Help Nightlight Christian Adoptions Win $20K!

Comcast Innovations for EntrepreneursHave you heard?! Nightlight has been chosen as one of 30 finalists in Comcast’s Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest! We need your help to be chosen as a one of six Grand Prize Winners that will win $20,000!

We entered the contest to gain funding that can help make the process of adopting easier for potential parents. Not only would we be able to help potential parents complete the adoption process online, we’d help them prepare for their adopted child by introducing an online education process. In order to meet these goals, we need to gain access to some existing software programs, which can often be expensive. And with that, we’d like to be able to customize the software to include some embryo adoption-specific enhancements.

At Nightlight, we’re all about helping more babies be born out of frozen storage with our Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program. We also work to raise awareness about embryo adoption through the Embryo Adoption Awareness Center, which Nightlight runs. With more than 600,000 embryos in frozen storage in the U.S., our goal is to help them become the children they were meant to be, which we do by matching donor parents with adopting parents through an open adoption process.

So how can you help? Visit cbcommunity.comcast.com/i4e/vote, and vote daily through May 13, 2016. Only one vote per person, per day will count to help us out, so help us spread the word through social media!

Learn more about Comcast Business’ Innovations 4 Entrepreneurs contest online, and see our full essay on the voting page. Thank you for your vote!

Supporting the Children in Families First Act

CHIFFNightlight, the National Council for Adoption and children all around the world need your help.

The Children in Families First Act is a congressional effort to make change for children all over the world. It would improve the way intercountry adoption works – leaving less children languishing and moving more families towards thriving. It would also provide much needed attention to ensuring diplomatic and programmatic assistance is given so that children all over the world can thrive in the full spectrum of family care settings.

Congress will soon leave Washington for summer recess, leaving us with just enough time to make our voices known on Capitol Hill, move CHIFF out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and onto the floor for a vote.

Here’s exactly how you can help, starting right now through this Friday (June 23 – June 27):

1. Send these two attached documents (What is CHIFF and Action Plan) to your staff, supporters, families, clients, and friends and;
a. Ask them to take the steps listed in the Action Plan
b. Ask them to send What is CHIFF and Action Plan to their networks and friends
2. Execute the Action Plan yourself, giving special attention to your efforts on social media
3. Post your activities to the CHIFF Facebook page

Nightlight on the Dr. Phil Show

This past Friday, April 25th, Nightlight Christian Adoptions’ Executive Director Daniel Nehrbass was a guest on the Dr. Phil Show, delivering some much needed good news to a couple caught up in the middle of a domestic adoption scam.

To learn more about how Nightlight’s Domestic, International, Foster and Embryo Adoption Programs can help you build your family please visit Nightlight.org.

Welcome Home from Romania Kleinhenz Family

On February 27, 2014 Alina and Kenneth Kleinhenz welcomed home their beautiful daughter Nora.

This is the first adoption of a Romanian child to a U.S. citizen in the past 10 years. Nightlight opened its Romania program in Fall of 2012 and the Kleinhenz’s were quick to apply to the program.

In order to adopt from Romania, one of the two parents needed to be of Romanian heritage – Alina is from Romania and still has many family members living there.

In a video released by the U.S. Embassy Bucharest the Kleinhenz family explained they are excited to be a part of this important event and to finally bring their daughter home.

“Adopting from Romania was completely natural for us because Alina’s family is all Romanian and living in San Diego, we have many Romanian friends and we want to keep the Romanian culture alive,” said Kenneth. “What better way to do that than by bringing a small child from Romania into our home.”

To learn more about the Nightlight Romania Adoption Program or any of our International Adoption Programs, please visit the Nightlight International Adoption Home Page.

Snowflakes Embryo Adoption Program Reaches 1,000 Donor Family

1000“I just want to know the couple who adopts my baby is going to be great parents.” That’s what Sarah said to me on the phone a couple days ago. You would expect that is a typical request from anyone considering an adoption plan. Less typical, however, was her next statement, “My baby has been at the University of Chicago for two years.” Her baby isn’t sick, nor is he a prodigious student. He is an embryo in frozen storage.

Sarah is not a pro-life activist, nor an activist for anything as far as I can tell. She is just a mother who feels tremendous responsibility. She wasn’t using carefully worded rhetoric; she was just speaking from the heart about her intuitive sense that her embryo deserves an opportunity for life in a loving home. The reason she called Nightlight is that she had confidence the Snowflake® program would find a well-vetted family to raise the child who is genetically related to her.

We celebrate this week the 1,000th donor family to begin this process with Snowflakes. We recognize that those one thousand couples have been torn among a variety of difficult options: continued storage, donation to research, disposition, or donation. Donation is not an easy choice…the thought of someone else raising a child genetically related to you evokes discomfort and fear. It is only when weighed against the other options that donation becomes a little easier.

Because all of these choices are difficult, most couples stay “on the fence” for years with no plan for the embryos, so indefinite storage becomes the implicit choice. What helps our donor couples finally get off the fence is our strong social work model, based on our 54-years as an adoption agency. Our donors have confidence that every Snowflake family will complete a quality home study, social workers will conduct the matching process, and the adoptive and donor couples will have an “open” relationship in the future. To every one of our thousand donor couples, I thank you for making this difficult, yet life-honoring decision.

–Daniel Nehrbass, Executive Director

We are very excited about receiving our 1,000th donor family. This represents nearly 5,000 embryos that have come through our program. That is a lot of embryos that have been given a chance at life.

