Advocacy Ideas

Hello to our fellow adoption advocates!

We at Bethel China have been developing more resources to support adoption agencies and individuals as you advocate for children with visual impairments (VI).

Our goal is to share the realities of adopting and parenting a VI child by sharing family stories, blogs, photos, educational materials, videos and adoption grant information.  We understand it is hard to find families for the hundreds of children on the shared list who have a visual impairment, and we hope that together we can raise the profile of VI children to encourage more families to adopt, which has a direct impact on encouraging orphanages to prepare the adoption paperwork of VI children.

We have collected six resources which we have found to be very helpful. If you find another helpful resource, or would like to partner with China on an advocacy campaign for the kids on your list, please let us know!

Good luck and happy advocating!

Advocacy Resources for Adoption Agencies

1. “Exposed to Hope” E-book (bethelchina.org/exposed-to-hope-book)

Hope cover smallExposed to Hope is an E-book available for $2.99 featuring the stories of 13 families who have adopted a child with a visual impairment from China. From babies, toddlers to teenagers, from children with cancer to albinism to eye conditions you’ve never heard of. Families share honest and beautiful accounts of family life, school, independence, attachment, surgery and more. We can offer a discount for adoption agencies who would like to promote the book amongst their families.

2. Pinterest (pinterest.com/bethelchina)

These Pinterest boards are full of information and hundreds of links to articles about family, education, craft, daily life, independent living skills, technology, toys, mobility, adoption, parenting and more. If a family has a question about braille, link them to the Braille board. If they have a question about a child becoming independent, link them to the ‘independent teenagers’ board. The craft and games pages are packed with resources to ensure a blind child doesn’t get left out of the fun.

Screen shot 2014-10-22 at 4.27.46 PM

3. Facebook (www.facebook.com/bethelchina.loveisblind)

What began as a way to keep sponsors updated with Bethel China has become a tool to breakdown stereotypes and perceptions and replace them with positive images of blind children aged 1-14. Potential parents can imagine a blind child who is an orphan, healthy and happy in a loving environment where they can reach their potential. Advocates can share photos of blind children swimming, hiking, riding bikes, recording songs, reading/writing at school, riding on public transport etc…

Screen shot 2014-10-22 at 5.15.41 PM4. Videos

We have a number of videos on our Youtube channel of blind children walking to the store, riding the subway, beading necklaces, choosing products in the supermarket, and just having fun. We also have an interview with an 18-year-old adoptee who is independent, smart and funny. Videos can help children come alive and allow a potential to imagine life with a child who is visually impaired. This is Bethel China’s “Happy” video by Pharrell Williams.

5. Wonderbaby

WonderBaby.org, a project funded by the Perkins School for the Blind, is dedicated to helping parents of young children with visual impairments as well as children with multiple disabilities. Here you’ll find a database of articles written by parents who want to share with others what they’ve learned about playing with and teaching a blind child. We focus on real-life advice and real-life experiences.

WonderBaby.org: Resources for Parents of Blind Children6. Reeces Rainbow

If you have a child on your agency’s list who has a visual impairment who has a profile on Reeces Rainbow, please email it to adoption@bethelchina.org and we will add it to our Pinterest board for children with adoption grants. You can also link to Reeces Rainbow links on your Facebook or blogs.

Ways to advocate

We have found that email newsletters, Facebook posts (especially videos), blogs featuring family stories and Instagram photos of an individual child have been the more efficient channels to advocate for children with visual impairments.

Good luck and happy advocating! For more information, email adoption@bethelchina.org