Summarized by Vickie Speek
Returned Missionary smooths adoptions and distributes Teddy Bears (Come bearing gifts)
(Phoenix) AZ Republic 3Oct99 P2
By Holly Hosac: Special for The Republic
Almost seven years ago, as an LDS missionary in Brazil, Nathan
Gwilliam was affected by the scores of lonely street children and
orphans in Aracaju, Catende and other Brazilian communities. Gwilliam
returned home to Tempe determined to make a difference to the
impoverished orphaned children in those communities.
With the help of his father, Tempe lawyer Dale Gwilliam, Gwilliam has
created a Web site, called adoption.com. The site serves as a
comprehensive Internet resource on adoption in Brazil, covering
everything from medical evaluations and adoption requirements, to
reunion registries, and birth mother bulletin boards. Ultimately,
however, adoption.com seeks to match orphans from all around the
world with families seeking to adopt.
Adoption.com receives about 150,000 hits each month, and employs
almost 50 people. Gwilliam, the chief executive officer, thinks
constantly about the welfare of thousands of children. During the
planning for a trip to Brazil, Gwilliam and his Web site employees
had the idea of collecting stuffed bears that the Gwilliams could
take with them to Brazil and distribute among the numerous orphanages
in the area.
This article gives an account of the teddy bear drive and the efforts
to distribute the animals to orphanages in Brazil, where "conditions
were awful," and "the children have nothing, only a pacifier, if
Log on to to find out more about adoption
resources, the Bears for Brazil Drive, or to read a detailed journal
written by Crystal Gwilliam, the wife of Nathan Gwilliam, during her
week with the orphans and people of Brazil.