Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | December 11, 2013

A Home For The Holidays

Every year NBC hosts an entertainment special that celebrates that joys of adoption, particularly adoption in regards to the U.S. foster system. This year, the Christmas special will air on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, at 7:00 pm central time. This year’s special will be hosted by the talented Celine Dion, and will include a number of other special guests. 

For more information, please visit

So tune in or set your DVR to record this special event! 

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | December 5, 2013

Trust, Hope, Pray

Lately I have only been posting on the ICM blog approximately once a week, but as we receive updates regarding many of your adoption statuses, I see that so many of you are playing “The Waiting Game.” This can be a frustrating and exhausting time for families. During my adoption I read the devotional book “Trust, Hope, Pray: Encouragement for the Task of Waiting” by Luke and Trisha Priebe. It is an excellent book that encourages, supports, and provides a boost of faith during the waiting period. I would encourage all of you to buy that book! Here is an Amazon link to the book:

I would also encourage you to join the ICM Adoption Facebook group. It is a great place to meet and connect with some of our other adoptive families! Here is a link to the Facebook page:

I pray that you all have a wonderful week and weekend. Count your blessings, and bless others! 

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | December 3, 2013

What is the Universal Accreditation Act??

Many of you have heard the term lately “Universal Accreditation Act.” What does this new law mean? Who does it pertain to? Will it affect your adoption process? I wanted to take a few moments to explain the implications of this new law. 

The Universal Adoption Act was signed into law in 2012. It will go into effect on July 14, 2014. 

Effective July 14, 2014, all placement agencies must be accredited by the Council on Accreditation. It does not matter if they are working in Hague or non-Hague countries, the agency itself must be accredited. 

Also, the Universal Accreditation Act outlaws all independent adoptions. According to the new law, all intercountry adoptions must take place through the facilitation of an accredited placement agency. Families seeking an independent adoption will not be able to receive approval from USCIS. 

There are cases which can be “grandfathered” through that meet certain criteria. If you have already begun your intercountry adoption process, and you have taken one of the following two actions, your case is eligible to be grandfathered in and not under the new law:

  1. You filed your I-600 or I-600A prior to July 13, 2013, or;
  2. You “initiated the adoption process with the filing of an appropriate application in a foreign country sufficient such that the Secretary of State is satisfied.”

If you feel that your case meets one of these two criteria, ICM would encourage you to contact USCIS, and obtain in writing that your case will be grandfathered in under the previous adoption provisions. 

The reason for the Universal Accreditation Act is to ensure that all agencies and all intercountry adoptions are following the standards and guidelines set forth by the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000. This will assist in the provision of ethical adoption services and fighting against the trafficking of children (a worldwide epidemic). According to UNICEF, in 2012 there were 20.9 million victims of trafficking worldwide. 1.5 million of these victims were in the United States. While this new law will tighten the reigns on intercountry adoption, and might cause frustration for some prospective adoptive families that desire not to use a placement agency, the larger picture (20.9 million victims) is that this new law will hopefully assist in decreasing the feasibility of trafficking and assist in the safety of children. 

If you have any questions at all regarding this new law, or how it might affect your case, please feel free to contact our offices at 217-469-7566 or 

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | November 27, 2013

Thanksgiving for Adoption

As I experience the joy of watching my son eat his first Thanksgiving meal tomorrow, I have so much to be grateful for. Above all else, I am grateful for adoption. Not just earthly/physical adoption, but our spiritual adoption by our Lord and Savior.

In Paul’s epistles, he chose the metaphor of adoption to signify our spiritual conversion. In order to understand his metaphor, it’s important to fully understand the Roman practice of adoption.

Structural Truths of Roman Adoption:

  • All legal rights to the biological family have been relinquished, and the adoptee had full rights of a child of his adoptive father. The child literally and legally had a new father. We have a new Father through our salvation.
  • The adopted child had full rights as an heir to the adoptive father’s estate. Nothing could take away his inheritance, even if the adoptive father had additional biological children. In the same way, our Heavenly Father has assured us that we are no longer to receive the inheritance of our past life (an eternity in hell), but have the inheritance of His children (an eternity in Heaven).
  • Legally, the old life of the adopted person was forgiven and forgotten. For example, if he had debt, it was completely cancelled upon his adoption. The adopted person was considered a wholly new person beginning a new life, and his past was forgotten. Do I even need to explain the spiritual significance of this point?! God has wiped clean every sin, every debt, every fault of our past. We are a new creature in Him (Amen).

Paul understood that, like the Roman adoption practice, our spiritual adoption was all about putting away an old life and beginning  a new life in Him. Our old debts our cancelled, we have an inheritance, and we are fully God’s child. God offers us this life.

Galatians 4:4-7   “When the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive adoption to sonship. Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.’ So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.”

This Thanksgiving, take time to thank our Abba Father for adopting us as His children and showing us His unconditional Fatherly love.

