This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Monday, January 28, 2008

A letter from AWAA

Our friends and family often ask us if there's any "news about the adoption." So, whenever we get a letter like this one, I like to pass it along so that we can all adjust our prayers to reflect what we know. Though the timeline has changed again and there are signs pointing to a significant delay in the time it takes to bring our awaited child home to us, we know that God's plan has not changed. We will not give up on El Salvador abandon our child. We are encouraged by the spirit of the letter and the OPA (Oficina Para Adopciones) which seeks to best serve El Salvador's waiting children. We are also proud of America World for the diligent and faithful work they do on behalf of the world's orphans.

You'll be home with us soon.

Dear El Salvador Families,

Thank you all for your prayers and encouragement in my most recent trip to El Salvador. I was able to visit two small orphanages outside San Salvador with Identity for Children. The children I met were as loving and as beautiful as any I’ve met so far. They were always smiling and excited to play or just get hugged. I was especially moved when we visited a home for HIV+ children. Many were very healthy, active, and loving infants and children. I hope to have pictures for you all soon.

America World is developing a program and process that works with HIV+ children available for adoption. With new medical technology, HIV+ children live full lives without serious medical issues arising from their condition. Adopting an HIV+ child is not for everyone, but this may be a good option for many families.

During my trip I was able to meet with the Director of OPA; we talked about options for AW families as things are moving slower than any of us anticipated. She shared that they do still have children to place but there is still a lack of human resources to not only process families’ dossiers (to be approved by OPA) but also within ISNA to process the children’s paperwork for adoption.

I encouraged her to give (and gave suggestions for) options that would allow families to learn more about the older children and special needs children that are waiting and available. We’ll keep you all posted as that portion of the program develops. We are encouraged though by their deep desire and commitment to continue to work with our families in placing their children for adoption.

However, due to the significant time delays we are seeing we do need to revise the estimated wait time for a referral and now project it to be 18 months and increasing. All of America World’s information will be reflecting this estimate in the coming days. I know this is hard news for many families to hear and I want to assure you that we’re doing everything possible to decrease this wait time. In addition, we have decided to stop accepting new applications after February 8th for this program, in order to allow the backlog of families to be processed.

I know that many of you were praying for more immediate positive outcomes to be seen from my trip. If after praying about and discussing this new information you determine that this is no longer the right program for your family and wish to transfer to one of America World’s other programs by March 1, 2008 you may do that. While we do not transfer fees as a matter of practice, for any family who feels that they do not want to continue in the El Salvador program at this time we will transfer all program fees to another America World Program. Our current programs with the shortest wait time between dossier submission and referral are Ethiopia , Kazakhstan and Russia .

If you decide to withdraw from the El Salvador Program you will need to submit in writing to me your desire to withdraw from this program and your desire to switch to one of our other programs. You will need to be reviewed through our Intake Department for that other program; if approved, all of the fees you have paid so far will be transferred for you toward your new program. If there is a cost difference that will be reflected in what money does transfer. If you decide to withdraw from the El Salvador program and not to transfer to another America World program the America World refund policy will be used to determine any refund of program fees.

We are doing everything in our power to be able to place waiting Salvadorian children in the homes of America World Families. One avenue we are taking is to setup a roundtable with members of government humanitarian aid and development projects in El Salvador to discuss ways in which they can leverage their aid against the commitment of El Salvador to process and place orphans into permanent families. In addition to this, we’re supporting the work of Identity for Children to help orphans get their necessary paperwork and we’re continually in contact with ISNA and OPA regarding the status of their work and our families dossiers.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have about this information. My prayers go with each of you as you seek God’s will for your family.

In His Service,

Christi Hicks
Latin America Program Director
Eastern Europe Family Coordinator

6723 Whittier Avenue, Suite 202
McLean, VA 22101
Toll Free: 888-ONE-CHILD ext. 124
Direct Line: (703) 891-3145
Fax: (703) 356-8973

(KJV) Romans 8:15 For ye have not received
the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have
received the Spirit of Adoption, whereby we
cry, Abba, Father.
here to learn more about AWAA’s An Orphan’s Ticket Home campaign.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Dr. Seuss in Spanish

I don't think Horton Hatches the Egg has been translated into Spanish.  I can't find it anywhere.  Dr. Seuss is a hard one to translate.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Horton Hatches the Egg

On the recommendation of one of the families in our El Salvador Adoption Online Community, we purchased the Dr. Seuss Book Horton Hatches the Egg. I have always loved Dr. Seuss, and this book has some parallels with international adoption.

In the book, a mother bird can't continue to sit on her egg, so she asks Horton the Elephant to sit on it for her. He decides he will commit himself to it and is "faithful one hundred percent." All sorts of troubles come his way because of his resolve to care for the egg no matter what. After sitting faithfully on the egg for fifty one weeks, it finally hatches. A one-of-a-kind "Bird-Elephant" emerges and Horton is happy one hundred percent.

I'm going to hunt for a Spanish translation.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Christmas Presents

We had a wonderful Christmas holiday and spent time with both sides of our family. We spent Christmas Eve (and a few days before) with James' parents, brother and grandparents Koehler. Then, we spent Christmas day (and a few days after) with Kim's parents, brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins. The holiday was full of food and family and love... but someone was missing. Even though our child is not yet in our home and in our arms, he or she was in our hearts this Christmas. The Amerman grandparents hung a stocking up for "Baby Fullton" on Christmas Eve, and in the morning it was filled with a teddy bear, a special book (translated into Spanish by Grandma Amerman) and some toys. James' Uncle Don and Aunt Cheryl sent a present all the way from Georgia--a One Year Children's Bible.

Everyone asked about "the adoption process" and we let them all know that we are waiting patiently for God to send us our child--hopefully before next Christmas. When we got home, we cleaned out our child's room and set out all his/her toys and books on the dresser. Now, the room has books, toys, a dresser, a desk and a beautiful mural. All it needs is a bed and a rug. (Without the bed and rug, it echoes a little bit!)