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Yes doesn’t always mean Forever

Dear Max,

I wrote my last letter to you over a year ago.  Remember?  When you weren’t too sure about hosting?  But you came on that hosting trip last summer.  You embraced it.  You dove into American culture and tested the waters of family.  We were all so proud of you.  You charmed those you met with your shy, kind, but spunky self.  A family said Yes to you, and you have been patiently waiting since.  But Max, and it kills me to have to tell you this, sadly, Yes’s don’t always turn into forever.  And, due to no fault of your own, you are waiting once again.  And now, it is that much closer to your 14th birthday.  Not to mention the fact that you are watching each friend who came with you on that trip leave for their own forever.  Max, we know it took all the courage in the world for you to come on that trip.  And we are so thankful that you did, because now, so many of us know you.  And so many of us continue to stand by you until my promise of a family, your family, is fulfilled, forever.  There is another Yes out there for you Max, and the next yes will be forever.


Your friends at Madison

Max turns thirteen in January, leaving only one year to be adopted.  Though he was diagnosed as a ‘premature infant with low birth weight,’ Max does not present with any special needs.  Except, of course, being an older boy.  There is a $5,000 Bright Futures grant available for the family who adopts Max, as well as additional grants.  Please complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form to be considered as his forever family, or email for more information.


Welcome Jinny!

Celebrating Jinny’s birthday during her first week with MAA!

We are excited to introduce Jinny O, MAA’s new adoption case worker!  Jinny comes to us with over seven years of international adoption experience.  Jinny’s family emigrated from Korea in the early 1970’s.  She was born in Virginia and raised in southeastern Pennsylvania.  Jinny graduated from Penn State University with a major in Human Development and Family Studies, focusing on children and youth.  Jinny’s passions lie in helping children in need, as well as helping families navigate the adoption process.  We are thrilled to have Jinny on our team, and know incredible things are yet to come with her on our side!  Welcome Jinny!!


There are angels among us…

This place.  Most of us, when we think of the word orphanage, certain images come to mind.  This place, I can assure you, is most likely NOT one of those images.  This place is filled with love, and purpose, and nurturing.  This place is filled with angels on earth.

The House of Refuge prides itself on nurturing every aspect of ˜their’ children physical, emotional, spiritual.  But, they do not stop there.  They understand the importance of preparing the children for their lives outside of the orphanage, whether it is with a family, domestic or international, or on their own.

Family is talked about, feelings are encouraged and shared, adoption is celebrated.  The kids are taught not only to cook, clean up after themselves, and to do well in school; but they are taught to respect others, to love one another, and to value family.  Signs referring to prayer, and love, and respect, and anti-bullying adorn the halls.  They have ˜no-rice days’ to help the kids get ready for their lives in different countries, they visit airports to familiarize the kids with their long trip to their new families, they share pictures and video of the families traveling soon and talk about them often to allay any fears that the children might have.  Ultimately, they understand and embrace the importance of loving these children fiercely, and preparing them for their futures as best they can.

I wish I could show you all of the pictures I have of the kids.  But, much like many of us, the caretakers respect the privacy of the children.  They respect them as individuals, and refuse to allow their children’s pictures shared without permission.  Talk about love.  So, instead, I’ll show you a small glimpse into this place that’s filled with big hearts and lots of hope¦

House of Refuge is located in the Philippines, and they regularly care for and nurture older children who are available for inter-country adoption.  If you are interested in learning more about our Philippines adoption program, please contact Program Director, Amanda Felizardo, at or visit our website for more information.