Posts Tagged ‘international Adoption’

I worked with Harry Hartzler for 10 years in Harrisonville Missouri we were joined at the hip. We had hunting and fishing and work in common but most of all Jesus. Though our place of employment moved away we kept in close contact. Harry and His wife Marry did out reach mission trips to Mexico I did out reaches to Uganda. We would visit and I watched His children move from diapers to college. Several years ago Bethany the oldest Hartzler girl called a meeting with me and three of Her friends Amy, Rachel, and Stacie who wanted to spend their summer in Uganda.


I set them up with contacts but argued with them for an hour that the whole summer was to long and what they would see would rock their world and they would need time to debrief for their return into American culture. We came to an agreement after they fought well and they did it for the biggest part of the summer. Not just did it but did it well. I truly believe that the Lord has raised them up for such a time as this. Below you can read an article written about two of the four. In December Stacie, Bethany and myself returned to Uganda and helped start an orphange with Richard Kaaya in Entebbe. We have recently applied for our 501c3 papers as we trust the Lord is leading as people are coming out of the woodwork to help. Lord have your way.

Story of our trip


Adoption from Uganda

Posted by : Erin H in Africa AdoptionBlog at 01:33 am , 620 words, 412 views
Categories: Country Specifics – Adoption
Adoption.com’s Adoption Week e-magazine (which is free and full of great stuff) had a great article in it this week about teens in Missouri helping orphans in Uganda find loving adoptive homes in the United States.The story comes out of Kansas City, Missouri and is titled “Teens Help Ugandan Kids Find U.S. Homes”.The article is about Bethany Hartzler and her friend and college classmate, Amy Wolf, who helped navigate the international adoption process in Uganda for eight orphaned Ugandan children, including 10 year-old twin boys who are now Bethany’s new little brothers.It is hard to imagine two college girls handling the complex procedures of international adoption, especially ones from an African country without an established adoption program, however, that seems to be what happened in this case.Like many African countries that American and other adoptive parents would jump at the chance to adopt from if possible, Uganda has a three-year residency rule for adoptive parents. In 2005-2006, 12 children were adopted from Uganda by U.S. citizens, which shows that it is possible, but that the process is prohibitive enough that it is not an option for many parents at this time.Hartzler and Wolf went to Uganda on an orphanage mission trip, fell in love with the children there and became determined to help get them adopted, even though they had no idea how to go about doing that at first.The girls were able to find a way around the three-year residency rule, by getting the Ugandan court system to declare the adoptive family the child’s legal guardian. Then it is expected that the family will finalize the adoption in the United States under the state laws of the adoptive family. This is how most adoptions from South Korea have traditionally worked, with the parents being granted guardianship and then finalizing in the U.S. The children are able to get U.S. passports and visas legally this way.Hartzler and Wolf admit that the process was not easy or simple and describe it as a “huge challenge”, and said that they had to find and hire a Ugandan social worker and lawyer, and spent several months and about $5,000.

All eight children involved in this adoption story now live in the Kansas City area.

The article also goes in to some of the issues involved with adopting older children from different cultures, such as language and cultural differences, and the struggle for these kids to adapt to American life.

The blessings of international adoption are also made clear in this story, as the children involved were living in very destitute conditions without any family or love, and are now thriving with the love and care of their new adoptive families.

The U.S. Department of State International Adoption Uganda web page states that:

Ugandan law places restrictions on the ability of foreign citizens to adopt Ugandan children. The Children’s Act states that a foreign citizen may, in exceptional circumstances, adopt a Ugandan child, if the foreigner has resided in Uganda for at least three years and if the foreigner has also fostered the child for 36 months. However, High Court judges have made some exceptions to these three-year residency and fostering requirements on a case-by-case basis if it was deemed in the best interests of the child.Ugandan High Court judges have also exercised discretion in approving legal guardianship decrees (which may permit the child to emigrate for full and final adoption abroad) in certain cases where the prospective adoptive parents were unable to meet the requirements for adoption in Uganda.

