Tuesday, July 28, 2009

This is a busy week for our family. Four years ago yesterday Ethan dramatically entered our family. He gave us quite a scare with his small 5pound 5oz bluish limp body. Praise God he was healthy but just had a hard time during birth.

AND one year ago today Gabriel & Jacob were placed into our arms. I will forever remember how it felt to hold them for the first time, to kiss their little faces, and to tell them that their mommy loves them.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Adoption Update

I haven't written much about our adoption because quite frankly I haven't known what to say. We have been waiting for the last couple of months to find out if our adoption of Elshadaye would proceed. I will not go into details but due to circumstances beyond our control Elshadaye is no longer available for adoption. Elshadaye and her mother will continue to be in our prayers and will always be a part of our family.

So, where does that leave us? First, we are in the process of trying to decide which waiting child/children God has for our family. Please be praying for Darren & I as we make this decision. There are two sibling groups of sisters as well as a single girl whom we can consider. Sadly, one of the major deciding factors will be finances. The fees paid up to now have been for the adoption of one child if we decide to adopt a sibling group we would need to come up with $5,000 to proceed. As always, we are leaving the financial aspect in God's hands.

Secondly, as soon as we make a decision our adoption can proceed which means travel could occur in as early as 2-3 months from now. Which leads us to our second prayer request, travel expenses. We have not worried about travel expenses since we have been on hold for the last couple of months. Depending on airline cost and the number of people traveling cost could be anywhere from $5,000-8,000.

I have lots of people ask what they can do to help. Adoption is not the only way a person can minister to orphans. If you know a family adopting being a support to that family and to their children is also a part of ministering to orphans. I can think of three very important ways you can minister to families who are adopting. First, be a prayer warrior for that family. Satan is always trying to discourage or place obstacles in the path of families who are caring for orphans. Second, support the family physically. Watch the kids so they can have a date night. Send a note of encouragement or take time to listen. Be a mentor to a formally orphaned child. Lastly, be a financial support. Unfortunately adoption is expensive and many families cannot pursue the adoption of orphans due to the incredible expense. Part of caring for orphans is providing the financial support necessary for a family to physically care for orphans.

If you would like to help us minister to orphans you can make a donation through this website Kingdom Kids Adoption Ministry. In the designation box just put Darren & Rebecca Maas.

We can't wait to meet the child/children God is placing into our family. We are excited to see what God has in store for us and our children.


Friday, July 17, 2009

Act NOW on Behalf of Orphaned and Adopted Children

EACH is pleased to announce the introduction of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (S.1359 and H.R. 3110) and the Families for Orphans Act (S.1458 and H.R. 3070), both of which are a result of EACH's collaborative involvement in the Families for Orphans Coalition.** Both proposed acts represent a potential victory for millions of vulnerable children from around the world who need a permanent family and a major step forward in providing internationally adopted children the same citizenship rights as foreign born biological children of American citizens.

Spearheaded by Senators Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and James Inhofe (R-OK) and Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and John Boozman (R-AR), the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act (The Face Act) simplifies the acquisition of citizenship for internationally adopted children and removes these children of American citizens from the immigration process.

The Families for Orphans Act (FFO Act) was also introduced by Senators Landrieu and Inhofe and Representatives Boozman and Watson. The FFO Act would establish the Office of Orphan Policy, Diplomacy and Development within the Department of State which would have the responsibility for developing and implementing a comprehensive strategy advocating for permanent parental care for orphans including the preservation of families and other permanency options such as domestic and international adoption.

More information about the FACE Act and the FFO Act can be found at: http://www.equalityforadoptedchildren.org/legislation/legislation.html

How can you advocate for these children and passage of these bills?

We are asking all of you to become actively engaged with your U.S. Congressional Representative and Senators by urging them to support the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act and the Families for Orphans Act. Your telephone call, letter or e-mail can make a difference in the life of a child who is desperately in need of a permanent, loving family and help improve the acquisition of citizenship rights for internationally adopted children.

1. Sign the online petitions in support of these two bills. These petitions will be delivered to Congress.

The FACE Act: http://gopetition.com/petitions/face-act-of-2009.html

The FFO Act: http://gopetition.com/petitions/families-for-orphans.html

2. Call your Senators and Representatives! In coordination with the National Council for Adoption and Joint Council on International Children's Services, we are suggesting a 72-hour sustained telephone effort by asking you to call Congress on July 28, 29, or 30 and urge your three Members of Congress (two in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives) to become a Co-sponsor of the Foreign Adopted Children Equality Act and the Families For Orphans Act. Ask to speak with the Legislative Director or Chief of Staff and tell them that as a constituent you are requesting their boss' support by becoming a co-sponsor of these bills. Provide them with both the names of the two bills and their corresponding bill numbers (the FACE Act is S.1359 in the Senate and H.R. 3110 in the House and the FFO Act is S. 1458 and H.R. 3070 in the House.) You can direct the staffer to contact the offices of Senators Landrieu and Inhofe or Representatives Watson and Boozman for information on becoming a co-sponsor. For contact information on your Representative please visit http://www.house.gov/ and for information on your Senators please visit http://www.senate.gov/.

3. In addition to contacting your own members of Congress, please contact members who sit on the four Congressional committees who will be the first to vote on these bills. The FACE Act will be considered by the House and Senate Judiciary Committee and also by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The FFO Act will be considered by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Following is contact information for these committees

In the House:

House Committee on Foreign Affairs:
Phone: 202-225-5021 (Democrats) or 202-226-8467 (Republicans)
Email: http://foreignaffairs.house.gov/contact.asp
Members on the Committee who need to know of your support for these bills:

House Judiciary Committee:
Phone: 202-225-3951 (Democrats) or 202-225-6906 (Republicans)
Members on the Committee who need to know of your support for the FACE Act:

In the Senate:

Senate Judiciary Committee:
Phone: 202-224-7703 (Democrats) or 202-224-5225 (Republicans)
Members on the Committee who need to know of your support for the FACE Act:

Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
Phone: 202-224-4651 (Democrats) or 202-224-6707 (Republicans)
Members on the Committee who need to know of your support for the FFO Act: http://www.foreign.senate.gov/about.html

4. Get the word out. Send this email to friends and family. Post it to your Facebook, My Space, and Twitter accounts, your blog, and personal Web site.