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What makes CCI different from other organizations? CCI is a network run by adoptees for adoptees. From being adopted from different cities across China to being raised in different states in America, we have come together for the common cause of providing all Chinese adoptees a community of support and friendship. CCI's leadership Board and Committee hopes to continue connecting Chinese adoptees of all ages in the future, always keeping in mind that we have the “same beginnings, different paths.”

The core CCI leadership team is made up of a CCI Board and a CCI Committee. The CCI Board is the main governing body of CCI, and they are responsible for creating vision and strategy for the organization. They are also ultimately responsible for overseeing programs that uphold our mission of connecting and supporting Chinese adoptees from around the world in a way that promotes a positive and healthy sense of self. The CCI Committee is a sub-governing body responsible for independent projects as well as various day-to-day implementation and supervision of our programs. The Board and the Committee meet twice a month over Google+ Hangout and are dedicated to always asking the question: How can we make CCI even better for our community?  

Each of our Board and Committee members have a special responsibility within CCI about which that they would love to hear feedback, suggestions, and questions from members. Please feel free to reach out to them at our email chinachildreninternational@gmail.com.


CCI Board 2018-2019

  Laney Allison: Co-Founder/President   Hi, I am Laney Allison. I was adopted as an infant from Ma’Anshan in the Anhui Province. I believe CCI is more than a resource offering adoptees a way to learn about their cultural heritage.  I would like CCI to be a supportive community for adoptees of all ages to make new friends, learn about their rich heritage, and give back to the adoptee community.  I received a BA in Asian Studies with a minor in Mandarin Chinese from the George Washington University. I am currently pursuing my masters in International Affairs with a major in Global Gender Policy from George Washington University while an employee at US Citizenship & Immigration Services.

Laney Allison: Co-Founder/President

Hi, I am Laney Allison. I was adopted as an infant from Ma’Anshan in the Anhui Province. I believe CCI is more than a resource offering adoptees a way to learn about their cultural heritage.

I would like CCI to be a supportive community for adoptees of all ages to make new friends, learn about their rich heritage, and give back to the adoptee community.

I received a BA in Asian Studies with a minor in Mandarin Chinese from the George Washington University. I am currently pursuing my masters in International Affairs with a major in Global Gender Policy from George Washington University while an employee at US Citizenship & Immigration Services.

 
  Lia Walton: Webmaster   Hi there! My name is Lia Walton and I was adopted at 18 months in Guangzhou, China (Jiangmen Province). I have a younger adopted sister from Korea. Due to an abusive situation from my first adoptive parents, I was re-adopted and have grown up as an only-child most of my life in Richmond, Virginia.  I recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. During my time in college, I was the co-founder and president of Adoptee & Foster Student Association (AFSA) at VCU. We aimed to offer support for adoptees and are also dedicated to spreading awareness about the adoption and foster care community through offering volunteer opportunities with local adoption/foster organizations for VCU students.  It was only my sophomore-junior years in college when I really started to pursued an interest in my adoption. Through starting and running AFSA, I learned a new found passion that was dear to my heart. I just recently discovered CCI and I believe it is something so necessary and so great! I am very excited to not only be a part of the team but the whole community of CCI!

Lia Walton: Webmaster

Hi there! My name is Lia Walton and I was adopted at 18 months in Guangzhou, China (Jiangmen Province). I have a younger adopted sister from Korea. Due to an abusive situation from my first adoptive parents, I was re-adopted and have grown up as an only-child most of my life in Richmond, Virginia.

I recently graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts. During my time in college, I was the co-founder and president of Adoptee & Foster Student Association (AFSA) at VCU. We aimed to offer support for adoptees and are also dedicated to spreading awareness about the adoption and foster care community through offering volunteer opportunities with local adoption/foster organizations for VCU students.

It was only my sophomore-junior years in college when I really started to pursued an interest in my adoption. Through starting and running AFSA, I learned a new found passion that was dear to my heart. I just recently discovered CCI and I believe it is something so necessary and so great! I am very excited to not only be a part of the team but the whole community of CCI!

  Sophie Samdperil: Local Meet-ups Director   Hi! My name is Sophie Samdperil and I’m from Nanjing China. I was adopted at 4 months old and grew up around the Boston area. I am a board member and the Local Meet-Ups Coordinator at CCI, and am so excited to join the team. I studied Sociology and Spanish in college, because I have always been fascinated with societal and cultural structures and the distribution of opportunity and power, & how these structures influence individual people, their development, and their relationships.  Being adopted for me has been a rich yet complex experience of on-going identity exploration. The adoptee identity is marginalized in a unique way- the hardships of adoption are not culturally understood, and are even hushed at times. I believe it is so important to support and empower adoptees through their identity exploration, while also building solidarity and advocating for adoptees and their families. I feel extremely excited to help foster a growing community of support and belonging for Chinese adoptees by sharing, unpacking, and embracing our similarities and differences together.

