A little more on why I decided to call my first ever real series (okay second), For His Glory. Mark and I have both felt that children are our ministry. We want our house full of them. I feel like that adopting from another country and then also adopting here, domestically, we will be answering God’s call to minister to others. Not to just give a child a home, with a bunch of siblings, etc, but to show God’s glory in his/her life and in our lives. I pray that this adoption adventure does just that. And trust me, we know it’s not going to be easy! We’re not living in a fantasy world…although I long to escape to one from time to time…then a toddler comes up and blows raspberries in my face 🙂
So, I’m sure everyone is wondering, waiting anxiously, to see what country we will be adopting from. I’ve delayed posting on that because I wanted to wait until we “really” were going to be adopting from that country by being approved by the agency.
Our sweet daughter will be coming from (drum roll please), Liberia! We are so excited that we have an opportunity to bring God glory through this adoption. Liberia is a small country in Africa on the coast near Cote d’Ivorie. They have recently ended a 14 year civil war that has torn the country apart. Historically, Liberia was founded by freed slaves from America.
Why did we choose Liberia??? Good question…I can only say it was from God. While I was pregnant with Josiah, I had a dream that we adopted two girls from Africa. I really never thought much about it, but I didn’t forget it (obviously if I’m relating it to my friends who read). Mark and I always said we would adopt from China. However, they have strict rules/regulations to adopt and we knew we’d have to meet them before we could adopt. One rule is that you both have to be 30. So, we waited. Another was an income requirement which we met this year…however, they have also added a assets/liabilities requirement that definitely did not meet. We began to realize that maybe God’s plans were different than ours (go figure). So, we (meaning mostly I) did a lot of research on different places to adopt. Lots of rules against families with more than two or three children, but some without it. We narrowed our list down to three countries. Of those three, God began to close every door except for Liberia (in regard to safety for us as well as one country that was having issues with “child buying/trafficking” and adoptions were suspended for there).
When Mark and I felt pretty certain about Liberia, we “happened” upon a PBS special about the president of Liberia and we got to see glimpses of the country, what their president’s, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, reform was doing, and getting more history about Liberia. I was impressed and we were sure! This was the direction God was leading us…
Okay, so I wrote the above post in January of 2008, thinking I would post it in a few months once we were approved by our agency, etc. However, little Miss Ceili Rain came in and surprised us and our adoption process has been slow going. Now that you know the country we will be adopting from here is what I can say about what is going on right now with the adoption process…
We received word at the end of January about President Sirleaf’s ministry suspending all adoptions in Liberia until reform could be made. The adoption laws that international adoption was working with were over 50 years old and there had been some work in trying to reform and rewrite the laws that were first meant for domestic adoption but adapted when internationals started adoptions. Keep in mind that 50 years ago, they were also operating under a different government party and this was before the 14 year civil war that ended a few years ago.
Besides the need for reform, there is a strong need for education both of the adoptive parents here in the state but also the parents and families and employees who are doing the adoptions in Liberia.
So, to do this reform and education, the president and her ministry felt that suspending adoptions would be best.
When we first heard about this, my first thought was, “Well, there goes God closing another door.” I was a little heartbroken and perplexed at how I was going to start up research to see where we need to adopt from. However, Mark and I have been learning so much about Liberia. We’ve fallen in love with the country, the people, and especially the children.
Through a couple of circumstances, we’ve felt God really calling us to stay put and wait on Him to work. He is working and we can see some of it little by little every week. We’ve been encouraged to write our congressman and ask them to write the government in Liberia to share that we are real people who are a real family who want to be able to care for a child who needs a home…
And that was written back in February. Here is the latest news:
There are two agencies who are working to end adoptions in Liberia. Both of these agencies are “goodwill” agencies for children. They feel that adoption is a form of child trafficking and that the children need to stay with their birth families.
Here’s our argument against this view: They have suffered greatly from the 14 year war. While they are working to rebuild the country, it is a slow process. I have yet to hear or see where the two agencies have looked at the best interest of the children. We have received word that one of the agencies is pushing to have the children in the orphanages…children who have been receiving at least one meal a day, clothing, shelter, and schooling…back to their birth parents who are barely, if at all, able to care for themselves. It hurts to hear this news that these agencies want to send their children, if they can find them, back to parents…leaving the children to suffer malnutrition and lack of education among other things.
1. Nothing is set in stone. Legislation is being brought to Liberia’s Senate that would further modify the adoption laws. We’re uncertain, at this point, what the legislation says and I’ll post that as soon as possible.
2. To learn a little more about Liberia, go here. There is a great video on the sidebar about a recent mission trip to Liberia and the beautiful children there.
3. We’re writing our congressman and others are too, to encourage them to get in touch with the government in Liberia. Mainly, the goal is to make sure the Liberian government knows that there are Americans who love these children and want them to be an active member of their family, not traffick children.
4. PRAY PRAY PRAY! God is working daily…sometimes hourly in Liberia and things are constantly changing. I have to admit my pessimistic attitude is fighting with my faith to trust we are in God’s will and to wait on Him. My heart understands that but my head wants to go ahead and pursue other places for adoption.