Strange twist on internatinal adoptions

We have been focusing a lot on the children who were born in Guatemala, and end up being adopted by American families.

I have been in discussions with many people who are irate that Guatemala stopped this traffic, often claiming that the children would have had a much better life in the U.S. and are now condemned to live their lives in this backward little country that doesn't take care of its children at risk.

That may be true, as far a Guatemala not taking care of its at risk children...but this article points out that Guatemala is in this the same as the states.

I had no idea that international adoptions are a two way street in the states. What is up with that?

Please read this article, then get back to me with your thoughts.



The following came to me from a Latin American friend. Don't know who first said it...this friend sends me good stuff of all sorts gleaned form all over. This is what she and a lot of Latin Americans think of the U.S. I want to live up to their respect, and to Abraham Lincoln's advice.

It arrived in Spanish...in other words, it is not for U.S. consumption, but rather, is making the rounds of Spanish speakers. I simply translated on Babelfish...so it is rough...but worth reading!

it goes...

I invite them to read this message from serenity and the intelligence characterizes that them. They have been putting attention to the words of Abraham Lincoln for 150 years (quoted later).

Why some hate the United States of North America (the USA).?

They won the war against the Nazis and did not then claim ownership of no European country. How it is Europe nowadays?

They won the war to him to Japanese and did not claim ownership of Japan. How it is Japan nowadays?

They reclaimed part of Korea until parallel the 38 and did not claim ownership of Korea. (Coarse to compare the development, economy, sources of work and social welfare of South Korea nowadays with the one of North Korea to evaluate that better).

And then? Sometimes it becomes annoying that the hobby of all the humanity is to speak bad of the United States. Not only the Chavistas comunistoides of Latin America, but generally everybody. In the last years in Venezuela it is considered socially negative to say something good of the United States. The inference is that the Latins that they have in the United States more than average life, they do not find anything good what for saying of the USA. But they stay there, and they do not return to its countries of origin.

Here there are three examples of exemplary answers to these commentaries:

1) When in England, during a conference, the Archbishop of Canterbury asked Colin Powell if the plans of the USA towards Iraq were not simply more construction of " empire" on the part of George Bush. He responded the following thing to him: “With passing of the years, the United States has sent too many of their better young people, men and women towards the danger, to fight by the cause of the freedom beyond our borders. The only earth that we have asked in return have been the necessary ones to bury those who did not return”. The great silence in the enclosure became…

2) During a conference in France, in which a great number of engineers of diverse nationalities participated, including French and Americans, during a break, one of the French engineers said calmly: " Have you heard the last stupidity of George Bush? … It sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help to the victims of tsunami. What is what tries to do, to bomb them?” An engineer of Boeing rose and responded calmly: - “Our aircraft carriers on board have three hospitals, that can help several hundreds of people. They are nuclear, reason why they can provide electricity of emergencia to land stations, have three dining rooms with capacity to prepare meals for 3,000 people three times a day, they can daily produce several thousands of gallons of potable water from water of sea, and have an average of a dozen of helicopters to transport victims from and towards the ship. We have eleven equal boats. How many ships like this have sent France” Again, burial silence.

3) An admiral of the Navy of the United States was in a naval conference that included admirals of American, Canadian, English, Australian the Navy, and French. During a cocktail one was with a group of officials who included representatives of all those countries. Everybody talked in English while they took his drinks, but suddenly, a French admiral commented that, although the European learn many languages, the Americans are enough only with the English. Then he asked: “Why we must speak English in these conferences? Why not French speech” The American admiral, without doubting it, responded: " Perhaps it is because the British, the Canadians, the Australians and the Americans sacrificed so that you did not have to speak German, for the rest of your lives”. The fall of a pin could have been listened…!

Where is the secret of the Americans?

Very simple, more ago than 150 years they learned something that in Latin America seemed that we do not have nor we want to learn.

They are only ten very simple premises:


1. You cannot create prosperity discouraging self Initiative.
2. You cannot fortify to the weak one, by debilitating to the strong.
3. You cannot help the small ones, by squashing to the great ones.
4. You cannot help to the poor man, by destroying the rich one.
5. You cannot elevate to the employee, by pressing to that the wage pays.
6. You cannot solve any problems while spending more than you wins.
7. You cannot promote the brotherhood of the humanity, by admitting and urging the hatred of classes.
8. You cannot guarantee a suitable security with given money.
9. You cannot form the character and the value of the man without giving him his independence (freedom) and initiative.
10. You cannot help permanently men giving by them what they can and must do by themselves.

