Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Steve Jobs: How to live before you die

Rejected as a baby then again from the two billion dollar company that he had built. He never gave up!
This is a great inspirational story of a man that was rejected as a baby by the well to do family that was originally scheduled to take him but was lovingly accepted into a working class family that loved him. Where would the world be without the influence of Steve Jobs? Thank you to that family who took him in when he was rejected by the first family. This shows that love is the most important ingredient for adoption.
Steve Jobs: How to live before you die | Video on

Friday, October 7, 2011

Perpetual Temple Travel Fund

It was encouraging to hear of the LDS Church's new perpetual fund set up to help church members who are poor and who live far from temples to be able to acquire the funds to travel to those temples.  It is a testimony that these types of sacred efforts are specifically set up to help those who cannot help themselves in the world.  Adoption is truly one of these kinds of situations.  There are so many children in need and so many homes that could be the nurturing grounds for these souls.  We have recently interacted with many amazing people.  One woman testified to us of the blessing of being adopted at the age of 14 and the love and sacrifice of her adoptive parents that she recognized had truly saved her.  Another woman of means who has seen ways that she can help as her heart has been opened to the plight of orphaned children.  Then there is my friend Lonny who has recently become totally dedicated to this cause and believes with all his heart that this fund will come to be.  I know there are many that can and will continue to come together in order to create a simpler path for willing families to welcome ready children into their homes.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why can't adopting be easy and inexpensive?

By Lonny:
I have had this question cross my mind many times. I don't claim to know all of the answers but I did have this thought. Maybe God knows that true happiness and joy comes with hard work and sacrifice.
It has been such a wonderful experience for us to be part of our friends experience adopting these two children: People have been so generous with time, clothing, baked goods, and, of course, money. As I watch the money being raised I see in all of those involved, " when we're helping we're happy". I think that God often gives us these impossible situations so that we have to work together to solve them. In working together and serving each other we develop a greater love for each other and find much more happiness in life.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Guiding Principles of a Perpetual Education Fund

As I participated in a discussion about this Perpetual Adoption Fund idea on linked-in, I found myself creating a long list of guiding principles that would be important to include as part of this concept. Below are my comments as posted on that site:
First of all - it's important for us all to realize that there is a big difference between being able to afford to RAISE children and being able to raise the funds to ADOPT them. This is not about sending children to homes that don't have the resources to raise them. It's the upfront cost that is prohibitive. It would be essential, of course, to closely screen applicant families and make sure that the resources were available and it was a loving home where the children would be better off than where they are now. It's not about letting young families adopt "willy nilly" - for heaven's sake, adoption is a HUGE commitment, everyone in this discussion is aware of that. This isn’t about just writing out a check for the asking. There would have to be a thorough application and screening process, along with a commitment to pay back the loan, perhaps one small payment at a time over a 20+ year period, with additional contributions encouraged from the children themselves when they are grown.

I believe that it's totally unfair to say that a family that doesn't have $30-$60K of liquid cash in the bank is somehow not able to afford to raise them. How in the world can a typical family come up with that kind of money quick enough to make it worth it? If it takes years of regular "saving up", the child would be all grown up before the adoption ever took place.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Genola couple proposes the start of a perpetual adoption fund

By Lonny:
This is a great article about the Morfords.
Daily Herald

Sponsoring a family from Laos

By Lonny:
Adoption is  a great way to help an individual to have a family. It is not always possible for families to make such a big commitment. One way to help other families is to sponsor refugees and help them to get on their feet.
I will always remember the surprise and excitement in our family when my father announced that we were going to have a refugee family from Laos. We were living in the lower level of our farm house and made room for their family in the bedroom next to my parents. We were packed in very tight but I don't remember too much about that. What I do remember is learning from these humble people and having fun playing with the children.
I remember when Pang the 12 year old boy shot a bird out of the tree with a wrist rocket and brought it in for his mother to prepare for dinner.
We were shocked as we butchered a pig and the father went and cleaned out the intestines saying in very broken English "Lao eat. Good".  We decided that we would take his word for it.
After several weeks we were able to secure a small home for them in town and a job for the father at a local factory. It was sobering for us to hear the stories from their country and appreciate more the freedoms and protections that we had here.
It was challenging for my family to have another family that didn't speak any English live with us but it was a wonderful experience that we will always think of with fondness.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Snatched from Death

By Lonny:
In conjunction with my work in Ethiopia, I have had the opportunity to work with some wonderful people that are involved in helping Ethiopian orphans and abandoned children. I can happily report that these children are the lucky ones. They have all been adopted now and are doing well. There are many others that are not so fortunate.
In some areas of rural Ethiopia the villagers have many superstitions. If certain conditions are not met or criteria followed they feel that the child is a curse to the village. At this point they will blame anything bad that happens in the village on the child. The parents are required to take the child outside the village and leave it. It is felt that when the child leaves the village the curse will be lifted. Most of these superstitions focus around the conception and birth of the baby or its early toddler years. Up until recently these defenseless babies left outside the village are taken by hyenas. In some cases the child is thrown into the river for the crocodiles.

