Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Battle Continues

We continue to battle with our agency (first one) to "allow" us to do a concurrent/interim adoption. We were initially told CCAA (China Center for Adoption Affairs) didn't allow it. Then, November 6, when CCAA made an official announcement that thy allowed it, I asked again. Then, they said they were reviewing the policy. Over a month later, we are now trying to pursue Kyrgyzstan and NEED our homestudy updated and we are told we have to pull our dossier from China and I am refusing. We are at a standoff, I suppose. Now, today, I'm hearing they allow it on a case-by-case basis but no one can determine why exactly we can't. Our local director is questioning it for us.

When I'm frustrated or just need to work something out, I write. I have written my last "piece" about this to this agency. We are consulting outside help in this if we do not get an approval by Friday. We've had all we feel led to take. I want to add the two things I wrote (less agency names) so I will have it when I look back on our journey.

If someone were threatening Josh, I wouldn't hesitate to stand up until I was literally flattened out. The same is true for Ellie even though she is not here yet. I have to stand up for her -- for her right to have a family, and for us to have her.


My heart breaks each time I get emails forwarded by you from [agency] and I want to share with you why.

146 Million Orphans go to sleep each night without a family to love them. In Kyrgyzstan alone, one orphanage is overrun with scabies because they can’t afford a washer or dryer to wash clothes in hot enough water to kill the bugs. They can’t afford medicine to treat the babies – little bitty babies with bugs and sores.

In China, millions of babies lie in cribs and know that no one will come when they cry.

In Haiti, there are an estimated 10,000 children living on the streets. There are 1.2 MILLION vulnerable children there with poor health, little if no health care, and very poor living conditions.

Currently in Vietnam, families live on as little as $28 per month. Many place their children in orphanages out of severe desperation. Street orphans are routinely seen digging through garbage in search of enough food for the day in the Lam Dong province.

In Russia, the death rate is almost twice that of the general population due to living conditions. About 15,000 children (16-18) leave Russian orphanages each year. Of these, 5,000 are unemployed, some 6,000 are homeless, around 3,000 resort to crime, approximately 1,500 commit suicide, and roughly half the girls are forced into prostitution.

The conditions are so bad in one Bulgarian orphanage that UNICEF has been called in. One mother called it a concentration camp and stated that healthy children were developing both mental and physical disabilities due to lack of care. BBC’s Kate Blewitt wrote: During the filming of Bulgaria’s Abandoned Children – there were times when I sat inside Mogilino - with Sean (the cameraman) and I would look around the room at the children and think "How am I going to make a film about the lives of these children? They don’t do anything. They don’t go anywhere. They don’t speak. They don’t smile. They don’t play. Nothing changes. Nothing happens. They are warehoused human beings. Rocking. Rocking. Rocking. Self harming. Sitting. Sitting. Sitting.

Now we stop and we think … there are families who WANT to help, want to adopt. But we, as only ONE family, continue to hit brick wall after brick wall after brick wall with our own agency. And while I don’t think it’s the [local] office, I know that it’s [headquarters]. For POLICY? Do you think that child who will commit suicide when no one adopts him and he’s turned out at 16 with nothing and no one will care that [agency] was an one of the agencies that said this, “agencies have their own ethical standards, mostly driven by the best interest of a child or other cultural elements.”? I’m really thinking not.

Do you think that the baby lying in a crib with scabies cares about this: We ask for workers and families to be patient as we move forward with all our "ducks in a row" so that the best interest of the child can continue to be provided, all while servicing families with these additional requests. Again, I’m thinking not.

As I'm sure you and your families can understand... No, I DON’T understand – that’s the problem. [Agency] is an INTERNATIONAL adoption agency whose mission statement says, [deleted for agency confidentiality] Now, no, I am not a social worker, but I am a Christian and I do know Jesus Christ and I can’t in my wildest imagination consider how denying our family the right to adopt while we wait is “manifesting the love and compassion of Jesus Christ”. I can’t imagine how allowing EVEN ONE CHILD to wait for a home when a family is BEGGING to get them is manifesting the love of Jesus.

I really, really would like someone who is in charge of making POLICY with [agency] to explain how their “be patient and wait” policy is helping fulfill their mission. And I’d really like, just one time, for someone sitting in an office, with heat and air, medical insurance, a car, food for every meal, Christmas presents under a tree, a house to live in and money in the bank to explain to me how they can, in good conscience, deny a child that same opportunity.

I know these facts are nothing new to you all – I know this is what you deal with every day. And I know that you have statistics of thousands of children who were brought home successfully each year. For each of those children, I am eternally grateful. I only long to add one more to that number.


We will not withdraw from China when China, as a country, has issued a formal statement that interim adoptions are ok. I think this will need to be addressed with [headquarters] as they have had quite a while (over a month now) to make a ruling on this since we asked November 6. It seems QUITE unfair that they would prohibit us from continuing with an interim adoption based on a policy that they can’t come to an official ruling on and for a couple who are looking at a minimum of 2 more years wait time. Historically, China has not referred more than 8 LIDs at a time since March 2007. Prior to that, there has not been more than 19 days referred at a time since September of 2005. How in the world can an agency expect us to continue to wait for a child with these type numbers? What is more important to [agency] – finding homes for children, or implementing and following policy? As you can tell, I’m quite frustrated about this.
As you will remember, we never signed any agreement and do not have a contract stating that this was prohibited when we submitted our dossier to China. This was never explained to us or presented to us in any form until March 2007 – three months after our LID. I have the email we were sent at that time. This cannot be a “by the way” policy if we were never informed prior to sending our dossier to China. I think now is the time we will require a ruling on this. We can’t continue to put our lives on hold because a decision cannot be made when there is a specific ruling on this from the country and when we were told that the only reason [agency] had this policy was because China forbade it.

I feel like I continue to beat the proverbial “dead horse” on this. We SIMPLY want to provide a home to an orphan like God commands,

“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: visit [love, care for, provide homes for] orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world” James 1:27.

Exodus 22:22 states: “You shall not afflict any orphan or widow.”
God furthermore gave instructions to the Israelites in Deuteronomy 16:11, “The Levite [priest] because he has no portion or inheritance among you, the alien, the orphan and the widow who are in your town, shall come and eat and be satisfied, in order that the LORD your God may bless you in all the work of your hands that you do.”

Deuteronomy 27:19 states, “Cursed is he who distorts the justice due an alien, orphan and widow.”

Isaiah 1:17 says, “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Reprove ruthlessness. Defend the orphan. Plead for the widow.”

GOD has called our family – all Christian, really -- to do what we seek to do. HE has asked us--to go not once but twice. How can a Christian agency determine that this is not in the best interest of the children it seeks to serve? How can providing a family for a child be WRONG – especially in this case?

Please know that I offer all of this only in the desire to bring home children. I understand that corporate policies exist to protect children, and if we, in any way thought that by attempting this interim adoption that we would be harming either child, we would never consider it.

Work with us, please?

1 comment:

Sheri said...

Maria, this is a brilliant letter, and it demands immediate, definitive, and POSITIVE action by your agency. I am utterly nonplussed that ANY agency would fobid a concurrent adoption when CCAA has specifically permitted it - what on earth are they thinking of??? Not the children, not you - CCAA rescinded their policy BECAUSE they care about you, and about children!!! Sheesh. Best of luck, and keep us posted. Kryz adoptions look very intriguing - if I didn't already have my own two girls home - that's where I'd be headed right this minute, believe me! HUGS, and may you have good news for Christmas!!