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Agency Disconnected, Or Sorry, Your Phones and Internet Access Are Down.

We need phones and internet access. It’s impossible to overestimate just how much we rely on being able to communicate, and just how important it is to be able to communicate right at the moment we need it. We don’t even realize just how often we call overseas, or email out documents, until that moment when we can’t.

Not being able to send out an email that a foreign official is expecting? Bad.

Not being able to email documents out to a family? Bad.

Not being able to speak with a family on their way to the airport? Really, really bad!

The process of international adoption is 30% about paperwork and 227% about communication. Out of that, about 720% of importance is placed on talking to the family. Families come first, my staff, both local and overseas, are professional mind readers and know what I meant to say days before I actually get around to saying that.

Telephones and internet enable us to do our jobs. There are, of course, many other things that play an important role too, but without email our efficiency is cut by 50%, without both email and phones – we just can’t work at all. We can still do things in office and handle paperwork, but we can’t actually move the process along. Comcast, however, understands the importance of it, and sent a tech out immediately to look into what seems to be an area wide issue.

We missed some calls, unfortunately, and some of the emails didn’t go out as planned, but we are catching up and by the time this is on our blog – we should be all up and running.

If, however, you didn’t get a response from us as expected – please call us, or email us, again.

Have a good weekend! It’s 3 days and September is almost here, have fun, enjoy the weather.

Sorry, You Don’t Get To See Your Child, Flight is Overbooked.

Airline Check-in


Your fist trip to meet your child is both exciting, and nerve wreaking, and the last thing you need is another wrench thrown into it by an airline, but it happens.

Airlines screw up. We don’t want them to, they don’t want to, but it’s a fact of life – things don’t always work out perfectly. Our family today had a run in with this fact of life.

An airline overbooked a flight, and our family couldn’t fly out. It wasn’t even an international flight, it was a domestic one. They couldn’t even get to JFK to fly out on time, it just wasn’t happening, instead they got routed through Heathrow, London.

One of the least pleasant options for an air traveller is being routed through Heathrow. It’s one thing if you voluntarily chose to fly though Heathrow, and thus brought upon yourself everything associated with a connection through there, but being told you have to get a connection there is just about synonymous with being told to kiss your travel plans goodbye, because you are going to be late.

In my many connections in Heathrow I have never ever expected a flight to leave on time. It does, sometimes, work to your advantage. Just because your flight is 4 hours late coming in, doesn’t mean your flight out of Heathrow already left. You may just have to wait another 4 hours, and you have time to relax, get some food, and stretch your legs. It’s not bad on your way home, but not when you actually need to be somewhere.

So, routed through Heathrow and by the time our family landed in Moscow their connecting flight was long gone.

What do you do in this situation? Well, you call us. Call our office, call our Moscow coordinator, call our in-country staff, just get in touch with one of us and we will take care of it. Whomever you’ll get a hold of will get in touch with the people needed, and get things going. Sometimes all it takes is a couple of phone calls and you are on your next flight, but if the need arises – they’ll literally hold your hand and walk you all the way thought to the next departure gate.

As I was finish up last paragraph I received an update that the family is scheduled for their next flight, which will be departing shortly, and our regional coordinator called to confirm arrival time and is ready to meet the family. So, it’s all taken care of.

We can’t make the planes fly on time, but we can take care of things when they don’t. However, please do remember that arriving for your flight early (very early), or even checking in online hours before making it to the airport is a good idea, and making use of modern technology to avoid unnecessary delays is… well, that’s what it’s there for – to make our lives easier.

Do what needs to be done to get on that flight, you don’t really want to hear “Sorry, you can’t go see your child, flight is overbooked”, do you?

Your Comments Are Welcome

Linking families togetherWe are restructuring and rebooting World Links, we are taking it more into the interconnected World, and we are going to talk more to our families.

Not just about cases specifically, which we, of course, do, but privately, and it’s up to everyone individually to decide what to make public,  but in this day and age, the age of social networking, we want to talk to our families about other things that we do, about the projects we are working on, about the programs we are running, and we want to get your feedback.

So, as part of the process we are introducing this blog, because it’s time to turn this monologue into a discussion, and your comments are welcome.