–Kelly Poffenberger, Snowflakes Program Director

Charitable Hotels Partners With Nightlight Christian Adoptions

CharitableHotels logoOctober 2013

Nightlight is pleased to announce our working relationship with the organization Charitable Hotels. This business is America’s first non-profit Online Travel Agency (OTA) and they are cutting-edge business pioneers who are committed to bringing a new philanthropic concept to the travel industry. Nightlight Christian Adoptions is now one of the charities that Charitable Hotels partners with, allowing travelers to select our agency upon booking, as a recipient of donations that are generated by the commission that the travel agency would have typically gained in the booking process.

Although online travel is booked directly by the traveler, commission is still generated. The typical business model of the past was one where an organization would grow (boom or bust) and then, at a certain point, if generous, begin giving philanthropically to causes of their choosing. Charitable Hotels’ model is different in that it encourages donation of profits from the start. We are honored to be part of this new approach and see it as one more way to support our agency, while also offering travelers the opportunity to give back to a cause that they feel good about and that has touched their lives personally.

The process of using Charitable Hotels is very simple. It follows the same booking process as other travel agency sites such as Hotels.com or Expedia.com, but instead of just logging in and picking your travel preferences, you are given the option to select from a pull-down menu the organization you wish to support through donation of the booking commission that comes from your transaction. Nightlight Christian Adoptions is in that list and it takes just one click to give back.

The dollars we receive from these donations, along with those of our generous donors throughout the year, go to support the operation of our agency and programs, including the humanitarian aid work that we do domestically and internationally. We hope to see many other organizations follow the path that Charitable Hotels is paving and the philanthropic model of business shifting to be a more proactive, “from the onset” type of mentality. It helps us to do the work we love to do and to continue striving to create wonderful, loving families.

Visit: http://www.charitablehotels.org for information. To visit the Nightlight Christian Adoptions page, go to: http://www.charitablehotels.org/nightlight

2013 Summer Reunion Picnic

Nightlight Summer PicnicThe following is one of our favorite stories from the Nightlight Summer Reunion Picnic. This year’s Summer Picnic is set for this Saturday, July 20th. For more information or to register, please visit the 2013 Summer Picnic Page of our website.

THE BLESSING OF ADOPTING OLDER CHILDREN
By Suzanne Murray

It was three years ago that Peter and I attended our fourth Nightlight picnic. Ever since joining the Nightlight family in 2000, we always made a point to attend the picnic and all other activities we could possibly participate in. Three years ago we were so proud of ourselves for listening to God’s calling not to pursue Snowflakes for our second adoption, but to pursue an international adoption.

We had just completed our homestudy and were waiting and praying for a referral of a child as young as possible (because we had done the big thing and given up the chance of being pregnant and having a newborn, so we wanted to at least make sure our referral was as young as possible), when we attended our 4th Nightlight picnic. Over the years we joyfully watched the visiting Russian children perform and thought to ourselves, “Oh, they are cute,” but never felt a calling to adopt any of them. It was at this picnic that we were socializing and trying to make new friends who might have adopted internationally, when someone announced that the visiting orphans would be performing on the stage. I suddenly could not breathe! We were standing right in front of the stage. I looked at Peter and told him we needed to move to the other side of the park immediately. He asked why, and I explained, “Because we are going to fall in love with one of these kids, and we are not adopting older. We are adopting a baby!” I took Peter’s hand and moved across as far as possible to the other side of the park. All the while, Peter was asking what was wrong with me, because for the past three years we had always watched the children perform. Why was this year different? We didn’t learn until 8 months later, when meeting our sweet daughters Anya and Galina, that Anya was one of the girls performing on tour during the summer picnic.

I have admittedly at times mourned the loss of not having them in our lives from birth. Missing a sweet infant, that doesn’t talk back or roll their eyes at you in disagreement. But this past summer, God spoke very clearly to my heart about all the wondrous blessings of adopting an older child, and I thought I would share a recent one. It was the last day of Vacation Bible School for Galina. They were having an 11:00 a.m. service, with the ending being the children in each grade singing a few songs. They told me Galina’s class was performing at 11:50 am. I was watching my sister’s three kids under the age of three, plus Mary who is four. There was no way I was going to make it. My plan was to put the babies in bed at 12 and head out for the end of VBS at 12:15 to pick up Galina and her cousin, leaving Anya, age 14, to babysit the sleeping ones. Yesterday, Galina asked me twice if I were going to see her sing and I had to tell her both times that I couldn’t.

When her dad arrived home from work, she asked him as well. There was such a look of disappointment when he said no, he couldn’t make it.

I arrived at church ready to pick up the girls. I went to her classroom and it was empty. I walked over to the church and our pastor was talking to the kids. Next thing I know Galina and her group went up and began singing….evidently they were running late and so I was able to see her perform. She was singing and doing the sign language to the song when she made eye contact with me and SMILED FROM EAR TO EAR! She couldn’t stop smiling the whole time and was singing her heart out…..tears began to flood my eyes and stream down my face. She looked so angelic and adorable up on stage…..I literally began thinking of the 14 childless summers prior to becoming a mom and just kept thanking Jesus for the wonderful gifts he has bestowed me with….and began realizing that with babies you have to wait years for the awesome milestones of your 8th grader bringing home a report card with a 3.67 GPA (even though she didn’t speak English two years ago), the awesome experience of buying your 14 year old a pretty dress for her first dance, watching your child play volleyball (or any other sport), and finally watching your child sing their heart out for Jesus and smile ear to ear because they see you….THEIR MOM! With babies, you wait forever for these moments. Adopting older I got to experience them sooner!

I love MY KIDS!