Sunday, March 14, 2010

Published today in Nordic Africa News: a letter from ME

A friend sent me a link to this newspaper because of a story of a child who was helped because of a newspaper story and a journalist who cared. I thought, "Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" and gave some thought to writing a letter about Daniel, about the plight of adoptions in Liberia. I prayed and talked to Charlie and several friends for guidance. I sent the letter to the editor who quickly got back to me and asked IF  I wanted my letter to be published, and I told him that we did want to see it run. He told me it would be  yesterday but it was today. Sunday publications always have a larger following so I am curious to see what/if any response this may generate.  I have seeen that several Liberian politicians have also used this paper as a forum for their issues, so I know that  governemnt folks are reading this publication.                                  We continue to pray that our Ministry of Justice letter is written this week and that it results in our getting an adoption decree for Daniel. His paperwork birthday is tomorrow. He will officially be two years old. I never dreamed he would still be stuck in Liberia for his second brithday, never !
We pray that the suspension which has our Junior and Diamoh held hostage  is resolved very soon as well.
I would love for this  to be the last letter I need to write on Daniel's behalf. I suspect it is not the last I will write which is related to Junior and Diamoh's case.

A Mother pleads for her kid
Sunday 14 March 2010
Published: 2010-03-14

 Good morning, I appreciated your story about the little girl with the imperforate anus very much. Our family like many others is caught up in the year long-plus suspension imposed by President Sirleaf against adoptions in Liberia.
Unlike Cambodia, which during its adoption suspension, constructed a "pipeline" for the families already in process to complete their adoptions, Liberia just shut the whole process down and left many, many people stranded.
Last fall a plan was worked out for the families whose children had adoption decrees to be allowed to complete the adoption process. This plan also included special needs children who did not already have adoption decrees, we were told.
Our Embassy in Monrovia even hired an extra person to adjudicate the load of cases anticipated. She left last week, and there were barely a handful of cases completed, sadly.
I know of one 13-year-old boy with special needs who was allowed to leave Liberia last summer because he was able to advocate for his own case and his life. The other special needs babies and young children: none of them have been cleared to come to their adoptive families. Not one.
We have been matched with a healthy older brother and sister since August of 2008. They are currently 7 and 10 years old. We are also matched with a very special needs toddler, a baby turning 2 years old next week, who has severe hydrocephaly and cerebral palsy and who has received no treatment in Liberia for his condition.
My husband and I spent two weeks in Liberia last March with our older children. They know us, they are holding out hope that we will return for them.
We were told when we met our baby at that time, that his case was already "approved" even though there was a suspension and that getting him home would be "Fast". THAT was March 21, 2009. Today is March 9, 2010. We still have no adoption decree, our baby is still untreated in Liberia, unaware that he has a family eager to love him and get treatment for him as soon as he lands in the USA. Through our agency, I have written to the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Health, the President herself and our agency has advocated hard for his case to be completed.
Several other children who were matched with families have died waiting for their special needs cases to be processed. It is my strong desire that our baby not be the next collateral damage in this suspension which was to improve the conditions of adoptions in Liberia.
As it stands right now, the orphanages are locked into a desperate situation. They do not have fees coming in to pay for staff and for food to care for the children to whom they are committed; they can not take in new children who need to be cared for because their rooms are full already.
If EVEN, ONLY the children who are matched with families were allowed to complete adoptions, if the special needs children's cases were allowed to proceed, the orphanages would have spaces for other equally needy children.
Today, the only new spaces made available come when a child already in care, dies. We are desperately hoping that our toddler baby is not the next of those. He will die without the brain surgery we have made arrangements for with physicians here in our city.
We understand the need for adoption reform. We agree that corruption, bribes and graft have no place in matching children with qualified families, we agree that families should be very carefully screened to show preparedness for their Liberian adoptions, but we also maintain that making no way for matched and legally adopted children to be placed in their waiting families is equally unsatisfactory.
Our son and many other children stuck in this adoption suspension quagmire need to be freed. I do not know if a newspaper story is the answer. Sometimes in the United States it is. I do know that many children need genuine help and they are not getting it from the NGOs who promise help and they are not being helped by a government which has made no plan for its current or next generation of orphans.


Mama D.'s Dozen said...

Well said. Praying that this will bring some answers ... some movement in the right direction ... some help for the children.


Laurel :)

Kat said...

We continue to pray and ask for prayers for all three of your sweet little ones. May God use this note to bring your family together, to make hearts tender, and to open up a clear and governed adoption process in Liberia.

Salzwedel Family said...

Beautifully spoken. Praying hearts will be softened and mountains will be moved to bring your babies (and all the waiting babies) home.

Mom to 9 Blessings! said...

As we have shared so much lately - continued prayers that this helps move things in the right direction!

Praying Daniel is home in your arms forever before Easter!

Lots of love,

Kat said...

Though you probably follow this family (I can't remember even how I heard of this blog) I read this and thought of you. I was looking to email you this, but I'm clueless and hoped you'd see it here.