Several individuals and groups have come forward to rescue these children. The villages only require that the child "with the curse" leave the village. When there is a child that is identified as a "cursed" child the villagers can contact these groups and they will come rescue the child. How sad it is that these wicked traditions have developed. I salute these people that give of their time and resources to save these children. Their next challenge is to find a home for these wonderful little ones.

Our hope is that with the Perpetual Adoption Fund we can make it possible for more families that want children to have them even if they don't have the immediate cash to pay for them. It will also provide a way for those that may not be able to adopt themselves but have the financial resources to help to be involved in this miraculous work.

Intense discussion on Linked In

By Lonny:
When Marsh mentioned the idea of a Perpetual Adoption Fund to me I immediately liked it and saw a great need for it. Although I haven't adopted children myself, I watched as many close friends and family members have adopted. It is a wonderful miracle for all of those involved and usually comes with great sacrifice. I wanted to help get this idea off the ground. Marsh has asked me to post on the blog so here it goes.

I posted the following comments on an LDS Professionals discussion group on Linked In:

"We are familiar with the miraculous affects of the Perpetual Immigration Fund and the Perpetual Education Fund. What about a Perpetual Adoption Fund? Young families that could and want to adopt can't.

Adoption is very expensive as my good friend Marsh is finding out. His idea was the PAF: Have any of you had experiences with financing adoption or know people that have overcome the financial hurdle to adoption?"

It has been interesting to see the comments flood in. Several people have shared their touching experiences of bringing these special spirits into their homes. Others have expressed support for the idea of  this fund. One person has been very negative in his comments stating that encouraging adoption especially international adoption is just burdening our society with more people that use government programs to fund their family.
How much does adoption cost the government (us taxpayers)? I will have to research this issue. In the meantime I love hearing the miraculous adoption stories. Please post yours as a comment here.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Making a case for the Perpetual Adoption Fund

What is a perpetual fund?
A perpetual fund is a collection of usually donated monies set aside to benefit individuals or groups with the resources to accomplish vital activities where a large lump sum is needed.  The fund is perpetual in that the recipients of these resources pay back into the fund over time as a show of gratitude for the help they received and as support for those currently receiving or those who will yet receive in the future.
In most cases, the main pot of money in the perpetual fund is set up to generate a steady amount of interest, which is then used, along with repayments from former recipients, to continue benefitting individuals and groups.  The goal is to administer help without diminishing the main pot of money.  Contributions to the fund are continually encouraged so that, over time, the main pot of money grows larger and larger, thus increasing the amount of individuals and groups who can be benefitted.
Unlike a loan, there is no contractual obligation to repay the money received from the fund, however the motivation of gratitude to do so tends to create a very high payback ratio, often generating a higher amount in payback and sometimes creating a lifelong donor of those who were originally given the help.

Why is a perpetual fund useful?
The perpetual fund creates a long term solution for providing lump sum amounts to individuals or groups to accomplish important activities such as higher education or emigration as evidenced in the perpetual education and the perpetual emigration funds of the LDS Church.  See links below:

How does a perpetual fund work?
Donors provide the seed money.  Investment brokers help place the money in diverse funds in order to generate a steady stream of interest.  Ecclesiastical leaders recommend individuals or groups and help submit applications for funds.  A committee reviews the recommended applications and determines who will receive monies.  The recipient uses the money for the proscribed purpose and then begins paying back into the fund over time.
Making a case for the Perpetual Adoption Fund
Adoption is a worthy endeavor.  There are many children throughout the world in need of love and nurturing in order to lead productive lives.  Likewise, there are many families who could find it in their hearts to offer their love and homes to needy children, but can’t as easily find the funds required to adopt, especially internationally. 
Adopting usually involves travel and lodging, the services of experienced agencies, legal expenses, and money to cover government and paperwork fees.  Timing is a very important factor in order to adopt specific children and these circumstances usually require a lump sum to proceed.  Most families who are willing and able to adopt, usually don’t have sufficient, accessible funds to do so.  A majority of these families, however, could raise the money, or pay for the process, over time in smaller amounts.  
A perpetual adoption fund is the perfect solution in this worthy endeavor. 
Families would submit an application to the fund committee, including a recommendation from their ecclesiastical leader as well as a certificate of approval from the adoption home study office of their municipality.
Once approved, the appropriate monies would then be paid out to an accredited agency set up to help the family through the process of the adoption.  All agencies would be free to obtain proper accreditation by the fund committee in order to be available for use by fund recipient families in the adoption process.
After finalizing the adoption, recipient families would then begin paying back into the fund.
Ongoing donations to the fund would be encouraged and open to the public.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Why isn't there a perpetual adoption fund?

One month ago, if you had told me that my wife and I were going to adopt, I would have laughed and thought you were crazy.  The transition from there to where we are now was unexpected.  I can't remember not being ready and willing in my heart to love another's child as my own.  I wonder how often this happens, where common folk like you and me come to this point and cross over.  As a family, we don't have much by American standards, but to the rest of the world, we are wealthy beyond comprehension.  We have a home, clothing, food, work, and the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have enough to love and teach and lead these children to greater opportunities in their lives.  We just don't have the money to get them here.
I wonder why there isn't an easily accessible perpetual fund to help people like us adopt.  I'm confident there are many other families who would welcome the opportunity to adopt, but are held back by the large cost, especially for international adoptions.