Joshua Zhong, CCAI President and Co-Founder, discusses how finding his faith took him on a journey from China, all the way to Denver, and ultimately to the founding of CCAI.
By Joshua Zhong
On September 15, 1992, we decided to open an adoption agency. I joked with my wife, Lily, that we needed to be prepared to take ten or twenty children into our own home if some of the adoptions didn’t work out.
Thank God that has never happened!
However, Lily and I and our twins, Art and Amy, always wanted to expand our family through adoption in China. Time went by.
In April 2004, information for thirty children with medical and developmental needs arrived in our Waiting Child Department. Immediately upon noticing a picture of our daughter, I burst out, “She is so beautiful!”
“Don’t you think she would fit into your family beautifully?” asked one of our staff.
“She asked me the same question. So what do you think?” Lily asked, overhearing my exclamation.
I responded with a tentative, “Why not?”
By the end of the day, a file was placed on Lily’s desk. It included the beautiful little girl’s information and photos.
I was not able to go to sleep that night. The little girl’s face was stuck in my mind. I closed my eyes and prayed… When I opened my eyes, tears were pouring out uncontrollably.
God had spoken to me: “She is yours to love. Take her.”
The following day, I gathered my family. Holding the girl’s photo, I asked, “What would you think if we brought this nine-year-old girl into our home?”
“Nine?!!!” Art and Amy looked at each other with eyes wide and then at her picture. “I guess,” they said simultaneously. (This is teenager-speak for “yes.”) I turned to Lily. Before I opened my mouth, she said, “Why not?! I was just waiting on all of you.”
Like every adoptive family, we had to go through the long and frustrating process of dossier compilation, fingerprinting, completing a home study, parenting training, etc. The process gave us a new perspective and appreciation for the challenges our adoptive families have to endure to fulfill their dream for a child.
This was what we knew about her: Her name was Gao Jie, and she had a congenital heart condition. In 2002, the orphanage decided to send her file to the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA), hoping to find an international adoptive family for her. Unfortunately, due to her age and heart condition, no agency could find a family for her until her file arrived at CCAI.
Through it all, there was no doubt that God was preparing her for our family and us for her.
We went to China and hugged Gao Jie for the first time on October 25, 2004, our forever family day. She came to us with a big smile. Her new name is Anna Jie Zhong.
Not every moment of our adoption journey has been easy. We sincerely appreciate other families’ challenges when adopting older children. Still, we would not change one thing about our Anna.
We want to thank our staff who supported us during this emotional process. We thank all the families who have been praying for us. We thank Anna’s birth mom, foster parents, orphanage caretakers, and doctors. Above all, we thank God for His wonderful gift of life and love.
|Expense||Amount||Pmt Method||Pay To||Due|
|Application Fee||$250||Check/ACH Withdrawal||CCAI||Application submission|
|Child Abuse Record Search||$35/Family||Check||CO Dept of Human Service||Application submission|
|IAAME Monitoring & Oversight Fee||$500||Check/ACH Withdrawal||CCAI (Sent to IAAME)||After App Approval|
|First Program Fee (Includes Home Study)||$5,700||Check/ACH Withdrawal||CCAI||After App Approval|
|CBI/FBI Fingerprint Search||$39.50 per person||Money Order||Colorado Bureau of Investigation||After App Approval|
|USCIS Filing & Fingerprinting||$775 plus $85/adult||Check/Money Order||US Dept. of Homeland Security||Upon I-800A submission|
|Dossier Preparation||Approx. $450-$900||Check/Money Order||Secretary of State(s), Chinese Consulate(s)||As preparing Dossier|
|Second Program Fee||$5,050||Check/ACH Withdrawal||CCAI||Dossier Submission|
|CCCWA Fee||$1,270||Check/ACH Withdrawal||CCCWA via CCAI||Dossier Submission|
|Third Program Fee||$5,500||Check/ACH Withdrawal||CCAI||Prior to receiving child match acceptance letter|
|CCCWA Post Adoption Translation Fee||$300||Check/ACH Withdrawal||CCCWA via CCAI||Prior to receiving child match acceptance letter|
|Court Validation Deposit||$200||Check||CCAI||Prior to receiving child match acceptance letter|
|Post Adoption Deposit (Refundable)||$450||Check/ACH Withdrawal||CCAI||Prior to receiving child match acceptance letter|
|Visa to enter China||$140 (plus courier fee)||Check/Credit Card||Chinese Consulate via a courier/travel agency||Approximately one month before travel to China|
|US Domestic & International Airfare||$1,000 – $2,000 per traveler (adopted child over 2 requires full ticket)||Credit Card||A travel agency/airline of your choice|
Approximately 7-10 days prior to China departure
|In China Travel & Accommodations||Approx. $4,000-$4,400 for two adults||ACH Withdrawal||CCAI (wired to China)||Approximately 7-10 days prior to China departure|
|Adoption Registration and Notarization||$800 – $1,000||Cash||Local government in China||In China|
|Orphanage Donation||(Voluntary)||Cash or Wire||Orphanage||In China|
|Child’s Passport||$100-$150||Cash||Local passport agency||In China|
|Food||$700 – $800 per couple||Cash/Credit Card||Hotel(s), restaurant(s)||In China|
|Child Physical & Photo||$130-$150||Cash||Clinic||In Guangzhou, China|
|Child U.S. Entry Visa||$325||Cash or Check||U.S. Consulate||In China|
|Court Validation Fee||$167||Check||County Court||After U.S. Return|
|Child’s Colorado Birth Certificate||$37.75||Check||Colorado Vital Statistics Office||After U.S. Return|
|Lutheran Family Services||$250||Check||Lutheran Family Services via CCAI||When Home Study is approved by CCAI|