Sophie Samdperil: Local Meet-ups Director

Hi! My name is Sophie Samdperil and I’m from Nanjing China. I was adopted at 4 months old and grew up around the Boston area. I am a board member and the Local Meet-Ups Coordinator at CCI, and am so excited to join the team. I studied Sociology and Spanish in college, because I have always been fascinated with societal and cultural structures and the distribution of opportunity and power, & how these structures influence individual people, their development, and their relationships.

Being adopted for me has been a rich yet complex experience of on-going identity exploration. The adoptee identity is marginalized in a unique way- the hardships of adoption are not culturally understood, and are even hushed at times. I believe it is so important to support and empower adoptees through their identity exploration, while also building solidarity and advocating for adoptees and their families. I feel extremely excited to help foster a growing community of support and belonging for Chinese adoptees by sharing, unpacking, and embracing our similarities and differences together.

  Ava Trahan: Programs Coordinator   Hi, I’m Ava Trahan. I was adopted at the age of 15 months from Qingyuan in the Guangdong province. I currently live in Colorado, and I’m entering my freshman year of high school. I have a twin sister and a younger brother, who was adopted from Vietnam. I think it is amazing what CCI does; I love that it has not only created a community, but it also gives back. I am so happy to be part of this team. Through CCI, as the adoptee chats coordinator, I hope to strengthen the adoptee community by welcoming and discussing members’ adoptee experience.

Ava Trahan: Programs Coordinator

Hi, I’m Ava Trahan. I was adopted at the age of 15 months from Qingyuan in the Guangdong province. I currently live in Colorado, and I’m entering my freshman year of high school. I have a twin sister and a younger brother, who was adopted from Vietnam. I think it is amazing what CCI does; I love that it has not only created a community, but it also gives back. I am so happy to be part of this team. Through CCI, as the adoptee chats coordinator, I hope to strengthen the adoptee community by welcoming and discussing members’ adoptee experience.

  Mary Sojka: CCI Pride Coordinator   Hello, my name is Mary Sojka. I was adopted at presumably 9 months old from Xiangtan City in Hunan. I am currently a Junior at Rowan University soon to complete my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. I believe in the empowerment and representation of women in STEM, adoptees, and LGBTQ Chinese adoptees. Equality is an ongoing process that can never have more activism. I hope that CCI continues to support my fellow Chinese adoptees, without discrimination based on religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, and etc. and help them to engage and participate within this large family.

Mary Sojka: CCI Pride Coordinator

Hello, my name is Mary Sojka. I was adopted at presumably 9 months old from Xiangtan City in Hunan. I am currently a Junior at Rowan University soon to complete my Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. I believe in the empowerment and representation of women in STEM, adoptees, and LGBTQ Chinese adoptees. Equality is an ongoing process that can never have more activism. I hope that CCI continues to support my fellow Chinese adoptees, without discrimination based on religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, disability, and etc. and help them to engage and participate within this large family.

  Charlotte Cotter: Co-Founder/President   Hi everyone, my name is Charlotte Cotter. I was adopted at 5 months from Zhenjiang city in Jiangsu province. I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb very close to Boston. I have become passionate about all things China, and I hope to one day work to build bridges between the US and China.  I want CCI to be a safe, fun forum for discussion and connection for adoptees, and a community through which adoptees can cultivate a strong and positive sense of self. Through this organization, I have learned of the incredible diversity within the so-called group of “Chinese adoptees,” and I have learned how much each individual adoptee brings to the table. Each adoptee has their own stories, their own questions, their own perspectives, and their own passions. It’s precisely this vibrancy and diversity of community that makes me incredibly proud to be a Chinese adoptee.  I am a recent graduate of Yale University where I majored in East Asian Studies.

Charlotte Cotter: Co-Founder/President

Hi everyone, my name is Charlotte Cotter. I was adopted at 5 months from Zhenjiang city in Jiangsu province. I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, a suburb very close to Boston. I have become passionate about all things China, and I hope to one day work to build bridges between the US and China.