To this another lesson of Abraham Lincoln could be added: “A politician can deceive all along, and can deceive all by some time. But what he will not be able to obtain he is to deceive all all along”.


M&M's and Economics

[Shared with me by a friend]

Let me tell you a quick story about human nature. Things have been pretty tight lately, and I have been trying to watch all expenses carefully. We have had one round of lay-offs at the office, and there are rumors of more to come. But even so I was feeling generous a few Saturdays back, and I caved to my son’s request and bought him some peanut M&Ms in the grocery story check out line. I gave them to him under three conditions: that he was to share them with his little sister, that they wait until we got home to eat them, and that all the chores had to be done first. I have learned not to bend on the eating-in-the-car rule, otherwise french fries and cheeseburger bits will somehow start growing under my back seat. Lastly just to be sure there was no arguing, I bought the king size bag and watched with delight as he took them.

Once home my son and daughter diligently set out to complete their chores. Then they ran to the couch where sitting side by side the two savored each M&M. It was nice to see them motivated to work and then truly enjoy their treat. A few days later when putting laundry away in my son’s room, I was very surprised to find the little yellow bag of M&Ms, with the top neatly rolled down, tucked away in my sons sock drawer. Certain that I had seen him share, I decide to investigate before flying off the handle. When I asked my daughter later that night at bed time if she had gotten some of the M&Ms, she assured me she had. She said she had gotten five because she was five years old, but then she reminded me that her birthday was coming soon and she would then get six.

Somewhat disappointed, I decide to give my son the benefit of the doubt and trust that he was just was saving them for the two of them to share later. The following Saturday on grocery day, I once again succumbed to the request for M&Ms partly because it was such a good motivation for getting chores completed without complaining but this time more to satisfy my curiosity than anything else. I also made a mental note to check and see if the other M&Ms were still stashed when I got home.

That night at prayer time my daughter confirmed she had gotten five again. So early the next morning I quietly checked to find two little yellow bags of M&Ms neatly tucked away in the sock drawer. Determined to handle this correctly, I played along and repeated the same events the following Saturday. As you would guess, on Sunday morning I was very frustrated to find three bags, but this time the first bag seemed to have some missing. Hoping that perhaps he had dipped into his stash for the purpose of sharing, I approached my daughter as soon as she woke up and asked if she had gotten any extra M&Ms. She told me she had not, but she took the opportunity to remind me that in just four weeks when she turned six she would get an extra one. I could feel the anger rising in me. How could my son short change this precious little girl! How could my very own son do this to his sister! How could he be so sneaky and so selfish! I knew that he knew better. I had given him very clear instructions that the M&Ms were for sharing. As I sat there thinking up a good punishment, I decided to stop and pray. Since he was only 11 years old, I wanted to straighten him out, but not crush his spirit. Still angry I asked God to give me wisdom on how to handle this situation. As I closed my eyes to pray I felt in an incredible way God telling me that this was my fault and that my son was just like me. Confused for a moment, I went through the mental exercise of defending myself. I had been very intentional about teaching my son right from wrong. I had even made it a family decision when we decided to sponsor a child through the Orphan Care Program at church. I felt I had taught him well, and I knew that he had learned from a young age that God is watching every decision we make. Then again I felt the strong sensation that it was not how I had raised him, but it was the example I had set for him that he was following. The old saying came to mind “It is not what we say that matters, but what we do.” I slowly realized the issue was not what I had taught him but what I had modeled for him. At this point I dropped to my knees and ask God to please show me in what specific way I was modeling this selfish behavior for my son. In an instant God brought to mind my retirement account and all the money I had tucked away to insure that my future was comfortable. My mind jumped to the defensive again. My efforts to save for retirement were just prudent steps to insure my future was provided for, but instantly I realized that in effect that was all my son was doing. You see, by putting back a few M&Ms, he was no longer dependant on me to provide them each Saturday. He now had his own stash he could rely on just in case I did not come through one future Saturday or maybe so that at some point in the future he could enjoy some M&Ms without having to do chores first. And since I had entrusted him with distributing the M&Ms, he felt justified in deciding that age was a good distribution standard even though it favored him two to one.

