In just 2 months, over 1000 advocates for the plight of the orphan worldwide will descend on Louisville, KY, to attend Summit VII hosted by The Christian Alliance for Orphans. The annual Summit has become a national hub for Christians committed to adoption, foster care and global orphan initiatives rooted in the local church.

May 12-13, 2011 ♦ Southeast Christian Church ♦ Louisville, KY

JOIN organization leaders, grassroots advocates, pastors, and ministry entrepreneurs sharing your passion.

ENCOUNTER the gathering hub of orphan ministry partnership, networking and inspiration for service.

BUILD knowledge, resources and practical skills via more than 75 workshops & unforgettable speakers and music.

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As announced, on March 10, 2011, the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs reduced the processing of intercountry adoption cases from 50 per day to 5 per day.

The Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs approves the matching of orphans with families before the cases are heard in the Ethiopian court.

There is still uncertainty as to how this will affect cases the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs has already approved and sent on to Ethiopian Court.

According to joint council US Embassy officials have a scheduled meeting with the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs for Monday, March 14, 2011.

In attempts to alleviate international scrutiny over alleged corruption in the system, Ethiopia has been adjusting its adoption procedures for some time now. Many believe this cut back is an unnecessary overreaction to only a few instances of corruption.

Please continue to pray for the 5 million orphans in Ethiopia!

 

HT: Jeremy Haskins

The made-for-TV movie “Change of Plans” airs this Saturday night (8 PM, 7 Central).   Following the movie, there will be a LIVE 45 minute webcast on adoption and foster care.  Viewers will be able to submit questions to a panel of experts, including former Alliance Board member Paul Pennington, director of Hope for Orphans.

Read the entire post here

HT: Christian Alliance for Orphans blog

Orphan Sunday is November 7.  After the worship service on that date, we will host a Q&A session for families interested in pursuing adoption.  Couples who have recently adopted from China, Ethiopia, and the USA, will be available to answer questions and share their experiences of adding to their family through adoption. If you would like to attend the session, please bring your own brown bag lunch.

Which Country?  When telling others of our plans to adopt, one of the first questions asked of us was, “Why Ethiopia?” Upon deciding to pursue adoption, we contacted Loving Shepherd Ministries (www.loving-shepherd.org), whose mission is to nurture abandoned, orphaned and at-risk children around the world and mobilize and empower Christians to do the same. We submitted the assessment form (age, employment, health information, length of marriage, state of residence, etc.) online. They responded by providing information about domestic adoption and a listing of international countries from which we were eligible to adopt.

Our hearts almost instantly decided on international adoption, mostly because of the “stability” of the process versus the possible openness of domestic adoption – specifically the heartbreak of a birthparent changing his/her mind at the last minute*.  Additionally, due to the interview/selection process involved in a domestic adoption, this could have resulted in becoming parents quickly (unlikely) or within a 3- to 5- year time period. We communicated our preferred course of action to Loving Shepherd Ministries (LSM), who then provided us with information on each of our eligible countries and provided details such as  the average age of children available for adoption, the estimated cost for each program, the number of required trips to the country, medical ratings, the length of the process from application to referral, the number of U.S. adoptions finalized the previous year, etc.

I attempted to be analytical by compiling a spreadsheet, but after weeks of praying, we found Ethiopia was within the top choices on each of our “mind-lists.” In the days and weeks following, it was simply a “turning of our hearts,” as we were not able to concretely identify WHY we chose to pursue a child from Africa; it simply seemed that our child was there.

With assistance from LSM, we began the process of finding a local agency able to compile a home study and an adoption agency qualified to place Ethiopian children with U.S.  families.

The previous paragraphs contain lots of details, and that is a large part of the adoption process. There are numerous government regulations, social agencies and policies involved.  But “behind the scenes” of adoption (and parenthood) are the heart strings. Adoption is a calling to not only give a child a home, but also a family. It’s an opportunity to not only share your love with a child, but also the love of Christ. It’s not simply about expanding a family; it’s also a chance to expand God’s kingdom. 143 million children are orphans worldwide. God has a plan for each of them and work for each of us.

As families contemplate the important decision of adoption, please feel free to contact LSM with any questions or concerns and refer to LSM’s Adoption Church Partnership Manual.

“O Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will strengthen their heart, You will incline Your ear, to vindicate the orphan and the oppressed…” Psalm 10:17-18.

*LSM does not prefer or recommend one kind of adoption over another. Many of our clients have experienced wonderful and fulfilling domestic adoptions as well as international. LSM works with couples to help them discover what kind of adoption is right for them based on their personal hopes, dreams and fears.

HT: Loving Shepherd Ministries e-bulletin

The Decision:  We wanted our family to grow larger and share the blessings and experience of raising a child. I am not 100 percent certain when we actually began discussing adoption; it was quite a few years ago. It was always a desire of my husband’s to adopt a child, and while I thought it was an okay idea, it was not something I had anticipated as being part of my life. We broached the topic on and off for months. Slowly God began to create a new vision in my mind and heart as to what our family would look like, but I couldn’t bring myself to act on it.

We decided it was time to put it all on the table and make a decision.  We discussed our fears and concerns: What if I don’t like being a mom and want to send our child back? What about bonding and attachment? What if our child hates us? Can we manage the expense? Will our families accept and celebrate our decision? Is this God’s plan for our lives? How can we be certain?

Finally, after long discussions, we made a decision: We would begin the adoption process. I was committed to our decision, but it was hard. Then God sent a friend my way. She said to me, “Your fear is paralyzing you from doing what you want to do, what you should do. Your decision is not a bad one. You are simply afraid of the process. God wants to give you this gift; let Him!” Her words gave me courage; my husband’s patience gave me confidence; God’s nearness gave me peace … and so we continued taking steps forward to start our adoption.

As families contemplate the important decision of adoption, please refer to LSM’s Church Partnership Manual and the following handouts:  “Stepping out in the Unknown: Beginning Questions” and “Stepping Out in the Unknown:  Motives & Expectations.”

HT: Loving Shepherd Ministries e-bulletin

The Orphan Care Alliance will be presenting an Adoption Seminar on Saturday, October 16, 2010, from 8:30 am to 3:00 pm. This fall it is being hosted by Eastside Christian Church in Jeffersonville, IN. The free seminar presents information about the different types of adoptions from a Christian perspective. The day starts with a continental breakfast and a keynote presentation about the Christian call to care for orphans. Several breakout sessions will follow, addressing such topics as Funding, Adoptions myths, Making choices, Choosing agencies, and more. Lunch is also provided. For more information and registration go to www.adoptedindiana.org or click the image below:

HT: Orphan Care Alliance