Thursday, August 17, 2017

Chinese Adoptees Tour China for Free!

We are thrilled to announce the 2018 Spring and Summer Heritage Tour scheduleAll China adoptees of any age travel FREE for in-China tours
Spring Schedule:  March 18- March 28, 2018
Summer Schedule:  June 10-20, 2018 & July 15-July 25, 2018
Join us for this once in a lifetime chance to discover the wonders of China and learn about the history and beauty of your child’s homeland!  You’ll see the Great Wall and Forbidden City, the Terracotta Warriors outside of Xi’an, visit a Panda reserve, cruise on the Li River and even visit where your  adoption journey began…the CCCWA!
Some incredible highlights of the 2018 tours include:
·         China adoptees of all ages are FREE for in-China tours!
·         Ten days and five spectacular cities: Beijing, Chengdu, Xi’an, Guilin and Yangshuo. 
·         Includes all in-China air/train tickets and ground transportation, hotels, park entrance tickets, and most meals during the dates mentioned for each tour (Panda hugging in Chengdu costs extra).
·         All of this for $2,099 per non-China adoptee adult (12 or older) and $1,599 for non-China adoptee children.
·         Optional visit and tour to your child’s orphanage is available before or after the main tour (additional costs apply).
Online registration is available on our website at for all four tours! 
Note: In order to benefit from the free Chinese adoptee in-China tour package:
  • Adopted Chinese children must travel with their own parent(s). 
  • Each adoptive couple (both traveling) can bring up to three Chinese adoptees
  • Each single parent can bring up to two Chinese adoptees
These tours are open to everyone: CCAI families, non-CCAI families, your friends or relatives.  So please spread the word – the more the merrier!  If you are a FCC chapter member in your area, please help us get the word out to FCC communities.  Thank you!!! 
For any questions about the upcoming 2018 tours, please feel free to email or call 303-850-9998. 
We look forward to helping your family plan an amazing trip back to China!
CCAI Heritage Tour & Travel Department

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

CAFO Webinar: Is Our Church Helping or Hurting?

CAFO Webinar Series Presents........

Is Our Church Helping or Hurting?

Wednesday, August 30 | 1:00pm (CST)

15 Principles to Consider and Pitfalls to Avoid in Your Global Engagement Strategy

Are you a leader in your church’s global missions ministry? Are you mobilizing people in your church to go on short-term trips? Do you maintain relationships with strategic global partner organizations? Do you ever wonder if what you’re doing is the most effective and efficient use of your church’s time, energy, resources and focus?

You’re not alone. Impacting the world in significant, meaningful, Christ-honoring ways has always been an abiding hallmark of the Christian church. Every church leader wants to do it well…but
how do we know if we are?

Join us as we discuss 15 essential principles to consider and pitfalls to avoid in your church’s global engagement strategy. We will construct a general framework essential practices for your leadership to work through based on biblical principles and a strong research and evidence base that affirms the importance of engaging global orphaned and vulnerable children ministry with excellence, integrity and humility.

Presented by: Jason Johnson & Nicole Wilke, CAFO

Friday, August 4, 2017


What happens when a six-year-old boy in Kenya is abandoned by his family and left to raise himself on the streets? MULLY is no ordinary rags-to-riches tale. It's the true story of Charles Mully, whose unlikely stratospheric rise to wealth and power leaves him questioning his own existence, searching for meaning in life. Against the better judgment of family and community, MULLY sets out to enrich the fate of orphaned children across Kenya. Jeopardizing his own life and the security of his family, Charles Mully risks everything and sets in motion a series of events that is nothing short of astonishing.

MULLY will open in select theaters October 3-5! Find theaters and order your tickets now. Keep checking back as more theaters will be confirmed as we get closer to the release date.

For more information on the MULLY movie, visit their web site.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Road Trip for Foster & Adoptive Dads

Road Trip for Foster & Adoptive Dads
October 8-11, 2017 OR October 11-14, 2017
Bear Trap Ranch, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Are you an adoptive, foster, or safe family dad? There is something special just for you! An epic road trip with other dads who are in the trenches just like you. This is an experience you don't want to miss. 
Learn More

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Behind the Nation's Foster Care Crisis

Boy cradling his legs at the bottom of a set of stairs.

According to, America’s opioid epidemic has caused a surge in foster care admissions, overwhelming the child welfare system. Parents who use drugs are unable to care for their children. These children are at risk of developing substance use disorders. But with support from the child welfare system, health care providers and drug courts, parents and children can receive the help they need to achieve a healthy, happy family life.

