Friday, August 22, 2008

Another update from Acres of Hope...

21 August 2008

Dear Families,

Like many aspects of this life, awaiting the revisions to the Liberian Child Act is both a trial and a blessing. Throughout every level of this organization, we share with you the burden of waiting and struggling to be patient. We realize this is a very difficult time and deeply appreciate your patience and your continued prayers. While this is trying on a personal level, it is also very exciting on a more global level. Acres of Hope Liberia is thrilled to be able to influence the new Child Act that not only impacts adoptions, but also protects every child who lives in Liberia. We truly are blessed to not only witness this moment in Liberia's history, but to be able to make a difference in the lives of all Liberian children.

The legislature is still in session and hard at work on the new policies contained in the Child Act, which contains the "who, what, and how" of international adoption. They are actively seeking the input of adoption professionals in Liberia, who have formed an association under the leadership of AoHL staff. The new association has been meeting regularly and working hard between meetings to formulate a proposal for the consideration of the House Committee. The proposal is influenced by the professional experience of the members as well as the policies of other nations. The Committee, which remains favorable toward international adoption, is also receiving input from the various Ministries that have an interest in children. They are planning more public hearings for the near future and things are certainly moving forward with the new policies. While the process is slow and laborious, we support what the legislature is doing and share the common goal that the new policies will stand strong for decades to come.

The Minister of Health and Social Welfare made the statement that Acres of Hope is the finest agency in the country the other day over the radio waves. As you can imagine, we were very pleased to hear this. We believe that it is because of this positive reputation and relationship that we have been able to continue our work during this period. Adoptions continue to trickle through the system while we all wait for the new policies. In July, there were 4 new referrals and 7 children have come home since the last update. Several more children will travel home in the next few weeks.

This is certainly a time to remain faithful to prayer. The life of every child in Liberia will be impacted by these policies. And each child who is eligible for adoption is being impacted by the current slow-down. In your prayers, I hope you will take to heart the following familiar words from 1 Peter 5:7-11: "So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and in his good time he will honor you. Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. Be careful! Watch out for attacks from the Devil, your great enemy. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for some victim to devour. Take a firm stand against him, and be strong in your faith. Remember that your Christian brothers and sisters all over the world are going through the same kind of suffering you are. In his kindness God called you to his eternal glory by means of Jesus Christ. After you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power is his forever and ever. Amen."

In addition to this important work in Liberia, Acres of Hope has been developing prospects for international adoptions from both Ghana and Congo. There is a small handful of families in the pioneering stage of the program in Ghana, which is looking very promising. We are developing new pages for this website regarding the Ghana program, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, if you have any questions about the program or know anyone who might be interested in a pioneering program, I'd be happy to receive an email or phone call. Patty is visiting Congo in the immediate future, so more information about that pioneering program will be forthcoming as well. Please be praying for these new programs, for the children and families and staff who are and will be involved.

Thank you for your prayers and support. Each time we get a note or a call from one of you saying you are praying diligently, it touches our hearts.

We ask for your prayers as well. For our family, for the children who will one day join our family, and for all of the children in Liberia. We continue to trust in God's perfect timing.

**by the way, these posts always say they are posted by Eric, but it's usually Kerri. I just post on his account. Just to clarify for our friend Ryan who started his comment with "Hey Man" Love you and miss you, friend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Good News for Liberia

The Peace Corps return to more here.

Yesterday at Meijer a woman commented..."wow, three boys." I hear this a lot. I turned to ask a store associate a question and when I turned back around she said, "Are you pregnant with twins?" I immediately looked at my stomach, wondering if I should keep wearing those empire waist shirts. I told her I wasn't and I'm sure I had a confused look on my face. She explained that while I was asking the store associate my question, Trey had proudly told her that soon there would be five kids in our family. My boys are so excited to meet there sisters! It's really hard for them to understand this wait.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Yesterday my mom and I started setting up for the garage sale. My brother and his wife were out on a walk and when they came back they told us they saw some furniture on the side of the road in good condition that we should get for the sale. So, we went and found it and loaded a couple of things into the van. In the middle of hauling a somewhat heavy entertainment center into the van my mom said, "I can't wait to tell the girls about how we were out trash picking to raise money to bring them home!" Seriously, we will have so many stories to share with them. So many people are helping us raise the money we need.

I called the Dispatch to place the ad for the garage sale. $48!!!! I think that's a little ridiculous. Now we really need sell a lot of stuff! Thanks for all of your donations. I think by the time we get it all together we're going to have a really huge garage sale.