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MAA Family in the News: Angels in Adoption Award Nominees

The Anderson family of Decatur, Illinois has worked with Madison Adoption Associates for the past four years. They contacted MAA to do a homestudy for their family as they pursued an adoption from the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The family has recently brought home four year old Phoebe and they are doing fantastic together! After a three year wait and two trips to the DRC, the Andersons are thrilled to have their daughter under their roof and in their arms. They have been nominated by Congressman Davis for the Angels in Adoption award for their determination.

Full news article with video!

They stated, “We are so grateful for a homestudy agency that encouraged us along the way while awaiting our daughter from the DRC to arrive home after 4 long years. Madison Adoption Associates was there at the very beginning of our adoption process until the end. The staff at MAA was available for guidance and encouragement if ever needed. Our case worker always went above and beyond to make sure all of our questions were answered throughout the entire process. She fought on our behalf at the state level while assuring us that everything will fall into place. Even though MAA was not our placement agency, they did not forget about us and often asked how we were doing during the turmoil of the 4 year wait!  We are thankful that they stood by us! Thank you MAA!”

If you would like to learn more about Madison Adoption Associates, and the adoption services that we offer, please visit our website at


Reminder :Guangzhou Adoption Unit Closed for New Year!

To all families who may be traveling soon ~

Happy New Year!  We just the following message from the US Consulate in Guangzhou.

The U.S. Consulate General Guangzhou Adoptions Unit will not provide adoption services, including interviews, LSC drop-off and Article 5 pass-back, appointment scheduling, and routine inquiries, over the Chinese New Year’s holiday from February 8 to February 15, 2016.  We will promptly respond to inquiries and appointment requests when we reopen on February 16, 2016.

Please keep this in mind as you consider travel plans.  Please email Diana or your caseworker if you have any questions.


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.

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.

Its HOSTING time!

Madison Adoption Associates
Orphan Hosting Program 2015
MAA is beginning to plan now, 
for the Summer 2015 Orphan Hosting Program.
If you live in Illinois or Missouri and would like to learn more about hosting a child from China or Philippines, please contact
The exact dates are not set at this time, but the children will most likely be here during the month of July 2015. , Only families living in Illinois or Missouri can host because of the required supervision and group events.
Families are also needed to host the adults who accompany the children. , This is a great way to help the children, who cannot travel without these chaperones!

Hope for Cleft Surgery in China!

Attention MAA families! Attention! This is such a great opportunity to help a child with cleft that still needs a family! (This is so near and dear to my heart as my own beloved daughter had severe bilateral cleft lip and palate). This surgery can CHANGE this child’s life. They can eat! They can speak! They can received education! They can be adopted! They can find acceptance! This is life saving surgery and surgery that can instantly improve a childs chances for so much that they need to thrive!

The following announcement comes from Amy at Love Without Boundaries.

We are sending another cleft team to China in April, with two incredible plastic surgeons from UCSF.,  They specialize in facial clefts, severe bilaterals, and nose revisions., , We have a few spots still left open, and we of course would like to help any child who hasn,,¦¾št been chosen have a better chance of finding a family.,  If you have seen any kids on the shared list who are perhaps older with cleft or who have other facial issues which require plastic surgery, I would love to have their information so we could contact their orphanages about possibly providing free surgery to them.


If you know of a child help us connect them to Amy and the folks at Love Without Boundaries! Contact Diana at MAA to refer a child for surgery!





Typhoon in the Philippines

Madison has deep connections in the Philippines.,  We support orphanages, advocate for Filipino children and families, and serve American families that have and are in the process of adopting from the Philippines. In addition, we have friend there living and working and perhaps even now, suffering., ,  Please now that everyone at Madison is praying for the people of the Philippines. We are praying and working to help in any way possible.

As soon as Diana is made aware about specifics regarding orphanages and children that are directly connected to MAA and our families she will contact you. This is an utmost priority for her and we all understand how on edge many of you may be at this time.,  We do know that many of the children that Madison is working to aid are alive and being relocated to a safer facility at this time.

Please know that Madison will be launching, a fundraiser later today in order to send financial aid directly to the Philippines.,  MAA will match the money raised. A Constant Contact from Sara Lang at MAA will be going out today to all Madison families and friends.

Peace and Healing and Rest and Restoration to the people of the Philippines.


NACAC Message~ Words to Read and a Life to Remember.



For Melvin – A Message of Love and Unconditional Commitment


It is with a very heavy heart that I write this week,,¦¾šs CCN news. Our youngest son, Melvin, lost his battle with heroin addiction this last Tuesday. , He was only 21.


