Monday, September 1, 2014

September's Haiti Challenge

Dear Team,

We would like to challenge you to join us in September concerning a critical need. This impacts thousands of Haitian children.

Just like in many North American communities, here in Haiti, families' thoughts this time of year revolve around school. Generally, school starts the first part of October but this year the government has set opening day as September 8. Starting school means paying school fees, purchasing uniforms, shoes and supplies. All this causes stress in the family. 

We would like to ask you to join us in September to pray especially for Haitian families. Like many countries, keeping family relationships healthy and family members together can cause emotional, spiritual and financial struggles.

Pray that the parents can unite strongly in marriage, providing support and encouraging their children.

Sadly, like in any country, some families cannot stay together. Some children undeniably have no one to care for them, perhaps being true orphans [both parents died] or maybe with special needs that overwhelmed the family making them place the children into an orphanage. We do not know all the stories, but we do know that there are families waiting to adopt.

Please pray specifically during September for Haiti's department of social services for children, IBESR. Mme. Arielle Villedrouin is the director at this time. Felyne is responsible for making adoption referrals. Because of many changes to the system that needed to occur when Haiti joined the Hauge Convention on Adoption April 1st, only a handful of adoption referrals occurred in the last 11 months. Some families now count their wait in years, since their charts entered the system.

Now Haitian families need to travel and see a children's judge 1-2 times to give up the rights to their children. For abandoned children to become adoptable, the mayor of the town needs to come sign the papers. After listening to explanations of what would occur, what adoption means, suggestions on how to stay together and meeting with a physiologist the family members need to think about everything they learned for one month before they can relinquish the rights to the child. At this point, IBESR may find a family for the child. This should help to reduce confusion about the process, reduce child trafficking and keep more families together. Prayers for families, this new department, the staff and  the new children's judge would be appreciated.

Now, instead of orphanages matching the children with families, this will be done by IBESR. This will likely mean that the parents start out working with one orphanage but may match with children from a second orphanage. No one yet knows how this will work or the complications that could arise but it will surely be more complicated.

Because of the hundreds [maybe over 1,000 ] of currently active charts in IBESR, the department reports they will not be accepting any additional cases during the month of September to deal with 'all current cases.' While we doubt they can deal with each case we pray for miraculous efficiency during the month so that the process can start to move waiting children toward the goal of joining their new families. Our chart's stay in IBESR waiting for a referral is now past the 7 month mark,

Because of the lack of referrals, many orphanages remain full and are forced to turn away new children requiring care. Without families matched with children, the funds for child care cannot be used and with the long delay, families who matched already continue to pay for monthly care while waiting for their children to come home.

The Haitian government may prioritize abandoned children, children with special needs, older children and sibling sets.

We believe that through prayer more of God's power is released.

Pray for:
• Spiritual health of Haitian families
• Financial and physical health
• Families can locate ways to stay together
• If they can't that good orphanages can be found
• IBESR to get the new system working well
• To get caught up on old cases
• To start referrals
• To implement the right process for matching children with families.
• To process cases in a timely fashion
• Work through the problems in the system
• The additional legal stages after IBESR. 

Thank you,
Cory & Kris Thede

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