I'm not the only one

Good to know, isn't it? Community, even the idea of it, can feel like such a bolster when you're slumping. I don't know if there's been a New Year's effect in the collective blogosphere diet, but here's another example of people going gluten free: Whole Health Source asked a whack of people to try three versions of a GF diet for the month of January, and his first group's results are in. They're not going to get into Nature with this, but it sure trends to the positive. As I've obliquely mentioned, I'm off the wagon lately. I feel it. I know what I've got to do but I'm stalling until after our mini-holiday this weekend.

It's a big mini weekend! I'm so excited, with high hopes for the whole thing, but the details will have to wait for another post.

On our way home from our maxi-mini-holiday, we'll be stopping off to have a (fee-based) chat with an adoption agency that works in Ethiopia. I'm curious, hopeful, nervous, and a little cynical about it. The person I spoke to when booking the appointment gave me a 'rah-rah good news for protecting children' argument about the recent drastic measures taken by the Ethiopian authorities to reduce adoption fraud by reducing all adoption. Today the US Department of State has posted a bulletin reiterating that there are many players working to support the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA, commonly referred to by its old acronym, MOWA) to do their job well without leaving thousands of children in group care and thousands of families waiting. As things presently stand, "delays of one year or more" are anticipated for "cases in process". We're not even in process. That means that - no matter how fantastic the orphanage is in which they find themselves - OUR child will suffer many more months of dormitory bedrooms, barely adequate nutrition and medical care, scarcity of affection and attention than they would have, if only they'd had the "luck" to be orphaned or relinquished 6 months earlier.

This is a kick in the teeth for children who need care, not legislation. Where are the government crackdowns on extreme poverty, aid syphoning, lack of educational and vocational opportunities that would allow families to parent their children and live to see them grow up? Where is the oversight at the point of entry? Isn't that the place to stop trafficking, not the point of exit? Look, I won't rant about this further because it raises my blood pressure, but this open letter to Bill Clinton gives a pretty good synopsis of things, for those of you who are interested. Suffice it to say that I will be highly sceptical of the credibility of any adoption broker (let's be frank) who tries to tell me this is a win-win situation and won't impact our timeline at all and please sign here.

Whatever will we do if that happens? We can't very well weep that every door seems to close just as we get to it, and then slam this one ourselves. We can be the answer for one child. I will continue to fight and rage and toil and rant to bring about the bigger answer, but until then it's all about this one child whose tiny face I've never seen but whose longing, fear and pain I ache to minimise and soothe. The question then is, how much can I swallow to be able to do that?

So the communities of families everywhere, waiting and reading these bulletins out of Addis (and Guatelmala City, and Kathmandu), will be on my mind even as we're enjoying our maxi-mini-holiday this weekend.

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