Sunday, August 15, 2010


The thing about faith is that it's hard. This week was hard. Fighting negative thoughts was hard. Trying to stay positive was hard. Struggling against doubt was hard. This week was a roller coaster ride of moments of feeling very confident that God is going to work it out to moments of feeling complete desperation. About midway through the week I stumbled upon this verse:

"Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless. With God's help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes." - Psalm 108:12-13

It was a reminder to me that I have to completely surrender this adoption to the Lord. I feel like I do, then I will find myself stressing out and worrying and I realize that I have not surrendered it. I can honestly say that this has been the most challenging thing I have ever faced in my life. This situation is completely out of my control and all I can do is hope.

The yahoo group I belong to has taken the bull by the horns in advocating for these Nepali orphans. I posted a plea on facebook for my friends to write letters to the Joint Council and the Secretary of State. Thanks to the many who responded!! Many of the group members have done the same so here is a list of people and organizations who have been contacted about this situation:

President Obama
Hillary Clinton - Secretary of State
Former President Jimmy Carter (he has done humanitarian work in Nepal)
The head producer of the Oprah Winfrey Show
State Senators from across the country
Joint Council on International Children's Services (JCICS) (They are a HUGE organization to have on our side)
Justice for Immigrants (founded and run by the Catholic Church)
EACH - Equality for Adopted Children
Various people at the US Embassy and USCIS

We are hoping that we make enough noise to get this situation resolved and the babies in their forever families! The main problem is that the US government thinks there are too many similar stories with the reports of the abandoned babies. Here is some background info so that you can understand fully why all of the stories are so similar. First, it is illegal to have premarital sex in Nepal. A pregnancy is an obvious indicator that someone has engaged in this crime. The women go to great lengths to hide their pregnancies since if found out, they will be deemed "unmarriageable" for life. This is a harsh punishment since the Nepali culture is a Patriarchal society. Therefore, once the babies are born, the women or someone they trust, puts the baby in a place where it will be found. Usually, these babies are days old. By Nepali law, the babies have to stay in the orphanage for 3 months before being able to be considered "adoptable." During this 3 month time period, the government runs ads in the local newspapers about the babies so that the birth parents can come claim them. The women go to great lengths to stay anonymous, therefore; the babies are never claimed. The US government thinks it's odd that the stories are all similar: found baby in textile factory, brought it to the orphanage. Or, found baby in pile of bricks, brought to police station. The US government doesn't have anyone trained in the Nepali culture in place to review these cases. This is very frustrating. So, any reports or information that the orphanage has about the babies is now considered "false" by the US and the investigation starts from scratch. The US is having a hard time not only tracking down the people who found the babies and turned them in but if found, getting them to give information about the baby. Our hope is that the US government will implement a plan that takes into consideration the Nepali culture and the sensitive nature of this problem.

Just this morning, I was praying asking God what I am supposed to do. Is it his will for me to adopt from Nepal? Is this a sign that it's a closed door? Should I continue holding out hope? I can't explain this incredible bond I feel for this baby I have never met. This adds to my confusion. So, I was praying asking that God would make it clear to me if I should continue on this path. This is the verse he gave me, no joke:

"He lifts the poor from the dust and the needy from the garbage dump... He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother." Psalm 113:7, 9

I started to cry and felt an overwhelming sense of peace. I am sure that in the days, weeks, months, who knows how long, ahead that I will have moments of doubt. But, I can look back on this, surrender my fear and trust that He is going to come through.

Monday, August 9, 2010


This weekend was rough but I have emerged with a sense of peace.  Obviously, Friday was a disaster.  After receiving the DOS announcement for the suspension of adoptions from Nepal, my mind went into overdrive.  I belong to a Yahoo group that is only for potential adoptive parents with the Nepal program.  There are about 400 members, from both 2009 and 2010.  As you can imagine, the website started blowing up immediately with everyone's comments and information that someone heard through someone else that someone blah blah blah.  According to what people have posted, they are jumping ship and trying to switch to a different country to complete their adoption.  They are saying that Nepal is completely closed to intercountry adoptions and basically those who have not received a referral yet are S.O.L.
  This did/does not sit well with me.  I talked to my agency briefly on Friday but they were on the phone with the DOS trying to ascertain the situation and possible ramifications so they did not have many answers for me.  My big mistake was tuning in to all of the hubbub on the yahoo group.  Everything people were posting conflicted with what my journey has been so far.  In response to all of this uncertainty, I went back through my journal starting in February from day 1 of when I started praying about specifically adopting from Nepal.  I saw how God has had his hand in this from the very beginning.  So many things have fallen perfectly into place, perfectly timed.  I know that adoption is God's will for any believer.  Throughout the bible, he commands that we take care of the orphan and widow.  I believe that it is our responsibility to be involved whether through adoption, sponsorship or volunteering our time and resources.  So on this front, I believe that my pursuing an adoption is God's will for my life.  Now, how he is going to bring this to fruition is in his hands.  Two verses smacked me in the face as I went back through my journal:

