Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Thoughts for Thursday

In this culture, it seems too easy to forget what should not be forgotten. My thoughts coming into Thursday go back to what I cannot forget and what I do not want you to forget. Stare at her for a while...take the image in and let it make home in your mind's eye.

This little girl represents MILLIONS of orphans all around the world. They have no voice in our politics, no room in our comfort, no hope in their despair without our voices on their behalf in politics, without our death to comfort for their sake and without our awareness of their despair.

Today, I received good news. The Hope Act (H.R. 4603) now has 13 co-sponsors in the house judiciary committee. The more co-sponsors the better. But mostly what we need now is for a Senator to rise up and sponsor/introduce a mirror bill on the Senate floor. What is the Hope Act, you may ask? Right now, the only Haitian orphans allowed to receive humanitarian parole (and therefore come to the U.S. to have a family) are those who were in the adoption process and matched to families BEFORE the earthquake. But Haiti had 380,000 orphans BEFORE the earthquake and now there are estimated to be 200,000 more. Many of the pre-quake orphans have documents proving their orphan status - meaning signed papers from parents/guardians/or extended family relinquishing their rights to that child. Those orphans have no laws set in place for them to receive humanitarian parole at this time. And because Haiti is unable to process paperwork for adoptions right now, that means these pre-quake orphans with such documents have no chance (outside of the Hope Act) at having a family to call their own for possibly years to come. If you have a child, can you imagine your child in that situation....not only orphaned by whatever tragedy brought that to be, but also without hope of being adopted? Destined to be alone, to live in an orphanage with different staff coming in and out... And add to that... can you imagine your child being that orphan, with that kind of loneliness and also having no roof over his/her head out of fear of after-shocks or another earthquake? The orphans of Haiti Children's Rescue Mission (HCRM) have been living outside under ragged tents, sleeping on rocks and broken tables for over 2 months. No family, no hope, no security.

The Hope Act is just that: HOPE for Haiti's pre-quake orphans. It allows and makes way for Homeland Security to give such orphans humanitarian parole - and therefore - HOPE. Families all over San Antonio and a few in Ohio and Iowa have been matched to many of these orphans at HCRM. Approved families who have proven themselves over and over through every adoption-related required paperwork, FBI fingerprints, USCIS fingerprints... etc. etc. Families who have been proven to have the finances, the emotional stamina, the knowledge of caring for a traumatized child, the support needed, - you name it... QUALIFIED families who long to love and nurture these precious ones.

We are one of those families. I don't enjoy politics and I should make my voice known among my representatives even when I am not personally impacted. But in this piece of legislation, I am impacted and so is the girl in the picture above. I have to speak up. And I have to ask you to do the same - for her, for us, for every orphan in Haiti destined to lonliness and hopelessness without the passing of this legistlation.

Let your thoughts lead you to action. Please contact your Senators and Congressmen by PHONE (or by email) (their contact info is easy to find on-line wherever you live) and express your support of this bill. And then, pray with us that God will direct the hearts of our leadership to pass this precious bill!

I'll end with these thoughts for "K" today:

Dear K,

How do you sleep tonight? I hear you lay your head on rocks to sleep, so tonight I pray that the Rock your head rests on is Jesus. For "God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

I wonder how dark it is where you sleep. Are their any lights other than the moon and stars to light your way, any campfire burning to keep you warm? So I pray that Jesus will be your light, because "You, oh Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darness into light."

I wonder what you are feeling. Are you scared? Do you feel lost among the many orphans there who also need attention? Do you ache for hugs, belonging, a long glance from eyes that really see you? And so I pray for you to know that God sees you. He hears you. I pray this because, "In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help....[and he] reached down from on high and took hold of me; he drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy...He brought me out into a spacious place; he rescued me because he delighted in me." And He delights in you too.

And I wonder if you know that the laws of nations must come together in order for you to be home with us. I wonder, if you could understand that, if you would have "child-like faith" and just believe that God would do this for you... because I do. I don't always have that kind of faith, but He has given it to me for this moment. For "The Lord lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! He is the God who avenges [you], who subdues nations under [you]...Therefore [you, K] will praise [Him] among the nations....[you] will sing praises to [His] name."

I love you. May God make a way for me to be with you, for a lifetime.
(all verses from Psalm 18)


carissa said...

good news on the hope act!!! praying for more good news!!!

