Time to Pray

Praying for Paula

I’m pissed. I have a friend named Paula, actually she’s a great friend of my wife. Here’s her story. I’m telling you because I want you to join me in praying for her.

Paula was working at a Habitat for Humanity site as a volunteer one Saturday morning a long time ago, when a group of friends from my old church (Lakeland Community Church in Lee’s Summit), were there helping as well. She struck up a conversation with some of the gals who were pitching in that day. Long story short, over the next few years she became a part of our community and began following Christ. For Paula, this meant some short term missions work and eventually, a full time stint in Guatemala at this orphanage.

Paula fell in love with a little Guatemalan girl named Emma and has moved heaven and earth to try and adopt her. This little girl was an orphan, alone in the world in Guatemala and has, essentially, no future there without Paula. They live together as mother and daughter and have for several years now but the adoption process has been delayed and stalled and is so crazy. Usually the hold up is in country but now it seems like it is more the fault of the US governement, which just makes no sense. Paula says the heartbreaking thing is that children who are abandoned are actually harder to adopt than mothers who get paid for their babies. That doesn’t sound like solidarity with the poor to me.

Here’s why I’m pissed. There are two governments invovled here and finding anyone genuinely interested in Paula or Emma seems impossible. Her friends at adoption agencies around the world tell her she is getting “played” by these people. Right now the hold up seems to be the Department of Homeland Security. They’ve denied her request to adopt. They are telling her that she needs to either come home to the US and start over (leaving Emma behind), or else adopt her there in Guatemala (no short process & full of corruption), and then live there 2 more years. Can you imagine someone asking you to leave your child in another country, all on the “hope” that you might be able to adopt her then?

She’s trying to play by the rules and do everything by the book. She is trying to pull this little girl out of a horrible life situation. She’s done all she can do and now she’s getting jacked around by the DHS. All she really wants to do is adopt this girl and make sure they can be together as a family. She emailed today that she feels like God has to step in and change somebody’s heart. God needs to intervene for Paula and Emma.

Please join me in praying for Paula. If anyone has friends in high places…let me know.

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  • From what I can tell from these websites, there has been a lot of corruption with the Guatemalan adoption process in recent years, which is why DHS has made it more difficult for Americans to adopt there.

    Do you know if Paula has tried contacting her congressional rep or senator? Norm Coleman from Minnesota has taken an interest in this issue, so I’m sure others will as well.

    I have a good friend who works in the immigration area for DHS whom I can ask about this the next time I speak with him. I can’t promise that he can do anything, but he may at least be able to shed some light on the process within DHS.


  • Today I spoke with my friend who works for Homeland Security. I mentioned Paula’s situation to him, but unfortunately he is not involved with that area of immigration, so he isn’t able to offer much help. He did suggest that Paula and her family use her congressional representatives to help her cause in adopting this girl. He said he spends half of his time responding to requests and inquiries from members of congress who are acting on behalf of their constituents, so if she hasn’t done so already, Paula should take her case to her senator or representative if she wants to get through the DHS red tape. The bureaucrats in the federal govt have a lot of cases to deal with, and they will focus on the ones that are made a priority by the pressure applied by members of congress.