Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Changes are Hard

Changes are hard.  We are creatures of habit and so we tend to like things to stay the same.  Even if the change is for the better.  The fear of the unknown causes us to hold tight to what is familiar, afraid to let go.

In the adoption world, where everything is constantly changing, families feel like they are forever standing on shifting sand.  Just when they think that they have things under control, the ground around them moves and they are knocked off their feet by the unexpected waves washing in.

Over the last month, some major changes have taken place in Aaron's former country.  These changes are supposed to be for the better.  But it is difficult to trust what you can't see.

Basically what is taking place is that the way they are processing adoptions is completely changing.  The State Department of Adoptions (SDA) is being closed as of July 11th.  A new agency, The Ministry of Social Policy, is taking over. This would not really be too big of an issue IF everything was set in place to make the move as seamless as possible.  Unfortunately the law requiring this change basically came out of left field and the reality - The Ministry of Social Policy hasn't actually been established yet.  So in two weeks the agency that has been processing adoptions is closing and the new agency taking over still needs to be established.

It is a bit stomach turning.

Right now, according to the records over there, 139 families are currently in process to adopt children from that country.   Some of them are CURRENTLY in country.  The rest have had their paperwork submitted but will not receive travel dates until AFTER the country opens back up to international adoptions.  Considering that many of these 139 families are getting more than one child... well - you do the numbers....

On top of that... there are hundreds more waiting in the wings, hoping that things will change quickly and easily so they can submit their paperwork and go get their children.  It is absolutely heartbreaking.

I have not said much on our blog about the changes because it has been so uncertain.  Instead I have been quietly watching and praying and grieving for the families as they try to stand on the ever shifting sand under their feet.

Each day that goes by means their little ones sit alone and lonely across the ocean.  It is difficult to not want to just cry out in frustration.

On top of this heartbreaking news... the other major change that is taking place is that many of the children who were considered special needs, no longer qualify under the new rules.  As an example, children with Cerebral Palsy NO LONGER qualify under the new rules.  Children with CP will have to wait until they are five before they become eligible for adoption.  The special needs list for children under the age of five is short.  It leaves off many Reece's Rainbow children and sadly, because of this, those children have had to be temporarily removed from the site.

What can we do?

We can pray, people.  We can pray.

Prayer Number One

Right now there are 33 Reece's Rainbow families (43 children) who are currently in that country working on getting their children out.  Many of these families have passed court which means their children are free and clear.  Praise the Lord!!  (Two families passed TODAY!!)  A number of families have court dates within the next week or so and unless things go awry - they should also be free and clear before the July 11th closing.  A few of the families are on the wire and these are the ones we need to seriously lift up in prayer.  Please pray for ALL 33 families but especially those who are in the last group.  The best way to follow these families - follow who is at what point - and keep informed on their progress is to go to THIS PAGE.  These are the 33 families - these are the 43 children.  Pray these babes home, church.  By July 11th - court needs to happen for all the precious treasures on that page! 

Prayer Number Two

From what I understand, the SDA is still accepting dossiers from the families who have sent their paperwork.  Tomorrow is the LAST day they will accept these dossiers.   If the dossiers are submitted and accepted, then  they may be 'grandfathered' in.   That means that they may not have to drastically change their paperwork to meet the new requirements and IF their child does NOT make the special needs list - they still may be able to adopt them under the OLD rules.  It is a LONG SHOT.  But we serve a God who has proved to us again and again that He is in the LONG SHOT business.  It is in that LONG SHOT that we get to see Him move mountains.

  Sweet Caroline's family is one of those families trying to pass under the wire. 

She's one of my favorite babies over there.  Please pray that a whole host of dossiers are able to be submitted this Thursday and PLEASE PRAY that CAROLINE'S DOSSIER is in that pile.    She is NOT on the new special needs list.  If she is not submitted tomorrow... well... I'm just not going to go there with those thoughts.

Prayer Number Three

Please please pray that the special needs list is expanded.  It just plain needs to be expanded. 

Prayer Number Four

Please pray that the transition from the SDA to the new agency is quick and painless.  Pray that it will improve the adoption process and streamline it.  Pray that the decisions made will be in the best interest of the thousands and thousands of waiting children in that country.

Prayer Number Five

Pray for the facilitators who will be out of jobs for the months it takes to change over the agencies.  I know many people think that the facilitators are making tons of money off adoptions.  Rob and I know this is NOT true for the vast majority of those men and women working over there.  Many of them live hand to mouth.  Our facilitator was not only trying to pay her own bills but also was supporting her father and her mother who has cancer.  Being without work for months on end in our country is tough.  In their country it is disastrous.  They need their jobs.

Prayer Number Six

Please pray for all the hurting families who are standing on the shifting sand on this side of the ocean, looking across the waters, grieving the closure, wondering if they will ever get to cross to the other side.  I hurt deeply for them.  I read their blogs.  There are so many children over there who HAVE families who WANT them.  So many being loved from afar.  Please pray that God will bring them comfort and grant them much peace. 

Pray Church

To put it all into perspective - This morning I read my sweet friend Adeye's blog about another country that also closed so they could revise their adoption regulations... THAT WAS THREE YEARS AGO.  It is still closed.  Did you catch that?  Three years closed.  Adeye is begging people to pray for that country and I join with her in that plea!!  I also am begging you to recognize how shifting the sand is in these countries.  Closing a country for adoptions is scary.  Sometimes they don't open back up again.  

Please church, pray. 


  1. Praying and agreeing right along with you! We're one of the many who are working and waiting to bring two beautiful children into our family.

  2. Thanks for this post. It does feel exactly like shifting sand sometimes. Hard to find a foothold but you keep at it anyways.

    Adopting Andriy

  3. Praying each day!

    Elk Grove, CA

  4. We actually began our adoption journey in Kyrgyzstan. Had our paperwork all finished and sent. I'm thankful we aren't one of the families stuck in limbo, but over the years have come to know many of the families and consider them friends. One of my best friends has a little girl from Kyrgyzstan. Its forever in my heart ,and everyone is in my prayers there.

    And of course I pray they change that darn list! I mean CP isn't on it. THat would have meant our daughter had to go another 2yrs before being adopted. it would have been devastating for her, her condition. She was already shutting the world out, another two years and she may not have been unreachable at all. It sickens me to think of her still there. The list needs to expand.

  5. Julia,

    What special needs are on the list or where can I find the list?


  6. It`s to much to bear... It just plain hurts!


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