Note from Brian
March 11, 2010

I returned back from San Salvador late last week – prior to that I was in Honduras visiting with our partners and continuing to work on some of the issues affecting the child welfare system.  While in El Salvador I did the same thing, as well as learn more about some pending legislation regarding orphans and continue to advocate on behalf of America World’s families.   While in El Salvador I learned more about some of the problems with the previous administration and the less than equitable referral process that has clearly affected our families.  The good news is, the new Director of OPA and others in the new administration are working to make the process more equitable and transparent for all families.  I was impressed that they are organized and had a clearly structured account of families’ situations.  I learned there will be new procedures for processing all dossiers that will not favor one family over another.  I am still impressed with Jaime, our representative in El Salvador; he is very professional in his representation of families.

I hope many of you have already signed up for the Christian Alliance For Orphans Summit in Minneapolis; if you haven’t signed up, it’s not too late.  This is a great way to connect your church and yourself with the wider Church in orphan care and adoption ministry.  There is a great line-up of speakers, presenters and breakout sessions.  One of the new things at this CAFO Summit is that adoption training is being offered for parents that are in the adoption process – the training offered is consistent with requirements for Hague Adoption Training and will be led by some of our country’s experts in the field, including Dr. Karyn Purvis.

Additionally, I want to mention that I am still part of a working group that is hopeful to see change in the situation regarding orphans in Haiti.  There have been numerous media stories about the child registration process, ‘orphans’ with parents, and other stories which show the difficulty and complexity of aid organizations responding in a way that helps orphans find families.  This complexity should not be a reason to simply keep kids in camps and orphanages, though.  Every child’s situation should be properly investigated/assessed to determine what family options are available to the child – and every child who cannot be reunited with his/her birthfamily should have the opportunity for a family through domestic or inter-country adoption. 

I know there have been some big changes in our agency’s Ethiopia Program this week.  We’re in prayer for all the families that have been affected by either a longer wait and/or an unexpected change in their travel plans.  There are advantages and disadvantages to the Ethiopian Court requiring prospective adoptive parents appear in court – and we hope that families will understand and respect the right of the Ethiopian Court to make this decision.  Our agency is going to work to the best of our ability to help families navigate these changes.

There is an interesting article in Newsweek this past week about intercountry adoption written by an adult adoptee.  The author rightly points out that there has been a dramatic decline in the number of intercountry adoptions over the last years.

Your prayers for our agency’s work are greatly appreciated. 

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” -1 John 5:14-15 NKJV

- Brian Luwis, CEO

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