Thoughts & Encouragement from Jenni Ramsey
September 20, 2008

My name is Jenni Ramsey and my husband and I have been in the El Salvador program for over a year now.  We live in Southern California and I was so grateful to be able to fly back east for the Angels in Adoption Gala.   Through an amazing series of events (including friends who offered their home in DC and frequent flyer miles), I found myself walking through the doors of the AWAA office for the first time.  I was so impressed by all of the staff at the office and their hearts, commitment and passion for the children of El Salvador.  The trip was priceless and confirmed our calling to stay in the program and wait for our daughter in El Salvador.   Where do I begin?

On Monday evening we gathered for dinner at the home of Brian and Renee Luwis.  I was able to meet other waiting families for the first time.  We all shared our hearts, struggles and hopes for our children in El Salvador.  I was also blessed to meet the delegation who flew in from El Salvador:  Alexis (our attorney), Carmen (who founded an NGO on behalf of the orphans of El Salvador), Geraldine (director of OPA) and Marcos (the Procurador).  All four of our El Salvadorian friends were precious.  They were grateful for our commitment to care for the children of their country.  They were grateful for our patience and understanding on a difficult journey. They were grateful for our prayers and support.  They truly cared about us personally and asked many times about my personal life, family and desires for adoption. I was deeply touched at their interest, concern and gratefulness.  Because of my ability to speak Spanish, I was able to truly understand their hearts and passions.  They are all amazing people working in a country that lacks the resources needed to support the 150,000 orphans suffering in the system.   All four expressed faith and the understanding that God is ultimately in control of this situation.

I believe that God is moving powerfully through Carmen, Alexis, Geraldine and Marcos to defend the orphans of El Salvador.  He brought about many connections during the trip that can only be positive in advocating for the orphans of El Salvador.    A few months ago, a friend gave me this verse to claim over our adoption. It has been a huge blessing to me, I hope it will encourage you on your journey as well:

"But these things I plan won't happen right away.  Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.  If it seems slow, be patient!  For it will surely take place.  It will not be late by a single day."  -Habakkuk 2:3

On Tuesday I visited the America World office along with the delegates from El Salvador.  All of the staff were warm, friendly and encouraging as we wait on God in this process.  I went to lunch with Brian, Susan Maines and the El Salvadorian delegates.  We had a great time sharing our hearts, lives and talking about the issues of adoption in El Salvador.   I believe that everyone involved in this process has a genuine heart to see significant changes in El Salvador.  It was exciting to sit at a table with others who are so passionate about the children of El Salvador. 

The gala on Tuesday evening was much more than I expected. There were around 1,000 people in attendance.  I felt as though I was surrounded by heroes;  everyday people who are making a difference in the lives of children.   The chaplain of the US Senate prayed over the dinner and I could sense God's presence throughout the entire evening.  We were shocked when Hilary Clinton was introduced and spoke on behalf of needy children.   We were brought to tears as we heard from members of congress,  musicians and recipients of the Angel awards, including two young women who grew up in the foster care system.  Each person at the gala received a beautiful bag of gifts as well as a letter from President Bush.  Here is what it reads:

"I send greetings to those gathered for the 2008 Angels in Adoption Gala, hosted by the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute.  Nothing is more vital to this country's future than helping young people find loving, stable, and supportive families.  Since 1985, CCAI has raised awareness about the millions of orphans around the world in need of safe and caring homes, worked to lower barriers to adoption, and demonstrated the generous spirit of our Nation.  This event is an opportunity to honor those dedicated to respecting life in all stages and serves as a reminder that adoptions are stories of celebration, hope and love.  I appreciate CCAI and all those who are working to make America a more just and welcoming place.  Your efforts strengthen the foundation of our country and show the world the depth of wonder of the human heart.  Laura and I send our best wishes."  George Bush 

Before this trip I felt very disconnected from the AWAA staff and other waiting families.  I returned encouraged, connected and amazed at all that God is doing to rescue and provide for His children in El Salvador.  I loved the report from the Holcombes on the blog.  I agree with their admonishment to "hang in there!" and pray that you will each be encouraged to wait during this difficult journey. 

I'm ending this report with a song from John Waller that has deeply encouraged my heart.  The song is called "While I'm Waiting" and it's on his CD called "The Blessing." It is one of the BEST CD's I have heard in a long time and I encourage you to buy it and let God minister to your soul!

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am hopeful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it is painful
But patiently, I will wait

I will move ahead
Bold and confident
Taking every step in obedience
While I'm waiting
I will serve you
While I'm waiting
I will worship
While I'm waiting
I will not faint
I'll be running the race
Even while I wait

I'm waiting
I'm waiting on You, Lord
And I am peaceful
I'm waiting on You, Lord
Though it's not easy
But faithfully, I will wait
Yes, I will wait

I will serve you while I'm waiting
I will worship while I'm waiting

Waiting with you,

Jenni Ramsey



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Waiting families - (from L to R) Kevin & Rachel Donoho, Terry & Renee Holcombe, Jenni Ramsey

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A letter from the President Bush written to all who attended the gala

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