Word is getting out that this coming Tuesday, June 2, the parliament of Ukraine, the Verkhovna Rada, will be voting on a bill to cease allowing all foreign adoptions, except from Russia. Being this far away, it is difficult to know exactly what is behind it. There is certainly an element of national pride. No government likes to see its children shipped out to foreign countries. There is also an element of pro-West vs. pro-Communist/Socialist politics in Ukraine. The fact that Russia would be the only foreign country allowed to adopt seems very suspicious. As if that weren't bad enough, if the law passes, they say it will take effect immediately, and any families currently in Ukraine to adopt that haven't had court yet will not be able to continue. Think they wouldn't do that? Last year, they suddenly passed a law forbidding unmarried people from adopting. It went into effect immediately and all affected adoptive parents were not allowed to adopt. Our facilitator at the time told me about the women he saw at the SDA crying and pleading their cases to no affect. It is saddening to imagine having established a relationship with a child then being told they could not adopt. Now, we are on the verge of an even more serious development. Personally, I see nothing good coming from this, only bad, so let us pray that it does not pass and that President Yuschenko does not sign it if it does.
Here is an article in English from the Verkhovna Rada's official website.
The Fumia's are in Odessa now to adopt Grisha, a classmate of our son, Sergey. We put several pictures of him on our blog while we were at Orphanage #4. While we were in Odessa, I made sure I gave him a hug every day and I told him it was from Ashley. If this law passes next week, they will not be able to complete their adoption. It will be devestating, as they have been waiting 2 years to do this. Of course, they are not the only ones there right now. Among others, the Hoffman's are also there adopting another classmate of Sergey's named Lena. This is potentially a very grave situation. Ashley Fumia describes it in this post.
We were also minorly affected by the capricious politics of Ukraine last year. Though, it didn't seem minor at the time. About the time we finished our dossier, Ukraine passed a new quota on foreign adoptions for the year, limiting 2008 dossiers to 1,453. We did not make that cut and thought we were shut out for 2008. As it turned out, by the time October 2008 came around, they learned that they were coming in under the quota, so we suddenly found out that we made it in. We were fortunate; we had about two weeks to prepare, but some families had as little as 3 or 4 days notice to be there for their SDA appointment.
Nothing seems to ever be certain for long in Ukraine regarding adoptions. Please pray for this situation.
Here are a few pictures I took on a foggy morning in Kiev on Wed. Feb. 11 2009.
This is the parliament building, where the Verkhovna Rada, or Supreme Council, meets. On this day, they were in session and "friendly" policemen told me were I was allowed to walk. There is an Orthodox cross with a picture of the Madonna in front of the courtyard at the main entrance.
For momths, protesters were camped out in Independence Square, or Maidan as it is known there. At night, musicians would perform in front of these huts singing politcal songs. Basically, they are saying that Yuschenko's economic policies are a failure and they are demanding change in the national government.
On this day, Khreschatyk Street was closed off and a large, organized political rally was taking place in front of the Kiev City Hall. There are three main political parties at the national level, pro-West President Victor Yuschenko's Our Ukraine party, the socialist Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko's Bloc Yulia Timoshenko, and the communist Victor Yanukovych's Party of Regions. None of them are getting along at all, and the Verkhovna Rada is the laughingstock of Ukraine because of their impotence. It appeared that there were hundreds or thousands of people that came in busses, as they were parked along the street forming a sort of barricade. Many of their bumpers were literally touching.
There were many colorful flags on display at the rally. Of note in these pictures are the white Bloc Yulia Timoshenko flags, the red Communist flags, and the blue and yellow Ukrainian national flags.
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