3/16/2020 As COVID-19 continues to impact our communities and world, Little Miracles wants to take a moment and share the changes we are making to support our families, staff and associates. In this challenging and uncertain time, all of our strength comes from how we care for each other.
Little Miracles is monitoring the emerging COVID-19 health crisis. At this time, the Amarillo office remains open with added safety measures in place. If necessary, Little Miracles has the capacity to close the physical office and staff will work from their homes. As most of you know, LMI has utilized remote work for years and has a high capacity in this regard. Please do not come to the office unless you have called ahead and have a scheduled appointment.
Over the past several weeks, Little Miracles International, like all organizations, has begun to experience the consequences of the corona virus outbreak and the impact on our programs, our staff and partners, and the children and families we serve around the world. The health and safety of both children and families and employees are our utmost concern.
In recent days, as the outbreak has developed into a global pandemic, and reached the U.S., LMI has taken action to protect the health and safety of staff. School closures and other restrictions are a hardship for many of our staff who have young families and we are committed to supporting them as they balance work and family.
Little Miracles intends to ensure that employees can work from home or another remote location whenever necessary in the coming weeks. Teleworking (telecommuting) arrangements are not new to Little Miracles.
LMI does have an additional challenge. LMI is preparing (on a firm deadline) our accreditation documentation for IAAME. This has come at the same time as our challenges with the current crisis.
The COVID-19 challenges have added some delay as well to our services to families. We request your patience at this time during this unfortunate situation that is affecting our timelines.
If you are just starting your adoption process or wondering if you should apply, know that the current need for families is as great as it has ever been. We are still actively seeking families for all our adoption programs and we do have waiting children in some programs. For children waiting for families, the need is great — and will become greater in the weeks and months to come.
Although this has been a time of stress and concern for all, it has also been a time of affirmation as we witness daily examples of the dedication of all of our staff, the resilience of families, and the concern and support of our donors and friends.
LMI will take the following steps effective immediately with the intent to minimize any serious delays to your adoption journey, while keeping everyone as healthy and safe as possible:
- Our business door will remain locked during business hours. All mail and packages will be deposited in a bin outside our door for disinfection prior to bringing it in the office.
- To avoid excessive delays or stuck documents, LMI will review whether it is safe or not to send documents to countries via Fedex and DHL. Secretary of States offices, Department of States and Couriers closures or reduced manpower or hours will also affect us sending documents, getting authentications, certifications and apostilles.
- Many country government offices have already closed. We will not send documents to the country if there are no offices that can receive them.
- LMI will not have any in person appointments or gatherings in our office until further notice.
- Prior to any home visit, your social worker will contact you to confirm the appointment and to inquire whether all persons in the home are healthy; whether any household residents have been exposed to the Corona virus (to the best of your knowledge); and whether anyone in the home has recently traveled outside of the United States or to a specific location with a particularly severe outbreak.
- Currently, no home visits requiring flights within the state of Texas or overseas will be conducted. When possible and permitted by the child’s country of origin, video calls may be used in certain circumstances to allow for the completion of post adoption reports and to continue work on home study reports. Please note, that at a later date, a face-to-face in person visit will be conducted. When one of our staff or someone in your home is sick or has potentially been exposed to the Coronavirus, we will do our best to offer alternate arrangements that meet state This may include allowing employees to work from home, or allowing employees or clients to join meetings by video-conference.
- No LMI staff may fly on business trips.
- All board meetings will be held video or telephonic.
- Our office will conduct additional cleaning of all surfaces on a daily basis, including the use of disinfectant on doorknobs, light switches and other commonly touched areas.
- Any LMI staff showing signs of illness will not be allowed come into the office, nor to attend outside meetings or home visits.
- Travel to and from all countries we serve will be monitored daily.
LMI will remain informed about localized conditions and make adjustments to these safety measures implemented to address those conditions, updating affected families as needed. Most importantly, LMI leadership and staff will continually pray for wisdom for our leaders in both the public and private sectors, as well as our communities and those individuals impacted by this virus.