Dear Family and Friends, 23 August, 2009
It is amazing how quickly things can turn around here. Sometimes it seems like we work and pray and work and pray. . . . and nothing seems to be happening. And, then there are times like these where things are falling into place faster than we can keep up. In all things, God is in control and I am thankful for this.
We have been working with Adoption Advocates International (AAI) in the state of Washington for over a year now, hoping to place some of Burkina's children in American homes. But, without our even being aware of it, Burkina had suspended all requests for recognition of US agencies and all US requests for children. Their reasons for this suspension are lengthy and complicated and it has been very frustrating to suddenly learn that the path we were going down was not the path that we had expected it to be.
Then this past week I was in Ouaga with Gay Knutson, a representative from AAI, and in a meeting with Social Action, we learned that AAI has been approved for accreditation with Burkina and that Burkina would now receive requests for children through AAI. How amazing that these decisions have been completely turned around in just a matter of a few weeks and that now we are free to again move forward on US adoptions!
In several meetings, Gay was able to offer the hope that AAI would be able to place some of Burkina's special needs children in American homes. Here the term special needs includes children with physical and/or mental handicaps but also children who are over the age of 6. Throughout the world, the majority of couples ask for a small child, usually under the age of 3. But, the heart is American is great, and many, many Americans have opened their hearts to the 'special needs' children of the world.
We will be placing healthy children but we are also excited and encouraged to see what God is going to do in the lives of these special children and their special God-chosen adoptive families.
And more adoption news is that our little one, Celine, has been referred to a couple in Italy for adoption. Celine is now an 18 month old toddler who is full of smiles and giggles. Celine's parents are 4th generation cousins but because of the customs here, she was not accepted into the family.
In times past, a child like Celine would be thrown down a well or left out in the bush to die. But, because of the work of Social Action and because of centers like ours, these children are now being rescued and are available for adoption.
Celine's papers are all complete and there will now be a 4 to 6 month wait for her parents while her case goes through the legal process of adoption here in Burkina.