Abandoned but not forgotten
Heart's Cry Children's Ministry
Thanksgiving Update
November 28, 2010

Hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving with your family and friends!  As you close out this turkey day weekend, please take a moment to read this update. 

We also want to take this opportunity to remind you: PLEASE remember to include us in your end of year giving, if not before.  Giving is definitely down.  In previous months we have not felt led to share this financial burden with you all, but this month we did.  Thank you for prayerfully considering donating to support the work in Panama.    

Thank you,
Matt, Misty and Peter Hedspeth 

Recommendations to change the adoption law  (Continued!)

The last several updates have included a note about our work with the new law change.  I cannot underscore enough how important this is for the future of potentially thousands of institutionalized children here!  We are now involved in this again, as the Judiciary has begun discussion on the changes we proposed.  We are meeting with the Legal Advisory to SENNIAF, in order to finalize what to accept/reject from the Judiciary's changes.  Hopefully all these meetings will be finalized in the next 2 weeks, and thereafter the updated law change will be sent for final review to  the Legislature.  We are still hopeful that the new law will be approved by the first of the new year.  Please continue to join us in praying for God to free these children.  Our hearts remain broken over the children locked away in orphanages, calling out  "Mamita" (Mommy) or "Papito" (Daddy) to any man or woman going by.  We truly believe that this is a huge step forward in the process of freeing them to find their forever families. 

Family Services division
We are beginning to work on the next phase of the work here in Panama: Family Services division.  Of all the items mentioned as possibilities for HCCM in our last email, this was the item we have felt led to begin immediately (in addition to continuing the work with the government).  We will update you all in the future with a more formal announcement.  For now, we wanted you to know that our Board voted to pursue this endeavor, so we have the official go-ahead to start proceeding.  This past week we even had our first job: Training for Prospective Adoptive Parents in Panama.  We were invited by SENNIAF to speak at a training seminar required of Panamanians considering adopting.  We spoke on "The Effects of Institutionalization: Goal of Permanency in a Child's Life."   HCCM put together a presentation, which was given on the first day of the training to about 40 people and 10 staff.  We also handed out a booklet with more detailed information on Institutionalization.  This is crucial for people to understand, so that they can identify and meet their future adoptive child's needs.  This information is not currently being given out within Panama.  The presentation was a huge success, and we received great feedback already.  The staff of SENNIAF are not trained in this regard, either,  so the information we were able to present was not only for the future adoptive parents but also the adoption staff that was present in the meeting. 

Please click here to read the Effects of Institutionalization Booklet that we handed out last week.  (This link will direct you to our website, www.heartscrychildren.com where you can then click on the link to download the PDF version of the Booklet).  This booklet is a detailed overview of various effects the institutional orphanage setting has on a child in regards to their development.  We hope to continue to make articles and materials available online for adoptive parents, in Spanish and English, as specifically material in Spanish is not readily available.

Zoo Trips
We have taken several houses to the zoo lately from Malambo orphanage.  These have been wonderful times for the children to experience life away from the institutional setting.  Click here to read from our Blog to learn more about what God has been doing to provide for the babies in 1 specific house, and how He is providing for their needs through an amazing group of women here.  I hope to be uploading some of the other pictures from the zoo trips soon.  So stay tuned! 

We are thrilled to be adjusting to parenthood of our precious son, Peter.  Our adoption hearing is scheduled for December 22nd.  Please pray for all the details as there is a TON of red tape to get through over the next few months!  We hope to be able to return for a trip to NC early next year, so that Peter can meet the rest of our families and many of you all. 

I have been trying to BLOG as much as possible lately about life and work here, among other things :)  So be sure to check it out!   

Peter in tree