Tuesday, August 4, 2009

a letter to Secretary of State H. Clinton

Never one to shy back from communicating with elected officials, but who needs to think out her words carefully, today I posted a request, an encouragment if you will, to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton as she prepares for a trip to Liberia to meet with President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The suspension on adoptions in Liberia has entered and is well nested in its 7th month, new laws were promised, etc etc............if you read my post earlier in July, you know that the suspension claimed the life of little Matthew. You know that we pray fervently for our Daniel to not be the next......... Our Department of State actually has a FaceBook website where citizens may comment on issues at hand.

Dear Secretary Clinton,
As adoptive parents whose first adopted children were caught up in the 2001 US- imposed suspension on adoptions in Cambodia, and now as the prospective, waiting adoptive parents of three children in Liberia, also in a state of suspension, we understand the difference between imploring our own government to take an action and the different approach needed to request another country to take similar action, even with nearly identical situations. We all as adoptive parents wish and pray that we were not needed, that the children who are orphaned would be with their birth families and that their lives could be full of hopes and dreams within the scope of reality. Sadly for many countries that is not the case and there are many broken families, broken dreams, and many, many orphaned children. The need for families to have open hearts and homes for adoption is a very valid and ongoing need. it is not a "concept" to be vilified or set aside through lack of information or as a result of unethical people looking to make a buck at the expense of an already tragic situation. As Liberia rebuilds and grows, it is my hope that her laws will be strong and lasting, built from true sweat equity on the part of the lawmakers. Please convey that to President Johnson- Sirleaf? We want Liberia to prosper and thrive with a strong good government and laws which protect her citizens, including the families whose lives are touched in any way by orphans, orphanages, and/ or adoption. To this end, we are requesting that you make the now 7 month old suspension on Liberian adoptions part of your discussions with President. Johnson-Sirleaf. Many American families are in a deep limbo over their adopted children. A number of them have adoption decrees from the Liberian government, and even American visas for those children. Many, like our family, have been matched with children for over a year, and we wonder as we pray and hope for those precious children, if, when , they will ever come home. Our 18 month old Liberian son has an untreated and life threatening condition for which there is no medical care available in Liberia. He will die there as collateral damage to this suspension, even as another child, whom I had the privilege to hold and care for earlier this year, did.
For the sake of the children , it is our hope that you will have meaningful dialog with the President. Perhaps you can suggest the mechanism our government used in Cambodia with the "Pipeline families" as we were called, to allow already processed adoptions to complete as the new rules are put into place for the future. Sadly, Cambodia remains closed to American adoptions, but it does not have to be that way for Liberia. We appreciate your efforts and are optimistic for the future of Liberia.
Respectfully yours,

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