"So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord.  Remember the great reward it brings you!  Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God's will.  Then you will receive all that he has promised." - Hebrews 10:35-36

"Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see."  - Hebrews 11:1

Everything I have been reading in the old testament has shown me that God provides for his children- but he also challenges their faith.  His provision required that they took a step of faith.  I am taking a step of faith in believing that I know God is working to bring this adoption to completion.  I know it is God's will for me to adopt.  I know that it was God who brought everything together in perfect timing so that my dossier was submitted by the deadline.  Even though I don't have any answers or understand everything that is going on, I am believing with the patient endurance that somehow, God is going to work all of this out.  I spoke with my agency today and they said that the suspension is for orphans classified as "abandoned."  Those who were relinquished are still able to be processed through the normal adoption procedures.  Presently, all of the referrals are for children who are classified as "abandoned."  My prayer is that the Nepali government will implement thorough and sufficient documentation of those children who have been abandoned so that they may experience life with their forever family instead of life in an orphanage.

Finally- I would like to thank everyone who has been praying for me and sending me messages of encouragement.  I can't begin to even tell you how much your love and prayers supported me this weekend.  One dear friend told me to not give up hope, that Sofía's story just got more interesting:)  You have no idea how incredibly, amazing that moment is going to be for me when I finally get to hold her in my arms.  That is the hope that I am setting my sights on; the promise for which I will patiently endure.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sucker punched

I am at a loss for words. This was released today:

U.S. Suspends Processing New Nepal Adoption Cases Based on Abandonment

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State today issued a joint statement on the decision to suspend processing for new adoption cases based on abandonment in Nepal.

Joint Statement

In order to protect the rights and interests of certain Nepali children and their families, and of U.S. prospective adoptive parents, the Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) have jointly decided to suspend adjudication of new adoption petitions and related visa issuance for children who are described as having been abandoned in Nepal.

The Department of State’s recent interactions with the Government of Nepal and its efforts to review and investigate numerous abandonment cases, including field visits to orphanages and police departments, have demonstrated that documents presented to describe and “prove” the abandonment of children in Nepal are unreliable. Civil documents, such as the children’s birth certificates often include data that has been changed or fabricated. Investigations of children reported to be found abandoned are routinely hindered by the unavailability of officials named in reports of abandonment. Police and orphanage officials often refuse to cooperate with consular officers’ efforts to confirm information by comparing it with official police and orphanage records. In one case, the birth parents were actively searching for a child who had been matched with an American family for adoption. Because the Department of State has concluded that the documentation presented for children reported abandoned in Nepal is unreliable and the general situation of non-cooperation with and even active hindrance of investigations, the U.S. Government can no longer reasonably determine whether a child documented as abandoned qualifies as an orphan. Without reliable documentation, it is not possible for the United States Government to process an orphan petition to completion.

To the best of our knowledge, all other countries that had been processing adoption cases from Nepal have stopped accepting new cases due to a lack of confidence that children presented as orphans are actually eligible for intercountry adoption.

The suspension of adjudication of new adoption petitions on behalf of Nepali children reported as found abandoned is effective as of the date of this statement. Any petition filed for a child who has been presented as found abandoned and who was matched with a prospective adoptive parent prior to the date of this announcement, as evidenced by an official referral letter from the Government of Nepal, will continue to be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis and in light of the totality of the evidence available. The Department of State will reach out to prospective adoptive parents who meet this criteria. Petitions that continue to be adjudicated will only be approved if they are supported by reliable evidence. Every effort will be made to process their cases as expeditiously as possible with the best interests of children in mind.

So, I've talked to my agency and they are still in conferences with the DOS and expect to have further details by mid-next week for the remaining 2009 families who still haven't received referrals and also for the 2010 families. I am overwhelmed with emotions over this announcement. It seems so strange to think that I might not be able to complete Baby Sofía's adoption. So many miracles took place in order for my dossier to be submitted in time. It just seems odd to me that in light of all those miracles that it would be God's plan for me not to adopt from Nepal? It just doesn't sit well with me. I can't explain it but I have this feeling of certainty that she's in Nepal waiting for me. So, please, please pray for me- for clarity of mind and peace. Also, please pray that the Nepal Government would incorporate consistency of procedures followed when registering abandoned orphans. It breaks my heart to think of those children living their lives in orphanages instead of part of a loving family because the government can't get it together and implement the necessary changes.