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | November 18, 2013

Promotional Videos

Illini Christian Ministries has been blessed over the past 46 years to see God’s miracles in the lives of our families and clients. If we could share all of the testimonies of His faithfulness, it would be quite a lengthy narrative. Recently we had the privilege of filming two such stories… one of international adoption and one of domestic adoption.

Please take a few minutes to watch the videos, be blessed by the stories of God’s provision, and share with others!

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | November 12, 2013

Depraved Indifference

Several years ago, Eric Ludy made a video called “Depraved Indifference.” This video, especially during this Adoption Awareness Month, always makes my heart cry for the orphans in our world. Eric Ludy verbalizes God’s call to care for the orphans in such a powerful way! He states is so well when he says, “We have a cause, but we don’t want to see it.” God, please change our hearts for these children of yours! Please take a few minutes to watch this video, and let it touch your heart. Then, share it with everyone you know.


Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | November 6, 2013

National Adoption Awareness Month

Hello all! We here at ICM hope you are having a wonderful November and enjoying the fall weather. November always brings with it excitement here at ICM as we celebrate Adoption Awareness Month!

Hopefully your church has taken or will be taking opportunity in the month of November to recognize Adoption Awareness Month. This past Sunday Maria Gocke and Dayna McConkey had the privilege of assisting their own church in recognizing Adoption Awareness Month. I would encourage you to contact your pastor or church secretary in inquire about what must be done for your church to take part. If you would like ideas, please feel free to contact Maria or Dayna at ICM.

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | July 8, 2013

Great News!!

As many of you know, my husband Steve and I have been in the adoption process ourselves. We are in the process of adopting a little boy named Silas from Taiwan. In March we had the privilege of traveling to meet the little guy, and he is an absolutely doll!

Well last week we received news that our final adoption decree has been received, and that we have an embassy appointment for July 23rd. Next week I will be traveling to Taiwan to bring home our son. We are ecstatic!

My husband and I are so grateful for all of the prayers we have received, and look forward to raising our son to be a strong man of God.

I wanted to let you all know that, therefore, I will be on maternity leave beginning the afternoon of July 15th, and will be returning to the office on August 19th. I am leaving the adoption ministry in Dayna’s fully capable hands, and am confident in her ability to “hold down the fort” while I am gone. As any social worker with poor boundaries, I am sure I will be checking in with her every so often, but I promise I will do my best not to and just enjoy the time with my little man.

I do ask for all of your prayers as I am going by myself to pick him up, and nervous about that 24 hour flight with a baby alone. But I know God will have us in His hands, and the flight will be smooth.

If you have any questions at all, please feel free to email me at

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | July 3, 2013

When Kids Start Asking About Adoption

We all know about those moments when your child asks you a question you knew was coming eventually, but your child asks it at the most inconvenient moment.

You’re in a movie theater, your child sees an infant, and asks you where babies come from.

You’re having a stressful and busy morning, and your child asks you to explain what happens when we die.

You’re in a busy grocery store with four kids, and one of your children asks about his adoption story.

It seems that these important questions that you dreamed of handling so well completely catch you off guard and you are all of a sudden tongue-tied.

Well you are not alone! So many parents face this exact situation.

Adoption Learning Partners has an upcoming webinar called “Can We Talk? When Kids Start Asking About Adoption.” The webinar will take place on Thursday, July 18th at 7:00 pm. Talking to your children about adoption is so important, and I would encourage each of you to take the time to listen to this webinar and gain insight on issues such as common questions children ask, when and how to share the difficult things, and answering their questions with limited information available.

The cost of the course is $15, but we at ICM have some free promo codes for Adoption Learning Partners that we would be more than happy to give you for this event. If you would like one of the promo codes, just email Maria Gocke at

In order to register, just follow this link:

Posted by: icmadoptionnetwork | July 2, 2013

Unfortunate Russian Adoption Update

Last week U.S. officials met with Russian embassy officials to discuss the issue of international adoption. The U.S. officials have presented Russia with a list of more than 250 Russian children who were in the process of being adopted by American parents when the adoption ban went into affect on January 1, 2013.

After these meetings came to a close, Pavel Astakhov, the Kremlin’s children’s rights ombudsman came forward and stated that no more Russian children would be allowed to join their prospective adoptive families in the U.S. He stated that “the issue is closed because there is no process.” Astakhov has been a major proponent of the adoption ban. He went on to explain that over half of the children on the list of 250 have already been placed with adoptive families in Russia, placed in a foster homes, or placed back with their biological parents.

U.S. officials remain “ready to continue discussions with Russia on inter-country adoptions and the welfare of children adopted from Russia, and have agreed to consult regularly going forward,” stated a State Department official.

This news comes as devastating to many prospective adoptive families that were hoping to bring home their child. I ask that each of you spend time in prayer today for these families and also the children in Russian who have been affected by the Russian government’s decision.

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