At 22 years old, Deidre was using drugs, stealing and had already lost custody of her son. Then pregnant with her second child and struggling with depression, she turned to a family support program for help.

“I have regrets and I sincerely miss my oldest son, who was adopted several years ago. I […] wish I could do it all over again and be the mother to him that I am to [my second son] now,” Deidre told Healthy Families Florida.

Deidre’s oldest son is one of the nearly 428,000 children in foster care.

According to the 2015 Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, 32 percent of these children came from a drug-abusing parent and 6 percent from an alcohol-abusing parent.

Continue reading HERE.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Chicago Area Families For Adoption Picnic!

Family Picnic

Join us for the 2017 CAFFA Family Picnic! This will be a great opportunity to meet other adoptive families in our communities. CAFFA members and non-members are welcome. Event will take place rain or shine.

Saturday, August 12 @ 11:30 am - 2:30 pm

Lunch will be offered from 12:00 - 1:00 pm.
 Event will take place rain or shine at

Registration Info:
Registration for this event is $10.00 per person (children 3 and under are
free). The fee will cover the pavilion rental and the cost of lunch. Final food order will be placed the first week of August therefore registration will close on August 1st, 2017. No refunds will be issued after this date.

For Questions or Comments, please contact
For more information click HERE

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

15 Ways to Be a Foster Care Friendly Church


Foster kids need the church. Foster families need the church.

Here are 15 ways to be a foster care friendly church–


  1. Educate, educate, educate. Host informational meetings for would-be foster parents, but also for members of the church family who simply want to learn more about foster care.
  2. Add foster care discussion to existing (paid/volunteer) staff training. Many children who come from hard places have unique challenges and behaviors that require extra love and patience from those in authority.
  3. Host foster care licensing opportunities on campus. Open these classes to church families and members of the community. Not only is this decision helpful to the local foster care agency, but it sends a clear signal to foster families that your church will support their efforts to foster.


  1. Organize meal trains for new placements. If your church family provides meals to new moms, be sure to include foster parents in this ministry. Though foster parents haven’t given birth with each placement, their hands are full and their hearts and minds are exhausted.
  2. Provide help with with errands. Heading to the store? Call and see if you can pick anything up for a foster family in your church. Not having to load kids in the car to make an extra trip could be a huge blessing.
  3. Maintain a supply closet (or room!) Maintain space in the church where church members can donate beds, clothes, cribs, diapers, furniture, and other items that could be used by foster families. Assign a church member or small group the task of collecting and sorting donations to ensure the items are good quality and easily accessible.


  1. Make consistent, encouraging contact. Quick calls or texts go a long way in encouraging families who are doing the daily work of loving and caring for the fatherless. Especially on important days (such as court cases or parental visits), let the family know you care and are praying for them.
  2. Invite families to participate in dedicatory prayers. Pray for families who are starting the foster care process. Publicly commit to support them as a church body.  
  3. Put foster families on the church prayer sheet. As we remember to pray for families in the church who are facing deep personal trials or challenges, let’s not neglect to pray for families caring for kids in need.


  1. Offer childcare. Check with local foster families to see what the current requirements are for babysitting children in foster care. If certification is necessary (or helpful), encourage families to pursue it by hosting a certification class at the church.
  2. Help with seasonal tasks. Offer to help with yard cleanup, gutter work, snow removal, etc., This can be a huge value to busy families.
  3. Support local foster care agencies and workers. Build relationships with key foster care leaders in the area. Ask them how you can help. Invite them to a special dinner or service. Send notes of encouragement. Do a donation drive to collect supplies they need.


  1. Include all children in regular church activities. Be careful not to distinguish children who are adopted or being fostered from children in biological families. This can be terribly hurtful to children and parents. Invite all children to all church events, even if that means tailoring activities to the needs of specific kids.
  2. Listen. Foster families will typically answer your questions honestly if you ask them how they feel and what they need and how you can best minister to their kids.
  3. Tell foster children and families that they are welcome, cherished, and needed in the church family. (And then tell them again!) 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

State Trends in Child Well-Being

The 2017 KIDS COUNT Data Book urges policymakers not to back away from targeted investments that help U.S. children become healthier, more likely to complete high school and better positioned to contribute to the nation’s economy as adults. The Data Book also shows the child poverty rate in 2015 continued to drop, landing at 21%. In addition, children experienced gains in reading proficiency and a significant increase in the number of kids with health insurance. However, the data indicate that unacceptable levels of children living in poverty and in high-poverty neighborhoods persist.  Get all the state-by-state data HERE.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4 Kids, 3 Churches, 2 Chronic Illnesses

A single divorced mom of 4 was in crisis. Due to 2 chronic illnesses, she was in desperate need of more intensive medical treatment before she became any sicker. 

