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Founder's Story

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Founder's Story

A Faithful Journey

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.

Heart to Heart

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.”

Pictured: The Zhong Family at Anna's Wedding

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.

Colorado Expenses

ExpenseAmountPmt MethodPay ToDue
Application Fee$250Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIApplication submission
Child Abuse Record Search$35/FamilyCheckCO Dept of Human ServiceApplication submission
IAAME Monitoring & Oversight Fee$500Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAI (Sent to IAAME)After App Approval
First Program Fee (Includes Home Study)$5,700Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIAfter App Approval
CBI/FBI Fingerprint Search$39.50 per personMoney OrderColorado Bureau of InvestigationAfter App Approval
USCIS Filing & Fingerprinting$775 plus $85/adultCheck/Money OrderUS Dept. of Homeland SecurityUpon I-800A submission
Dossier PreparationApprox. $450-$900Check/Money OrderSecretary of State(s), Chinese Consulate(s)As preparing Dossier
Second Program Fee$5,050Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIDossier Submission
CCCWA Fee$1,270Check/ACH WithdrawalCCCWA via CCAIDossier Submission
Third Program Fee$5,500Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIPrior to receiving child match acceptance letter
CCCWA Post Adoption Translation Fee$300Check/ACH WithdrawalCCCWA via CCAIPrior to receiving child match acceptance letter
Court Validation Deposit$200CheckCCAIPrior to receiving child match acceptance letter
Post Adoption Deposit (Refundable)$450Check/ACH WithdrawalCCAIPrior to receiving child match acceptance letter
Visa to enter China$140 (plus courier fee)Check/Credit CardChinese Consulate via a courier/travel agencyApproximately one month before travel to China
US Domestic & International Airfare$1,000 – $2,000 per traveler (adopted child over 2 requires full ticket)Credit CardA travel agency/airline of your choice

Approximately 7-10 days prior to China departure

In China Travel & AccommodationsApprox. $4,000-$4,400 for two adultsACH WithdrawalCCAI (wired to China)Approximately 7-10 days prior to China departure
Adoption Registration and Notarization$800 – $1,000CashLocal government in ChinaIn China
Orphanage Donation(Voluntary)Cash or WireOrphanageIn China
Child’s Passport$100-$150CashLocal passport agencyIn China
Food$700 – $800 per coupleCash/Credit CardHotel(s), restaurant(s)In China
Child Physical & Photo$130-$150CashClinicIn Guangzhou, China
Child U.S. Entry Visa$325Cash or CheckU.S. ConsulateIn China
Court Validation Fee$167CheckCounty CourtAfter U.S. Return
Child’s Colorado Birth Certificate$37.75CheckColorado Vital Statistics OfficeAfter U.S. Return
Lutheran Family Services$250CheckLutheran Family Services via CCAIWhen Home Study is approved by CCAI