Saturday, February 23, 2008

Adoption News

Dear Family and Friends,

Our very first US adoption was finalized on January 24, 2008! It was for Stephon Zoundi McAlister!

Stephon’s story is rather typical for orphans here. His mother was very young and not well mentally. She became pregnant and it was not possible to determine who the father was. Because of strain this caused in the family and because of the mental state of the mother, she left the family courtyard and was living here and there, even sometimes on the street of one of the major cities of Burkina.

When Stephon was 9 or 10 months old, out of desperation, his mother abandoned him at Social Action, the social arm of the Burkina government, and he was placed in our orphanage.
We quickly noticed that Stephon had a problem with one of his eyes and that he walked with a limp. Through working with another mission organization, we were able to get Stephon to the States on November 13, 2003 for a diagnosis and for medical care. Stephon was placed in the home of Steven and Rosemary McAlister.

The McAlisters had been talking and praying about international adoption and after having Stephon in their home, they asked whether he was available for adoption. A home study was done here in Burkina and the conclusion of the study was that he was available for adoption. A home study was done for the McAlisters and they were approved as an adoptive family.

On June 9, 2006, Stephon’s case passed through the Burkina courts and he was declared adopted by the McAlisters. Then, on January 24, 2008, his case passed through the Maine court and the final phase of the adoption was completed.

For his day in court, Stephon requested that the family dress in their ‘African clothes’ which were made for them in Yako. They sang a song entitled ‘Yaa Bamba’ in Moore which means ‘We’re leaning on Jesus’. The judge said that he had never seen an adoption proceeding quite like this one. Many family members and friends attended the event and celebrated with the family in this declaration of adoption.

Stephon still has some physical and emotional issues that he and his family are dealing with. Without a doubt, the love of our Father can be seen in the placement of Stephon in the McAlister family. He is a very special boy and God has placed him in a very special family.

Other children already adopted by Sheltering Wings in Burkina Faso!

This is 2 year old Assya with her Italian parents - 2007.

This is 6 year old Téné in France - 2007.

This is 2 year old Mathieu who is now in France - 2007.

This is 2 year old Lisa Mariam now in France - 2007.

In 2006 we placed Paul, now 5 years old, and Jacques, now 4 years old, in France. I do not have digital pictures of them to show you. I do hear from both of their parents from time to time and they are doing well.

We have also placed Dieudonné in a loving Burkinabé family. Dieudonné was abandoned outside of a Catholic sisters’ home when he was just a week or two old. The woman who led the sister to our orphanage ended up being Dieudonné’s adoptive Mom. Dieudonné is a French name which means ‘Gift of God’. We feel that the Lord has very special plans for this very special little gift. I do not have a recent picture of Dieudonné but will try to get one to let you see him now. He is a big 3 year old boy.

Love to all!
Ruth. . . Mom. . . Grandma

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