Thursday, March 29, 2007

Somewhere between #6 & #10

Apparently we're between 6 and 10 on the waiting list for a girl. Whitney says we're number 10, but six for people waiting for an infant. Austin was excited and celebrated with a trip to the water park.

This guy used to be Knight Rider!

This is really sad. He was the fourth coolest person in my childhood universe, just behind G.I. Joe, A-Team, and Dukes of Hazzard.

Monday, March 26, 2007

I'm preaching this Sunday...

I'd be in big trouble because I have more notes and I usually soak them in gasoline Saturday night. It will be interesting to see how I manage to mess things up.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

It all started out pretty innocently...

This morning, the kids asked if they could go downstairs and "color" for a little while. After about 10 minutes, I heard some giggling, an "Oh, no!", then more giggling. When I came downstairs a few minutes later, Noah was on the table, covered in stamp ink, there was a puddle of ink water on the floor, and his older siblings were standing back admiring their handiwork.

After disciplining the older kids, we gave everyone baths and that seemed to be the end of it. This afternoon we were looking at the pictures we had taken of the event when the kids wandered in. We tried not to laugh but couldn't really help it. The kids thought this meant that they could laugh as well. I informed them that it meant no such thing. Austin paused for a moment then said, "Dad, when will we be allowed to laugh at it?"

As they prepared to leave the room, Austin said, "Hannah, I think we did a good job making him a pirate."

"I thought we were putting makeup on him," Hannah countered.

It was then that I realized that their involvement in the matter had been far less passive than I had originally presumed. (Hannah: "Oh, did I not mention that earlier?")

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Waiting List

As of March 12th we are officially on Special Deliveries' waiting list. The wait begins....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Adoption Video

On Sunday, January 21st, our church introduced "Open Hearts, Open Homes." Part of the introduction included a video I put together. That video is now up on our website and can be viewed here:

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Springfield, Springfield!

On Thursday, March 8th, we took a trip to Springfield, IL in order to validate all of the paperwork in our dossier. We arrived a little before lunch and took the paperwork to the Secretary of State’s index department. There, for about $50, they verified that all the paperwork that had already been notarized was really, really, really super authentic.

After the documents were authenticated, we had lunch on the lawn of the capital building. Then we went a few blocks westward to the Abraham Lincoln Museum. The kids really loved the museum. It was a great day for our family as we thought about the future arrival of our little one.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Giuliani on public funding of abortion

Reason #453 the upcoming election fills me with a sense of dread.

Monday, March 5, 2007

What is Obama Saying?

Here's a quote from Obama's "sermon" in Selma, Alabama (March 4, 2007) to a predominantly African-American church:

"Don’t think that fatherhood ends at conception."

Is the implication that fatherhood at least begins at conception? The full text of his message can be found here:

Saturday, March 3, 2007

The Dark Side of International Adoptions, part 2

A strongly worded critique of UNICEF's involvement in the Guatemalan adoption process can be found here:

Most interesting to me were the following paragraphs the writer quoted from Families Without Borders:

"On any given day in Guatemala, 60 children under the age of five die as a result of poverty-related factors. This is almost eight times the child mortality rate of the United States. Another 1500 to 5000 children live on the streets and survive by begging, robbery, or prostitution.

"Yet another 25,000 to 30,000 children live in orphanages (mostly private) due to abuse, neglect, poverty or parental abandonment. At least half of the children in Guatemala are considered to be malnourished so severely that their growth is stunted and immune systems compromised, two- thirds live in poverty, and 30% live in extreme poverty.

"Each year, a relatively small number of Guatemalan children (2219 in 2002) find homes in the United States through the legal intercountry adoption process, and fewer than 1000 more are adopted into other countries. As we write, the future of intercountry adoption in Guatemala is being decided as politicians and government officials are pressured to implement prohibitive adoption laws aggressively promoted by UNICEF. The backdrop for this struggle is a larger debate over how to protect "the best interest of children "worldwide". UNICEF has been an active and powerful voice in this debate, placing considerable pressure on the Guatemalan government to accede to the Hague convention on Intercountry Adoption and attempting to influence the framework and conditions under which future intercountry adoptions will proceed.

"We acknowledge that UNICEF offers considerable assistance to children worldwide through vaccination, education, and nutrition programs, and we do not find fault with that well-intentioned mission. However, we feel that elements of the UNICEF position on intercountry adoption are misguided and threaten the welfare of the very children they claim to protect."

The Dark Side of International Adoptions

On March 1, the Chicago Tribune ran an article on Guatemalan adoptions and how that country's systemic corruption is impacting adoptions. Apparently there are horrible atrocities taking place. A copy of the Tribune article can be found here:,1,7692942.story?track=rss&ctrack=1&cset=true

I have to admit that there aspects of international adoptions that trouble me greatly. First and foremost is the fact that the majority of people who give up their children for adoption do not wish to do so. They are forced to do so because of a complete and utter inability to care for their children. UNICEF claims that ultimately what is sometimes happening is that people from wealthy countries are in essence not only exploiting people from poorer countries economically but stealing their children as well.

What does this mean for those who wish to adopt from poor countries, such as Guatemala? The answer is not simple, but here are some of my thoughts:
  1. There is an immediate need to care for children from these countries. Regardless of the forces that brought them to this point, these children need homes. Furthermore, just because some terrible abuses are taking place doesn't change the fact that poverty in some parts of the country is at a level we in N. America simply can not fathom. While I share some of UNICEF's stated concerns, it is unclear to me how they would suggest we meet this need.
  2. We have a moral obligation to meet the immediate need. I believe that Christians have a directive from God Himself to care for the needs of those He brings to our attention. While we certainly can't meet every need, there are open doors in countries like Guatemal that we should be excited to go through.
  3. We must meet this need through reputable agencies that will refuse to help foster an immoral system. Perhaps some people are so desperate for a child that they are willing to go through dubious channels to bring about an adoption. This is at the least terribly shortsighted and may even make one complicit in kidnapping. A thorough vetting of an agency should take place before proceeding. The stories Whitney and I have heard regarding corrupt officials are very sad and we should work to avoid any benefit to these terrible people.
  4. We have a moral obligation to work to correct the forces that suppress a people economically. Surely the long term solution lies not in bringing every abandoned Guatemalan baby back to the States but rather creating an environment in that country whereby the poor can care for their children. It means we as consumers must be careful not to help contribute to a system that impoverishes people even if it means ecnomic inconvenience to ourselves. It means praying for a country where the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be clearly proclaimed so that these people can receive what they need the most.