__________________________________________________________________ Adoptions have happened because these girls are both hard headed and soft hearted and of cource God moved big time. I stole the article below from their web page since they have stolen my heart. I am so proud of them.You also will see that not only my friends the Hartzlers have adopted from Uganda but my great friends the Higgins. Their web page http://our4wishes.com/Heart%20for%20Uganda/About%20Us.html


The Hartzler’s added two new faces to their family and say the boys have “fit right in.” Shon Kato and Zion Wasswa, 10 year old twins, have been in the United States since October and instantly felt at home. The boys have experienced things they only dreamed of in Africa. Everyday they get to experience the joy of having a loving family. With two brothers, three sisters and an active mom and dad, the twins never feel lonely
Kato Shon and Wasswa Zion will never forget Uganda or their many friends in Uganda and want to help the orphans in Africa when they are older. They know that they can not do a lot right now, but beg every one of you to “help bring our friends home to America”.They love telling stories of going to Kampala in the taxis with Fyzel and kahluna to play soccer and of Tony asking for his friends in America and Rachel telling the older kids that she is coming to America to eat pizza. The twins will be waiting at the airport when the four kids come home and are already talking about helping them adjust to the American way of life.

When Salvation was told he was coming to America, it was too good to be true. He did not believe God could love him so much. When the process was going slow, he continually begged God to get him home with his family in America. He knew America would be great but never could have imagined himself doing what he is doing now.
Salvation is currently in the 7th grade along with his sister Molly. He is learning subjects he would never have had the chance of learning while in Uganda. He tried a class in Spanish, but it was confusing his English so he transferred out and decided he should concentrate on his English for now.
Salvation will never forget the orphans in Uganda and plans on returning there as soon as he is done with school to start an orphanage with his older sister, MacKenzie, 18. If it is God’s will, he would also like to start an orphanage in China and South America and any other country he can. He knows what it is like to grow up in harsh conditions with out a family and wants to be that family for many.


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My original post is https://riverflowsdown.wordpress.com/2008/01/13/show-me-orphan-train-dream/ . I have had a few days to ponder the dream. Maybe it was just a crazy dream with no meaning at all. One thing I have learned over the past 46 years is our destiny is forever linked with our history.

Take the Bible for example in the King James edition the word REMEMBER is used 144 times. God tells His people over and over again remember what I did, remember what you did, and remember what your enemy’s did. Why, because it helps you focus on where you are going. You don’t want to go back to the bad places and face the pain again so you learn the lesson’s nessisary to keep that from happening. A good history builds trust and faith that what God has done for us before He can do again no matter how high the mountain.

Isaiah 46:9-13 9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it. 12 Hearken unto me, ye stouthearted, that are far from righteousness: 13 I bring near my righteousness; it shall not be far off, and my salvation shall not tarry: and I will place salvation in Zion for Israel my glory.

God has purposed things to happen and will bring them to pass. I believe He is still involved in the passion of His heart for example Psalms 68:4-6 4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him. 5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation. 6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

God is the Father of the fatherless and a judge in behalf of widows. He set’s the solitary in Family’s. God has His own orphan train finding families to release His love to those who are crying out for it. Only we can stand in the way of that train.

The Midwest is known as the buckle on the bible belt. There is a belt of truth in scripture and the truth is Jesus. He is the way the truth and the Life and no man come to the Father but by Him. A much lesser truth is that God has used the Midwest to provide families and homes to those without, that is our HISTORY. History records the orphan trains rolled through, all found shelter, most found homes, and many found families.

As I am in the remembering Mode several years ago I was on a prayer journey on the old silk road with a focus on the “back to Jerusalem movement” sponsored by Regina Shank and Missouri Prayer. We were on the banks of the pearl river and I noticed a lady with a Kansas City chiefs shirt on just like the one I had on. It was dark so I got up and went toward the lady and noticed many couples with babies. We began to speak to them and found out they were from the Midwest and were working with an adoption agency in Saint Louis Missouri. Small world to run into people from the same city Kansas City all the way around the world in China. 


The adoptions in process we witnessed

God bless all of you who have given yourselves to life of Adoption. Abba Himself is pleased with you.

God Bless the Midwest for setting the example through the years of opening your hearts, your Destiny is forever linked to you History. Father Show Me your Glory and let your orphan train roll.

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January 13th early in the morning my wife Dianna woke me up and told me “you sure are sleeping loud” I knew it was true I had been dreaming I was back in Africa and I had been dropped into the middle of devastation. I was working to get orphans into homes. It was overwhelming, one minute I was in Africa the next I would be back in Missouri. Then the dream slowed down into slow motion. I had been trying to get someone to explain to me what had brought about such devastation in Africa and how I ended up in the middle of it all.

