ISS-USA July Newsletter
A message from our Executive Director
Dear Friends of ISS-USA,

Much of the last few months have been dedicated to preparing for our board retreat/strategic planning session. We recently gathered in the beautiful setting of the very grand, Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, MI, thanks to the generosity of Marlee Brown, ISS-USA Board Member, and her husband, Dan Musser, III. The Grand Hotel, founded on July 10, 1887, creates an atmosphere "where time moves at the pace of a horse drawn carriage..." but with service so exemplary that you feel like your every wish, need and desire is instantly attended to with the utmost care and respect. The Grand Hotel and its diverse staff from around the globe also provided inspiration for us as we discussed what ISS could invest in to ensure that we reach a level of long-term sustainability and continued relevance, just as the Grand Hotel has for more than 125 years! We have difficult but strategic decisions to make in the coming month as we explore how much we can invest in branding, fundraising, business development, and other critical resources to achieve our goals.  However, the endless view of clear blue Lake Michigan water that we gazed upon from rocking chairs on the "world's longest porch" further fortified our belief and our resolve that a small group of committed staff and board members can make a difference in the lives of migrating children, adults and families here in the U.S. and around world.

Best wishes,
Julie Rosicky   
A Grand Hotel, A Grand Future

Over the past 5 years, our organization has provided cross-border services, trained, or provided technical assistance to 14,887 individuals with an average full time staff of 13-15.

We are so grateful for the support of our donors, partners, Board of Directors, volunteers, and colleagues around the world who care deeply about protecting and reuniting vulnerable children and families separated across international borders. It is because of you that our organization has been able to serve those 15,000 people over the past five years.

ISS-USA has set out on a bold plan to double its budget in the next five years.  W e look forward to expanding the scope and breadth of what we do by collaborating with our current partners and developing new partners in the next five years.

ISS-USA Staff and Board Members in Mackinac Island, MI

Dedicated Board Renews Commitment

At the recent ISS-USA Board Retreat & Strategic Planning session, Board Officers have been elected for the coming years:

Mary Mentaberry - Re-elected to serve as Chair of the Board of Directors 
Trooper Sanders - re-elected to serve alongside Mary as Vice-Chair
Bill Evans - Re-elected to serve as Treasurer and to serve another three-year term on the Board
Ann Estin - Re-elected to serve a three-year term on the Board
Lonnie Taylor - Re-elected as Secretary

Our other board members are continuing their terms of service:
Marlee Brown 
Stephen Cullen
Gene Grabowski
Robert Miles
Rob Reich
Diane Tukman

Thanks to our Board of Directors for their time, commitment, and dedication to our organization and its efforts to serve children and families! 

Learn more about each of our Board of Directors listed above  on our website.
ISS-USA Invited to Participate in Family Engagement Roundtable

Elaine Weisman, Program Manager, led a Family Engagement Roundtable discussion with about 20 individuals in Virginia on July 21, 2016. This presentation  revolved around the resources available in international family finding, as well as how ISS-USA can assist in locating and engaging family members outside the United States in permanency planning for children. To read more about other past events and presentations, visit our past presentations and trainings page. To learn more about how your state can get more information, please email
Did you know that 1 in 3 victims of human trafficking are children?

July 30th, 2016 is the World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, a day to express solidarity with victims of human trafficking. This year, please join us and other human rights organizations in the #igivehope campaign - launched to raise awareness around human trafficking and provide a way to show solidarity with the victims most affected by this crime. By sharing #igivehope with your friends, families and communities, you too can show your support for victims and express your support for efforts to end human trafficking. 

Stateless Adoptees - Please Help Us Make it Right! 

The Adoptee Citizenship Act (S.2275) is a senate bill currently in committee, whose purpose is to 1) grant adult international adoptees automatic citizenship, and 2) provide an easy way for adult adoptees who have been deported to return to the United States.  ISS-USA stands with adoptees, adoptive parents, and allies in the community in support of the Adoptee Citizenship Act of 2015 to grant citizenship for all adoptees regardless of the date when the adoption was finalized.  Join the conversation and show your support for the Adoptee Citizenship Act adoptees by sharing #citizenshipforalladoptees on social media. 
News from the ISS Federation

New International Social Service Members

We'd like to welcome two new members to the International Social Service Federation Friends International - Cambodia  and  Danielle Children's Fund - Ecuador Friends-International
is a leading social enterprise saving lives and building futures of the most marginalized children and youth, their families, and their communities in South East Asia and across the world. Danielle Children's Fund is a Dutch foundation, running programs for children in need and their families in Nepal and Ecuador.

Upcoming Events

ISS-USA's 6th Annual Fall Conference: The Ties That Bind
Register by August 31st to receive early bird pricing
October 13, 2016
ISS-USA will be co-hosting the  6th Annual Fall Conference with the University of Maryland School of Social Work on October 13, 2016 in Baltimore, MD. This conference, The Ties That Bind: Exploring the Causes and Consequences of Children Separated From Their Families Across International Borders, will focus on the legal and human rights of children separated from their biological families. There will be four sessions on: (1) International Adoption & "Rehoming" (2) Donor Conceived Persons (3) International Parental Abduction and (4) Unaccompanied Minors. We hope to see you there! Register before August 31st to receive early bird pricing and visit our website for more information.

Our 2016 Fall Conference is sponsored by:

Network Sharing Sponsors:
Long Lost Sisters Meet for the First Time

In 1999, Ben and Robin adopted an infant girl from India named Naomi and brought her home to join their family in Illinois. Naomi longed to know more about her roots, so o n her 16th birthday, her family decided to travel to India to look for Naomi's biological family in hopes of learning more about her past. Ben had done extensive online research and had a good lead as to where Naomi's mother might be. Armed with research, hopes, and anxious feelings, t hey traveled to India, where they  were fortunate to meet Naomi's biological mother. During this heartwarming reunion, Naomi's mother surprised them with the fact that Naomi had an older sister who had been adopted by a couple in England. Naomi, ecstatic to learn she had a big sister, immediately wanted to find her. As soon as the family returned to Chicago, they contacted ISS-USA to search for Naomi's sister in England. ISS-USA diligently worked with the ISS network partner in the UK and located Naomi's now 23-year-old sister. Thanks to ISS-USA's network coordination, Naomi and her sister are now talking, and the two long-lost sisters will have an emotional meeting for the first time in London in October. 

*All identifying information has been changed to ensure client confidentiality.
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International Social Service, USA Branch | 22 Light St., Suite 200, Baltimore, MD 21202 
443-451-1200 |