Ambassadors of Hope

The MAA Ambassadors just returned from Guangdong and Anhui Provinces!  We are posting updates to the Waiting Children profiles for the children we met in China.

Purpose
The purpose of this program is for orphaned and vulnerable children, specifically those who are older and have special needs, to find permanent, stable, loving, qualified families. This will be accomplished through allowing Ambassadors and/or Ambassador families to travel to China, accompanied by MAA staff, to meet children who are available for adoption. These Ambassadors will then share their personal experience, impressions, and opinions of the children in order to advocate for appropriate families for each child. We offer 1-2 trips per year, and travel to different locations each trip.

What is an Ambassador?
In this program, individuals and families will have the unique opportunity to help find permanent homes for vulnerable children in orphanages by visiting them in China and interacting with them over a brief period of time. This opportunity is supported by the China Center for Children’s Welfare and Adoption (CCCWA). On each trip, we will be hosted by one or two orphanages in China.

Each Ambassador will have a designated child (or children) to accompany throughout the activities of the Ambassadors of Hope Program. During this time, the Ambassador should be gathering as much information about that child in order to be able to effectively talk to interested families about that child’s personality, social ability, physical abilities, medical needs, etc. Ambassadors are asked to keep a daily journal of their observations about the child. As an advocate for that child, you will be their best representative to a potential adoptive family!

It makes an extraordinary difference for prospective adoptive families to hear from people who have personally met and have first-hand insight about a child they may wish to adopt. Ambassadors serve as this intermediary by observing and interacting with children who need homes, so that they can more effectively communicate the personality and strengths of the children. Speaking to other families about a particular child can help the prospective adoptive family to understand the child’s needs and abilities in a very personal way that is different from reading the referral report, seeing a photo or watching a short video.

Specific Duties and Responsibilities
Each Ambassador is required to:

  • Participate in a 1-hour phone conference for a pre-travel overview and training orientation provided by Madison Adoption Associates;
  • Participate in the full schedule of daily activities and events while in China;
  • Complete daily observation sheets (provided by Madison Adoption Associates) for each child during the entirety of the program;
  • Take numerous pictures and videos of the children, and submit to MAA in an organized fashion (each photo/video should be titled by date and child name);
  • Clear the Madison Adoption Associates screening process and provide MAA with current child abuse and background checks;
  • Participate in daily debriefings with Madison Adoption Associate staff during time in China to discuss children, strategize, and/or resolve any issues and/or concerns; and
  • Commit to sharing their observations and insights about the children, according to MAA guidelines, with others upon return from China.

Applicants for this program must be in good health, mentally and physically, without communicable diseases of public health significance.

Costs
Ambassadors will need to cover the cost of their airfare to and from China, as well as the cost to get them to the selected city of departure. MAA is happy to arrange all of this and bill the Ambassador for the cost of these arrangements. (PLEASE REMEMBER – our goal is to keep this as inexpensive, yet as efficient as possible!) Ambassadors should also plan for additional minimal costs which will be disclosed as soon as specific plans are made. MAA will arrange transportation to the different locations for Ambassadors while in China. Ambassadors will be required to cover their own hotel and meal costs. Ambassadors should also plan to bring enough funds to cover any additional expenses that may arise. Airport meals and souvenirs are also the responsibility of each Ambassador. Please refer to the fee schedule for more information.

Ambassadors will also need to have a current passport and a visa to travel to China. China now issues 10-year visas for a cost of $140. MAA can provide contact information for couriers in Chicago or Washington, DC who can process your visa application for a fee of $35 per applicant. Madison Adoption Associates will provide instruction and assistance, if needed, in obtaining the necessary travel visa to enter China.

Important Notes
Please understand that the number of Ambassadors is limited for each Ambassadors of Hope trip. Although we will do our best to include all who are interested, we cannot guarantee that all who apply will be accepted as an Ambassador for this program. If accepted, you will need to send us a $500 deposit toward program costs within one week. This fee is non-refundable.

If you are interested in becoming an Ambassador of Hope on our next trip, we urge you to review the Information Packet located on the right side of this page, and to submit the AOH application. Questions should be directed to Sarah Hansen at Sarah@MadisonAdoption.org.