It struck me like a ton of bricks that this was much the same way that I operated. I was guilty of sending just a small percentage of my income to the Orphan Care Program at church while I justified my own healthy standard of living as a blessing from God. And, yes, my distribution standard was even more lopsided than my son’s if my income was in fact a blessing from God. His two-to-one ratio looked generous compared to what I held back for my own comfort and consumption. And if I was honest with myself, I saw my retirement account as security for the day I decided I did not want to do anymore ‘chores’ as well as security just in case my Heavenly Father failed to come through one day. I was always telling myself that I needed this not only to be able to retire but so that I did not have to depend on others. My mind raced to remember Scriptures that spoke of savings - you know the ones that said I had a responsibility to provide for my family’s future, but I could not remember any verses where we are told to save so we don’t have to work or where we could consume extra. In fact, the only one I could remember that came close to resembling a retirement strategy was of a wealthy guy building bigger barns so he could stop working and take it easy, but this one did not have a happy ending. As I sat there trying to justify my investment portfolio, the following questions came to mind:

When I gave the M&Ms to my son, was it ever with the intention that he withhold what was intended for his sister so that he could later enjoy the blessing without the responsibility of his chores? She was my child too! What made him more deserving than her? What makes me more deserving than others? How could I dare to ask God to bless my income and provide for my family if I continued to just hoard it for my future?

What about you? What’s in your sock drawer? How do you know if this applies to you? Well, 1 Chronicles 29:11 tells us that all riches come from God. So check your balance. If God has begun emptying your sock drawer of M&Ms, then you know the time to share is now. You see, I cannot let my son continue down this path because one day it would destroy him. When we have our ‘sit-down talk,’ one way or the other, the M&Ms have got to go. He will have one last chance to share and share generously, otherwise, not only am I taking all of my M&Ms back, but any future M&Ms are in grave jeopardy. For his own sake I cannot reward selfishness. And if one day I see improvement and begin to provide again, you can be sure that his future M&Ms will come through his little sister.

Hopefully like me, you now see what God is doing to America. We have stuffed our sock drawers full of M&Ms. We have repeatedly ignored the instructions that He lays out so clearly in His word. Do your homework! Take the time to look up the Scriptures below. But the time to act is now. Our M&Ms have been discovered, and our explanation is not going to fly. Telling God we were worried about our future while His precious children starve today will not be well received. Not only does this say we don’t think He can meet our needs, it also tells Him we think our comforts are more important than their lives. We seldom if ever go a day when we miss a meal, yet so many children may go days without a meal. How will we stand before God and explain that we truly believed we were so much more deserving than they? What will our justification be? I am sure we will be too ashamed to give our weak excuse that we just thought He was blessing us. You see, by then we will know that He blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.

Still not sure if this applies? Then check your sock drawers. If the account balance on your retirement account is declining, you had better take heed. Remember, it is His to give and His to take away, and if He has switched from giving to taking then you had better find out why before it is all gone. If we are not willing to act quickly, we had better start working on our excuses, because God is preparing America for the ‘sit-down talk’ and it is not looking pretty!

Will we have to lose it all, before we learn to share it all?


Proverbs 28:27
He who gives to the poor will lack nothing, but he who closes his eyes to them receives many curses.

Proverbs 22:9
A generous man will himself be blessed, for he shares his food with the poor.

Proverbs 21:13
If a man shuts his ears to the cry of the poor, he too will cry out and not be answered.

Psalm 140:12
I know that the LORD secures justice for the poor and upholds the cause of the needy.

Deuteronomy15: 4
However, there should be no poor among you, for in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess as your inheritance, he will richly bless you, 5 if only you fully obey the LORD your God and are careful to follow all these commands I am giving you today. 6 For the LORD your God will bless you as he has promised, and you will lend to many nations but will borrow from none. You will rule over many nations but none will rule over you.

Ps 37:16 Better is a little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked.
…. 21 The wicked borrows, and cannot pay back, but the righteous is generous and gives.

