Happy 4th of July!
July 1, 2008

It's hot and humid here – which is typical of the D.C. summertime. Although the heat may be having its draining effects on people, our agency's work continues to roll on.

I've recently returned back from China on a weeklong business trip. I was able to meet with the former Minister of Civil Affairs as well as the staff of the China Center of Adoption Affairs (CCAA). They were pleased that America World has been placing more and more children with special needs from our Waiting Children program; and, in turn, I thanked the Center for their partnership with our agency and other agencies.

We are grateful for the many referrals we had last month and it's our hope and prayer that the numbers will continue to increase throughout the summer.

We are still working with OPA and the other government entities with our El Salvador program. I am still planning on traveling to El Salvador again this summer to follow-up in person to my recent trip there. I've asked our in-country staff person, Alexis Castro, to write an update to families involved in this program - families can expect to see this in the next day or so.

I was reading in my Bible recently about God’s command to serve as an advocate for orphans. This is America World’s aim and without you, this would not be possible. This is our mission together and we will continue working on behalf of orphans until Jesus returns. Your prayers are greatly appreciated for this work!

Be on the lookout this Fall for a newly designed, better functioning website. We’re adding some new features and hoping to make it a better source of information for families in the adoption process. Thanks to those of you that sent us your thoughts and feedback.

On a personal note, my second daughter's adoption day is the fourth of July…I was in China 12 years ago this week…my wife Renee was taking care of our other daughter Fei. Over a decade later I still have very fond memories of holding her for the first time and travelling with what was to be the first group of many families. Our office will be closed on Thursday and Friday in recognition of this important American holiday. Happy Independence Day to all of you and thank you for allowing us to help build your family!

~Brian Luwis, CEO

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