1 year DTE
When we started the program, we thought that today we would be much closer to our baby than where we actually are. When we started the program, we were told that people were waiting around 12-18 months to receive a referral for their baby; sadly, these wait times have changed drastically since we started.
Internationally adoption as a whole has really decreased in the last few years due to a number of different reasons. To give you an idea, in 2010 our adoption agency was able to match and bring home 80 infants and 52 toddlers in the Ethiopia program. This year 17 infants and 8 toddlers were matched. That is a huge difference in just a matter of three years. With these numbers, you can imagine that we are slowly moving up the list to receive a referral. To be honest and give you the real numbers, people who are currently receiving referrals for babies have been waiting for 24-30months since DTE. So yes, although Jeffrey and I have been waiting much longer than a year, in adoption world, your wait doesn't really matter until you are DTE. Unfortunately, we are being told that wait times are likely to increase even more. The adoption world is so unpredictable. We are currently working with two different governments which is never easy.
In this past year, I have experienced so many different emotions. I have been extremely excited as we received news our papers arrived in Ethiopia. I have felt extremely discouraged as more news about wait times kept coming. I have felt helpless as this process is so out of my control. I have felt loved as friends and family members have supported us in some many different ways. I have felt sad as I cried in bed at night longing to meet my baby. I have felt encouraged as I watched families bring their children home. I have been angry and confused when I don't understand why things are happening and why it is so difficult to bring a child who needs a family home. I have felt confident in knowing that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Basically this year has been an emotional roller coaster. There have been some ups, but to be honest there were more downs. My heart has ached, my eyes have burned, and faith has been tested.
Though this year has probably been one of the most challenging years of my life, I feel like I am finally at peace. Jeffrey and I know that we are doing what we are supposed to be doing. Though it may not be in what we would feel is ideal timing, we know that there is a baby that belongs with our family, and we will wait however long we need to wait to get our baby home. There is nothing I can do but pray and wait. Though this year has been challenging, I feel like we are stronger in our faith, closer to each other, and more in love with this baby than we could ever imagine. I would not trade this experience for anything else.
Please continue to pray for us, our baby, and our adoption as we wait for the day to become a forever family.