Several times a year, she would end up in the ER and friends would help care for her kids. Her doctors recommended that she undergo an experimental treatment. But she kept putting it off due to the unknown time treatment period of 2 - 6 months. She knew her friends wouldn't be able to help care for her children for that extended period of time and unfortunately, she couldn't rely on the children's father due to turmoil between them.

And that's where the Safe Families community stepped in!

Through the combined help of 3 churches, she was able to receive help with meals, transportation and her children were hosted and cared for. Mom was able to get the treatment she needed and became healthy enough to come back home to her kids. And their father even got involved and took the kids every weekend.
The host family developed such a great relationship with both parents that everyone attended the host family's daughter's birthday party!
With continued support, mom was able to attend and complete beauty school. And during that time she met a wonderful Christian man whom she married a year later. This is all because she received biblical hospitality from 'strangers' and had a safe place for all her kids to go so she could heal.

This is just one story that illustrates what biblical hospitality looks like. It's stories like these that exemplify why we do what we do. Be encouraged that your work is not in vain. 

Families are restored, children are loved and hearts are transformed!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Re-fresh Conference for Adoptive, Foster & Safe Families Parents!

Registration is now OPEN for Refresh Chicago
October 6-7, 2017 | Community Christian Church, Naperville, IL

Refresh is not your typical conference!
Refresh is a Christian conference designed for foster and adoptive parents, kinship providers, grandparents, and others who care for God’s orphaned and vulnerable children.

We understand firsthand that this journey can be difficult and lonely. The Refresh Conference is a time for you to escape from the distractions and chaos of life and be refreshed, equipped, and inspired.

Refresh Chicago Pre-Conference Deep Dives
October 5, 2017 | Yellowbox Church, Naperville IL
Pre-conference #1 - Trust-Based Relational Intervention | 10am - 5pm (lunch included)
Pre-conference #2 - Becoming a Serving Spouse | 5:30pm - 8pm (dinner included)
Trust-Based Relational Intervention (TBRI®)

Trust-Based Relational Intervention® (TBRI®) is a holistic approach that is multi-disciplinary, flexible, attachment-centered, and challenging. It is an evidence-based, trauma-informed intervention that is specifically designed for children who come from hard places, such as maltreatment, abuse, neglect, multiple home placements, and violence, but you’ll see that the principles apply to all children. TBRI® consists of three sets of harmonious principles: Connecting, Empowering, and Correcting Principles. TBRI® principles have been used in homes, schools, residential facilities, orphanages, and several other settings. 
Becoming a Serving Spouse

Becoming A Serving Spouse will help couples re-prioritize their marriage by discovering 4 valuable keys to create a healthy and successful marriage.

Join us October 5 from 5:30pm - 8pm.
Dinner included.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Interested in learning more about foster care?

Foster Care Information Meeting

Have you ever thought about becoming a foster parent? Join us for an informational meeting where you can come to find answers to your questions!

Many foster parents have said that is was in prayer that they became inspired to open their home to a child in need. Children who have experienced trauma, abuse, neglect, or abandonment need a safe place to heal, to learn, and to grow.  Is God calling you?

Monday, June 26th, 7:00-8:00pm
Willow Creek Community Church
Room B109 (enter by the chapel)
67 E. Algonquin Road, So. Barrington

You will hear from Dr. Cheryl  Stenzel, Director of Allendale’s Foster Care Program.  Come and ask questions!

For questions and to register, contact Dr. Cheryl Stenzel at or call 847-245-6377 

*Please note: Child care is not available for this event.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Young Adult Adoptee Group!

Upcoming Group - June 6th
Young Adult Adoptee Group
This event is for older teens and adults (15 years old or older) who would like to discuss adoption-related topics in a safe and open environment. Parents can also attend a separate group simultaneously, led by a licensed therapist (no fee for parents, but please RSVP). Discussions will range in topics from:
    • peer relationships, 
    • launching out of their parents home, 
    • college/career, 
    • and other adoption related issues.
Facilitated by Pam Shepard, LCSW and an adult-adoptee.  
June 6, 2017
Tuesday, 6:30pm to 8:00pm


Holt-Sunny Ridge Children's Services
270 Remington Blvd 
Suite D 
Bolingbrook, IL 60440

Holt-Sunny Ridge | 630-754-4500 |