There it was the longest train I had ever seen, it was a old coal burning train. It was pulling passenger cars and on each car was written Show Me Orphan Train. In the windows were little faces pressed against the glass. At this point I am crying looking into the faces of desperation to be loved, it was overwhelming. In the dream Linda a 20 year old Ugandan girl that is living with us while going to college pointed at the children and said “John it’s about them” I woke immediately with all kinds of emotions.

I thought about the meeting I have today with my friends from Alma Missouri introducing them to Gizaw my friend from Ethiopia who will be talking to us about the need for orphanages in Ethiopia. I thought about our friends John and Sharon who minister in Kenya that had just been at the house talking about the conditions there. I thought about my own experiences in Uganda, Egypt and Ethiopia.

Then I thought about a teaching that Regina Shank does on overcoming rejection and She tell’s stories about the orphan trains that would move from the east coast to the Midwest dropping off children to waiting families. Of course there are some bad stories about abuse and using the kids as slave labor. As a whole the Midwest provided homes, I myself have a great grandmother who was an orphan and was taken in to a wonderful family in Beatrice Nebraska.

Here is an advertisement below that appeared in the Troy Free Press Feb 11, 1910. Troy is in Lincoln County.

A company of homeless children from the East will arrive at
TROY, MO., ON FRIDAY, FEB. 25th, 1910
These children are of various ages and of both sexes, having been thrown friendless upon the world. They come under the auspices of the Children’s Aid Society of New York. They are well disciplined, having come from the various orphanages. The citizens of this community are asked to assist the agent in finding good homes for them. Persons taking these children must be recommended by the local committee. They must treat the children in every way as a member of the family, sending them to school, church, Sabbath school and properly clothe them until they are 17 years old. The following well-known citizens have agreed to act as local committee to aid the agents in securing homes:
Applications must be made to, and endorsed by, the local committee.
An address will be made by the agent. Come and see the children and hear the address. Distribution will take place at the
Opera House, Friday, Feb. 25, at 1:30 p.m.
B. W. TICE and MISS A. L. HILL, Agents, 105 E. 22nd St., New York City. Rev. J. W. SWAN, University Place, Nebraska, Western Agent


Orphan Train in Black & White – Diamond Someday “above”

Here are the words to a blue grass song: Orphan Train “below”

By (Utah Phillips)

Once I had a darling mother, though I can’t recall her name
I had a baby brother who I’ll never see again
For the Children’s Home is sending us out on the Orphan Train
To try to find someone to take us in

cho: Take us in, we have rode the Orphan Train
     Take us in, we need a home, we need a name
     Take us in, oh won’t you be our kin
     We are looking for someone to take us in

I have stolen from the poorbox, I’ve begged the city streets
I’ve swabbed the bars and poolrooms for a little bite to eat
In my daddy’s old green jacket and these rags upon my feet
I’ve been looking for someone to take me in

The Children’s Home they gathered us, me and all the rest
They taught us to sit quietly until the food was blest
Then they put us on the Orphan Train and sent us way out West
To try to find someone to take us in.

The farmers and their families they came from miles around
We lined up on the platform of the station in each town
And one by one we parted like some living lost-and-found
And one by one we all were taken in

Now there’s many a fine doctor or a teacher in your school
There’s many a good preacher who can teach the Golden Rule
Who started out an orphan sleeping in the freezing rain
Whose life began out on the Orphan Train.

Well I have to get going and get ready for Church, I just wanted to get the dream down before I forgot it. I hope it will stir you up to pray for those all over the world that have no place to call home and no one to call family. They need to know they have a father who has declared so from heaven. Some times we need to be reminded as the church we are His hands and Feet and more than that we are His Family with open arms and open eyes.

Psalms 68:4-6  Sing to God, sing praise to his name, extol him who rides on the clouds– his name is the Lord– and rejoice before him. 5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. 6 God sets the lonely in families, he leads forth the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.

Part 2   https://riverflowsdown.wordpress.com/2008/01/16/show-me-orphan-train-dream-part-2/

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I was just in Uganda 4 months ago and as we were leaving our good friend Paul handed all of us a box of co-Arinate a strong antimalarial medicine. We have to many experiences with American doctors miss-diagnosing malaria and by the time they did recognize it would be so bad. I had never had malaria but after being home about 12 hours I became very sick with chills, aching joints etc. I made it through Christmas morning with the family but by noon I was sitting next to the wood stove freezing.

