Thursday, September 23, 2010

Lately in Liberia

Obviously, I haven't updated about adoption stuff in a really long time. Here's the re-cap:

July 16th - Scheduled meeting in Liberia called by the Minister of Justice (MOJ), who is second in command in the country, to discuss adoptions. Many people, including Georgia, were to be there to be able to fill the MOJ in on the last two years and the things that have and have not taken place. People even flew in from other countries to attend and represent adoptive families like ours who have been waiting for years for their children.

- Meeting postponed to be 3 days later.

- Meeting postponed again.

July. 29th - small meeting held, but larger meeting postponed again, this time to August 6th.

Aug. 6th - Meeting postponed again, this time to August 17th.

Aug. 17th. The meeting actually took place. Granted, anyone who had flown in to attend the original meeting (and represent adoptive families) one entire month before, is by now, gone home. Sigh. BUT... the good news is:
" It was a hopeful meeting for the future of adoptions in Liberia. A lot will need to happen still, but it was clear at the meeting that the GOL (Government of Liberia) wants to get a better adoption policy in place and once that happens, they intend to lift the moratorium. What is most encouraging is there are some folks now involved who I believe will really follow through and make sure a new policy is put in place. Even better, this is being led by Liberians, not Americans. Even better than that, there are high level officials involved who simply want what is best for Liberia's children. Let's be praying for them. There are no specifics at this point for what the new policy will be, so none of us can venture to guess about timeframes, adoptability of children, agency accreditation, etc. " ~Angel Rutledge

Sept. 1 - Angel's post:
Liberia Adoption Update
"For those who are wondering what became of the meeting that was held in mid-August about adoptions in Liberia, the plan is still to form a new committee to write an adoption policy and then lift the moratorium once the policy is in place. The official who will chair the committee has been traveling since right after the meeting took place but should be back tomorrow. Anything could change, but I do believe this new committee will get the job done and does care about the children of Liberia above power and money. Still no timeframes or answers about what will be in the policy. Let's pray together that is would be one that has the best interests of the children, birth parents and adoptive families as its focus. "

Sept. 9th - The UN will extend its peacekeeping mission in Liberia for another year, at the least. Good news to my heart, as I often wonder about the stability of the country. It would be all too easy for it to become a free-for-all again, and for their bloody 14 year long Civil War to be repeated. The thought of warlords roaming the streets where my children live (and where many more people I now know and love reside) just about kills me. The thought of "armies" of little boys who've been ripped from their families and forced to do atrocious things, high on drugs, sporting automatic weapons, just makes me ill. It happened before, and it wasn't so long ago.
So I'm thankful that the UN recognizes that where there is no law... no punishment for offenders, and no protection for those who heed rules... there is no peace. I, for one, see their helicopters, white jeeps, and guns as a happy thing in Liberia right now, though I pray for the day that they are no longer needed.

Currently - Angel posted this article about those running for President right now in Liberia. President Sirleaf is up for re-election. A soccer star and a former warlord will race against her. Read it; you'll be amazed that a man who was party (on VIDEO!) to butchering a former President is a candidate.

So- nothing concrete on the future of our adoption of Kelvin and Hawa.
Ooooh, I don't think I've shared this with most people yet, but we found out the day before we were to leave Liberia this past June that Kelvin and Hawa are not brother and sister. They are not related at all. Oh, and that they are not orphans as we had always believed. They each have two living birth parents. The woman who brought them to the orphanage lied. She made up last names, relationships, and birth dates. None of it was the truth. Swallow that when you have less than 24 hours left with your children, and no way of knowing if adoption is even possible for them now. It was incredibly hard to learn this just before having to say goodbye to the kids. Fast forward 4 days and amazingly {and I do mean AMAZINGLY... as in miraculous} Georgia had already located 2 of the 4 parents. They are unable to care for their kids (evidenced by the fact that the kids have not been with them for over 2 years... and they never inquired about them or indicated that they wanted to parent them) and want them to be adopted. The other 2 parents abandoned the children long ago, and one of those needs to be found in order to sign paperwork. This is a big deal, and we are praying that this parent is located and able to understand what is happening in her child's life.

We are hoping that the meeting truly will lead to movement to lift the moratorium, but are always tempered in our hearts with the experience of the past... we've heard good news before. We don't want to allow "good news" to shift our trust and hope to a place where it was never intended to be. Trust and hope can only be in the Lord... he's the only dependable, faithful, unchanging one. Our joy comes from him, not in the latest news. News can bring disappointment, but the Lord brings peace... no matter what.

So, we have all our paperwork updated and ready in case anything changes, and we're pressing in to pray for our Kelvin and Hawa-girl to be able to be in our arms again.

"No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the Lord are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you. " Psalm 33:16-22

It's Been A While

So, yes... it's been a while since I've posted anything meaningful. Here is my list of random goings-on to catch you up a bit. And, no... I'm not promising it will be meaningful, so don't get your hopes up.

~Surgery recoop is done, I'm all empty of my fibriod and back to normal.

~I've started school again with the kids, and I'm remembering why I love it. Went on a fieldtrip yesterday and learned all about the role of Minnesotans in the civil war. Here's a quote from a woman who was acting as a nurse on the battlefield, "You may have had a little whiskey to pour on your wound, but when they had to saw off a limb... it still hurt." {Waving of a hand-saw for effect.} Uh, yeah. Can't imagine. And really don't want to.

~I gave in and decided yesterday that fall has officially come, even though I fought it for the last several weeks of crummy weather. {Don't misunderstand, I LOVE fall.. I just ABHOR 6 month-long winters that follow.}

~I gave myself a home-spun french manicure for the 3rd time in my life, and it didn't look terrible. By the way, I have never had a pedicure, and have had a manicure only once when I was in a friend's wedding. Some of my girlfriends are aghast at this. I don't know... I just don't care that much, and I'm way too cheap.

~I've committed to not eat sugar for a month with my sister-in-law, and I'm almost two weeks into it. Well, we have one dessert a week, and we're not CRAZY... we eat carbs... just not dessert-y, blatantly sugary things. I am doing it, but I have to say that it is not enjoyable to me. I really like sugar. Really. A lot. Therein lies the problem. I don't want anything to have mastery over me. I desire to have self-control and make wise choices. If it were meth I was addicted to, I'd be in some serious trouble. Since it's sugar, it's easy to downplay and justify. Anyway, that's new. Not happy, but new.

~I'm looking forward to some time with family that I rarely get to see. Really looking forward to it. I'm looking forward to hugs from my parents, time with my sis, crisp air and great sunsets, rivers and oceans and redwoods with my man, great conversations with my cousins, making memories with my kids, celebrating Oma's 90th birthday, leaf piles to let the kids jump into, 25 cent phosphates at the Pharmacy, Abby's pizza, and oh so many other things.