I want CCI to be a safe, fun forum for discussion and connection for adoptees, and a community through which adoptees can cultivate a strong and positive sense of self. Through this organization, I have learned of the incredible diversity within the so-called group of “Chinese adoptees,” and I have learned how much each individual adoptee brings to the table. Each adoptee has their own stories, their own questions, their own perspectives, and their own passions. It’s precisely this vibrancy and diversity of community that makes me incredibly proud to be a Chinese adoptee.

I am a recent graduate of Yale University where I majored in East Asian Studies.

  Calla Kelley-Renda: Social Media Coordinator   Hi, my name is Calla Kelley-Renda. I was born in Huanggang and I was adopted when I was a year old. I grew up in Port Jefferson, New York and currently, I am a freshman at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. I am in the University Honors Program and I am majoring in Film and Television Production. One day, I hope to travel back to China to learn more about the diverse culture and create documentaries about adoption. In my high school, I was one of only three asians in my grade. I always knew that I was different, but through organizations like CCI, I found a place where my emotions regarding adoption and life as an adoptee were common. I found a place where people understood. From a young age, I was passionate about finding a space for adoptees to connect and feel supported by one another. Though CCI, I hope to do just that. I am inspired by the wealth of compassion, dedication, and support members of CCI express everyday. I am so excited to be part of such a wonderful organization.

Calla Kelley-Renda: Social Media Coordinator

Hi, my name is Calla Kelley-Renda. I was born in Huanggang and I was adopted when I was a year old. I grew up in Port Jefferson, New York and currently, I am a freshman at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. I am in the University Honors Program and I am majoring in Film and Television Production. One day, I hope to travel back to China to learn more about the diverse culture and create documentaries about adoption. In my high school, I was one of only three asians in my grade. I always knew that I was different, but through organizations like CCI, I found a place where my emotions regarding adoption and life as an adoptee were common. I found a place where people understood. From a young age, I was passionate about finding a space for adoptees to connect and feel supported by one another. Though CCI, I hope to do just that. I am inspired by the wealth of compassion, dedication, and support members of CCI express everyday. I am so excited to be part of such a wonderful organization.

 
  Emily Finley: E-Magazine and Newsletter Coordinator   Hey there, I'm Emily! I was adopted from the province of Guangdong at the Maoming Welfare Institute. I’m a multi-disciplinary design student from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. I, like so many other individuals, am on a journey to understand the complex nature of my reality as a Chinese adoptee. I feel that CCI is such an important organization to help foster those conversations, thoughts, and connections for Chinese adoptees as a community. I’ve recently completed an internship at Google and a semester abroad in Singapore and from these experiences, my interest continues to grow. I’d like to learn more about how international adoption impacts different areas of one’s life — whether that be socially, mental-health wise, environmentally, and more. And I’d like to help others understand how this truth impacts their lives as well.

Emily Finley: E-Magazine and Newsletter Coordinator

Hey there, I'm Emily! I was adopted from the province of Guangdong at the Maoming Welfare Institute. I’m a multi-disciplinary design student from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning. I, like so many other individuals, am on a journey to understand the complex nature of my reality as a Chinese adoptee. I feel that CCI is such an important organization to help foster those conversations, thoughts, and connections for Chinese adoptees as a community. I’ve recently completed an internship at Google and a semester abroad in Singapore and from these experiences, my interest continues to grow. I’d like to learn more about how international adoption impacts different areas of one’s life — whether that be socially, mental-health wise, environmentally, and more. And I’d like to help others understand how this truth impacts their lives as well.

 
  Ming Foxweldon: Facebook Group Coordinator   Hi, I am Ming Foxweldon. I am a graduate of the University of Vermont where I majored in Mandarin Chinese and minored in Anthropology. I was adopted from Kunming, in 1994. I have an older sister biologically related to the parents that adopted my brother and I. (My brother is not adopted from China). Within CCI, I hope to to guide and support those interested in China, and engage in meaningful conversation about adoption, identity, and anything else that's important to individuals alike.

Ming Foxweldon: Facebook Group Coordinator

Hi, I am Ming Foxweldon. I am a graduate of the University of Vermont where I majored in Mandarin Chinese and minored in Anthropology. I was adopted from Kunming, in 1994. I have an older sister biologically related to the parents that adopted my brother and I. (My brother is not adopted from China). Within CCI, I hope to to guide and support those interested in China, and engage in meaningful conversation about adoption, identity, and anything else that's important to individuals alike.


