Monday, November 22, 2010

USCIS Fee Udates

Lifeline Children's Services has been so humbled and amazed by the outreach to our international adoption programs. We offer both traditional adoptions and special needs adoptions. We are so thankful that hundreds of families have chosen our agency to help them in their adoption experience and work to keep our families update on any updates.

USCIS has increased their fees and will take effect starting November 23, 2010.
Some common fees that are included in this category are the following:

-800a/600a applications---$720.00
-biometric fingerprinting---$85.00 for each adult in the home
-supplement 3 (form 824)-$405.00

If you would like to see the link for a full list of the USCIS fee increases, visit the site below.

Over the years, so many children from all over the world have found a new home and a new beginning with our domestic families through Lifeline. If you would like any information on any of our international adoptions programs, please contact us at or call (205)- 967-0811. Please continue helping us bring hope to orphans all around the world.

"And anyone who welcomes a little child like this on my behalf is welcoming me."
Matthew 18:5

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Turquoise ocean waters rolling in perfect synchronization up to sunny, pristine looking beaches from 12,000 feet. I’m on final approach to Porta Plata, flying across the Dominican Republic, a majestic tropical island that could easily be mistaken for one belonging in the Hawaiians. I have had opportunities to travel all over the globe, but I am thinking to myself that I have perhaps never taken in so much beauty for such an extended period of time, literally in every direction I am awed by what my eyes are taking in.. WOW!

In twenty minutes we are on the ground at a really cool looking semi-outdoor airport. What an interesting place. Neat and exotic designs, people, and stuff.. yeah, I’m absolutely falling in love with this place! For safety and a good night’s sleep the team is staying at an all inclusive resort just minutes from airport(my first such experience and only $43 a night). Our little piece of heaven for the next three days is down a beautifully landscaped boulevard. As we pull up I am immediately taken by how everything is so open, maximizing the pure delight of perfect temperatures in this Caribbean paradise. The outdoor restaurant is my favorite place on the complex.. continual coastal breezes dancing lightly on me, enjoying delicious tasting foods and juices, perfectly manicured golf course and pool in the background, and like minded teammates conversing at our table.. don’t pinch me I might wake up.. WOW!

The next morning less than two miles from my comfortable all-inclusive resort beauty converged with brokenness. Trash and despair everywhere I looked and moved.. repulsive smells, crying, disease, and hopelessness.. death is viewed as relief. The team tours a village stepping in ankle high trash and open sewage. I bend down and tie a few more knots in my shoestrings to lessen the likelihood they will be exposed to this filth. A few steps latter it doesn’t matter as one of my feet sink six inches into a combination of things not fit to describe here. An entire town of dilapidated dwellings and not one of the homes is the size of my son’s bedroom. We hear the villagers stories, pray over a man dying of cancer and a lady whose 12 month old child has been taken to the hospital (a place where you go to die).. its not the first child she’s had that has taken this sad journey. We meet four girls 13 and 14 years old. All but one of them have been sold into prostitution by their parents. The other girl is parentless.. an orphan prostitute and in her arms is an 18 month old child.. who will no doubt grow up as an orphan as well. I have an ache inside of me that is hard to describe. It’s physical, emotional, and spiritual. How can these things be.. as the days quickly click by this feeling only grows as town after town we are confronted with the same unforgettable reality.. total brokenness! And for almost everyone in these towns over the age of eight or nine hope has already died.. WOW!

The world takes broken things and broken people and discards them. Few even know these people exist. I had not given these creations of God much thought before I pulled up to their towns a couple of weeks ago.. that’s all changed now.. I am aware that these Haitians and Dominicans are on the island of despair right now. It’s not getting better.. the Weather Channel is highlighting a tropical storm is beating hard on the people.. WOW!

I read in the Holy Scriptures a question from the book of Isaiah, “What more could have been done?” It’s a penetrating question isn’t it.. what more could be done? ..To look back on the measure of our life and truly evaluate our contribution for His Kingdom. I am growing convinced that our greatest fear in life shouldn’t be the fear of failure, but rather of fear of succeeding at the wrong things. To invest our entire lives climbing the ladder of success only to realize at the end that our ladder was leaning on the wrong things.. WOW!

You and I are called to a Great Cause.. to love “the least of these”.. to care for orphans in distress. Well friends, the distressed are in the Dominican tonight existing in unimaginable conditions. Hope is coming.. We can do more! We must do more! We will do more! We are going to plant churches and schools in these communities. We are going to be the hands and feet of Jesus! We are going to let these precious souls taste the richness of God’s love and glory! Do you want to partner with us.. we could really use someone like you. Yep, I already know you are the perfect fit because you are still reading and these children of God are still waiting. Give me a call and let’s get to work. Lets make a difference.. lets replace brokenness with beauty!

Dave Wood
International Director

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ukraine Updates

The draft of a moratorium law has been presented to the Ukraine parliament and passed today in Ukraine. The next step will be for a second vote to take place in parliament within the next several months that will effectively pass this draft into law. The Lifeline team in the US and Ukraine as well as our contacts in Kiev believe that ultimately this law will bring positive change to the Ukrainian adoption process.

We expect that the passing of this law will bring Ukraine into compliance with the Hague Convention and therefore require adoptions to be processed through Ukrainian approved Hague Accredited Agencies. At this time the Ukrainian government is working on the best way to implement procedures that will bring the SDA and Ukraine Adoptions into compliance with the Hague Convention with only a short period of disruption while the ratification process occurs.

If this law is passed and ratified, the government will shut down adoptions for approximately two to three months in order to become compliant with the Hague Convention.

Please know that Lifeline fully supports these changes in adoptions in Ukraine and as always are here to answer any questions you may have.

Jana Lombardo
international social worker