Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Message from Joint Council's Chair of the Board

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Joint Council on International Children’s Services, it is with great sadness that we inform you that our organization must cease its operations effective June 30, 2015. 

Joint Council’s 40-year history has been storied. A small group of organizations came together in 1975 to share information, elevate practices and collaborate on projects serving children in the U.S. and abroad. From those beginnings, we grew into an international organization with an outstanding reputation helping thousands upon thousands of orphans and vulnerable children. We are extremely proud of Joint Council’s accomplishments and take great pride in the difference our organization made in the lives of so many children and their families. 

These accomplishments were only possible because of the company that we kept. The Joint Council community is a family unto itself. We would like to thank all current and previous staff, board members, partners, donors and supporters for their dedication to our common cause.  We especially want to thank our current staff - Jennifer, Marie and Brandy - who have worked tirelessly under extremely stressful circumstances, and to the end, with extreme passion and dedication.

This was a difficult and painful decision to make, and we would like you to know that the Board acted reluctantly. As an organization, we have been subject to the same trends that have impacted many of our partners over the last decade. While we have been on the brink before, each time we were able to recover, but with diminished capacity. At this point in time, we are simply out of money and realize that we no longer have the prospect of continuing as a viable organization.

I hope that all of you will continue your tireless efforts to address the unmet needs of vulnerable children and continue the legacy of Joint Council by working to end the suffering of children who live every day without the safety and love of a strong permanent family.

On a personal note, as an adoptive parent who benefited from the work of Joint Council, I will forever be grateful for the group’s leadership that helped make our adoption possible.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.

Thank you for all of the support you have shown to Joint Council,

Brian Franklin
Board Chair

Monday, June 22, 2015

About that Homecoming.... When We Come Home....


Hi Everyone!

We are SO excited to be coming home soon. But before we do we wanted to be sure to let everyone know what to "expect" from us and from Asher upon returning home. Asher has done an amazing job so far transitioning into our family and bonding with us. However, once we get home it will be another transition for him. New place, new home, new environment & new people; we want to give him the best and easiest transition we can. In order to make sure that this happens, we are going to ask a few things of everyone. We appreciate your patience and effort to help us! :)

1.) Please don't hug/kiss Asher (at least not yet) We want him to understand that hugging & kissing is only for family. In order to do that, we have to ask that everyone refrain from falling into the cuteness. I know, he's adorable! SO, if you would like (if you see us out and about), high fives/fist bumps/pats on the back are ok. We will let you know when he is open for more affection.

2.) Please do not feed him (Or change his diaper, for that matter) Right now, ALL of Asher's needs must be met by his Mommy & Daddy. We want him to understand that we can & will meet all of his needs. Again, we will let you know when it is ok to give the little guy a snack or two. But please, for now, let us meet this need.

Read more.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Spread the Word About Adoption Learning Partner's Next Webinar

LIVE WEBINAR: International Search & Reunion

It's a Small World After All

Thursday, July 9, 2015
7-8:30pm CDT


Do you know families who adopted internationally?

Many parents who built their families through international adoption assumed that the ongoing role of their child's birth family would be limited to non-existent.

But things change. The world changes.

You may know families who are parenting teens or tweens who are now curious about their birth family, and talk about finding them.

Is it even possible for children to find their birth mom who is from somewhere beyond the United States? What are the possible ways to address this curiosity?

Speakers Susan Soonkeum Cox of Holt International and Joy Lieberthal Rho, LCSW and co-founder of I Am Adoptee, discuss the many possibilities and complexities of international search and reunion.

This webinar is co-sponsored with JCICS.


Have You Heard About Adoption Parenting Pathways?

Adoption Parenting Pathways is the perfect way for adoptive families to find local resources online.


What’s New at ALP?


This month, purchase our popular course, "Adopted: The Identity Project" for just $10. While you're there, check out the documentary, "Adoption & Identity Intertwined."



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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

'Our hearts have gotten bigger': Congressman reflects on decision to adopt twins


By Lisa Flam

Courtesy Markwayne Mullin / Mallory Hall Photography Markwayne Mullin had just been elected to Congress when the father of three began another, even more important journey that would change his life. He met the twin toddlers, distant cousins, who would one day join his family as his daughters.

It was the fall of 2012, and he and his wife were already parents to three young kids. Their hectic life, filled with work and family, was about to get a whole lot busier with his new job in Washington.

When the twins paid a visit to the Mullin home, on a 1,000-acre horse and cattle farm in Westville, Oklahoma, to celebrate their second birthday a few weeks after the election, Markwayne was struck by the way his wife, Christie, and their kids took to the little ones.

And he sensed what was coming: Christie would suggest they adopt the girls, born to her distant teenage cousin.

"It wasn't a good situation," Markwayne said. The girls were separated as infants and being raised lovingly but apart, tended by Christie's aging great aunts.

Read more.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Technological Systems Issue

TRAVEL ALERT: expect delays with visa, biometric, passport service while abroad. For families traveling abroad, the Department of State has asked all applicants to anticipate delays returning home with your child/ren in the event this is not remedied at the time of your request. 

Read more.

Escaped lions, tigers roam Tbilisi after floods kill 12 - News from Georgia


By Irakli Metreveli

Tbilisi (AFP) - Lions, tigers and even a hippopotamus escaped from a zoo in the Georgian capital Tbilisi Sunday, adding to chaos caused by severe flooding that killed at least 12 people, officials said.

Police and soldiers were hunting down the animals, recapturing some and shooting others dead, while rescuers airlifted scores of people trapped by the floods.

Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili warned Tbilisi residents to stay indoors while the zoo animals were still on the loose,

He described the damage to the city's infrastructure as "substantial" after the River Vere burst its banks following hours of torrential rain.

"Our latest estimate is that the death toll is 12," Tbilisi Mayor David Narmania told journalists.

Interior Ministry spokeswoman Nino Giorgobiani told AFP that 24 people were still missing by Sunday evening.

Read more.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

News from Ghana: Our hearts are heavy with your loss and grief.


News from Ghana: Massive Flood and Fire Leave Ghanaians in Shock.  Our hearts are heavy with your loss and grief.

Read more.

News: Meeting between the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice and the Accredited Organizations

Sad%20Depressed%20Lonely%20Rain%20List Finally this practice is being recognized as detrimental to children!  I'm impressed by Bulgaria's recognition that permanently placing a child in a family environment institution and permanent foster care is not an acceptable path to true permanency and security within a family. Bulgaria recognizes that these programs were financially motivated to empty orphanages, but leave the children's fate of having a permanent family (or not), in the hands of the very persons that are financially benefiting by denying the child a permanent family. Bravo if they fix this!!

Monday, June 8, 2015

What Is TBRI and Where can I find a Trust Based Relational Intervention Practitioner?


The Institute of Child Development (TCU) strives to help children suffering the effects of early trauma, abuse or neglect. Research was conducted to deepen the understanding about the complex needs of post-institutionalized children and how and why these harmful experiences can impair development and lead to social, behavioral and emotional problems. The series of educational DVDs are designed to promote research-based models for practical interventions that anyone can use to help children heal and reach their highest potential. 

What Is TBRI and Where can I find a Trust Based Relational Intervention practitioner (PDF)?