CCI COMMITTEE Fall - Winter 2018

  Claire Epstein: Birth Parent Search Resources Coordinator   Hi, my name is Claire Epstein. I was adopted from Anqing, Anhui Province when I was 11 months old. Since then, I have been living in Los Angeles, California with my mom and younger sister. (My mom adopted my sister from Suzhou, Jiangsu Province one year after adopting me.) I am currently a senior in high school.  After studying abroad with NSLI-Y in Xiamen, China the summer of 2017, I realized I have a passion for studying Mandarin and surrounding myself with Chinese culture. I joined the CCI community earlier this year and, through this organization, have connected with so many adoptees, adoptive parents, and Chinese families who have fascinating life stories to share.  Like many adoptees, trying to bridge the gap between my American and Chinese identities has proven itself to be complicated. I am eager to provide advice to others who are also pursuing this unique and meaningful journey.

Claire Epstein: Birth Parent Search Resources Coordinator

Hi, my name is Claire Epstein. I was adopted from Anqing, Anhui Province when I was 11 months old. Since then, I have been living in Los Angeles, California with my mom and younger sister. (My mom adopted my sister from Suzhou, Jiangsu Province one year after adopting me.) I am currently a senior in high school.

After studying abroad with NSLI-Y in Xiamen, China the summer of 2017, I realized I have a passion for studying Mandarin and surrounding myself with Chinese culture. I joined the CCI community earlier this year and, through this organization, have connected with so many adoptees, adoptive parents, and Chinese families who have fascinating life stories to share.

Like many adoptees, trying to bridge the gap between my American and Chinese identities has proven itself to be complicated. I am eager to provide advice to others who are also pursuing this unique and meaningful journey.

  André-Anne Côté: CCI Birth Parent Search Resources Coordinator   I am a graduate of Laval University in Quebec city, Canada where I majored in Anthropology. During my bachelor, I travelled in many Asian countries and studied in Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Berlin. I was adopted from Nanchang, Jiangxi in 1995. Within CCI, I hope to to guide and support those interested to find their biological parents in China and, as well, share my knowledge on Chinese demography through meaningful conversation. I am currently writing my master thesis about the Chinese adoptive diaspora and family planning at Peking University. Feel free to contact me for any purpose!

André-Anne Côté: CCI Birth Parent Search Resources Coordinator

I am a graduate of Laval University in Quebec city, Canada where I majored in Anthropology. During my bachelor, I travelled in many Asian countries and studied in Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei and Berlin. I was adopted from Nanchang, Jiangxi in 1995. Within CCI, I hope to to guide and support those interested to find their biological parents in China and, as well, share my knowledge on Chinese demography through meaningful conversation. I am currently writing my master thesis about the Chinese adoptive diaspora and family planning at Peking University. Feel free to contact me for any purpose!

  Chloe Mills: International Volunteer Coordinator   Hello, my name is Chloe Mills. I was adopted from Hefei, China when I was three years old. Currently, I am a senior at Corvallis High School, Oregon. I have always felt a deep connection to my roots and a commitment to give back to the community. Through the HTS/CCI summer 2014 volunteer trip, I returned to China to help medically fragile children at the China Care Home. I believe empowerment of individuals comes from sharing valuable lessons and experiences.

Chloe Mills: International Volunteer Coordinator

Hello, my name is Chloe Mills. I was adopted from Hefei, China when I was three years old. Currently, I am a senior at Corvallis High School, Oregon. I have always felt a deep connection to my roots and a commitment to give back to the community. Through the HTS/CCI summer 2014 volunteer trip, I returned to China to help medically fragile children at the China Care Home. I believe empowerment of individuals comes from sharing valuable lessons and experiences.

 

CCI Fall 2018 Intern | CCI Advisors

  Lucy Garberg: CCI Fall Intern   Hi, I'm Lucy Garberg. I was adopted at 10 months from Yiyang city in Hunan. Currently, I'm a junior at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. I've always been interested in my Chinese heritage-- studying Mandarin (hopefully I'll become fluent in the next couple of years!) and traveling back to China. I had heard of CCI for a couple years but it wasn't until the last year where I become involved in CCI, primarily the Facebook group. It was within the CCI community where I realized that the adoptee experience varied profoundly from adoptee to adoptee. It's been wonderful to get the chance to hear new perspectives and reflect upon them. I'm very much looking forward to the next few months as a CCI Intern-- continuing to share the adoptee experience.

