I'm glad I just posted a "note to self" entry since I've got another heavy entry for you. But on this one, I need your help.
If you hadn't heard by now, Guatemalan adoptions that are in process are in trouble. If you want to know the details from the state department here's a link to the article they recently posted: http://travel.state.gov/family/adoption/country/country_389.html and here's another article in response to the news: http://www.jcics.org/Guatemala%20Press%20Release%20(Sept%2027).pdf
You don't have to understand all the lingo or even what the Hague is to understand the bottom line. Basically all adoptions that aren't completed by Jan 1 will be stopped until further notice (if ever) while they get their act together on both the Guatemalan side and the US side. There is a desperate need for the system to be revamped (if you hadn't gathered that from our experience...) but to cut off all pending adoptions by a 'deadline' is ludicrous. According to the JCICS there's 5000 pending cases of children that have been referred to parents in the U.S., this means their biological parents have relinquished their parental rights, which leaves these children in a state of limbo. Please hear the urgency: This is a big deal and we can fight it.
Russ gave me the 'day off' today to work on some projects and I'm sitting in this cozy coffee shop completely unable to think straight. I've made the statement before that our adoption won't truly feel complete until Sharon, Bella, Irene, Melissa and Madi are home. Well, through the adoption cyberspace world, I've met the Wheelers (see blog link) who have barely started their process but are already so in love with their Guatemalan little girl and truly feel led by the Lord to adopt her. So on one hand a young couple is just sending off their primary paperwork and feels as though their heart is being juggled openly while the government figures out what they're doing. On the other hand you've got Sharon. She's been with Bella since she was 3 months old and is now almost a year and a half. Sharon has made countless sacrifices in order to live down there and raise her until the process completes. We also can look at Cheri, who's case has encountered the most insane roadblocks and should have been completed months ago.
These women are bonded with these children in ways only mothers can. They've "paid their dues" in the system and now the system threatens the worst. They simply just want to take their daughters home now, please.
Okay, here's the recommended ways you can help. The simplest is to follow this link and sign this online petition. If you're like me, you question the validity of any online petition, but what if it does make a difference? We need to at least take a shot at it. http://www.petitiononline.com/foafoa1/petition.html It's very simple and takes less than 30 seconds. So far there's only 6064 signatures. That's not enough, please add more!!
If you want to go one step further (PLEASE DO!!!!) here's a link to a list of sample letters you can send to your senators, congressmen, DOS, and UNICEF:
http://www.sunflowersandladybugs.com/blog.asp?ID=548 (Thanks Cheri, for organizing these!)
And please get the word out! Pass this info on to those around you.
Even if you're not the type of person to sign online petitions or write to your congressmen, I beg of you to climb out of that box just this once. This is the United States, where people rising up and taking a stand has made a difference. Let's take advantage of the system we have in place for when things aren't the way they should be.
As each of you have fallen in love with our Eliot, please think of the 5000 faces just like his waiting to come home. As you stood by Russ and I supporting us through the arduous process, think of the families, just like us, that daily plead that their own country won't deny them their children.
I leave you with pics of babies that are waiting to hear what will happen to them. Hopefully one of their sweet faces will inspire you to take action...