Wednesday, August 17, 2011

An Introduction

Hey all- my name is Kelsey. I felt it appropriate to at least introduce myself, as this is the first time I've posted on Megan's blog- the blog which has been taken over as the Abide Family Center blog. I am a 21 year old social work major at Temple University, in Philadelphia. I took the Fall 2010/Spring 2011 semesters off to live in Uganda, and completed some independent study work on the side. Over the last 2 years, in and out of the country, our eyes have been opened to the generation of children growing up in institutional settings because of extreme poverty, not because they are totally unloved or completely orphaned or abandoned. We have found parents and extended family members who love their children, they just have no way to provide for them. We believe in strengthening families/reunification being the first priority, and if that is not possible kinship care (adoption through the extended family) or domestic adoption should be the second option explored. As we understand the current situation surrounding orphan care in Uganda, we realize we do not hold the popular opinion. As we follow through with our vision for Abide, we pray and we discuss the controversial not just to create a stir, but in hopes that others will understand we are not anti-international adoption, but we are pro-ethical permanent placements for the children in Uganda. Yes, there ARE cases where international adoption is the best option for that child (cases of abuse/neglect, older children, children with medical needs/disabilities) we have just seen many cases where this was not so. As Megan stated in the previous blog, when God calls us in scripture to care for orphans, we are called to care for the widows and the poor as well. I just can't imagine that God calls us to "rescue"children from poverty, separating them from the family God placed them in, while ignoring the needs of their natural families.

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