We took custody of the boys a week ago today. Colombia requires a one week period of bonding and then we had to meet again with a couple folks from the local ICBF office that we have been working with. That occurred a couple hours ago.
They asked general questions of the boys and I and then the social worker went off with the boys for 15-20 minutes to look around but I think really to give the boys the chance to chat privately with him. This is the last check in the system if either party has concerns. A good idea I think. None did! All went fine and we are full steam ahead. We leave for Bogotá in the AM.
I learned some interesting things. About 70% of adoptions here are international, 30% domestic. The Pereira ICBF office has about 200 kids presently in their system they are responsible for. For just this region, Italy is the most common country to accept kids and the US second. It’s harder to place kids when there are multiple siblings, medical issues, or abuse issues. Apparently Italians very good about accepting with a history of abuse and the US very good about accepting HIV + kids. Everyone in the adoption world knows the older the child gets the tougher it is to find them a home.
Exploitation of women, children, and all people remains a scourge in our world and is far more common then I suspect most of us know. Slavery is alive and well, tragically, around the world. Sexual exploitation of children is a huge problem. Our attorney Raul shared a sickening statistic with us last week. The most profitable illicit means of making money in the world today are arms sales, drug sales, and human trafficking. We have many problems in the states but we are a country of law and order and belief in basic human dignity and these virtues are far from the norm around the world. It is heart breaking but awareness is the first step. I encourage you all to research this some more and if your heart moves you get involved. You may save a child’s life with the gift of your time, treasure, or talent.
Our journey continues…