Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pray, Act and Fear

This is a long one! Please read it though.

Tonight as Gabe was sleeping in his father's arms I knew the only place I would feel comfort was in my father's arms as well. So while they laid in the recliner I sat on the couch and prayed.

By now many of you have heard that Ethiopia is changing their inter-country adoption regulations. The Joint Council released a statment late yesterday in regards to it.

Statement on the Pending Reduction of Intercountry Adoption in Ethiopia (copy and pasted from my email)

Last week the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs announced their intention to reduce intercountry adoptions by 90% beginning March 10, 2011. The Ministry’s plan for a dramatic reduction is apparently based on two primary issues; 1) the assumption that corruption in intercountry adoption is systemic and rampant and 2) the Ministry’s resources should be focused on the children for whom intercountry adoption is not an option. Without further announcements by the Government of Ethiopia, it is our understanding that the Ministry’s plan will be initiated this week.

The Ministry’s plan is a tragic, unnecessary and disproportionate reaction to concerns of isolated abuses in the adoption process and fails to reflect the overwhelmingly positive, ethical and legal services provided to children and families through intercountry adoption. Rather than eliminate the right of Ethiopian children to a permanent family, we encourage the Ministry to accept the partnerships offered by governments, NGOs, and foundations. Such partnerships could increase the Ministry’s capacity to regulate service providers and further ensure ethical adoptions.

The Ministry’s plan, which calls for the processing of only five adoption cases per work day, will result not only in systemic and lasting damage to a large sector of social services, but will have an immediate impact on the lives and futures of children. Moving from over 4,000 adoptions per year to less than 500 will result in thousands of children languishing in under-regulated and poorly resourced institutions for years. For those children who are currently institutionalized and legally available for adoption, the Ministry’s plan will increase their time languishing in institutions for up to 7-years.

Joint Council respectfully urges the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs to reconsider their plan and to partner with governments, NGOs and foundations to achieve their goals and avoid the coming tragedy for children and families.

There are many things you can do. The JCICS released today a Call to Action (again I copied and pasted from their post)

March 8, 2011

Joint Council: Emergency Campaign for Ethiopian Children

What You Can Do:

1) Sign the petition to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi – and pass it on!

2) Have you adopted from Ethiopia? Please send us up to 3 photos and 50 words or less with what you would like the Ministry to know about your child – we’ll compile the information and send a book to the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs. Send your photos and stories to advocate@jointcouncil.org by Sunday, March 12, 2011 to be included. Please note that sending photos and stories gives Joint Council unrestricted right to use the information you provide.

3) Share…Please send this Call to Action to family members, other adoptive parents, and everyone you know! Post, forward and share your adoption stories via Facebook, Twitter, and blogs. Make sure you include us in your posts so we can all hear your stories! Here’s links to our pages: Facebook, Twitter and our our blog.

4) Stay informed: Get up-to-date information regarding the situation in Ethiopia by signing up to receive information from us: click here to do so, make sure you choose “country and issues specific information” and “Ethiopia.” And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and our our blog.

5) Help ensure our advocacy can continue: Joint Council is a non-profit and receives no government funding. Please join us in ensuring more children live in safe, permanent and loving families. Donate today!


And if you made it this far, you deserve a reward!

While my last post was about rejoicing in the Lord always, I'm finding my rejoicing tained with fear today. Fear that our child will be waiting longer for us than already necessary, fear for the little hearts in Ethiopia that have yet to know the love of a family, fear that we will have to change our adoption plans and see where else the Lord is leading us and fear that maybe we heard the Lord wrong. Was it our sinful, human nature that led us to Ethiopia and did we not hear God correctly? I truly feel that this is where God has led us, so while I'm afraid I know that I have nothing to fear.

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6


Denise said...

what is their reasoning, why are they doing this? I'm so sorry.

Sherri said...

I am a grandma in waiting for our second granchild from Ethiopia and I am shaken to the core with this news, too. Our first granddaughter came home in 2008 and she is the joy of our lives. Thank your for sharing on MWOP which is where I found you. I have signed the petition and written a testimony. God's Blessings to you and your family.

Mari Bryant- Marks said...

I'm so sorry that you are going through this. I know that it is much bigger and about millions of childrens' lives, but I know your heart, and I know you are hurting. So I'm sorry Mer. And will continue to pray for the sweet voiceless.

Joe and Deanna said...

Ok, so I am right here with you! I have felt the same fear over the last few days..."Lord, did we hear wrong?" Did you lead us to this decision or was it just us? But then I had to remember how it came about, how He confirmed it, how He has grown us so much through it, how He has opened the doors and made the way. I also remember what someone said to me that might help you....Do NOT doubt in the darkness what GOD did in the light. So during this time of darkness, confusion, sadness, and heaviness of heart, HANG IN THERE! God brought you to this place so just grab his hand since you can't see the end of the dark tunnel. He loves your little one so much more than you do so just imagine how much he is working this out for all of the orphans. We just need to trust. Praying for you (and me too!).

Heather and Chad said...

Petition has been signed!!! We are saying prayers that the people who are in a position to make these decisions will stop to think of the ramifications this will have for the many of orphans who so deserve forever families. Prayers have also been said for you guys too as I know this is so unsettling and weighing so heavily on your hearts.

I think of our baby sleeping upstairs right now and I can't for the life of me understand how any of this could be good or how it even makes sense. I just keep believing that God's true desire for the orphans of the world will prevail.

Thinking of you!!!