Ps 37:25 I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken or his children begging bread.
26 He is ever giving liberally and lending, and his children become a blessing.

Ps 37:27 Depart from evil, and do good; so shall you abide for ever.
28 For the LORD loves justice; he will not forsake his saints. The righteous shall be preserved for ever, but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.

Undocumented aliens and history

Then we can discuss the macrocosm. Speaking of foreign aid reminds me of the causes of inequalities between countries. What was the difference between the people of Nicaragua, for instance, and the people of New Hampshire? We have often said that they are lazy, and tropical, and live by a “Mañana” spirit. But my experience with poor folks in Central America, is to be put to shame at the work ethic. They are not poor because they are lazy. Maybe the people in NH are genetically more intelligent? Maybe there are more natural resources in NH. Don’t take their resources for Granite….er…actually that is pretty much what they have, naturally. So why are they so much better off than the Nicaraguans?

Think Boardwalk. Anyone who has played Monopoly knows that whoever gains the advantage first ( by being the lucky one in throwing the dice, to land on the valuable spaces) will probably win. Once that advantage happens, the roll of the dice only hurries or delays the inevitable. Sometimes people get upset, but the eventual winner hasn’t cheated, he simply rode the advantage to economically control his competitors. It’s just a game, after all. But as we become connected internationally, we can’t pick and choose when our influence stops at our border, and still consider it just. Once the advantage occurred, it is inevitable that one country will master the rest. I think that carries a moral responsibility, and I grew up believing that America was in fact living up to it. We are! In many ways, we remain a bastion of moral rightness. BUT our foreign policies have not reflected that American moral attitude. And so, we are bordered to the south with incredibly poor countries.

The USA grew from a bunch of colonies to become a vibrant member of the international socioeconomic community. We then leveraged that advantage to gain political and economic control of most of our hemisphere. Once the U.S. gained economic control over Central America and the Caribbean, many laws and actions of Governments and large corporations had significant affects on the lives of the populations of those countries. There was a time, when the prevailing attitude was simply stated: “What’s good for business is good for America”. So, when the government of Nicaragua wanted to tax the Banana exports, the U.S. Marines were the response. When a George Washington like figure appeared in response to the Marines invading, and running all over the country, which was a sovereign state at the time, treachery was used to dispatch him by murdering him. The payment for the Judas, was lifetime presidency of Nicaragua, backed by those US Marines. The legacy of Somoza in Nicaragua is a continued level of poverty completely out of proportion to its level of natural resources and the industriousness of its people. The force of the early advantaged country, like that of the Monopoly game’s leader, determined so much of what occurred.

To cry foul when Nicaraguans invade our territory for economic gain ( at a hugely smaller and more peaceful level) it is a bit hypocritical.

Morally, but also economically, it would behoove us to keep our neighbors healthy. After all, when the game of Monopoly ends, the winner is finished, too, as the economy collapses.


Undocumented part 4 : What are we afraid of?

The biggest event in recent history might be the failure of investment banks, and the downturn in the US economy. Many immoral and possibly illegal actions caused this. BUT none were done by illegal, or undocumented aliens.

My point?

Undocumented aliens did not ruin our economy, which I think was the largest fear I heard expressed regarding the need for border control. Think about it. The piddling size of adequate health care and schooling for non citizens, who fill the lowest rungs in our labor force, is nothing compared to, and has nothing to do with, the huge trillion dollar burden placed on our future generations.

But even in that realm: Welfare and healthcare. The undocumented did not create that broken system. If they abuse it, they are joining the majority of Americans…who I feel are complicit, if not explicitly guilty in a system that markets to our fears to deliver a false sense of health security for a huge premium. Our fears, and the amoral corporate response to seek profit, drive our health care costs through the roof. Idolatry comes to mind, as I hear the religious fervor of the participants of the Health Care reform debates. ( that is certainly fodder for a rant at another time and place)

Regardless, the undocumented did not create the problem. Throwing them out will not fix it. As a Christian, I am sure that “Loving your neighbor as yourself” and the fear of aliens is pretty much incompatible. You could say that perfect love casts out fear, not poor people. As a somewhat anarchistic libertarian, I want to see our society ( all of us) focus on the real causes of the problems, and leave the scapegoating to Levitical priests.