Lauren said...

I just came from Carissa's blog ... this post has really touched my heart! We are in the middle of adopting a little boy from Ethiopia and it such a blessing to see other adopting families. I also know the feeling of praying for things so much bigger than us (laws have been changed and effected our adoption in the last week). But God is so huge and so faithful to bring it all about! I think it's so wonderful that you're adopting this little girl - what a blessing you will be to her ... and she'll probably be an even bigger blessing to you!! :) I am your newest follower and I look forward to lifting you and your whole family up in prayer throughout your journey!

Jill said...

I came over from Carissa's blog. This is so wonderful! I will be praying for this!

Kimberly said...

Cindy, found your blog thru your sister in law, Carissa. I am your newest follower. I hope "K" finds her way to your family soon!

Sarah Ann said...

This is amazing and makes me cry. I love your story and can't wait to read more. It is part of our dream to adopt and I love that you are doing it.

Tracey @ My House of Giggles said...

I just came from Carissa's blog, and I just wanted to say that you are so inspiring...I love how you are actually putting your thoughts into actions. So often, I'm very ashamed to say, I just feel like whatever I would do would be so small that it wouldn't help....but you've proven that wrong! Thanks so changing my mindset. This little "K" is so beautiful, and the pain in her eyes is so obvious. I hope hope hope that she will be in your arms very soon.

Take care,

Amy said...

Just found your blog from your SIL. We are on the waiting list to adopt a son from Ethiopia. We are resting completely in our faith that God will bring him home to us. I look forward to following your blog and your journey to your daughter.

Joyeful said...

Your letter to your sweet one just wrung my heart. Praying for this act of Hope to pass! And blessings to abound to your family as you follow God's heart!

Stephanie said...

I found you through Carissa's blog. What a touching letter! I will pray for the act of hope to pass and also that your sweet girl will be with you soon! Blessings!

Beth Priest said...

Oh I just love her... I am praying for your sweet family!

Amy Prikazsky said...

I am friends with Carissa and Kelly and we are also in the same community group. Just wanted to let you know that our group and me and my husband are praying for the Hope Act to pass, this special girl, and your sweet reunion with this precious girl!

Jennifer {Studio JRU} said...

That letter is just precious! I found your story from Carissa's blog... and so glad I did. I will keep your family in my prayers. And praying The Hope Act passes!


Alli said...


Anonymous said...

We seem to have a lot in common. I have been working tirelessly to get anyone and everyone to listen in hopes of supporting the HR4603 bill. Last week I received confirmation that Congressman Brad Ellsworth became a co-sponsor. I have asked Senator Richard Lugar to sponsor a mirror bill in the senate, but have yet to receive a response. I have a personal contact there due to some challenges with one of international adoptions. However, I've not heard anything back yet. Indiana's other senator, Evan Bayh, just released information that he will not be running again. Therefore, he is obviously not going to be motivated to do anything new. So we will just continue to pray that our government officials hear the voices of adoptive parents and those with a heart for the children of Haiti. Blessings to you in your continued efforts. Many have moved onto the next story or big disaster. My hope is to keep this story alive and get help for the orphans in Haiti. You seem to have the same goal. May God show favor upon you as you take this task on.

Rochelle said...

This post speaks to exactly what is pressing on my heart right now. We too are stuck in the humanitarian parole process. My Haitian daughter, Gaelle, will turn 6 years old on March 30 and I am so praying for her to be home by then. We live in Weatherford, TX and are a part of 17 families in our area adopting children from Haiti from All Of God's Children Orphanage (GVCM). We are praying along side you for this HOPE Act to pass. God is bigger than any piece of legislation and we are believing He will bring this story to completion with Gaelle in our arms and I pray the same for you as well to have K in your arms.

Cindy Foote said...

So great to hear from other families going through the same process! Keep fighting the good fight on behalf of these children and do not grow weary of doing good!

Erynn said...

Cindy! Your letter made me WEEP. K is so blessed to have you for a Mommy. I know a day is coming when she will be able to read this and tell you herself. I'm so thankful that God called you to be her family. And most importantly, I praise God that she will come to know HIS love through yours.

Praying for you. I'm so anxious to read about your next gotcha day. =)

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