Mel came to us at 2 ,½ years old with no language, no understanding of what it meant to be part of a family and no capacity for receiving affection. Every day with him was worthwhile ,,,¦šœ he challenged us, he caused us hurt and worry and he brought us such joy. Melvin,,¦¾šs smile, his laugh could light up the world.


As a fellow adoptive parent, I know how difficult it is to love and stay committed to a child who is unable to receive, appreciate or reciprocate that love and caring. In fact, that pain is one of the contributing factors to adoption breakdowns. We wonder if anything we have done or can do will make a difference. We wonder what will become of our children. But our children are not intending to hurt or anger us out of choice. It is their response to loss and trauma beyond their control and understanding. I firmly believe and have seen the proof that if we can just hang in there long enough, we can and do make a difference.


Many of you have heard stories of Mel over the years and listened to me talk about how much he taught his father and I. There were countless moments when he pushed us to the limit and today I can only say how grateful we are to have had the time with him we did and to know that we never stopped loving, believing in, and being there for him.


I want to share the most recent and most important lessons he taught us. Close to three years ago, Melvin overdosed for what we later found out was the second time. The doctors told us that he would not survive the traumatic brain injury and we all prepared for his death. All of us except Buddy, his dad, who knew he would survive. If you have attended a training or lecture of mine, you know that Dr. Bruce Perry later told me the constant massage and touch we gave him were what saved his life that time. I wish we could have been with him last week to hold and save him again.


As the doctors predicted, he was not the same person after his miraculous recovery. We received the greatest gift; Melvin opened himself up to love and appreciation. He came home within two months ,,,¦šœ frustrated that his basketball shot was way off, walking a bit slower, forgetful, and without any memory of what happened or his time in the hospital. Those were challenges, but were nothing compared to the positive changes. We had a whole new boy who could give and receive affection, appreciation, joy and hope.


For the last fourteen months, Melvin struggled to find and maintain sobriety. I have lost count of the number of programs he graduated from, was discharged from, or was kicked out of for all kinds of infractions. Each time, he get right back to another and continue to try. He wanted to ,,¦¦Åget right,,š and become a drug counselor for other young people struggling with addiction. I have been reading dozens of messages from people he touched ,,,¦šœ every one talks about how he helped them stay strong, how he inspired them or gave them hope.

To his father, his siblings, his niece and nephew, his aunts, uncles and cousins he could finally say ,,¦¦ÅI love you.,,š Throughout these last months, there has not been a text, message, phone call or meeting with him that has not included the words ,,¦¦ÅThank you, I appreciate it,,,š and ended with the words ,,¦¦ÅI love you.,,š Now that we can,,¦¾št say or hear those words again, we truly understand the importance of treating each moment as if it could be the last.


Melvin wanted to do something good in the world for others and I believe that he has and will continue to do so. His big sister called me earlier today to tell me that she has finally found a job after being unemployed and unemployable for several years. She has enrolled in a local community college and will start in September. She says she was inspired by Melvin and wants to make him proud ,,,¦šœ he is the angel that will sit on her shoulder and help her along the path. His brothers have made it possible for Buddy and I to get through this horrific time. His other sister is doing all she can to stay strong and stay healthy. And his recovery community has asked to participate in his memorial so they can bring a message of recovery to other struggling young people as well.


Today and every day I am asking each of you to honor Melvin,,¦¾šs memory and support his desire to do something good in the world,,š¦


Parents ,,,¦šœ stay committed to your children no matter what. When you think you cannot do it for another minute, that is when they need you the most. Look to other parents to help you hang in there. If we can keep our kids connected to us, they always have a chance to heal from their wounds. It takes time, it is not easy, but it is the promise you made and you must keep it.

Child welfare workers ,,,¦šœ commit to ensuring that no child grows up and leaves care without a family. When you meet with resistance, fight it. When you get discouraged, seek hope. When you run up against a barrier, challenge it. For every child there is a family and each child and youth has a right to one. The question you can keep pushing is, ,,¦¦ÅWhat will it take?,,š and then pursue that.


Community, providers, courts, and legislators ,,,¦šœ do your part. These children belong to all of us. Vow to not let stigmatization, budgetary issues, politics or indifference guide your choices. With every action, vote, decision you make, ask yourself, ,,¦¦ÅHow will this affect this child, all children?,,š If you aren,,¦¾št satisfied with the answer if it were your child that would be impacted, then it is not acceptable for any child.


Finally and most importantly, youth ,,,¦šœ know that you are special, that you are worthwhile, that you have a voice you need to use, and that you are loved and valued. Ask for what you need, find allies in your peers and adults, believe that you deserve and can have a family of your own, and believe in yourself.


With love, deep sadness and hope,


This article came from this website.