Do I have to stay in Hattiesburg the entire two weeks?

We welcome families and volunteers to come to Winter Children’s Camp in Hattiesburg, MS anytime between March 7- 18. If you can only come for a few days or a week during this time period, we will welcome you! The kids will be excited to see you!

Please contact Sandra McLaughlin, Winter Children’s Camp Director, Lifeline Children’s Services ,     Tel: 205.967-0811 ext. 226 or sandra.mclaughlin@lifelinechild.org if you are planning to come. All participants must have valid CAN clearances (State of MS) for admittance on the Camp Site (Winter Camp Regulations).

Please note that the kids will have a time of rest in the afternoon from about 1:00 – 3:00pm, so we ask for our volunteers to leave the campsite during that time. There are plenty of restaurants and local shopping in the area.

Can I bring my children with me?

You are welcome to bring your children to camp. They must be free of any communicable diseases or illnesses during that time, and on good behavior. Parents will be responsible for the supervision of their own children. Please note that snacks will not be provided for visiting children. We also request that visiting children not consume their own personal snacks or drinks in front of the orphanage kids.

Do both spouses have to attend?

It is not necessary for both spouses to attend. If a couple is considering adoption we highly recommend both parents be joined together in their decision to adopt a child.

What happens if I want to adopt one of the children that I meet?

If there is a child that grabs your heart while you are visiting, please contact Karla Thrasher, China Program Director, Tel: 205.967.0811 or email: karla.thrasher@lifelinechild.org. A few of many advantages to being at Winter Camp is you have the opportunity to meet the orphanage staff who know the child well and talk with Lifeline staff who have been with the child(ren) for the past few days. We want to provide you as much current information as we know about the child. We would love to connect with you at Winter Camp, and Karla can assist you in connecting with the right people.

Karla will be guiding you through the Matching Process following Winter Camp. Once you express interest in a child, your name becomes part of a pool of interest for the child of interest. We kindly request you NOT TO TALK ABOUT ADOPTION WITH THE CHILDREN. Once the camp has ended, we will evaluate, based on the best interest of the child, any potential matches. The criteria for matching will include (but may not be limited to) where the family is in the process, the family’s experience with international adoption, the family’s experience with a specific medical special need, the family’s resources with regard to caring for a child with a particular medical special need, etc.

Are the children attending Winter Children’s Camp available for adoption?

Yes, the children that are attending Winter Children’s Camp are paperwork ready and their files have been assigned to Lifeline. Lifeline will not be able to transfer these files to another agency.

Do the children speak English?

The children may know a few words in English but will be communicating in Mandarin. We will have many translators available during the program so that communicating with the children will be possible. The children may also be very excited to practice their English with families attending the program!

Am I able to talk about Jesus with the children?

One of the purposes of our hosting program is to hare the love of Christ with the children from Kunming. You are welcome to talk with them about Jesus. During the hosting program the children will have daily devotions and (schedule permitting) will attend church.

Does it cost anything to attend the hosting program?

There is not a cost to attend the Winter Children’s Camp but families will cover their own travel, lodging and food expenses. Families will also be responsible for any costs associated with activities they may participate in with Winter Children’s Camp

Am I able to bring gifts to the children, orphanage staff or Lifeline Team?

If you would like to provide for the needs of the children, orphanage staff or Lifeline Team, please see the list of donations and items needed on our web page. We welcome your monetary gifts to help with their airfare, TJ Maxx gift cards, Target cards, Walmart Cards, gas cards. Thank you for your kindness. All donations are tax deductible.

Do I have to be a Lifeline family to attend?

You do not have to be a Lifeline family to attend the Winter Children’s Camp. All the children adopted through the 2015 Winter Children’s Camp Hosting Program will need to be adopted through Lifeline; we will not be able to transfer files to other agencies.

Can I talk about adoption with the children?  

The purpose of Winter Children’s Camp is to show these precious children love and for them to have a memorable time experiencing US culture. While we are aware that adoption may be something you may think about as you meet these children, it is our expectation that adoption is not discussed at all with the children.

Will the children go back to China when the program is over?

Yes, all of the children will return to their orphanage in China once the program is over. Our hope is that eventually all of them will be adopted and return to the US as a part of the Lifeline family.