Much of what we have seen this week has been suffering and neglect as a result of broken families. We have experienced mixed emotions - sadness for the fatherless, homeless, and abused kids and adults we have connected with, and happiness to be able to be hands and feet delivering a small taste of hope and fun and joy to these same people.
Having adopted our third child from here only 18 months ago, I think I have felt a sense of relief and gratitude more than anything. But for the grace of God, Diana could have been assigned to an orphanage that would not have given her such love, care, and support for her first 6 and a half years. But for the grace of God, she could easily have been stuck in an apathetic court system as an unadoptable child who would "age out" of the system at 18 and have very few options from there.
Through a rocky and risky road, there was grace from God -- good news for Diana and good news for the May family in November, 2010. And, as a member of this team, I can report that there is other good news from El Salvador!
Even though the system for adoption is very broken here, there are still many lives who are being touched and changed by the grace of God. I've seen very dedicated workers at CIPI and CISNA who are giving their entire working lives (in one case I heard about, 30+ years) to caring for children who desperately need help. I've met two families who have abandoned comfortable lifestyles in the U.S., selling all their possessions to move here, sacrificing privacy and security to intercede for the fatherless, one life at a time. Transitional homes are being opened to teach "life launch" skills to 18-to-20 year olds. And occasionally, but not often enough, children are being adopted.
Oh yes, more good news...I've also been blessed to work with 17 people who are investing their time serving the neediest of needy in El Salvador. Countless hours were spent raising funds and preparing for this week. Some sold personal jewelry to make the financials work. All are operating most every day here way outside their comfort zone.
By God's grace, there is good news coming out of El Salvador. I'm looking forward to getting home to see mine. :)