Tuesday, October 2, 2007

It does matter

The past week has been extremely difficult trying to balance hope while also being faced with the unthinkable. The situation with Guatemala adoptions is extremely serious right now and we are at risk of losing Eli. I have debated all day how to address this in the blog or to even address it at all, but this is part of our journey. No Pollyanna today. The fact is we are scared to death because we have no idea what is going to happen. We have fallen madly in love with our son , he is imprinted on our hearts forever, and the possibility of him not coming home is simply unbearable.

There are many, many people and agencies fighting for our children and a difference has already been made with the US Government. They are now stating they are pressuring Guatemala to allow in-process cases to continue under current laws. However, the US government is still supporting Guatemalan legislation that would basically make international adoption impossible. The US not only needs to pressure Guatemala to allow current cases to proceed under the current system, it also needs to support legislation that promotes the future of adoptions and Guatemalan children. Obviously, Guatemala is a sovereign nation and will do as it chooses, but nobody can argue that the US exhibits significant influence (history reveals a great deal).

There are two pieces of legislation before the Guatemalan government right now regarding adoption reform: one that is supported by the President of Guatemala, the US, and UNICEF and one that is supported by the adoption community both in the US and Guatemala, attorneys, and many Guatemalan officials. One of the major power players in this "game" is UNICEF. UNICEF is dangling a $28 million dollar check in the face of President Berger if he basically stops international adoption. Do not be fooled by UNICEF. They are not advocates for children.

Read more about this: http://www.familieswithoutborders.com/

So, President Berger can choose to stop all adoptions, but....what happens to the 5000+ children who have already been referred to their adoptive parents and have already been relinquished by their birth mothers?? Guatemala has NO social welfare system and NO money to support these children. The government has no plan for these children. Some will end up in orphanages that are terribly overcrowded and understaffed with very little resources. This is no place for any child.

Now, I am certainly NO expert on all of the politics involved in this situation and it is much more complicated than I have presented. But, the fact still remains that this is a very serious situation. We could choose to set back and think "it will all be okay," but we would be sticking our heads in the sand. I hope that it will all okay. I hope that Eli comes home to us very soon. I hope all of the children currently matched with their families come home soon. I hope that the US Government, UNICEF, and, most importantly, the Guatemala Government puts the children first.

I know not everyone is an activist. But, if you want to help in any way. There are several things you can do. We ask that you please sign the petition I referenced in an earlier post. I added a link to the petition at the top of the blog. It literally takes a minute. You can also e-mail/fax your Senators and Representatives. I listed a couple of links for form letters that you can use. All you have to do is type in your information. It is very easy and it will take maybe 10-15 minutes of your time. If you are inspired to do more, click on the links above.

It may not seem like it it will make it difference or that it matters. To 5000+ children and to those not yet born, it does matter.

Okay, I will step down from my soapbox.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world.
Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
-Margaret Mead


Beth said...

You go, girl!
I sooooo love this post... well done! We have to remain hopeful and active in the same breath... you did a great job explaining this crisis... thank you for that.

Sally said...

I just wrote to my congresspeople, and it was very easy and quick, so everyone do it! :) I don't understand why Unicef wants to stop these adoptions!?!?