Back in the summer, I read that another mom (Storing Up Treasures In Heaven) had felt compelled to set aside Mondays as a day of prayer and fasting for Haitian adoptions. This really touched me and I made a point of also using that as a day to pray specifically for all the children, families and government officials involved in Haitian adoption. My desire was simply to pray the children home. But as autumn came, and homeschooling began again, I have to admit that I was less faithful about setting aside time for specific and purposeful prayer.
More recently, though, the stakes seem to have become greater. There is a very real risk that Haitian adoption will become extremely restricted. It will be nearly impossible for families like ours to adopt if the proposed laws pass (info on petition here). The number of all foreign adoptions has gone down. This is not because there are less orphans in the world or because poor countries are now, magically, able to care for their orphaned & abandoned children. There is a push, specifically by UNICEF, to end international adoption. Why? They'll say that children belong in their own culture. From a November AP piece on this topic:
...By contrast, another adoption expert, Harvard law professor Elizabeth Bartholet, depicted the new numbers as "totally depressing."
She said China and Russia reflected a trend in which countries opened themselves up to international adoption, then scaled back. She attributed this in part to UNICEF and other international organizations encouraging countries to care for children within their homeland, even when domestic programs such as foster care might be inadequate.
"UNICEF is a major force," Bartholet said. "They've played a major role in jumping on any country sending large number of kids abroad, identifying it as a problem rather than a good thing."
UNICEF's child protection spokesman, Geoffrey Keele, said the U.N. agency does believe it is preferable to care for orphaned or abandoned children in their own countries if good homes could be found for them.
The question becomes - HAS ANYONE FROM UNICEF EVER BEEN TO HAITI??? Does it appear that there are good homes for the more than ONE MILLION orphans (and I've heard that's a conservative estimate)? The issue is not the fear of child trafficking, as UNICEF claims. There are more than enough safeguards (homestudies, immigration approvals, etc...) to insure that adoptive parents are bringing these children into their homes to become part of their families.
My opinion is that this is a much bigger issue than corrupt governments, UNICEF or any other institution that pushes to keep orphans in desperate conditions. I truly believe that there is evil in this world that does not want children to be exposed to freedom, prosperity and more importantly, the knowledge of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. An enormous percentage of families that adopt internationally are Christians.
Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father is this:
caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to be corrupted by the world.
- the orphans of the world (estimated at 150 million - at least one million of which are in Haiti)
- the continued opportunity for Christian families to adopt them from the most horrifying of conditions
- that any unjust laws are stopped before they pass
I know there is power in unified prayer. There are a number of adoption blogs that I read frequently and I pray for those families and children on a regular basis. If you are adopting or have a specific prayer request - please post a comment or send an e-mail so I can join with you.