Long story short 36 hours later I began the treatment and have just now early Saturday morning taken my last set of pills. I can not tell you how great I feel, I just want to praise Jesus. I know this is TO MUCH INFORMATION but please bear with me. I had not urinated for over 3 days and I had been drinking 7up and water and eating dry toast only. I began to fear my kidneys may try and shut down and I was afraid to tell my wife knowing I would be off to the hospital. I know all you medical guys hear fingers on the chalk board, but honestly I was just trying to trust the Lord and press through. At about the 4 day mark normal body functions prevailed. I was so excited, telling my wife at that point, got the crossed arms and the shaking head stare. Praise God its good to be alive, to the story at hand.

During my first few hours of sickness I posted a story about Rose because it was so important I just wanted to get it from my heart out to the world. Now that I have all my faculties I will tell it again. Thanks for enduring.

I’m home from a short trip to Uganda east Africa. It was just myself and two fireball college students, Bethany Hartzler and Stacey Shaw. They would be taking video footage for a proposed orphanage. We left Kansas City on Dec 15th in a snow storm and missed our flight from Chicago. I had never been part of a missions trip without spending time together in prayer before leaving. That was what we were doing, because the girls had just finished school and drove into KC picked me up and we headed for KCI airport.

Funny thing the night before we left my wife and I had gone to wal-mart for some last minute things, when our friend Mary whom we had run into a few minutes earlier walked up and handed me some money. She said “I had to come back, the Lord spoke to me and told me to give you this money, just use it as the Lord leads.” We were so short on funds and we could not afford a hotel and after we got the news that we missed our flight I remembered the last minute gift.

The Lord knew we needed the time to pray and get on the same page and we all knew He was with us. 24 hours later we were off again to Amsterdam, then Nairobi, finally landing in Entebbe. My suitcase with all my clothes did not make the flight, but showed up on Wednesday. I think we knew with what seemed such demonic opposition, the Lord Jesus must of had a big plan.

We stayed with missionary Alma Jones and we were working with Richard and Debra Kaaya and Paul Basulawa. As we toured the Kaaya’s primary school we found about 30 out of 250 students which had not gone home for Christmas break seeing they had no home to go to. The girls began to shoot some footage while Debra began to tell us some of their stories. Bethany was drawn to a little girl in a yellow dress. Her face was stern, giving the impression that She had been through a lot considering She wasn’t much more than an infant. Here is Her story.

Rose is 3 years old and She lives with Her Mother and Grandfather. Her Mother is 15 years old and by doing the simple math we know the Mother was 12 at the time of the birth. We found out that the Mother had conceived during a rape. I will mention at this point that the Mother has mental illness. In America this would make a classic liberal case for abortion but thank God not this time. God seems to have thundered from heaven with this little girl that ALL life is precious and worth living. She truly lives up to Her name Rose. Precious Rose you have captured our hearts, you are beautiful.

We had pastor Kaaya take us to buy some food, and We delivered it to Her Grandfather. He was so grateful and began to tell us how Rose at 3 years old did the washing and cleaning, seeing that he was old and the Mother was just not mentally capable. My heart is hard, I admit it I have been all over the world and I have seen things that made me vomit, close my eyes turn away and cry, and here I was just numb, yeah numb that describes it.

The next day we took some beanie babies, bracelets and candy to the 30 orphaned children. Rose was there and we noticed She drifted off by Herself. When She was asked what was wrong, She said that She was just putting back part of the candy to share with Her Mother. What a display of love this little girl demonstrated. Finally the hardness gave way and my heart did not hold back tears, I cried. I thought how Rose was conceived in rape and hatred. I thought of the prison of emotional pain that Her mother lives with yet They are a picture of pure LOVE. Rose will serve as a reminder of how fearfully and wonderfully we are made. We are created by God, not by our circumstances, nor are we limited by them.

Abba Father this Christmas 2007 I have been given a fresh look at the gift of life and have again found it precious. Raise this precious Rose up for all to see the handy work of your creation. Let Her be a reminder that you are the Spirit of Adoption and you are the father of the fatherless and the defender of the widow. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen


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