So here are some late night ramblings.  You’ll have to excuse grammar and spelling.  I’m not responsible for mistakes made after 11:45!  I just had some stuff on my mind… and it needs to get out of my mind and into the great blogging abyss so I can go to bed with a clearer head!

I’ve been thinking about this visa situation the last couple days, and I’ve been trying to see things from every angle…  I really do want to try and see this decision from the perspective of those who have been given the responsibility to regulate and issue visas that allow internationally adopted children into the country… its a huge responsibility to be in a position where you are aware of the allegations of child trafficking and know you may be allowing unethical organizations to procede with questionable adoptions by continuing to issue visas as the final step in bringing children into the US.  The weight of knowing you have the ability and authority to do something to potentially influence a decrease in cases of children being unethically handled can’t be an easy burden to carry if taken seriuosly.  And I, for one, hope they do not take the allegations lightly. 

The people making these new policies are not (as far as I know… and I feel I need to give them the benefit of the doubt) evil, wicked people who hate children and have a personal vendetta against me and my adoption.  They are (most likely) not in the middle of an adoption.   They can’t possibly understand every single personal adoption situation… and, from their standpoint, I’m sure they are trying to do their job well…. with a good motive — to protect the innocent.

And, yet, as happens so often in our imperfect world, things get complicated.  Potentially good motives can create situations that are heartbreaking for the people at the receiving end of the policy.  Our government is not known for painting with a finely-tuned brush.  Not enough people think things through from the whole to the parts and too often major decisions are made in an urgent attempt to put a finger in the dike and fix the immediate problem without giving thought to the ramifications. 

I’m not trying to play the devil’s advocate… I just know it was good for me to take a deep breath, and step back from the VERY, VERY personal perpective I have, and try to look at the situation objectively.  That said, I think there are more effective ways to influence ethical adoption than to attempt to discourage people from adopting from a country with such undeniable need for adoptions as Liberia.  Stopping adoptions IS NOT the answer… it can’t be!  Too many innocent lives are at stake and discouraging people from looking their way isn’t going to help them.  I am cetainly going to bat for Acres of Hope as an highly reputable organization with a spotless track record of ethical dealings.  I am going to stand up for the innocent children this new policy affects… especially the children who are in danger of dying if their adoptions are slowed down… as well as all the children waiting in the orphanage and every parent aching to hold their babies.  I think its important to insist on a policy that aims for the best interest of all the children of Liberia.  I am emotionally involved and want to see a policy that makes it easier for my son to come home as quickly as possible… but on the other hand, as much as I am heart-sick at the potential outcome of this visa development, I am deeply concerned about the many unethical adoptions that continue to occur worldwide.   Its bigger than my son and my adoption, and I have to remember to stay as objective as possible when trying to bring about change and influence decisions.  (remind me of that tomorrow!)  And I have to keep solid in my faith that God is completely able to change hearts and policies with only a nod.

So after all this, I feel like I have an expanded focus for my prayers over this situation, and I am able to pray with more understanding and a broader perspective.  I am praying, of course, for the Lord’s miraculous hand to quickly guide the adoptions of the children who need to come home as soon as possible (Isaac, Josie and Joseph to name a few) and for their quick visa processes to set a precendence for all those following them.  I am also praying for a heart of empathy and deep discernment for those in the state department and at the embassy to discover a policy that will help curb unethical adoption practices, but doesn’t create an unrealistic process that will leave many children without the hope of being adopted.

One more quick thing… I just want to say that I am grateful that there are people in place with the mandate to try to discourage illegal adoption practices.  I am sure there are some very dedicated men and women trying to do their best to help.  I don’t know what I would do in their shoes.  I don’t think I would want their jobs and that enormous responsibility, and until I have walked a mile in their shoes, I really don’t want to judge their motives…  But I am still deeply concerned about the efffects of the policies they have recently instituted in Liberia and I think they need to be re-evaluated!

 There.  Now I can go to bed!