocate policies and procedures.

Individuals and families now have a unique opportunity to help find permanent homes for vulnerable children in orphanages by visiting them in China and interacting with them over a 4 day period of time.  This opportunity is being provided by the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA) and it is a new program known as œThe Ambassador of Hope Program. The host of this specific program is the Beijing City Children’s Welfare Institute.

The trip will take place from  November 2nd, 2015  November 7, 2015. The trip will begin with amazing sightseeing in Beijing which includes going to the Great Wall of China.  Staring on November 3rd advocates will begin meeting with children in order to get to know them and have information to return home and advocate for those children to find families.

Families will be required to travel together to ensure that everyone arrives in China at the same time. This city will be determined by the best priced flight we can find.  All advocates will travel together with MAA staff. The departure date will be on October 30th or October 31st from a selected city (most likely Newark, NJ, but possibly Chicago or another city) where the group will meet. Advocates will leave China on November 7th or November 8th, and arrive home the same day.  (China is 12 hours ahead of the Eastern Standard time).

It makes an incredible difference for prospective families to hear from people who have been able to observe and interact with the children who need homes, to more effectively communicate the personality and strengths of these children.  Speaking to other families about a particular child can help the prospective family to understand the child’s needs and abilities in a very personal way that is different from reading the referral report, seeing a photo or watching a short video. 

Specific Duties and Responsibilities

Each advocate is expected to:

  • Participate in a 1 hour phone conference for a pre-travel overview and training orientation provided by Madison Adoption Associates;
  • Participate in the full schedule of daily activities and events sponsored by CCCWA;
  • Complete observation sheets (provided by Madison Adoption Associates) for each child during the entirety of the program;
  • Clear the Madison Adoption Associates screening and provide MAA with current child abuse and background checks; and
  • Participate in daily debriefings with Madison Adoption Associate staff during time in China to discuss children, strategize, and/or resolve any issues and/or concerns.

Applicants for this program must be in good health, mentally and physically, without communicable diseases of public health significance.

Applicants are NOT being recruited to serve as advocates with plans to personally adopt a child in the Ambassador of Hope Program.


Families will need to cover the cost of their airfare to and from China, as well as the cost to get them to the selected city of departure. MAA may arrange all of this and charge each advocate a fee.  (PLEASE REMEMBER- our goal is to keep this as inexpensive, yet as efficient as possible!) Advocates should also plan for additional minimal costs which will be disclosed as soon as specific plans are made.  MAA will arrange transportation for advocates to and from the airport and hotel in Beijing.  We have been told that hotel accommodations and most meals will be covered by the Beijing City Children’s Welfare Institute, as they are the host of this program.

However, families should plan to bring enough money to cover any expenses that may arise. Airport meals and souvenirs are also the responsibility of each advocate.

If you are interested in being an advocate and participating in Madison Adoption Associates’ first Ambassadors of Hope Program please contact the office for the application and forward to as soon as possible. 

There are a lot more details available, please call the office if you are interested! This program will fill up fast.

A Million Rainbows




My daughter was blessed with a loving care taker from Half the Sky Foundation! We even have a scrap book of her years in the orphanage with photos of her playing with her caretaker. I cherish this deeply. My daughter grieved her caretaker which broke our hearts to see her sadness, and yet we were so grateful for that caretaker who lavished attention and care on our LingLing.  My little girl at such as  young age lost her first family, so much change and unknown for a little life to endure. I know that during those years while she waited for a family she was given a constant~ a caretaker to play ball with her, teach her, hold her, feed her, and make her know that she is worthy of love. Because she is. They all are.

I am thankful for Half the Sky Foundation. They do a good work!

See here to help them paint a million rainbows in the sky….to help them provide a caretaker for every orphan that waits! 

Advocacy: Vance

Vance has waited far too long and been on far too many agency lists! He was abandoned at 3.5 and had a birth note with him so his birthday is accurate. Vance will be turning nine in just a couple weeks and he is diagnosed as having epidermolysis bullosa simplex (EB). EB is a skin condition. It appears as what looks like blisters, mostly affecting his hands, arms, and feet. Vance has a mild form of EB and is on a medication to help treat it.

Vance is loved by his caretakers and all of the older boys and girls in the orphanage. He has very good fine motor skills and good gross motor skills as well. He speaks well too. Vance likes to play with other children and he is good with sharing his toys and snacks. His friends all like him very much. Vance likes dancing and he is good at it too. He dances in many performances the orphanage holds for various festivals and he receives a lot of praise for it. You can watch him dance in this video that was received by an agency he was formerly with (he went by the name Elias with this agency). MAA is working to get an update on Vance as well.


There is a $3,000 grant for Vance’s adoption with Madison Adoption Associates. MAA is offering another $1,000 in agency fee reductions for families that sign on between now and the end of July and another $500 in agency fee reductions for a family that moves forward for a waiting boy between now and the end of July. That’s $4,500 in grants for Vance’s adoption! Other grants may be available based on the adoptive family’s circumstances. Agency grants are awarded as agency fee reductions. MAA also partners with the Brittany’s Hope Foundation for matching grants, which are given out twice a year- often January and July.

If you are interested in reviewing Vance’s file or in adopting Vance, please fill out a free PAP Waiting Child Review Form, which can be found here:

Madison Adoption Associates's photo.
Madison Adoption Associates's photo.
Madison Adoption Associates's photo.
Madison Adoption Associates's photo.

A Fantastic Article!

reat share!

“Here’s what I wish you would do.”


MAA families and friends, I am so happy to share this blog post.  I read it and my heart melted.  In reading this I felt as though the writer and I had sat down and talked this through. She wrote my heart on this.

It is called,”To the Embarrassed Parent of the Child Pointing at my Daughter”. 

A beautiful read for all of us.

MAA Adoption Reunion in Illinois!

Please join us for the adoption reunion and orphan hosting picnic on Saturday, July 11th from 11 am to 2 pm at Rochester Community Park in Rochester, Illinois. You will have the opportunity to meet orphans from China who will be in the United States for a month. These children are all in need of adoptive families, so please spread the word to anyone who may be interested in attending. This picnic will also be an adoption reunion for all adoptive families. Most of the adoptive families will have children adopted from China or the Philippines, but all are invited to attend. Families will need to bring their own food, drinks and table service. We also recommend bringing your lawn chairs in case there is not enough room at the picnic tables. Madison Adoption Associates Director, Aleda Madison, and Associate Director, Diana Bramble, look forward to seeing you there!

Madison Adoption Associates's photo.