Lucy Garberg: CCI Fall Intern

Hi, I'm Lucy Garberg. I was adopted at 10 months from Yiyang city in Hunan. Currently, I'm a junior at Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. I've always been interested in my Chinese heritage-- studying Mandarin (hopefully I'll become fluent in the next couple of years!) and traveling back to China. I had heard of CCI for a couple years but it wasn't until the last year where I become involved in CCI, primarily the Facebook group. It was within the CCI community where I realized that the adoptee experience varied profoundly from adoptee to adoptee. It's been wonderful to get the chance to hear new perspectives and reflect upon them. I'm very much looking forward to the next few months as a CCI Intern-- continuing to share the adoptee experience.

  Kiera McCabe: CCI Advisor   Kiera has been a part of CCI for almost 6 years. She is beyond thrilled to be rejoining the board after a 2 year break. She is a senior at Mount Holyoke College in MA and a double major in Computer Science and East Asian studies. When she isn't preoccupied with job applications, her thesis, or fencing, you can usually find her reading a book.

Kiera McCabe: CCI Advisor

Kiera has been a part of CCI for almost 6 years. She is beyond thrilled to be rejoining the board after a 2 year break. She is a senior at Mount Holyoke College in MA and a double major in Computer Science and East Asian studies. When she isn't preoccupied with job applications, her thesis, or fencing, you can usually find her reading a book.

  Joey Beyer: CCI Advisor   Joey is a young twenty-something-millennial who currently lives in San Jose, California USA.  Joey took part in an adoptee panel for the California Adoption Conference in March 2018 and is currently a board member of a local bay area grassroots adoptee organization called PACER, An Adoption Alliance. He also wrote a lengthy piece for the website Dear Adoption, an adoptee and foster care platform. Joey also has shared his personal journey with Intercountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) in the past. Most recently, he was the main writer for an open letter from Chinese adoptees to biological parents that will be read at the UCA's (United Chinese Association) conference.  Joey was born in Xi’an, China and was in both a state run orphanage and a Christian missionary orphanage until about the age of 3 when he was adopted by a Caucasian family from the Midwest state of Wisconsin. He went to a small liberal arts college in Lookout Mountain, Georgia and was awarded a Bachelors of Arts in both Community Development and in Economics. During the summer between his junior and senior year, he completed a research internship in the Philippines working with an organization that focuses on rehabilitative work for the homeless population in Manila.  After college, Joey moved out to San Jose, California where he was a part of an organization called Servant Partners that mentors young adults interested in urban city development by living in underserved communities and building relationships with neighbors. He participated in a program that assists residents of the neighborhood in having access to social capital and resources necessary to pursuing their dreams and goals for themselves. He has also worked as a community training instructor for adults with developmental disabilities, aiding them in applying for jobs, building soft skills necessary for jobs, and developing healthy habits for sustainable living.  Joey is passionate about adoptee advocacy and in creating greater awareness regarding the issues that are pertinent to adoptees from all over the world. He hopes to bring more nuance, complexity and understanding of the issues at hand and expand the possibilities of what adoptee advocacy could be.

Joey Beyer: CCI Advisor

Joey is a young twenty-something-millennial who currently lives in San Jose, California USA.

Joey took part in an adoptee panel for the California Adoption Conference in March 2018 and is currently a board member of a local bay area grassroots adoptee organization called PACER, An Adoption Alliance. He also wrote a lengthy piece for the website Dear Adoption, an adoptee and foster care platform. Joey also has shared his personal journey with Intercountry Adoptee Voices (ICAV) in the past. Most recently, he was the main writer for an open letter from Chinese adoptees to biological parents that will be read at the UCA's (United Chinese Association) conference.

Joey was born in Xi’an, China and was in both a state run orphanage and a Christian missionary orphanage until about the age of 3 when he was adopted by a Caucasian family from the Midwest state of Wisconsin. He went to a small liberal arts college in Lookout Mountain, Georgia and was awarded a Bachelors of Arts in both Community Development and in Economics. During the summer between his junior and senior year, he completed a research internship in the Philippines working with an organization that focuses on rehabilitative work for the homeless population in Manila.

After college, Joey moved out to San Jose, California where he was a part of an organization called Servant Partners that mentors young adults interested in urban city development by living in underserved communities and building relationships with neighbors. He participated in a program that assists residents of the neighborhood in having access to social capital and resources necessary to pursuing their dreams and goals for themselves. He has also worked as a community training instructor for adults with developmental disabilities, aiding them in applying for jobs, building soft skills necessary for jobs, and developing healthy habits for sustainable living.

Joey is passionate about adoptee advocacy and in creating greater awareness regarding the issues that are pertinent to adoptees from all over the world. He hopes to bring more nuance, complexity and understanding of the issues at hand and expand the possibilities of what adoptee advocacy could be.